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Statement on Signing the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1988

November 07, 1988

I have today signed H.R. 4352, an Act "to amend the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act to extend programs providing urgently needed assistance for the homeless, and for other purposes." The legislation authorizes appropriations of $633.8 million for Fiscal Year 1989 and $675.8 million for Fiscal Year 1990 for programs to assist homeless Americans. It ensures that the Federal Government, directly and through cooperative efforts with State and local governments and the private sector, can address effectively the plight of those who do not have shelter.

The funds authorized by the Act support a number of major Federal programs to assist the homeless. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds the work of nonprofit organizations and local governments in providing shelter, food, and supportive services for the homeless. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Emergency Shelter Grants Program provides funds to State and local governments for renovation of buildings for use as emergency shelters and for shelter operation. The Department's Supportive Housing Demonstration Program of grants for development of innovative approaches to providing transitional housing for homeless families with children and persons with physical or mental disabilities also will continue.

The Act authorizes funds for a program of particular importance that serves both the medical needs of the homeless and the national objective of a drug-free America-the Department of Health and Human Services' Primary Health and Substance Abuse Services Program of grants to public or private nonprofit organizations for health and substance abuse services for the homeless.

The Act expands the scope of the pathbreaking Job Training Partnership Act in which the private and public sectors cooperate to assist individuals in developing marketable skills that bring economic independence. This expansion of the Job Training Partnership Act should be administered in coordination with the work arrangements of the Family Support Act of 1988 that I signed last month.

Those provisions in this Act that purport to require the heads of departments and agencies to submit legislation or recommendations to the Congress must be implemented in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority and duty of the President to recommend to the Congress from time to time "such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Also, ensuring orderly and effective representation of the interests of the United States in the courts will require implementation of section 1045 of the Act, which relates to legal representation for the Secretary of Agriculture, in a manner consistent with the authorities and duties of the Attorney General.


The White House,

November 7, 1988.

Note: H.R. 4352, approved November 7, was assigned Public Law No. 100-628.

Ronald Reagan, Statement on Signing the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1988 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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