Veto of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Bill.
To the House of Representatives:
I am returning, without my approval, H.R. 12567, a bill "to authorize appropriations for the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 and the Act of March 3, 1901, for fiscal years 1977 and 1978, and for other purposes."
I am disapproving H.R. 12567 because it contains a provision that would seriously obstruct the exercise of the President's constitutional responsibilities over Executive branch operations. Section 2 of the enrolled bill provides that Congress may, by concurrent resolution, "veto" a plan to commit funds for construction of the National Academy for Fire Prevention and Control. This provision extends to the Congress the power to prohibit specific transactions authorized by law, without changing the law and without following the constitutional process such a change would require. Moreover, it involves the Congress directly in the performance of Executive functions in disregard of the fundamental principle of separation of powers.
Provisions of this type have been appearing in an increasing number of bills which this Congress has passed or is considering. Most are intended to enhance the power of the Congress over the detailed execution of the laws at the expense of the President's authority. I have consistently opposed legislation containing these provisions, and will continue to oppose actions that constitute a legislative encroachment on the Executive branch.
I urge the Congress to reconsider H.R. 12567 and to pass a bill I can accept so that it will be possible for the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration to proceed with its important work.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
July 7, 1976.
Note: The bill was referred to the House Science and Technology Committee on July 19, and no further action was taken.
Gerald R. Ford, Veto of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257910