[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[June 7, 1995]
[Pages 828-829]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval 
Legislation for Emergency Supplemental Appropriations and Rescissions 
for Fiscal Year 1995
June 7, 1995

To the House of Representatives:
    I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 1158, a bill 
providing for emergency supplemental appropriations and rescissions for 
fiscal year 1995.
    This disagreement is about priorities, not deficit reduction. In 
fact, I want to increase the deficit reduction in this bill.
    H.R. 1158 slashes needed investments for education, national 
service, and the environment, in order to avoid cutting wasteful 
projects and other unnecessary expenditures. There are billions of 
dollars in pork--unnecessary highway demonstration projects, 
courthouses, and other Federal buildings--that could have been cut 
instead of these critical investments. Indeed, the Senate bill made such 
cuts in order to maintain productive investments, but the House-Senate 
conference rejected those cuts.
    For example, H.R. 1158 would deprive 15,000 young adults of the 
opportunity to serve their communities as AmeriCorps members.
    It would deprive 2,000 schools in 47 States of funds to train 
teachers and devise comprehensive reforms to boost academic standards.
    It would reduce or eliminate antiviolence and drug prevention 
programs serving nearly 20 million students.
    It would prevent the creation and expansion of hundreds of community 
development banks and financial institutions that would spur job

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growth and leverage billions of dollars of capital in distressed 
communities across the country.
    And it would seriously hamper the ability of States to maintain 
clean drinking water, thus jeopardizing the health of residents.
    In the end, the Congress chose courthouses over education, pork 
barrel highway projects over national service, Government travel over 
clean water.
    At my instruction, the Administration has provided alternatives to 
the Congress that would produce greater deficit reduction than H.R. 
1158, cutting even more in fiscal year 1995 spending than is included in 
H.R 1158. But the spending reductions would come out of unnecessary 
projects and other spending, not investments in working families.
    My position on this legislation has been made clear throughout the 
legislative process. The Administration strongly and consistently 
opposed the House version of the bill because it would have 
unnecessarily cut valuable, proven programs that educate our children, 
invest in our future, and protect the health and safety of the American 
people. We worked closely with the bipartisan leadership of the Senate 
to improve the bill, and I indicated my approval of those improvements. 
Regrettably, the conference went well beyond the spending reductions 
contained in the bipartisan compromise despite my Administration's 
consistent urging to adhere to the Senate bipartisan leadership 
    In addition, I continue to object to language that would override 
existing environmental laws in an effort to increase timber salvage. 
Increasing timber salvage and improving forest health are goals that my 
Administration shares with the Congress. Over the last 6 months, my 
Administration has put in motion administrative reforms that are 
speeding salvage timber sales in full compliance with existing 
environmental laws. It is not appropriate to use this legislation to 
overturn environmental laws. Therefore, I urge the Congress to delete 
this language and, separately, to work with my Administration on an 
initiative to increase timber salvage and improve forest health.
    My Administration has provided the Congress with changes that would 
enable me to sign revised legislation. I urge the Congress to approve a 
bill that contains the supplemental funding included in H.R. 1158--for 
disaster relief activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
for the Federal response to the bombing in Oklahoma City, for increased 
antiterrorism efforts, and for providing debt relief to Jordan in order 
to contribute to further progress toward a Middle East peace 
settlement--along with my Administration's alternative restorations and 
    I will sign legislation that provides these needed supplemental 
appropriations and that reduces the deficit by at least as much as this 
bill. However, the legislation must reflect the priorities of the 
American people. H.R. 1158, as passed, clearly does not.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

June 7, 1995.