[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[June 29, 1995]
[Page 978]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Agreement With Congress on Budget Rescissions Legislation
June 29, 1995

    I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with Republicans and 
Democrats in the Congress on the rescissions bill.
    I vetoed the original rescissions bill because it reduced the 
deficit the wrong way. The new bill achieves the same amount of deficit 
reduction as the previous bill, but it does so the right way, by 
protecting investments in children, education, national service, job 
training, and the environment that Congress wanted to cut. These are the 
kind of balanced priorities that make sense for our country as we enter 
the difficult budget debates ahead.
    Specifically, the new legislation restores $733 million in these 
critical areas, including $220 million for the safe and drug-free 
schools program, $60 million for training teachers and other reforms 
under Goals 2000, $105 million for AmeriCorps, and $225 million for the 
safe drinking water program.
    Like the original bill, the legislation contains over $16 billion in 
spending cuts, and it provides supplemental funds I requested for 
disaster relief activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 
the Federal response to the bombing in Oklahoma City, increased 
antiterrorism efforts, and debt relief to Jordan to facilitate progress 
toward a Middle East peace settlement.
    We have now achieved a bill that I am prepared to sign. This is 
essential legislation, and I hope the Congress will act on it quickly. 
While on balance I believe we made such significant changes that I am 
able to sign the legislation, the bill does contain provisions I do not 
    I still do not believe this bill should contain any of the 
provisions relating to timber. I opposed the timber salvage rider 
because I believe that it threatens once again to lead to legal gridlock 
and to impair, rather than promote, sustainable economic activity. I 
continue to have that concern. But the conferees did accept important 
changes in the language that preserve our ability to implement the 
current forest plans and their standards and to protect other resources 
such as clean water and fisheries.
    Furthermore, Chairman Hatfield insists that the timber salvage 
provisions provide complete discretion for the administration to 
implement these provisions according to our best judgment.
    I take Senator Hatfield at his word. Therefore, after signing the 
rescissions bill into law, I will direct the Secretary of Agriculture, 
the Secretary of the Interior, and all other Federal agencies to carry 
out timber salvage activities consistent with the spirit and intent of 
our forest plans and all existing environmental laws.
    We will abide by the balanced goals of our forest plans, and we will 
not violate our environmental standards. Both are too important to 
protecting our quality of life and our economy.