[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1996, Book II)]
[September 10, 1996]
[Page 1527]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997
September 10, 1996

    I have signed into law, H.R. 3845, the ``District of Columbia 
Appropriations Act, 1997.'' This Act provides $719 million in Federal 
appropriations for the District of Columbia.
    The total amount of Federal funds appropriated to the District for 
FY 1997 includes $660 million for the Federal payment to the District of 
Columbia, $52 million for the Federal contribution to retirement funds, 
$5.7 million for Presidential Inaugural expenses, and $1 million to help 
address the District's drinking water problem.
    I am disappointed that the Congress has excluded the $52 million 
increase in the Federal contribution to the pension payment proposed in 
my FY 1997 Budget. The $52 million requested increase was intended to 
begin to address the District's $5 billion unfunded pension liability. I 
am committed to working with the Congress to develop a solution to 
address the District's single largest financial obligation.
    The Act sets the total operating expense spending level for the 
District of Columbia at the requested level of $5.1 billion, $119 
million above FY 1996.
    The abortion language in the Act is the same as current law, which 
prohibits the use of both Federal and District funds to pay for 
abortions except in those cases where the life of the mother is in 
danger or in cases of rape or incest. I continue to view this 
prohibition as an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of the 
    The Act includes a provision that applies civil rights standards 
provided for in Executive Order 11246 to Federal construction contracts 
funded under the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

September 10, 1996.

Note: H.R. 3845, approved September 9, was assigned Public Law No. 104-