USA: President’s Statement

President’s Statement on the Consolidated AppropriationsAct, 2005

08 December 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 8, 2004


Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4818, the “ConsolidatedAppropriations Act, 2005” (CAA). The CAA, consisting of eleven Divisions,consolidates into a single Act several appropriations bills that the Congressnormally passes separately each year to fund the operations of the FederalGovernment, and also several bills that are not normally part of anappropriations bill.

Many provisions of the CAA are inconsistent with the constitutionalauthority of the President to conduct foreign affairs, command the Armed Forces,protect sensitive information, supervise the unitary executive branch, makeappointments, and make recommendations to the Congress. Many other provisionsunconstitutionally condition execution of the laws by the executive branch uponapproval by congressional committees.

The executive branch shall construe as advisory provisions of the CAAthat purport to direct or burden the Executive’s conduct of foreign relations orto limit the President’s authority as Commander in Chief. Such provisionsinclude: in the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations Act, sections 406, 611,609, 627, and the provision regarding voting in the United Nations SecurityCouncil under the heading “Contributions for International PeacekeepingActivities”; in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, sections 506,514, 531, 547, 561, 562, 580, 585, 593, and the provisions entitled “OtherBilateral Economic Assistance, Economic Support Fund” and “AndeanCounterdrug Initiative”; as well as in Division J (“Other Matters”),section 3(b)(3) of the 225th Anniversary of the American RevolutionCommemoration Act.

The executive branch shall also construe the provisions of the CAA in amanner consistent with the President’s authority to supervise the unitaryexecutive branch, including the authority to direct which officers in theexecutive branch shall assist the President in faithfully executing the law.Such provisions include in the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Act,sections 618 and 628, and language relating to review by the Office ofManagement and Budget (OMB) of executive branch orders, activities, regulations,transcripts, and testimony, particularly language relating to OMB review ofcertain matters in reports to be submitted to the Congress through the Secretaryof the Army.

The executive branch shall construe provisions in the CAA that purport tomandate or regulate submission of information to the Congress, other entitiesoutside the executive branch, or the public, in a manner consistent with thePresident’s constitutional authority to withhold information that could impairforeign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of theExecutive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties. Suchprovisions include: in the Agriculture Appropriations Act, section 717; in theCommerce-Justice-State Appropriations Act, sections 407, 409, and provisionsconcerning a budget proposal under the heading “National IntellectualProperty Law Enforcement Coordination Council”; in the Energy and WaterAppropriations Act, sections 112, 113, and 503; in the Foreign OperationsAppropriations Act, section 559; in the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Act,a provision under the heading “Department of Health and Human Services,Office of the Secretary”; in the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Act,sections 522 and 618; in the VA-HUD Appropriations Act, section 210; and inDivision J, section 16 of the L-1 Visa and H-1B Visa Reform Act.

The executive branch shall construe provisions of the CAA that purport tomake consultation with the Congress a precondition to the execution of the lawas calling for, but not mandating, such consultation, as is consistent with theConstitution’s provisions concerning the separate powers of the Congress tolegislate and the President to execute the laws. Such provisions include: in theForeign Operations Appropriations Act, sections 509, 512, 543, 569, 588, andprovisions under the heading “International Disaster and Famine Assistance,””Transition Initiatives,” “Andean Counterdrug Initiative,”and “Debt Restructuring”; and in the Interior and Related AgenciesAppropriations Act, provisions under the heading “National Park Service,Historic Preservation Fund,” and “Administrative Provisions,Smithsonian Institution.”

The executive branch shall construe provisions that purport to require orregulate submission by executive branch officials of legislative recommendationsto the Congress consistently with the President’s constitutional authority torecommend to the Congress such measures as he judges necessary and expedient.Such provisions include: in the Agriculture Appropriations Act, section 721; inthe Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations Act, sections 628 and 902; in theInterior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, section 102; in theTransportation-Treasury Appropriations Act, section 404; in the VA-HUDAppropriations Act, section 215; and in Division K, section 152 of the SmallBusiness Reauthorization and Manufacturing Assistance Act of 2004.

In section 601 of the Energy and Water Appropriations Act, section 2 ofthe amended Tennessee Valley Authority Act shall be construed consistently withthe President’s constitutional authority to make nominations and appointofficers. So that section 522 of the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Actmay be faithfully executed, the executive branch shall construe subsection (c),which provides that an agency privacy officer’s signature on a report to theagency inspector general shall constitute verification by the officer “thatthe agency is only using information in identifiable form as detailed in thereport” to mean that the signature constitutes verification to the best ofthe officer’s knowledge after diligent inquiry.

The executive branch shall construe as calling solely for notificationthe provisions of the CAA that are inconsistent with the requirements ofbicameral passage and presentment set forth in the Constitution, as construed bythe Supreme Court of the United States in 1983 in INS v. Chadha. Such provisionsinclude: in the Agriculture Appropriations Act, sections 705, 718, 736, and aprovision under the heading “Food and Drug Administration, Salaries andExpenses”; in the Energy and Water Appropriations Act, section 303; in theInterior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, sections 305, 313, 329, 332,333, and provisions under the headings “United States Fish and WildlifeService, Administrative Provisions,” “National Park Service,Construction,” “Department of the Interior, Depart-mental Management,Salaries and Expenses,” “Natural Resource Damage Assessment andRestoration, Administrative Provisions,” “Forest Service, WildlandFire Management,” “Administrative Provisions, ForestService,” “Indian Health Service, Indian Health Facilities,””Administrative Provisions, Indian Health Service,” and”Administrative Provisions, Smithsonian Institution”; in theLabor-HHS-Education Appropriations Act, section 208 and a provision under theheading “Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation”; in theTransportation-Treasury Appropriations Act, sections 201, 211, 212, 217, 218,403, 510, 511, 614, 623, and 642, and provisions under the headings”Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, Salaries andExpenses,” “Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary,Working Capital Fund,” “Federal Transit Administration, AdministrativeExpenses,” “Department of the Treasury, Departmental Offices, Salariesand Expenses,” “Internal Revenue Service, Business SystemsModernization,” “Office of Administration, Salaries and Expenses,””High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program,” and “RealProperty Activities, Federal Building Fund, Limitations on Availability ofRevenue”; and in the VA-HUD Appropriations Act, section 111 and provisionsunder the headings “Department of Veterans Affairs, DepartmentalAdministration, Construction, Minor Projects” and “NationalAeronautics and Space Administration, Administrative Provisions.”

As is consistent with the principle of statutory construction of givingeffect to each of two statutes addressing the same subject whenever they canco-exist, the executive branch shall construe the provision in the Energy andWater Appropriations Act under the heading “National Nuclear SecurityAdministration, Weapons Activities” concerning transfer of funds from theDepartment of Defense to constitute an “express authorization ofCongress” to which section 8063 of the Department of Defense AppropriationsAct, 2005 (Public Law 108-287) refers.

A number of provisions in the CAA purport to allocate funds for specifiedprojects and amounts set forth in the joint explanatory statement of managersthat accompanied the CAA; to make changes in statements of managers thataccompanied various appropriations bills reported from conferences in the past;or to direct compliance with a report of one committee of one House of Congress.The executive branch shall construe these provisions in a manner consistent withthe bicameral passage and presentment requirements of the Constitution for themaking of a law. Such provisions include in the Foreign OperationsAppropriations Act, section 595; in the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Act,provisions under the headings “Innovation and Improvement,””Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research,” “HigherEducation,” and “Institute of Education Sciences”; in theTransportation-Treasury Appropriations Act, sections 125 and 173; and in theVA-HUD Appropriations Act, provisions under the headings “CommunityDevelopment Fund” and “Department of Housing and Urban Development,Management and Administration, Salaries and Expenses.”

Several provisions of CAA relate to race, ethnicity, or gender. Theexecutive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with therequirements that the Federal Government afford equal protection of the lawsunder the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Section 12 of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act authorizesoverseas travel for members of the U.S. Capitol Police in support of travel bySenators. To ensure consistency with the President’s constitutional authority toconduct the Nation’s foreign affairs, the executive branch shall construesection 12 as authorizing travel for the limited purposes of advance, security,and protective functions in support of the official travel of Senators. Theexecutive branch shall construe the term “intelligence gathering” insection 1007 of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, which relates toactivities of the U.S. Capitol Police outside their geographic jurisdiction, aslimited to collection of information for law enforcement and protectivefunctions authorized by other laws relating to the U.S. Capitol Police, as anyother construction would be inconsistent with the Constitution’s vesting of theexecutive power in the President.

The executive branch shall construe section 638 of theTransportation-Treasury Appropriations Act, relating to assignment of executivebranch employees to perform functions in the legislative branch, in a mannerconsistent with the President’s constitutional authority to supervise theunitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief, and recognizing that thePresident cannot be compelled to give up the authority of his office as acondition of receiving the funds necessary to carrying out the duties of hisoffice.



December 8, 2004.




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