THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
The rescission bill that the Senate approved, and that I will be pleased to sign, shows how we can work together to produce good legislation.
From the start of this rescission process, I agreed with Congress on the need to cut spending. The question was, how should we do it?
I vetoed the original rescission bill because it would have cut spending the wrong way, by targeting education and training, environmental protection, and other key national priorities. I then worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to produce a better bill. I am pleased that this bill cuts $16 billion in spending while protecting our key investments in education and training, the environment, and other priorities.
Like the earlier version, this bill also provides much-needed supplemental funds that I have sought for disaster relief activities of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal response to the bombing in Oklahoma City, increased anti-terrorism efforts, and debt relief to Jordan to facilitate progress toward a Middle East peace settlement.
To be sure, I do not support every provision of this bill. For instance, I still do not believe that this bill should contain any of the provisions relating to timber. But the final bill does contain 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. Therefore, after signing the rescission 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.
I am pleased that bipartisan leaders of Congress worked with me to produce a good bill. Working together, we can continue to produce good legislation for the American people.