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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 27, 1995
                      Statement by Alice M. Rivlin
               Director, Office of Management and Budget
          on Senate Passage of the VA/HUD Appropriations Bill

The President would veto the Senate-passed bill for a simple reason: Like its House counterpart, the Senate bill would threaten public health and the environment, terminate programs that are helping communities help themselves, and close the door on college for thousands of young people.

The Senate voted to eliminate the President's national service program, which is helping to rebuild communities while enabling the sons and daughters of working families to earn money for college. AmeriCorps has the support of 90 percent of Americans, and major charities and business leaders across the country -- and for good reason. It is working. The President will insist that Congress restore funds for this vital program before he signs this appropriations bill.

The Senate also approved a budget for the Environmental Protection Agency that would abandon the nation's bipartisan commitment to health and environmental protection. In particular, the bill would provide far too little for clean water enforcement and toxic waste cleanup. The President will not let Congress turn back the clock on our environmental progress of the last quarter-century.

By cutting so deeply into housing assistance, the Senate took dead aim at the most vulnerable of Americans. And by eliminating the Community Development Financial Institutions program, the Senate chose to withdraw an important tool by which distressed communities help themselves.

Clearly, this bill does not reflect the values that Americans hold dear. The President is calling on Congress to send him an appropriations bill for these important priorities that truly serves the American