THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) ______________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release October 8, 1997
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I have today signed into law H.R. 2266, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1998.
This bill provides for a strong national defense, maintains high military readiness, funds investment programs necessary to modernize the equipment that our combat forces use, and supports our commitments to a better quality of life for our service personnel and their families. By providing the necessary support for our armed forces, this bill ensures continuing American global leadership.
As President, I have a solemn obligation to provide for the defense of our country. My Administration has designed a coherent strategy to provide the necessary military forces to deter and prevail over the threats we may face.
I remain deeply concerned, however, that the funding provided in this bill is excessive. The bill provides $4.2 billion more than I requested in my 1998 budget, and $1.2 billion more than the levels that my Administration believes was agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement.
Further, section 8080 of the Act contains certain reporting requirements that could materially interfere with or impede this country's ability to provide necessary support to another nation or international organization in connection with peacekeeping or humanitarian assistance activities otherwise authorized by law. I will interpret this provision consistent with my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States and my responsibilities as Commander in Chief.
My Administration is continuing discussions with the Congress on the remaining 1998 spending bills in order to protect important priorities in education and training, the environment, science and technology, law enforcement, and international affairs. Over the past several days, we have made progress in good-faith discussions with the leadership of the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees to close the gap between us. It is critical that these discussions continue with the goal of reaching a satisfactory conclusion as rapidly as possible.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 8, 1997.
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