THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON ASKS THE CONGRESS TO ADD FUNDING TO STRENGTHEN EMBASSY SECURITY AND TO MEET SUPREME COURT REQUIREMENTS FOR 2000 CENSUS
The President today sent FY 2000 budget amendments to the Congress to respond to terrorist threats against U.S. diplomats abroad by strengthening security at U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities overseas and to meet the additional needs arising from the Supreme Court decision requiring the reliance on additional nonstatistical activities to conduct the 2000 Census.
In order to strengthen the Administration's long-term program to upgrade embassy security, the President asked the Congress to provide an additional $864 million over the next 5 years, which will be used to speed and expand the construction of new embassies and other diplomatic facilities abroad. The President's request will add $264 million for construction in the year 2000, and an additional $600 million a year for construction during the next 4 years ($150 million each year from FY 2001 through FY 2004.)
"In light of the steady stream of terrorist threats, I urge Congress to act quickly to provide the funding that will enable us to construct new, more secure embassies and facilities for American diplomatic personnel serving abroad to protect our Nation's interests," said President Clinton.
This embassy security budget amendment for $864 million is an additional request above the President's FY 2000 budget. In the 2000 budget, the embassy security program called for $3.5 billion over 5 years, and planned for $10.5 billion through 2010 to upgrade security, including funding expanded security personnel and technology, and the construction of new sites. With the additional funds requested in the budget amendment, the Administration's long-term program now involves funding of $11.35 billion through 2010.
The Supreme Court ruled on January 25, 1999, that statistical sampling may not be used to determine the population counts in Census 2000 for purposes of reapportioning Congressional seats between States. Therefore, the Administration is requesting an increase of $1.723 billion primarily to provide for the required nonsampling census activities. This increased funding will support additional staff, equipment, and space, and promotion and advertising efforts to encourage public participation. The amendment will provide necessary resources to conduct nonresponse follow-up at an additional 16 million housing units, representing an increase of 50 percent over the previous census design. Total FY 2000 funding for the decennial Census is $4.5 billion.
Pacific Salmon Recovery
The Administration seeks an additional $60 million as specified by the recent Pacific Salmon Treaty between Canada, the United States, Alaska, Washington State, Oregon, and two groups of treaty tribes to help support certain populations of salmon in the Northwest whose numbers are diminishing.
The amendments would also increase funding by $230 million for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to support its detention and deportation program. The amendment will help ensure the INS is capable of meeting statutory mandatory detention requirements and has sufficient detention space to support enforcement operations. The mandatory detention requirements that took effect this year, a dramatic increase in long-term incarcerated aliens, and the rise in sophisticated smuggling operations have placed unexpected burdens on INS detention capabilities. This amendment will permit the funding of approximately 19,000 detention beds to expand capacity and add 370 staff to support these beds to meet INS detention requirements in FY 2000.
Another amendment in the transmittal will provide a total of $60 million for FYs 2001-2003 to renovate the James A. Farley Post Office building in New York City as a train station and commercial center.
These proposed increases in FY 2000 funding are fully paid for and will not diminish the FY 2000 surplus.
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