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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 28, 1999


I am returning herewith without my approval, H.R. 2587, the "District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2000." Although the bill provides important funding for the District of Columbia, I am vetoing this bill because it includes a number of highly objectionable provisions that are unwarranted intrusions into local citizens' decisions about local matters.

I commend the Congress for developing a bill that includes requested funding for the District of Columbia. The bill includes essential funding for District Courts and Corrections and the D.C. Offender Supervision Agency and goes a long way toward providing requested funds for a new tuition assistance program for District of Columbia residents. I appreciate the additional funding included in the bill to promote the adoption of children in the District's foster care system, to support the Children's National Medical Center, to assist the Metropolitan Police Department in eliminating open-air drug trafficking in the District, and for drug testing and treatment, among other programs.

However, I am disappointed that the Congress has added to the bill a number of highly objectionable provisions that would interfere with local decisions about local matters. Were it not for these provisions, I would sign the bill into law. Many of the Members who voted for this legislation represent States and localities that do not impose similar restrictions on their own citizens. I urge the Congress to remove the following provisions expeditiously to prevent the interruption of important funding for the District of Columbia:

I urge the Congress to send me a bill that maintains the important funding for the District provided in this bill and that eliminates these highly objectionable provisions as well as other provisions that undermine the ability of residents of the District of Columbia to make decisions about local matters.


                            THE WHITE HOUSE,
                            September 28, 1999.

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