THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I have signed into law today H.R. 2490, the "Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2000," which provides $13.7 billion in discretionary budget authority for programs in the Department of the Treasury, the United States Postal Service, the General Services Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Executive Office of the President, and several smaller agencies. I commend the Congress for producing a bipartisan bill that allows us to continue the IRS reform effort and the national youth anti-drug media campaign and to fund important law enforcement efforts and other programs.
The bill provides $12.4 billion for the Department of the Treasury, including $132 million for violent crime reduction programs. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is funded at $8.2 billion. I believe that these funds will strengthen the IRS's ability to provide timely and accurate data for American taxpayers. The bill also includes $144 million for the Earned Income Tax Credit compliance initiative and $250 million for Year 2000 conversion requirements for IRS computer systems. Law enforcement bureaus within the Department of the Treasury are funded at $3.4 billion. I am pleased that the Congress has fully funded my request for the expansion of the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative.
The bill provides $185 million for the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) national youth anti-drug media campaign. This money will enable ONDCP's national media campaign to continue its effort to change youth attitudes about drug use and its consequences. The campaign is a model public-private partnership, exposing 90 percent of all 9- to 17-year-olds to anti-drug messages at least four times a week.
I am pleased that the enrolled bill requires health plans participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that provide prescription drug coverage to provide prescription contraceptive coverage as well. I am also pleased that the enrolled bill allows agencies to use appropriated funds to support day care centers at Federal facilities. This provision should improve the affordability of child care for lower-income Federal employees.
Several provisions in the Act purport to condition my authority or that of certain officers to use funds appropriated by the Act on the approval of congressional committees. My Administration will interpret such provisions to require notification only, since any other interpretation would contradict the Supreme Court's ruling in INS v. Chadha.
Section 622 of the Treasury/General Government Appropriations Act prohibits the use of appropriations to pay the salary of any employee who interferes with certain communications between Federal employees and Members of Congress. I do not interpret this provision to detract from my constitutional authority and that of my appointed heads of departments to supervise and control the operations and communications of the executive branch, including the control of privileged and national security information.
I urge the Congress to complete action on the remaining FY 2000 appropriations bills as quickly as possible and send them to me in an acceptable form.
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