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Office of the Press Secratary

For Immediate Release November 3, 1999

|----------------------------------------------------------------------| | | | President Clinton Vetoes The Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Bill|

|                          November 3, 1999                            |
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Today the President will announce that he has vetoed the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2000. He will cite Congress' failure to provide critical investments in education and the across-the-board cuts made by the bill in such critical areas as defense, veterans' programs, education, environmental protection, and law enforcement.

The President will call on the Congress to work in a bipartisan way with the Administration to enact a budget that meets the education, environmental, law enforcement, and foreign policy priorities he has called for throughout the year. He will also urge the Congress to enact a number of other critical measures they have failed to complete, including an increase in the minimum wage, the Jeffords-Kennedy bill, common-sense gun legislation, and the Patients' Bill of Rights.

Congress' Labor/HHS/Education Bill Guts Critical Investments

Legislation Contains Harmful Across-the-Board Cuts in Critical Priority Areas

The Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill vetoed by the President today contained an across-the-board spending cut which would have resulted in damaging, indiscriminate cuts in priority areas, including defense, veterans' programs, education, law enforcement, and the environment. For example, it would have:

Forced the loss of as many as 48,000 military personnel

Reduced veterans' medical care by $184 million

Resulted in over 1.3 million fewer meals being delivered to elderly persons in poor health in the Meals on Wheels program

Deprived 71,000 women, infants, and children of food and nutrition assistance under the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program

Deprived nearly 3,000 children of receiving the full complement of childhood immunizations; and

Required the FBI, INS, and DEA to cut the number of agents by a total of more than 300.