View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 3, 1999


After bipartisan negotiations to resolve the District of Columbia appropriations bill, Congress and my Administration agreed to provide essential funding for the District while modifying some of the most objectionable provisions infringing on the rights of local citizens to make decisions about local matters -- the principle of home rule.

I would have signed this legislation, but the House attached to it highly objectionable legislation that would have failed to fund important priorities in education, health and other areas, and would have resulted in an across-the-board cut in funding for important programs from defense and veterans' programs to education, law enforcement, and the environment.

Unfortunately, the House voted today on a replacement D.C. bill that runs contrary to the earlier bipartisan agreement and undercuts the progress that has been made for the benefit of the people of the District of Columbia. The consensus bill on the District passed by both houses remains acceptable to me, and I would sign it if it were presented as a stand-alone bill or unattached to objectionable legislation.

I urge Congress to act for the benefit of the citizens of the District and our Nation's Capital by sending me the agreed-upon legislation, unencumbered by objectionable legislation or provisions.