Statement by the President: the Signing of H.R. 4578 (10/11/00)
                                THE WHITE HOUSE

                           Office of the Press Secretary
                              (Aboard Air Force One)
For Immediate Release                                         October 11,

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I have signed into law H.R. 4578, the "Department of the
Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001."  I want to commend
the Congress for agreeing on an acceptable version of this bill that
provides critical funding for many priority needs -- our national parks,
national forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands; State and local
grants for land conservation and preservation; Native American programs;
cleaner water; energy security; and the Arts.  I am pleased that, unlike
earlier versions of the bill, the final bill excludes a large number of
highly objectionable provisions that would change our environmental
protection and natural resource conservation laws without adequate public
and congressional scrutiny.

     In particular, I am very pleased that this Congress has agreed to
establish a new budget category to provide dedicated and protected funding
for the conservation and preservation programs in my Lands Legacy
Initiative and other related activities.  This agreement will nearly double
our investment next year in these programs and move us toward providing
com-munities with the resources they need to protect their most precious
lands.  By establishing this new budget category and fencing off more than
$10 billion over the next 5 years, we are fulfilling our commitment to make
the single largest annual investment in protecting our green and open
spaces since Theodore Roosevelt set our Nation on the path of conservation
nearly a century ago.

     The bill provides a significant increase in funding for key components
of my Native American Initiative program, including most of the requested
investments in Indian school construction and law enforcement.  It also
provides the largest funding increase for the Indian Health Service in its
history.  The bill also helps to protect the environment by increasing
funds for the Clean Water Action Plan and promotes the Arts by
providing the first funding increase for the National Endowment for the
Arts in 9 years.  In addition, the increase provided for the National
Endowment for the Humanities will enable the NEH to continue to implement
its Rediscovering America through the Humanities initiative.

     The bill provides strong support for a number of other national
priorities.  It expands funding for weatherization of low-income homes,
which will help low-income households prepare for the coming winter season.
It includes funding for research into energy efficiency to reduce our
dependence on oil and address climate change, through initiatives like the
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, which will aid in the
develop-ment of a new generation of ultra-efficient cars.  In addition, the
bill provides funding for a Regional Home Heating Reserve for the

     I note that there is also a provision in Title VIII of the bill that
violates INS v. Chadha because it purports to condition the availability of
certain appropriated funds on the provision by congressional committees of
a list of specific acquisitions to be undertaken with such funds.  As a
result, I will treat that provision as being advisory only, and not as
legally binding.

     In addition, all of the funds in Title V of the bill have been
designated by the Congress as emergency requirements.  I hereby designate
those amounts in Title V, totaling $87,515,000, as emergency requirements
pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency
Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended.  The Congress has provided other
important emergency funds in the bill to assist States that have been
ravaged by wildfires in the
     West.  My Administration is reviewing the current situation, and these
firefighting funds will be released as needs dictate.

     In conclusion, by dedicating future funds for conservation and related
programs, investing in Indian schools, assisting energy conservation, and
supporting the Arts, this bill repre-sents a major step forward.  The
American people both expect and deserve nothing less.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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