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104th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - -  House Document 104-141


 
                           VETO OF H.R. 2491

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

HIS VETO OF H.R. 2491, A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR RECONCILIATION PURSUANT TO 
SECTION 105 OF THE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 
                                  1996

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


   December 6, 1995.--Message and accompanying bill referred to the 
           Committee on the Budget and ordered to be printed

                                     

104th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - -  House Document 104-141


                           VETO OF H.R. 2491

                               ----------                              

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

HIS VETO OF H.R. 2491, A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR RECONCILIATION PURSUANT TO 
SECTION 105 OF THE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 
                                  1996

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


   December 6, 1995.--Message and accompanying bill referred to the 
           Committee on the Budget and ordered to be printed
                            VETO OF H.R. 2491
To the House of Representatives:
    I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 2491, the 
budget reconciliation bill adopted by the Republican majority, 
which seeks to make extreme cuts and other unacceptable changes 
in Medicare and Medicaid, and to raise taxes on millions of 
working Americans.
    As I have repeatedly stressed, I want to find common ground 
with the Congress on a balanced budget plan that will best 
serve the American people. But, I have profound differences 
with the extreme approach that the Republican majority has 
adopted. It would hurt average Americans and help special 
interests.
    My balanced budget plan reflects the values that Americans 
share--work and family, opportunity and responsibility. It 
would protect Medicare and retain Medicaid's guarantee of 
coverage; invest in education and training and other 
priorities; protect public health and the environment; and 
provide for a targeted tax cut to help middle-income Americans 
raise their children, save for the future, and pay for 
postsecondary education. To reach balance, my plan would 
eliminate wasteful spending, streamline programs, and end 
unneeded subsidies; take the first, serious step toward health 
care reform; and reform welfare to reward work.
    By contrast, H.R. 2491 would cut deeply into Medicare, 
Medicaid, student loans, and nutrition programs; hurt the 
environment; raise taxes on millions of working men and women 
and their families by slashing the Earned Income Tax Credit 
(EITC); and provide a huge tax cut whose benefits would flow 
disproportionately to those who are already the most well-off.
    Moreover, this bill creates new fiscal pressures. Revenue 
losses from the tax cuts grow rapidly after 2002, with costs 
exploding for provisions that primarily benefit upper-income 
taxpayers. Taken together, the revenue losses for the 3 years 
after 2002 for the individual retirement account (IRA), capital 
gains, and estate tax provisions exceed the losses for the 
preceding 6 years.
    Title VIII would cut Medicare by $270 billion over 7 
years--by far the largest cut in Medicare's 30-year history. 
While we need to slow the rate of growth in Medicare spending, 
I believe Medicare must keep pace with anticipated increases in 
the costs of medical services and the growing number of elderly 
Americans. This bill would fall woefully short and would hurt 
beneficiaries, over half of whom are women. In addition, the 
bill introduces untested, and highly questionable, Medicare 
``choices'' that could increase risks and costs for the most 
vulnerable beneficiaries.
    Title VII would cut Federal Medicaid payments to States by 
$163 billion over 7 years and convert the program into a block 
grant, eliminating guaranteed coverage to millions of Americans 
and putting States at risk during economic downturns. States 
would face untenable choices: cutting benefits, dropping 
coverage for millions of beneficiaries, or reducing provider 
payments to a level that would undermine quality service to 
children, people with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant 
women, and others who depend on Medicaid. I am also concerned 
that the bill has inadequate quality and income protections for 
nursing home residents, the developmentally disabled, and their 
families; and that it would eliminate a program that guarantees 
immunizations to many children.
    Title IV would virtually eliminate the Direct Student Loan 
Program, reversing its significant progress and ending the 
participation of over 1,300 schools and hundreds of thousands 
of students. These actions would hurt middle- and low-income 
families, make student loan programs less efficient, perpetuate 
unnecessary red tape, and deny students and schools the free-
market choice of guaranteed or direct loans.
    Title V would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 
(ANWR) to oil and gas drilling, threatening a unique, pristine 
ecosystem, in hopes of generating $1.3 billion in Federal 
revenues--a revenue estimate based on wishful thinking and 
outdated analysis. I want to protect this biologically rich 
wilderness permanently. I am also concerned that the Congress 
has chosen to use the reconciliation bill as a catch-all for 
various objectionable natural resource and environmental 
policies. One would retain the notorious patenting provision 
whereby the government transfers billions of dollars of 
publicly owned minerals at little or no charge to private 
interests; another would transfer Federal land for a low-level 
radioactive waste site in California without public safeguards.
    While making such devastating cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, 
and other vital programs, this bill would provide huge tax cuts 
for those who are already the most well-off. Over 47 percent of 
the tax benefits would go to families with incomes over 
$100,000--the top 12 percent. The bill would provide 
unwarranted benefits to corporations and new tax breaks for 
special interests. At the same time, it would raise taxes, on 
average, for the poorest one-fifth of all families.
    The bill would make capital gains cuts retroactive to 
January 1, 1995, providing a windfall of $13 billion in about 
the first 9 months of 1995 alone to taxpayers who already have 
sold their assets. While my Administration supports limited 
reform of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), this bill's cuts 
in the corporate AMT would not adequately ensure that 
profitable corporations pay at least some Federal tax. The bill 
also would encourage businesses to avoid taxes by stockpiling 
foreign earnings in tax havens. And the bill does not include 
my proposal to close a loophole that allows wealthy Americans 
to avoid taxes on the gains they accrue by giving up their U.S. 
citizenship. Instead, it substitutes a provision that would 
prove ineffective.
    While cutting taxes for the well-off, this bill would cut 
the EITC for almost 13 million working families. It would 
repeal part of the scheduled 1996 increase for taxpayers with 
two or more children, and end the credit for workers who do not 
live with qualifying children. Even after accounting for other 
tax cuts in this bill, about eight million families would face 
a net tax increase.
    The bill would threaten the retirement benefits of workers 
and increase the exposure of the Pension Benefit Guaranty 
Corporation by making it easy for companies to withdraw tax-
favored pension assets for nonpension purposes. It also would 
raise Federal employee retirement contributions, unduly 
burdening Federal workers. Moreover, the bill would eliminate 
the low-income housing tax credit and the community development 
corporation tax credit, which address critical housing needs 
and help rebuild communities. Finally, the bill would repeal 
the tax credit that encourages economic activity in Puerto 
Rico. We must not ignore the real needs of our citizens in 
Puerto Rico, and any legislation must contain effective 
mechanisms to promote job creation in the islands.
    Title XII includes may welfare provisions. I strongly 
support real welfare reform that strengthens families and 
encourages work and responsibility. But the provisions in this 
bill, when added to the EITC cuts, would cut low-income 
programs too deeply. For welfare reform to succeed, savings 
should result from moving people from welfare to work, not from 
cutting people off and shifting costs to the States. The cost 
of excessive program cuts in human terms--to working families, 
single mothers with small children, abused and neglected 
children, low-income legal immigrants, and disabled children--
would be grave. In addition, this bill threatens the national 
nutritional safety net by making unwarranted changes in child 
nutrition programs and the national food stamp program.
    The agriculture provisions would eliminate the safety net 
that farm programs provide for U.S. agriculture. Title I would 
provide windfall payments to producers when prices are high, 
but not protect family farm income when prices are low. In 
addition, it would slash spending for agricultural export 
assistance and reduce the environmental benefits of the 
Conservation Reserve Program.
    For all of these reasons, and for others detailed in the 
attachment, this bill is unacceptable.
    Nevertheless, while I have major differences with the 
Congress, I want to work with Members to find a common path to 
balance the budget in a way that will honor our commitment to 
senior citizens, help working families, provide a better life 
for our children, and improve the standard of living of all 
Americans.

                                                William J. Clinton.
    The White House, December 6, 1995.

    <GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>
    
                                     
H.R. 2491

One Hundred Fourth Congress of the United States of America at the First 
  Session, Begun and Held at the City of Washington on Wednesday, the 
    Fourth Day of January, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Five


                                 An Act


To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 105 of the concurrent 
             resolution on the budget for fiscal year 1996.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Balanced Budget Act of 1995''.

Sec. 2. TABLE OF TITLES.

    This Act is organized into titles as follows:
Title I--Agriculture and Related Provisions
Title II--Banking, Housing, and Related Provisions
Title III--Communication and Spectrum Allocation Provisions
Title IV--Education and Related Provisions
Title V--Energy and Natural Resources Provisions
Title VI--Federal Retirement and Related Provisions
Title VII--Medicaid
Title VIII--Medicare
Title IX--Transportation and Related Provisions
Title X--Veterans and Related Provision
Title XI--Revenues
Title XII--Teaching hospitals and graduate medical education; asset 
          sales; welfare; and other provisions

              TITLE I--AGRICULTURE AND RELATED PROVISIONS

SEC. 1001. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This title may be cited as the ``Agricultural 
Reconciliation Act of 1995''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this title is as 
follows:
Sec. 1001. Short title; table of contents.

           Subtitle A--Agricultural Market Transition Program

Sec. 1101. Short title.
Sec. 1102. Definitions.
Sec. 1103. Production flexibility contracts.
Sec. 1104. Nonrecourse marketing assistance loans and loan deficiency 
          payments.
Sec. 1105. Payment limitations.
Sec. 1106. Peanut program.
Sec. 1107. Sugar program.
Sec. 1108. Administration.
Sec. 1109. Elimination of permanent price support authority.
Sec. 1110. Effect of amendments.

                        Subtitle B--Conservation

Sec. 1201. Conservation.

         Subtitle C--Agricultural Promotion and Export Programs

Sec. 1301. Market promotion program.
Sec. 1302. Export enhancement program.

                        Subtitle D--Miscellaneous

Sec. 1401. Crop insurance.
Sec. 1402. Collection and use of agricultural quarantine and inspection 
          fees.
Sec. 1403. Commodity Credit Corporation interest rate.

           Subtitle A--Agricultural Market Transition Program

SEC. 1101. SHORT TITLE.

    This subtitle may be cited as the ``Agricultural Market Transition 
Act''.

SEC. 1102. DEFINITIONS.

    In this subtitle:
        (1) Considered planted.--The term ``considered planted'' means 

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