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H.Doc.104-149 VETO OF H.R. 2076 ...


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104th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - House Document 104-148


 
                           VETO OF H.R. 2099

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

HIS VETO OF H.R. 2099, A BILL MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS 
 OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR SUNDRY 
 INDEPENDENT AGENCIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, CORPORATIONS, AND OFFICES 
 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 1996, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


    December 18 (legislative day, December 15), 1995.--Message and 
   accompanying bill referred to the Committee on Appropriations and 
                         ordered to be printed
To the House of Representatives:
    I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 2099, the 
``Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban 
Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 
1996.''
    H.R. 2099 would threaten public health and the environment, 
end programs that are helping communities help themselves, 
close the door on college for thousands of young people, and 
leave veterans seeking medical care with fewer treatment 
options.
    The bill includes no funds for the highly successful 
National Service program. If such funding were eliminated, the 
bill would cost nearly 50,000 young Americans the opportunity 
to help their community, through AmeriCorps, to address vital 
local needs such as health care, crime prevention, and 
education while earning a monetary award to help them pursue 
additional education or training. I will not sign any version 
of this appropriations bill that does not restore funds for 
this vital program.
    This bill includes a 22 percent cut in requested funding 
for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including a 25 
percent cut in enforcement that would cripple EPA efforts to 
enforce laws against polluters. Particularly objectionable are 
the bill's 25 percent cut in Superfund, which would continue to 
expose hundreds of thousands of citizens to dangerous chemicals 
and cuts, which would hamper efforts to train workers in 
hazardous waste cleanup.
    In addition to severe funding cuts for EPA, the bill also 
includes legislative riders that were tacked onto the bill 
without any hearings or adequate public input, including one 
that would prevent EPA from exercising its authority under the 
Clean Water Act to prevent wetlands losses.
    I am concerned about the bill's $762 million reduction to 
my request for funds that would go directly to States and needy 
cities for clean water and drinking water needs, such as 
assistance to clean up Boston Harbor. I also object to cuts the 
Congress has made in environmental technology, the climate 
change action plan, and other environmental programs.
    The bill would reduce funding for the Council for 
Environmental Quality by more than half. Such a reduction would 
severely hamper the Council's ability to provide me with advice 
on environmental policy and carry out its responsibilities 
under the National Environmental Policy Act.
    The bill provides no new funding for the Community 
Development Financial Institutions program, an important 
initiative for bringing credit and growth to communities long 
left behind.
    While the bill provides spending authority for several 
important initiatives of the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development (HUD), including Community Development Block 
Grants, homeless assistance and the sale of HUD-owned 
properties, it lacks funding for others. For example, the bill 
provides no funds to support economic development initiatives; 
it has insufficient funds for incremental rental vouchers; and 
it cuts nearly in half my request for tearing down the most 
severely distressed housing projects. Also, the bill contains 
harmful riders that would transfer HUD's Fair Housing 
activities to the Justice Department and eliminate Federal 
preferences in the section 8, tenant-based program.
    The bill provides less than I requested for the medical 
care of this Nation's veterans. It includes significant 
restrictions on funding for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
that appear designed to impede him from carrying out his duties 
as an advocate for veterans. Further, the bill does not provide 
necessary funding for VA hospital construction.
    For these reasons and others my Administration has conveyed 
to the Congress in earlier communications, I cannot accept this 
bill. This bill does not reflect the values that Americans hold 
dear. I urge the Congress to send me an appropriations bill for 
these important priorities that truly serves the American 
people.

                                                William J. Clinton.
    The White House, December 18, 1995.
        H.R.2099

                       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


   Making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and 
  Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, 
   boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year 
           ending September 30, 1996, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following sums 
are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise 
appropriated, for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and 
Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, 
commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending 
September 30, 1996, and for other purposes, namely:

                                TITLE I

                     DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

                    Veterans Benefits Administration


                        compensation and pensions

                      (including transfer of funds)

    For the payment of compensation benefits to or on behalf of 
veterans as authorized by law (38 U.S.C. 107, chapters 11, 13, 51, 53, 
55, and 61); pension benefits to or on behalf of veterans as authorized 
by law (38 U.S.C. chapters 15, 51, 53, 55, and 61; 92 Stat. 2508); and 
burial benefits, emergency and other officers' retirement pay, 
adjusted-service credits and certificates, payment of premiums due on 
commercial life insurance policies guaranteed under the provisions of 
Article IV of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, as 
amended, and for other benefits as authorized by law (38 U.S.C. 107, 
1312, 1977, and 2106, chapters 23, 51, 53, 55, and 61; 50 U.S.C. App. 
540-548; 43 Stat. 122, 123; 45 Stat. 735; 76 Stat. 1198); 
$17,649,972,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That not 
to exceed $25,180,000 of the amount appropriated shall be reimbursed to 
``General operating expenses'' and ``Medical care'' for necessary 
expenses in implementing those provisions authorized in the Omnibus 
Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, and in the Veterans' Benefits Act of 
1992 (38 U.S.C. chapters 51, 53, and 55), the funding source for which 
is specifically provided as the ``Compensation and pensions'' 
appropriation: Provided further, That such sums as may be earned on an 
actual qualifying patient basis, shall be reimbursed to ``Medical 
facilities revolving fund'' to augment the funding of individual 
medical facilities for nursing home care provided to pensioners as 
authorized by the Veterans' Benefits Act of 1992 (38 U.S.C. chapter 
55): Provided further, That $12,000,000 previously transferred from 
``Compensation and pensions'' to ``Medical facilities revolving fund'' 
shall be transferred to this heading.


                          Readjustment Benefits

    For the payment of readjustment and rehabilitation benefits to or 
on behalf of veterans as authorized by law (38 U.S.C. chapters 21, 30, 
31, 34, 35, 36, 39, 51, 53, 55, and 61), $1,345,300,000, to remain 
available until expended: Provided, That funds shall be available to 
pay any court order, court award or any compromise settlement arising 
from litigation involving the vocational training program authorized by 
section 18 of Public Law 98-77, as amended.

                   veterans insurance and indemnities

    For military and naval insurance, national service life insurance, 
servicemen's indemnities, service-disabled veterans insurance, and 
veterans mortgage life insurance as authorized by law (38 U.S.C. 
chapter 19; 70 Stat. 887; 72 Stat. 487), $24,890,000, to remain 
available until expended.


                  Guaranty and Indemnity Program Account

                      (including transfer of funds)

    For the cost of direct and guaranteed loans, such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out the purpose of the program, as authorized by 38 
U.S.C. chapter 37, as amended: Provided, That such costs, including the 
cost of modifying such loans, shall be as defined in section 502 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended.
    In addition, for administrative expenses to carry out the direct 
and guaranteed loan programs, $65,226,000, which may be transferred to 
and merged with the appropriation for ``General operating expenses''.

                     Loan Guaranty Program Account


                      (including transfer of funds)

    For the cost of direct and guaranteed loans, such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out the purpose of the program, as authorized by 38 
U.S.C. chapter 37, as amended: Provided, That such costs, including the 
cost of modifying such loans, shall be as defined in section 502 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended.
    In addition, for administrative expenses to carry out the direct 
and guaranteed loan programs, $52,138,000, which may be transferred to 
and merged with the appropriation for ``General operating expenses''.

                      Direct Loan Program Account


                      (including transfer of funds)

    For the cost of direct loans, such sums as may be necessary to 
carry out the purpose of the program, as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 
chapter 37, as amended: Provided, That such costs, including the cost 
of modifying such loans, shall be as defined in section 502 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended: Provided further, That 
during 1996, within the resources available, not to exceed $300,000 in 
gross obligations for direct loans are authorized for specially adapted 
housing loans (38 U.S.C. chapter 37).
    In addition, for administrative expenses to carry out the direct 
loan program, $459,000, which may be transferred to and merged with the 
appropriation for ``General operating expenses''.


                   Education Loan Fund Program Account

                      (including transfer of funds)

    For the cost of direct loans, $1,000, as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 
3698, as amended: Provided, That such costs, including the cost of 
modifying such loans, shall be as defined in section 502 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended: Provided further, That 
these funds are available to subsidize gross obligations for the 
principal amount of direct loans not to exceed $4,000.
    In addition, for administrative expenses necessary to carry out the 
direct loan program, $195,000, which may be transferred to and merged 
with the appropriation for ``General operating expenses''.


             Vocational Rehabilitation Loans Program Account

                      (including transfer of funds)

    For the cost of direct loans, $54,000, as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 
chapter 31, as amended: Provided, That such costs, including the cost 
of modifying such loans, shall be as defined in section 502 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended: Provided further, That 
these funds are available to subsidize gross obligations for the 
principal amount of direct loans not to exceed $1,964,000.
    In addition, for administrative expenses necessary to carry out the 
direct loan program, $377,000, which may be transferred to and merged 
with the appropriation for ``General operating expenses''.


           Native American Veteran Housing Loan Program Account

                      (including transfer of funds)

    For administrative expenses to carry out the direct loan program 
authorized by 38 U.S.C. chapter 37, subchapter V, as amended, $205,000, 
which may be transferred to and merged with the appropriation for 
``General operating expenses''.

                     Veterans Health Administration


                               medical care

    For necessary expenses for the maintenance and operation of 
hospitals, nursing homes, and domiciliary facilities; for furnishing, 
as authorized by law, inpatient and outpatient care and treatment to 
beneficiaries of the Department of Veterans Affairs, including care and 
treatment in facilities not under the jurisdiction of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs, and furnishing recreational facilities, supplies, and 
equipment; funeral, burial, and other expenses incidental thereto for 
beneficiaries receiving care in Department of Veterans Affairs 
facilities; administrative expenses in support of planning, design, 
project management, real property acquisition and disposition, 
construction and renovation of any facility under the jurisdiction or 
for the use of the Department of Veterans Affairs; oversight, 
engineering and architectural activities not charged to project cost; 
repairing, altering, improving or providing facilities in the several 
hospitals and homes under the jurisdiction of the Department of 

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