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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 5, 2001

President Signs Interior Appropriations Bill
Statement by the President

Today I have signed into law H.R. 2217, the "Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002."

I appreciate the bipartisan effort that has gone into producing this Act.  The bill abides by the agreed upon aggregate funding level for Fiscal Year 2002 of $686 billion and supports several of my Administration's key initiatives with:

-    funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire and conserve lands in national parks, forests, refuges, and public lands, and assist States in promoting conservation and outdoor recreation;

-    funding to reduce the National Park Service deferred maintenance backlog and meet the growing demands on park facilities and resources;

-    funding for Indian school construction to keep us on the 5-year path to eliminate the current school repair and maintenance backlog by 2006; and

-    full funding for key energy programs, such as the Clean Coal Power initiative, to work in partnership with industry to direct research towards reducing the environmental impact of coal used for power generation in the United States.

I am disappointed that my initiative to increase the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program by $120 million was reduced by $43 million in the final version of this bill.  This reduction will deny program benefits for over 17,000 low-income families, compared with my request.

Several provisions in the bill purport to require congres-sional approval before executive branch execution of aspects of the bill.  I will interpret such provisions to require notification only, since any other interpretation would contradict the Supreme Court ruling in INS v. Chadha.



November 5, 2001.

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