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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 17, 2003

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives
October 16, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed FY 2004 budget amendments for the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior to reimburse emergency expenses to suppress forest fires in FY 2003.

These amendments would adjust upward the total discretionary budget authority requested by $0.4 billion, bringing the total discretionary funding agreed to by my Administration and the Congress to $786.0 billion. While this request increases total discretionary spending beyond the previously agreed upon level, my Administration and congressional leadership determined earlier this year that emergency funding could be added when mutually agreed upon in advance. This request is consistent with that agreement.

The requests in this transmittal are for the purpose of fulfilling known and urgent requirements that cannot reasonably be met through the use of existing agency funds. I hereby designate the specific proposals in the amounts requested herein as emergency requirements.

The details of these requests are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.



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