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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 14, 2004
President's Statement on H.R. 4837, "Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005"
Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4837, the "Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005." This Act provides funding for con-struction to support the operations of the U.S. Armed Forces and for military family housing. The Act also provides the funds I requested to help citizens in Florida and elsewhere rebuild their lives in the aftermath of multiple hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Sections 107, 110, 113, 118, and 303 of the Act provide for notice to the Congress of relocation of activities between military installations, initiation of a new installation abroad, U.S. military exercises involving $100,000 in construction costs, specific actions to encourage foreign nations to assume a greater share of the common defense burden, and initiation of certain types of programs. The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that the President's authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security flows from the Constitution and does not depend upon a legislative grant of authority. Although notice can be provided in most situations as a matter of comity, situations may arise, especially in wartime, in which the President must act promptly under his constitutional grants of executive power and authority as Commander in Chief while protecting sensitive national security information. The executive branch shall construe these sections in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.
Section 128 of the Act purports to require Department of Defense officials to respond in writing within 21 days to any question or inquiry from the congressional military construction appropriations subcommittees. The executive branch shall construe section 128 in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties.
The executive branch shall construe section 110(d)(2) of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act as contained in Division C of the Act, relating to submission of legislative recommendations, in a manner consistent with the President's exclusive constitutional authority to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President judges necessary and expedient.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 13, 2004.
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