The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 3, 2003

President Bush Signs the "Strengthen AmeriCorps Program Act"
Statement by the President

Today I have signed into law S. 1276, the "Strengthen AmeriCorps Program Act." The Act clarifies the methods by which the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) records obligations to the National Service Trust for volunteer educational awards by authorizing the use of estimating method-ology similar to other comparable programs. In order to ensure appropriate accountability hereafter, the Act also provides for annual independent audits of the Trust.

Section 2(b)(2) of the Act purports to require the CNCS to consult the Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a legislative agent, in executing section 2(b)(1)(B) of the Act relating to determination of a formula for calculating certain obligations for recordation. Because section 191 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NCSA) (42 U.S.C. 12651) assigns to the CNCS the Executive function to "administer the programs established under the national service laws," and because the CNCS is an "Executive agency" under section 105 of title 5 of the United States Code by virtue of the provisions of section 191 of the NCSA and section 103 of title 5, the CNCS is plainly part of the unitary executive branch.

Since a statute cannot constitutionally require the executive branch to involve a legislative agent in executive decision-making, the executive branch shall construe section 2(b)(2) as requiring the CNCS only to notify the Director of the CBO with regard to the matters addressed by the provision. At the same time, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CNCS shall, as a matter of comity between the executive and legislative branches, seek and consider the views of the Director of CBO in this matter as the CEO deems appropriate.



July 3, 2003.

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