The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 10, 2003

Statement on H.R. 2691
Statement by the President

Today, I have signed into Law H.R. 2691, the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004.

Under the appropriations heading "Construction" for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Act refers to one subsection of title 25 of the United States Code that do not exist (25 U.S.C. 2505(f)) and one provision in title 25 that exists (25 U.S.C. 2005(a)) but which, as is plain from the text of the Act, is not the provision to which the Act was intended to refer. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall submit immediately on my behalf for the considera-tion of the Congress legislation to correct these errors in the Act. If corrective legislation is not enacted before execution of the provisions under the appropriations heading becomes necessary, the Attorney General shall provide a legal opinion to the Secretary of the Interior on how to faithfully execute the appropriations heading in light of the errors it contains.

The executive branch shall construe sections 101 and 325 of the Act, which purport to require the executive branch to submit to the Congress in certain circumstances a request for a supplemental appropriation or for enactment of other legislation, in a manner consistent with the Presidents constitutional authority to submit for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President judges necessary and expedient.

Many provisions in the Act purport to require the consent or approval of committees of the Congress before executive branch execution of aspects of the Act or purport to preclude executive branch execution of a provision of the Act upon the written disapproval of such committees. The executive branch shall construe such provisions to require only notification to the Congress, because any other construction would contravene the constitutional principles set forth by the United States Supreme Court in 1983 in its decision in INS v. Chadha.



November 10, 2003.

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