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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 13, 2006
President's Statement on H.R. 4954, the "Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006"
President Bush Signs SAFE Port Act
In Focus: Homeland Security
Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4954, the "Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006," or the "SAFE Port Act" (the "Act"). The Act strengthens the Government's ability to protect the Nation's seaports and maritime commerce from attack by terrorists.
The executive branch shall construe provisions of the Act that purport to require executive branch officials to submit recommendations for legislation to the Congress, including section 201, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as the President judges necessary and expedient and to supervise the unitary executive branch.
The executive branch shall construe provisions of the Act, including subsection 401(c) and subsection 2(d) of the Act of March 3, 1927, as amended by section 402 of the Act, that purport to make consultation with congressional committees a precondition to execution of the law, to call for but not mandate such consultation, as is consistent with the Constitution's provisions concerning the separate powers of the Congress to legislate and the President to execute the laws.
The executive branch shall construe subsection 301(h)(2) of the Customs Procedural Reform and Simplification Act of 1978, as amended by section 403 of the Act, which purports to give a subordinate official within the executive branch authority to prevent an action by the superior official to whom the subordinate official reports, in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch.
The executive branch shall construe section 709 of the Act, which purports to direct the President to perform the President's duties "acting through" a particular officer, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch.
The executive branch shall construe as advisory provisions of the Act that purport to direct or burden the conduct of negotiations by the executive branch with foreign governments, international organizations, or other entities abroad, that purport to direct executive branch officials to negotiate with foreign governments or in international organizations to achieve specified foreign policy objectives, or that purport to require the executive branch to disclose deliberations between the United States and foreign countries. Such provisions include subsections 205(d) and (i) and 803(b) of the Act; subsection 431(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended by section 301 of the Act; and subsection 629(h) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended by section 404 of the Act. Such provisions, if construed as mandatory rather than advisory, would impermissibly interfere with the President's constitutional authorities to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs, participate in international negotiations, and supervise the unitary executive branch.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 13, 2006.
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