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June 19, 2001
Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views
on the Supplemental Appropriations Bill, FY 2001, as reported by the
House Committee. Your consideration of the Administration's views
would be appreciated.
The Administration applauds the House's efforts to provide most of the funding requested by the Administration and to stay within the discretionary spending caps established by Congress last year. We would recommend that the President sign a bill that is within the levels the discretionary spending caps allow.
The Administration does not intend to concur in the designation of $473 million in funding as an "emergency" in the bill. By definition, emergency appropriations are intended to cover unforeseen events, yet each of the requested items were fully anticipated in recent months. Additional emergency supplemental appropriations should be limited to extremely rare events, which do not include those provided in this bill.
The Administration strongly opposes the proposed rescission of $389 million in disaster relief funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is currently assessing the impact of Tropical Storm Allison on Texas, Louisiana, and Florida and will likely need to access additional funds to address current needs. The rescission would eliminate much of the normal FEMA funding needed by the agency to provide quick and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and victims. The most recent disaster declarations highlight the fact that these funds could be needed by FEMA to pay for natural disasters occurring in FY 2001. The rescission could preclude prompt assistance and possibly necessitate an otherwise unneeded emergency bill at that point. Moreover, the unrequested funding in the bill exceeds the savings from this rescission.
The Administration is committed to working with the Congress to enact the supplemental appropriations bill before the July 4th congressional recess. We look forward to working with the House to address our concerns.