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Public Papers

Statement on Signing the Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1991


Today I have signed H.R. 1282, the ``Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1991.''

I am pleased that the Congress has acted quickly to provide funds to pay the costs of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In providing this funding, H.R. 1282 recognizes the significant commitment of our coalition partners to help in defraying the costs associated with the crisis in the Middle East.

I am concerned, however, about certain provisions of this Act that constitute excessive micromanagement of security assistance, defense, and foreign policy. These provisions could hinder our ability to work with Desert Storm allies and friends in several ways and make our efforts to establish security and stability in the postwar Middle East even more difficult.

Section 107(f) requires that the President notify the Congress of the proposed storage of certain equipment, supplies, or material in a prepositioned status for use by the U.S. Armed Forces. I will interpret this provision in a manner consistent with my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief. In addition, section 107(g) requires that a report be provided to certain congressional committees on ``all enemy equipment falling under the control . . . of allied forces within the Desert Storm theater of operations.'' To the extent that providing such a report requires the acquisition of information from another country, I will interpret this provision in a manner consistent with my constitutional authority to conduct our Nation's foreign affairs.

Section 108 requires a report to the Congress on ``any arrangement for a United States military presence that has been made or is expected to be made to the government of any country in the Middle East.'' I will also interpret this provision consistent with my constitutional authority regarding the conduct of foreign affairs.

Section 109 prohibits the use of funds -- provided by this Act or any other legislation -- for military sales and financing programs with any country that has not fulfilled its commitment to contribute resources to defray the costs of Operation Desert Storm. I will interpret section 109 as prohibiting such transactions if the countries concerned have not fulfilled any specific commitments made to the United States in a reasonable time and manner.

George Bush

The White House,

April 10, 1991.

Note: H.R. 1282, approved April 10, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 28.