March 10, 1988
To the Congress of the United States:
I ask the Congress to consider the rescission or repeal of the wasteful, unnecessary, or low priority spending projects that were included in the full-year fiscal 1988 Continuing Resolution (P.L. 100 - 202). These are the projects that, if I were able to exercise line item veto authority, I would delete. They consist of Congressional directives and amendments concerning activities which are unnecessary and for which my administration has not requested funds. It is my hope that the funds appropriated for these projects will not be spent as directed and can instead be spent on worthwhile projects or retained by the Treasury to lower the deficit. Accordingly, I am informally asking that the Congress review these projects, appropriations, and other provisions line by line and either rescind or repeal them as soon as possible. I reserve the option of transmitting at a later date either formal rescission proposals or language that would make the funds available for more worthwhile purposes, for any or all of these items.
Since I assumed this office, the Congress has appropriated billions of dollars for questionable purposes, much of it in the context of massive spending bills passed in great haste that not even Congress had an adequate chance to evaluate. Because current law so severely restricts my ability to impound or not spend appropriated funds, I again appeal to the Congress to provide the Chief Executive with permanent line item veto authority. In the meantime, I urge your prompt attention to this request for legislative action in order to avoid these unnecessary expenditures of taxpayer dolla
The details of these projects are set forth in the attached letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The White House,
March 10, 1988.