Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate Transmitting the District of Columbia Budget


April 29, 1988


Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)


In accordance with the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, I am transmitting the District of Columbia Government's Fiscal Year 1989 Budget and Fiscal Year 1988 Budget supplemental.


There are two issues that affect both the Fiscal Year 1989 Budget submitted to the Congress on February 18, 1988, and the Fiscal Year 1989 Budget of the District of Columbia Government. First, I want to reaffirm my concern that none of the funds appropriated for the District of Columbia, including locally generated funds, should be used for abortion unless the life of the mother would be physically endangered if the fetus were carried to term. Accordingly, the District of Columbia Budget that I am hereby submitting goes beyond the current Section 117 of the District of Columbia Budget in that it restricts the use of both the District's Federal and locally generated funds for abortion.


Secondly, I request your support for the initiative in the Fiscal Year 1989 Budget that requires the District Government to bill Federal establishments directly for the water and sewer services provided. The District has had the technical capacity to bill individual Federal establishments since Fiscal Year 1985. The Fiscal Year 1989 Budget proposal to have Federal establishments make their water and sewer payments directly to the District Government will only treat the District like other State and local governments, which bill Federal agencies directly for these services. This direct billing will achieve better efficiency and accountability for services rendered. Thus, it is unnecessary for the Fiscal Year 1989 Budget to include a separate lump-sum amount in the Federal payment to the District of Columbia for water and sewer services provided. I urge the Congress to enact this needed reform in order to avoid the experience of the 1988 Continuing Resolution where the Congress increased the deficit unnecessarily by adding $32.6 million to the requested Federal payment when many Federal agencies already had sufficient funds to pay the District directly. To address previous congressional concerns about the District's ability to bill Federal establishments directly, I am submitting legislation that specifically authorizes the District to bill Federal agencies directly.




Ronald Reagan


Note: Identical letters were sent to Jim Wright, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Bush, President of the Senate.