Statement on Signing a Bill Providing for the Leasing of Property to the District of Columbia Chapter of the American National Red Cross


November 8, 1988


I have today signed S. 2496, an Act ``to provide for the leasing of certain real property to the American National Red Cross, District of Columbia Chapter, for the construction and maintenance of certain buildings and improvements.''


Section 1 of the Act permits the District of Columbia Chapter of the American National Red Cross to replace its current building on Federal property at 2025 E Street in the District of Columbia with a new, larger building better suited to its needs. Section 2 authorizes the General Services Administration to lease approximately 200,000 square feet of office space in New York City, ``subject to the approval of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation.''


The requirement for the General Services Administration to obtain the approval of the Public Works and Transportation Committee of the House of Representatives in exercising the authority granted by Section 2 to lease office space is unconstitutional. In granting authority by law the Congress may not reserve to its committees approval or veto power over the exercise of that authority. The reservation of such power to congressional committees clearly conflicts with the constitutional principles the Supreme Court enunciated in INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983). Moreover, the legislative history of the Section indicates that the committee approval requirement is not severable from the grant of leasing authority to the General Services Administration. Accordingly, the General Services Administration may not exercise the discretionary authority that Section 2 purports to grant.


Ronald Reagan


The White House,


November 8, 1988.


Note: S. 2496, approved November 8, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 637. The statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 9.