Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1977

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Author: Jimmy Carter  | Date: August 5, 1977

International Security Assistance Act of 1977
Statement on Signing H.R. 6884 Into Law.
August 5, 1977

I am signing into law H.R. 6884, the International Security Assistance Act of 1977. The programs made possible by this law include military assistance, international military education and training, and foreign military sales. The bill gives the United States an important toolwith which to help meet reasonable and legitimate defense needs of our friends and allies. Such help contributes to our own security.

When I requested these authorizations from Congress in March, I emphasized my commitment to reducing conventional arms transfers throughout the world and to imposing greater discipline on our own arms transfers. Recently I announced a policy of restraint which is a major step toward my goal. And the military programs authorized by H.R. 6884 will help us make further progress by fostering the climate of security so important to lasting reductions in the world’s arms trade.

I am pleased to note that some two thirds of the funds authorized by the bill, as I had requested, will be for nonmilitary programs. These will help bring economic and political stability to troubled regions of the world. The security supporting assistance programs in the bill differ somewhat from those which I proposed to Congress, but I believe that H.R. 6884 will nevertheless permit us to carry out an effective overall program in fiscal year 1978. I welcome, in particular, this bill’s recognition of the special importance of security supporting assistance in the Middle East and in southern Africa.

However, I must note my serious concern over sections 16 and 20 of the bill. These provisions amend the Arms Export Control Act in such a way as to let Congress prevent Presidential action authorized under law simply by adopting a concurrent resolution of disapproval. Such provisions raise major constitutional questions, since Article I, section 7 of the Constitution requires that congressional action having the force and effect of law be presented to the President for approval. These provisions also have the potential of involving Congress in the execution of the laws, a responsibility reserved for the President under the Constitution. I am approving H.R. 6884 because of its importance to our foreign relations and national security, but I must express my deep reservations about these two provisions and my intention to preserve the constitutional authority of the President.

I intend to carry out the programs authorized by H.R. 6884—the first security assistance legislation of my administration-in such a way as to improve prospects for international peace and security.

NOTE: As enacted, H.R. 6884 is Public Law 95-92, approved August 4.

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Chicago: Jimmy Carter, "International Security Assistance Act of 1977 Statement on Signing H.R. 6884 Into Law.," Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1977 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1977 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.2223 1432. Original Sources, accessed January 24, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3TTWTBXPK9CL5F9.

MLA: Carter, Jimmy. "International Security Assistance Act of 1977 Statement on Signing H.R. 6884 Into Law." Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1977, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1977 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.2223, page 1432. Original Sources. 24 Jan. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3TTWTBXPK9CL5F9.

Harvard: Carter, J, 'International Security Assistance Act of 1977 Statement on Signing H.R. 6884 Into Law.' in Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1977. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1977 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.2223, pp.1432. Original Sources, retrieved 24 January 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3TTWTBXPK9CL5F9.