Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002

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Author: George W. Bush  | Date: September 18, 2002

Statement on Signing the John F. Kennedy Center Plaza Authorization Act of 2002,
September 18, 2002

Today I have signed into law H.R. 5012, an Act to amend the John F. Kennedy Center Act, authorizing a construction project to improve, among other things, pedestrian, vehicular, and bicycle access to the Kennedy Center.

As added by H.R. 5012, however, section 12(b)(5) purports to make the Secretary of Transportation’s (Secretary) entry into contracts "[s]ubject to the approval of the Board." Because the membership of the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center (Board) by law includes Members of Congress, the Board cannot constitutionally exercise executive power, such as the power to approve the exercise of contracting authority by the head of an executive department. The exercise of such power by Members of Congress would violate the separation of powers embodied in our Constitution.

It is not evident that the Congress would have withheld contracting authority from the Secretary absent the invalid Board approval requirement. Therefore the executive branch shall treat the Board approval requirement as severable from the remainder of section 12(b)(5), leaving fully operative the contracting authority granted to the Secretary. As a matter of comity, the Secretary shall consult the Board as appropriate in relation to the Secretary’s exercise of the authority to enter into contracts under section 12(b)(5).

George W. Bush
The White House,
September 18, 2002.

Note: H.R. 5012, approved September 18, was assigned Public Law No. 107-224.

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Chicago: George W. Bush, "Statement on Signing the John F. Kennedy Center Plaza Authorization Act of 2002, September 18, 2002," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, September 20, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 38:1576-1577 Original Sources, accessed September 20, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P74GBMESYN1NNIS.

MLA: Bush, George W. "Statement on Signing the John F. Kennedy Center Plaza Authorization Act of 2002, September 18, 2002." Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, September 20, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 38:1576-1577, Original Sources. 20 Sep. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P74GBMESYN1NNIS.

Harvard: Bush, GW, 'Statement on Signing the John F. Kennedy Center Plaza Authorization Act of 2002, September 18, 2002' in Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 2002. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, September 20, 2002 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2002), 38:1576-1577. Original Sources, retrieved 20 September 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P74GBMESYN1NNIS.