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Today, I have signed into law H.R. 5895, the “Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019” (the “Act”).

Two provisions of the bill (Division C, sections 113 and 129) purport to require that the Congress receive a notification or certification before the President may direct certain military actions. I reiterate the longstanding understanding of the executive branch that these types of provisions encompass only actions for which such advance notification or certification is feasible and consistent with the President’s exclusive constitutional authorities as Commander in Chief.

Numerous provisions of the bill (including, for example, Division A, section 101(a)(3)–(5), section 201(a)(3)–(7), and section 301(e); and Division C, sections 132, 201, 202, 218, 225, 229, 230, 231, 248, and 252) purport to condition the authority of the Executive to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees. These provisions are impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement in the execution of the laws other than by enactment of statutes. My Administration will notify the relevant committees before taking the specified actions and will accord the recommendations of such committees all appropriate and serious consideration, but it will not treat spending decisions as dependent on the approval of congressional committees.


September 21, 2018.