Statement by President Clinton On Status Referendum Funding
October 24, 2000
I am pleased to sign into law today H.R. 4475, the "Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001."
I am pleased that H.R. 4475 includes funding the Unanticipated Needs account I am especially pleased this account includes the funding I sought to assist the people of Puerto Rico in deciding their islands' future status , an issue that the Puerto Ricans have long asked us to clarify. Other Presidents and I have sought legislative action, and there has been some, but this is the first piece of legislation passed by both Houses of Congress that supports Puerto Rico choosing its future status .
The account also provides funds to educate Puerto Ricans on the available options, relying on the Office of the President to ensure the options presented to the voters are realistic in light of the Constitution and the basic laws and policies of the United States. Once the options have been presented, the account also funds a vote by the Puerto Rican people to choose what their status should be. I am already working to clarify the options, and I am also working to ensure that the next President will continue the effort to resolve this issue.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON