President Reagan has signed legislation to provide $57.3 billion in appropriations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Veterans Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and several other independent agencies.
The measure, approved Nov. 13 by voice vote without debate in the Senate, was $7.1 billion above Reagan's request, but $3.1 billion below last year's spending level. The House passed the bill, 268 to 153, several hours before the Senate acted.
The bill exceeded levels previously approved by the House and Senate, mainly because the compromise included $4.2 billion for general revenue sharing and $900 million for Superfund toxic cleanups.
Reagan originally proposed killing revenue sharing as part of his plan to reduce federal spending but accepted a compromise that would terminate the program at the end of the current year.
The measure included $11 billion for federal housing programs; $3.5 billion for community planning and development; $2.4 billion for the EPA, including the Superfund money; $7.7 billion for NASA; $1.5 billion for the National Science Foundation; and $26.1 billion for the VA.
In its announcement, the White House noted Reagan's objection to a provision in the bill authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through a national board, to oversee an emergency food and shelter program.
Reagan said the provision might be construed to mean that private organizations could appoint the members of the board and was therefore unconstitutional. In order to avoid any conflict, Reagan said he told the FEMA director to determine who should be appointed to the board.