Clinton Vetoes Bill Strengthening U.S. Position on Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
The president vetoed the fiscal year 2000 Commerce-Justice-State spending bill, which funds the U.S. contribution to the United Nations and international peacekeeping operations, among other things.
Though the president vetoed the bill largely for reasons concerning domestic spending issues, he did comment in his veto message on the two "Jerusalem provisions" in the bill, inserted by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC). One provision would require that official U.S. government documents refer to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, while the other would require the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem to report to the Embassy in Tel Aviv, rather than directly to the State Department in Washington.
In his veto message, the president wrote that the "bill includes a number of provisions regarding the conduct of foreign affairs that raise serious constitutional concerns. Provisions concerning Jerusalem are objectionable on constitutional, foreign policy, and operational grounds. The actions called for by these provisions would prejudice the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian permanent status negotiations, which have recently begun and which the parties are committed to concluding within a year."
White House and congressional negotiators will now meet in an attempt to work out a compromise bill that the president can sign.