The Administration strongly opposes enactment of H.R. 3682 in its current
form. If a bill is presented to the President that fails to address the
concerns that are described below, the President's senior advisers would
recommend that he veto it.
As stated in recent letters from White House Chief-of-Staff Erskine Bowles
to the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary, the Administration
would support properly crafted legislation that would make it illegal to
transport minors across state lines for the purpose of avoiding parental
involvement requirements. Unfortunately, H.R. 3682, as reported by the
House Committee on the Judiciary, fails to address a number of the critical
concerns raised by the Administration. Specifically, the bill must be
- Exclude close family members from criminal and civil liability. Under
the legislation, grandmothers, aunts, and minor and adult siblings could
face criminal prosecution for coming to the aid of a relative in distress.
- Ensure that persons who only provide information, counseling, referral,
or medical services to the minor cannot be subject to liability.
- Address constitutional and other legal infirmities that the Department
of Justice has identified in particular provisions of the legislation.
These concerns were transmitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary on
June 24, 1998.
The Administration is concerned that H.R. 3682 raises important federalism
issues, including the rights of States to regulate matters within their own
boundaries. The Administration believes, however, that legislation that
addresses the concerns noted above, and that is carefully targeted at
punishing non-relatives who transport minors across State lines for the
purpose of avoiding parental involvement requirements, would mitigate the
federalism and the Administration's other concerns.
H.R. 3682 could affect both direct spending and receipts; therefore, it is
subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act of 1990. OMB's preliminary scoring estimate of this
bill is zero.