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Bush Signs Japanese-American Reparation Guarantee

November 22, 1989|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Tuesday signed a measure to guarantee reparations to Japanese-Americans interned in U.S. camps during World War II.

The provision, part of a $17.2-billion appropriation for the State, Justice and Commerce departments, contains no money for the estimated 60,000 camp survivors but says that up to $500 million would be provided as an "entitlement" in 1991. Congress has authorized $20,000 for each survivor, a total of $1.2 billion.

"A wrong has been made right and national honor has been restored," Rep. Robert T. Matsui (D-Sacramento) said.

Other bills that Bush signed Tuesday include:

--A ban on smoking on virtually all domestic airline flights, an expansion of current rules forbidding passengers to light up on routes lasting two hours or less. The new regulations are to take effect 96 days after signing, which would be Feb. 25. The ban is part of an $11.9-billion transportation appropriations bill.

--A $286-billion military spending bill that contains the first budget reductions in the "Star Wars" missile defense plan and a cutback in the B-2 Stealth bomber program.

The defense spending bill provides $3.8 billion for "Star Wars," the Strategic Defense Initiative. It also provides $4.3 billion for two B-2 bombers.

--A $157-billion labor, health and education appropriations bill shorn of language that would have liberalized Medicaid financing for abortions. Bush had vetoed an earlier version of the bill, which would have allowed Medicaid to pay for abortions for poor women in cases of rape or incest.

The President praised members of Congress for bowing to his insistence that Medicaid fund abortions only to save the life of the mother.

--A revised $532-million appropriation bill for the District of Columbia, which Bush vetoed twice before because it would have permitted the district to use locally raised funds to pay for abortions.

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