Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Farewell Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2016 Election Documents
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1996 Election Documents
• 1968 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2017 Transition
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
• White House Media Pool Reports
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 

Limit by Year

To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals

You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
Gerald R. Ford: Veto of Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments.
Gerald R. Ford
206 - Veto of Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments.
October 29, 1974
Public Papers of the Presidents
Gerald R. Ford<br>1974
Gerald R. Ford
Font Size:
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

To the House of Representatives:

I am today returning, without my approval, H.R. 14225, the Rehabilitation Act and Randolph-Sheppard Act Amendments of 1974, and the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals Act. I am advised by the Attorney General and I have determined that the absence of my signature from this bill prevents it from becoming law. Without in any way qualifying this determination, I am also returning it without my approval to those designated by Congress to receive messages at this time.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Amendments of 1974 pose some fundamental issues which far transcend this particular bill. No group in our country is more in need of supportive services than the Handicapped. Our handicapped citizens have demonstrated time and again that, given a fair break, they can lead as full and productive lives as other citizens.

Throughout my years in Congress I consistently supported good Federal programs designed to assist the handicapped.

During the last two years spending on the basic grant programs for Vocational Rehabilitation has grown from $589 million to $680 million. The key issue posed by this bill is not how much money will be spent. The issue posed is how well the programs will be run.

This bill passed the House of Representatives without any hearings. Had hearings been held we would have explained the disruption that would result from such a massive legislative incursion into the administration of a program.

The Congress has the responsibility to legislate, but I have the responsibility for the successful administration of the programs they enact. This bill is an attempt to administer through legislation. It transfers a program from one part of HEW to another for no good reason--indeed for very bad reasons. It dictates where in HEW minute decisions must be made, it creates independent organizational units at subordinate levels that are wasteful and duplicative and it sets up a monitoring process for the construction and modernization of Federal facilities that would force me to create a new 250-man bureaucracy in HEW to duplicate functions carried out elsewhere in the Executive Branch. Most importantly, the bill blurs accountability. I cannot be responsible for the good management of all Federal programs if I cannot hold my Cabinet Secretaries accountable. Under this legislation accountability would be diffused. I find myself obliged to return to the Congress unsigned a bill that would disrupt existing Federal programs and ill serve the needs of our Nation's handicapped citizens. The present Vocational Rehabilitation legislation does not expire until mid 1975. Plenty of time remains for us to work out a bill which will improve Federal Programs for the handicapped rauher than create the disruptions that will inevitably result from this hastily drawn piece of legislation. I have requested HEW Secretary Weinberger to meet with congressional leaders immediately upon their return to initiate this process.

The White House,
October 29, 1974.

Note: On November 21, 1974, the Senate voted to override the President's veto of H.R. 14225. The bill, however, did not become law due to a question of whether or not it had been pocket vetoed by the President (see first paragraph, above).

The legislation was subsequently reintroduced as H.R. 17503, which was passed by the Congress on November 26 and signed by the President on December 7 as Public Law 93-516 (88 Stat. 1617).

Citation: Gerald R. Ford: "Veto of Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments.," October 29, 1974. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=4528.
© 1999-2018 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project ™
Locations of visitors to this page