[Dated March 26, 1975. Released March 27, 1975]
I TRANSMIT herewith for the consideration of the Congress draft legislation which would authorize annual appropriations for the White House Office, the Executive Residence, Special Assistance to the President (i.e., assistance provided to the President by the Vice President for Executive branch duties), the Domestic Council, and funds to meet unanticipated needs for personnel and administrative expenses.
The activities provided for in this bill have been funded over the years in annual appropriation acts but these acts have been delayed the past few years because some provisions were not authorized in permanent legislation. This bill was drafted to remedy that situation and I am now requesting that permanent authorizations be enacted to facilitate the appropriation process.
The bill sets upper limits on the pay level of senior staff assistants in each of the offices concerned and is consistent with the present levels approved by the Congress in annual appropriation acts. It also authorizes and sets pay limitations on consultants hired by these offices. In addition, travel and official entertainment expenses, which are appropriated annually, would be made subject to the authorization provided for in this bill.
The bill would not change the requirements for annual appropriations for each of the offices concerned. Budgets will continue to be submitted annually to the Congress and the Appropriations Committees will have an opportunity for complete review during their hearings.
I urge the Congress to act favorably on this proposal and trust that its enactment will expedite the appropriation process.
GERALD R. FORD