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Drought Relief Bill Statement on Signing S. 925 Into Law.

April 07, 1977

It is with great pleasure that I sign S. 925. This bill will provide temporary authorities to the Secretary of the Interior to take emergency actions to relieve the effects of the current drought.

The bill would authorize up to $100 million in financial assistance, principally through interest-free loans to reclamation projects and Indian irrigation projects, for acquisition and reallocation of water supplies, for drought-related studies, and for certain other construction, management, and conservation activities to alleviate the drought. Portions of the authorized funds are also specified for fish and wildlife protection and for certain State and non-Federal emergency programs.

The drought has lasted for 2 years in many parts of the West and Midwest. In some areas, 1977 will probably be the driest year on record. The drought already has caused significant economic losses and human suffering and will likely continue to do so in 1977.

Although Federal and State governments have already provided significant aid in drought-stricken areas, we must do more.

This bill represents several weeks of intense and cooperative effort among Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Department of the Interior, and the White House staff, to produce a workable program for drought assistance. I wish to thank all of those involved and particularly to note the leadership of Senator Jackson and Congressman Meeds in the swift passage of this legislation.

I hope that this bill, in conjunction with other measures I have proposed in a comprehensive, $844 million drought assistance package, will provide help to those who have already suffered and reduce further suffering from the drought. I pledge every effort of this administration to ensure effective administration and implementation of S. 925 and other important drought relief measures. Our work has just begun. In commencing this work, I feel it is important that I sign S. 925 into law.

Note: As enacted, S. 925 is Public Law 9518, approved April 7.

Jimmy Carter, Drought Relief Bill Statement on Signing S. 925 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243200

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