Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill Remarks Announcing Intention To Veto H.R. 12928.
THE PRESIDENT. There are no problems more serious in our country than inflation, the high tax burden on our people, and waste in government.
These are concerns that press very heavily on me as President. And they are concerns that have caused me to decide that later this week I will veto the public works bill recently passed by Congress.
It's important that I and the Congress set an example for the rest of the Nation in controlling inflation. And this public works bill is exactly the wrong example. It's inflationary; it's wasteful; it spends the taxpayers' money in a very inefficient and inappropriate way.
I do agree that public works projects in this country are necessary. But the bill is absolutely unacceptable.
In the first place, it mandates, it requires me to hire 2,300 new employees, which I may or may not consider necessary, at an average salary per year of about $25,000, a total cost of $57 million.
In addition, this bill restores six unnecessary water projects that were deleted by the Congress last year at a cost of about $580 million.
In addition, the Congress has added 27 new water projects above and beyond what was recommended, at a total cost of about $1.8 billion, or about three times as much as I recommended.
I, along with the people of our country, am tired of seeing the taxpayers' money wasted, and I am determined to see the fight against inflation succeed. That's why I'm going to veto this unreasonable bill later on this week.
I think that we've got to set an example for fiscal responsibility. We cannot afford to fail in our fight against inflation. And I urge the Members of the Congress to sustain my veto and to come back immediately with a reasonable bill that spends the American taxpayers' money wisely and which builds projects that will be of benefit to our country, which are sound, advisable, and needed. Thank you very much.
REPORTER. Can you win the veto fight, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. I'm determined to win it, yes.
Note: The President spoke at 4:25 p.m. to reporters assembled in the Oval Office at the White House.
Jimmy Carter, Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill Remarks Announcing Intention To Veto H.R. 12928. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243713