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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Richard S. Schweiker as Secretary of Health and Human Services

January 12, 1983

Dear Dick:

It is with great regret that I accept your resignation as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

During the past two years, you have administered the Federal government's largest and most important human assistance programs. More than anyone else, you have been responsible for honoring my firm commitment that society's safety net be maintained, so that Americans who require our help in times of need will receive it.

At the same time, it has been your role to make sure that these huge programs are prudently administered, so that America's taxpayers will know that their dollars are being wisely spent. You have performed both of these tasks with unexcelled competence and compassion.

It has been my privilege to seek your advice on many issues, including those not directly within your area of responsibility. Because of your long experience in government and your recognized devotion to the public good, your counsel has always been of a high quality, and I expect to continue calling upon you in the future.

Your desire to return to the private sector after twenty-two years in public life is, of course, understandable. Nancy and I send you and Claire every wish for success and happiness in your new endeavor, and we look forward to a continuation of our close personal friendship with you.



[The Honorable Richard S. Schweiker, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201]

January 10, 1983

Dear Mr. President:

Four years ago last week, I announced my intention to return to the private sector after 20 years of public service when my second Senate term ended in January, 1981.

Your gracious invitation to serve as your first Secretary of Health and Human Services was a most high honor and a tremendous challenge which caused me enthusiastically to postpone my plans to leave public service.

In these two years, you have succeeded, despite the tremendous obstacles you inherited, in giving our nation a new beginning. I have treasured this opportunity to serve you and our country as Secretary of the "people's department."

Under you, Mr. President, health and human services spending by the federal government has not gone down. Instead, health and human services spending has increased. In fact, more of your budget—a larger percentage—is aimed at health and social services programs than any previous budget in U.S. history to meet the needs of those most in need.

Unexpectedly, I have just been offered a challenging and rewarding position in the private sector which I did not seek. The opportunity is an unusual one, and it would not be available to me at a later date.

Thus, it is with regret that I respectfully request that you accept my resignation effective early 'next month. Claire and I will forever cherish the warm friendship that developed between you and Nancy and us.

I shall always be ready to give you any help that I can in the private sector, and particularly want to help in your re-election when you make the decision that I hope you will.



Richard S. Schweiker

[The President, The White House, Washington, D.C.]

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Richard S. Schweiker as Secretary of Health and Human Services Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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