Ronald Reagan picture

Letter Accepting the Resignation of Richard S. Williamson as Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs

February 11, 1983

Dear Rich:

I regret your departure from my personal staff and from our federalism effort, but I accept your resignation confident that as United States Representative to International Organizations in Vienna you will continue to be of invaluable service both to this Administration and to our country.

I have relied on your dedication, counsel and personal integrity as we have worked together. Since we have been in office, your hard work and leadership have been key to our successes in returning authority to the people and accountability to the government.

In 1981, we were able to consolidate 57 narrow, categorical grants into nine block grants, freeing State and local officials from burdensome red tape and allowing them to make more decisions. In 1982, with your help, the Job Training block grant and the Mass Transportation block grant were enacted. We soon will send to the Congress a federalism package of four mega-block grants, a program of more than $20 billion, to return responsibilities to States and localities. It is most sweeping federalism reform any Administration has ever sent to Congress and will go a long way toward restoring the proper balance of power. Although you are leaving, I know you will maintain an interest in our federalism effort, and I promise you we will keep up the fight.

Your advice on a wide range of issues has been of enormous benefit, and I will continue to call on you in the future. Nancy and I send you, Jane and your children our best wishes as you prepare for your new assignment in Europe, and look forward to your successful return.



[The Honorable Richard S. Williamson, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]

February 11, 1983

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for the confidence you have expressed in nominating me to become the United States Representative to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, a position which will provide me another challenging opportunity to serve you and our nation.

The one sadness in assuming this post is that I must leave your personal staff. Having worked on your behalf in the 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns, it has been a rewarding experience to be your Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs as you have translated your campaign promises to action. Thanks to your strong leadership, a 50-year trend of ever more centralized power has been reversed. Drawing upon your years as Governor, you have remained committed to a revitalized federalism and the goal of keeping government decisions close to home. You have achieved historic block grant consolidations, and regulatory relief for cities and states. The federalism initiative which you now are sending to Congress provides the framework for further successes in this area.

In short, your record in rebalancing our federal system is unmatched by that of any other President in our nation's history.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve on your senior White House staff and for the new challenge to represent you and the American people in Vienna.

Therefore, please accept my resignation effective upon my confirmation by the United States Senate.



Richard S. Williamson

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Richard S. Williamson as Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives