Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Letter Appointing Federal Members of the Joint Federal-State Action Committee

July 20, 1957

Dear Mr. Anderson:

In addressing the Governors' Conference at Williamsburg, Virginia, on June 24, 1957, I proposed and the Governors adopted a resolution of acceptance that there be established a Joint Federal-State Action Committee with three basic responsibilities:

"One--to designate functions which the States are ready and willing to assume and finance that are now performed or financed wholly or in part by the Federal Government;

"Two--to recommend the Federal and State revenue adjustments required to enable the States to assume such functions; and

"Three--to identify functions and responsibilities likely to require State or Federal attention in the future and to recommend the level of State effort, or Federal effort, or both, that will be needed to assure effective action."

In explanation of the functioning of this joint task force, I suggested that the Committee should, in designating the functions to be reassumed by the States, also specify when those functions should be assumed, the amounts by which Federal taxes should be reduced, and increases in State revenues needed to support the transferred functions. I added that the Committee might, as the first step, concentrate on a single function or program and pair it with a specific Federal tax or tax amount.

Pursuant to a resolution unanimously adopted by the Conference of Governors at Williamsburg, William G. Stratton, Governor of Illinois and Chairman of the Executive Committee of that Conference, has appointed the following Governors as a special committee to serve on the joint committee:

Lane Dwinell, New Hampshire, Chairman
Theodore R. McKeldin, Maryland
Victor E. Anderson, Nebraska
Robert E. Smylie, Idaho
Price Daniel, Texas
James P. Coleman, Mississippi
Dennis J. Roberts, Rhode Island
George M. Leader, Pennsylvania
George Docking, Kansas
William G. Stratton, Illinois, ex officio

It is now my pleasure to name you as Chairman of the federal membership of the joint action committee. In addition to yourself, I am asking the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Meyer Kestnbaum, Special Assistant to the President, John S. Bragdon, Special Assistant to the President, and Howard Pyle, Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations, to serve on the Committee. Steps are being taken to provide for the necessary staff assistance on the Joint Committee.

It is my hope that the first meeting of this Federal-State cooperative committee will be held as soon as the necessary arrangements have been made with Governor Dwinell and his associates.

I sincerely hope that the efforts of the Committee will result in less centralized and thereby more responsive and efficient government for the American people.



Note: This letter was sent to Robert B. Anderson, who became Secretary of the Treasury on July 29. Similar letters were sent to the other Federal members of the Committee. The Committee's initial recommendations were summarized in a White House press release of December 6, 1957.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter Appointing Federal Members of the Joint Federal-State Action Committee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233377

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