Letter to Congressional Leaders on Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1970.
Dear Mr. President:
My great respect and regard for the leadership of the Congress and of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees make me extremely reluctant to send this letter.
I must, however, call attention to an impending crisis in the handling of the Nation's financial affairs. We are already almost four months into the new fiscal year. Only the second appropriation bill has come to me for signature. Authorizing legislation still lags. For the country the situation is fast becoming intolerable.
The Executive Branch has already begun the preparation of the 1971 budget. Under the law, this budget must be submitted in January. It must be completed, therefore, in December. But unless the Congressional pace is sharply accelerated, it is clear that many appropriation bills will not pass in time for Federal agencies to assemble the voluminous details necessary to meet the budget deadlines.
To array and print the vast amount of technical detail required by the Congress in time to meet this schedule, Congressional action on appropriation bills must be substantially completed within the next few weeks. If this is not done, it may be impossible for me to transmit the 1971 budget in January.
The Nation clearly has a right to question a Government which cannot conduct its financial affairs in an efficient manner. I urgently request your cooperation, therefore, in securing swift action by the Congress on the pending 1970 appropriation bills. Otherwise we will be frustrated in our efforts to move ahead efficiently on the 1971 budget.
I write in this vein neither to criticize the Congress for delay nor to exonerate the Executive Branch for delay. At this critical point in the appropriations and budgetary process I am less interested in why we are where we are than I am in where we now seem to be headed. I am confident that you share these concerns.
This same letter is being sent to the Speaker of the House, the Majority and Minority Leaders of both Houses, and the Chairmen and senior Minority Members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees.
[The Honorable Spiro T. Agnew, President of the Senate, Washington, D.C.]
Richard Nixon, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1970. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239925