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Letter to the House and Senate Leadership on HEW- Labor-OEO Appropriations.

December 19, 1969

I FEEL obliged to inform the Congress, before adjournment, that the development of the HEW-Labor-OEO appropriations has been such as to compel me to veto these appropriations when they arrive on my desk.

I send this advance notice in order to afford the Congress, if it wishes, an opportunity to enact a continuing resolution for these agencies and thereby permit them to operate without the necessity of recalling the Congress in special session.

The HEW appropriations in large part involve mandatory Federal spending. Even the level of appropriations passed by the House of Representatives is more than $ 1 billion above my budget request. The Senate increased the appropriations further by another $.6 billion. As much as I sympathize with the objectives of some of the programs for which the Congress has voted increased appropriations, I cannot, at this critical point in the battle against inflation, approve so heavy an increase in Federal spending.

The Congress, it appears to me, may meet this situation in one of three ways: first, by sending the Appropriations Act to. me for veto, but then to return in special session immediately after Christmas; second, pass a continuing resolution for these three agencies, send the appropriations to me for veto, and then consider the veto after January 19; or, third, defer further action on these appropriations until after January 19, and provide authority to continue the current level of funding for these agencies in the interim.

The choice among these alternatives rests, of course, with Congress. In the interest of affording a respite for Congress, I suggest either of the continuing resolutions approaches. But, of course, should the special session route be preferred, I will cooperate.



Note: This is the text of identical letters, dated December 18, 1969, and addressed to Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana, Senate Majority Leader; Senator Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, Senate Minority Leader; Representative Gerald R. Ford of Michigan, House Minority Leader; and Representative John W. McCormack of Massachusetts, Speaker of the House.

On December 19, 1969, the Senate passed a continuing resolution by a vote of 65 to 10 allowing the Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, Labor, and the Office of Economic Opportunity to continue spending at their present levels through January 30, 1970.

Richard Nixon, Letter to the House and Senate Leadership on HEW- Labor-OEO Appropriations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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