Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Proposing To Change the Name of the Office of Emergency Planning
Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)
There is transmitted herewith a draft of a bill to further amend Reorganization Plan No. i of 1958, as amended, in order to change the name of the Office of Emergency Planning.
The name "Planning" no longer indicates the scope or functions of this Office. While the agency has emergency planning and coordinating authority, the major part of its jurisdiction covers current management and operational responsibilities tinder important legislation, including responsibility for certain defense production, strategic and critical stockpiling, investigating imports which threaten to in, pair the national security, Federal assistance in major natural disasters, and telecommunications. The Director is a statutory member of the National Security Council, and the main thrust of the agency's work is non-military emergency preparedness.
In addition, I have used the Director and the Office for more than three years as my liaison with the Governors and as a clearinghouse to help solve administrative problems which arise between Federal and State executive agencies. This has significantly improved Federal-State relations, as is best evidenced by the enclosed resolution adopted unanimously by the recent National Governors' Conference in Cincinnati. The Governors' Conference Resolution entitled "Office of Emergency Preparedness and Federal-State Relations in the Executive Office of the President," recommends that Congress change the name of the Office of Emergency Planning to describe more accurately its traditional operations and to add a description of its Federal-State relations function, suggesting the title "Office of Emergency Preparedness and Federal-State Relations."
I agree with the Governors' recommendation and the enclosed bill is designed to accomplish that purpose. I respectfully request that the proposed bill be introduced for consideration and enactment either as a separate Act or as an amendment to any appropriate pending legislation.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The name of the Office was changed to Office of Emergency Preparedness by the Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1969, approved on non)her 21, 1968 (Public Law 90-608, 82 Stat. (194).
On August 31, 1968, the President signed Executive Order 11426 "Federal-State Liaison and Cooperation," which refers to the words of the Governors' resolution urging the President "to give formal status to. and continue in the future . . . the existing Federal-State relations program" being carried on by the Office of Emergency Planning (4 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 1302; 33 F.R. 12615; 3 CFR, 1968 Comp., p. 134).
The resolution adopted at the 60th annual meeting of the National Governors' Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 24, 1968, reads as follows:
OFFICE OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND FEDERAL STATE RELATIONS IN THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
WHEREAS, the Office of Emergency Planning, through its national office and eight regional offices, has worked closely with the Governors of the states in cooperative programs for continuity of government, emergency management of resources, federal assistance in major disasters, and other joint federal-state programs; and
WHEREAS, President Johnson, during his administration, has named former Governors as Directors of the Office of Emergency Planning and has assigned to them added duties involving federal-state relations, which has resulted in the best working partnership in the modern history of our Nation between the Governors and the the executive branch of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, the Honorable Buford Ellington of Tennessee, the Honorable Farris Bryant of Florida, and the Honorable Price Daniel of Texas, successive directors of the agency, have performed outstanding services to benefit the states and have done so with great distinction and honor in effecting more meaningful relationships between the federal government and the states; and
WHEREAS, the Governors of the United States, aware of this effective working relationship, are now vitally interested in formalizing and continuing this relationship under future Presidents:
Now, THEREFORE, Be IT RESOLVED by the National Governors' Conference that the President and the Congress are hereby urged to give formal status to. and continue in the future, either by Executive Order or Act of Congress, or both, the existing federal-state relations program being carried on by the agency now established and functioning; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Governors' Conference recommend that the name of the agency be changed to express more accurately its traditional operations and to include its present important federal-state relations function so that it would hereafter be known as the "Office of Emergency Preparedness and Federal-State Relations" in the Executive Office of the President; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Governors' Conference recommends that future Presidents follow President Johnson's example by choosing the Director of the agency from the ranks of former Governors; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the President, Members of the Congress, and Governor Price Daniel, Director of the Office of Emergency Planning and Assistant to the President for Federal-State Relations.
Adopted July 24 by unanimous vote of the Governors.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Proposing To Change the Name of the Office of Emergency Planning Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237507