John F. Kennedy photo

Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Bill on Unemployment Compensation.

June 13, 1961

Dear Mr.____________:

I am transmitting herewith a bill which would provide permanent improvements to the Federal-State unemployment compensation system. You will recall that in my message to the Congress of February 2nd, which recommended a program of temporary extended unemployment compensation, I pointed out the need for permanent improvements in the system.

The bill would strengthen the Federal-State system by increasing the number of workers covered, by requiring adequate benefit amounts, by improving financing, and by providing a Federal program of additional compensation, on a stand-by basis, for workers who exhaust their regular benefits during economic recessions and at all times for workers who have had a long attachment to the labor force.

Although the bottom of the recession has been passed, there are still 4.8 million Americans out of work and 900,000 of them have been unemployed for more than six months. A number of legislative measures have already been proposed to the Congress aimed at providing both jobs and the skills needed to meet current industrial requirements-and we shall continue our efforts to reduce unemployment. It is apparent, however, that there will be those who will be unemployed at various times. Enactment of the draft bill will to some extent alleviate the suffering of unemployed workers and their families, and will help stabilize the economy by increasing the purchasing power of such workers. I hope it will have prompt and favorable consideration by the Congress.

Also enclosed is a letter from the Secretary of Labor together with an explanatory statement describing the draft legislation in detail. A letter similar to this is being sent today to the President of the Senate (Speaker of the House).



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Sam Rayburn; Speaker of the House of Representatives.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Bill on Unemployment Compensation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives