Letter to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare on Pending Revenue Sharing and Welfare Reform Legislation.
As you know, George Shultz is leading the Administration's effort to obtain a clean general revenue sharing bill.
I have been advised that the revenue sharing proposal will probably be considered by the Senate prior to consideration of H.R. 1. There is speculation that some selected elements of H.R. 1 might be amended to the revenue sharing bill. I would strongly oppose such a move, because it could doom the possibility of real welfare reform in this Congress and could seriously jeopardize the revenue sharing bill. As we proceed on general revenue sharing, I would like you to make known to the Senate leadership my reasons for this position.
The H.R. 1 bill is likely to follow revenue sharing to the Senate floor. After a three year struggle, during which welfare reform has twice been passed by the House of Representatives, I am certain that the Senate will carry out its public obligation to consider and vote upon H.R.1.
I remain firmly committed to welfare reform and to revenue sharing, but they should be passed and signed as separate bills. The House-passed version of welfare reform contains the major elements of our original proposal:
--Strong work incentives and requirements;
--National eligibility standards and minimum benefit standards;
--Coverage of the working poor;
--Fiscal relief for the States.
This legislation, by eventually bringing under control the exploding costs of our current wasteful welfare programs, is a strong step forward toward the fiscal integrity we are determined to achieve.
[Honorable Elliot L. Richardson, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C. 20201]
Note: The text of the letter, dated August 2,1972, was made available to the press on August 3.
Richard Nixon, Letter to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare on Pending Revenue Sharing and Welfare Reform Legislation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/254700