Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Letter to the Speaker Reporting on Reductions in the Cost of Operating the Government.

March 26, 1964


On November 30 and December 24, 1963, I directed the heads of executive departments and agencies to tighten operations, reduce employment and effect savings. As a result of the steps being taken pursuant to these instructions, I asked the Congress on March 9 to reduce the 1965 appropriations requested in the budget by $41,927,000.

The cost reduction actions underway will also reduce the need for funds already appropriated by the Congress for the fiscal year 1964. In addition, section 603 of the 1964 Foreign Aid and Related Agencies Appropriation Act requires that such savings as might result from delayed enactment of the 1964 appropriation acts be reserved from obligation. Therefore, I directed the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to scrutinize critically the apportionment of the 1964 appropriations for the purpose of reserving savings for eventual return to the Treasury.

The Director has reported to me that a total of $50,336,77° is being reserved from obligation at the present time. These savings result from changed program and legislative requirements, planned reductions in civilian employment, improvements in management and efficiency, the delay in final enactment of 1964 appropriations, and other factors. I have directed that the current cost reduction efforts be intensified in order to increase further the amount saved.

Of the sum currently reserved, the Director of the Bureau of the Budget is confident that $34,907,570 will not be needed. A list of the amounts comprising this total, by accounts, is attached. It contains 62 items, several of them less than $1,500, consistent with my philosophy that no saving is too small to be ignored. These amounts will be retained in reserve so that they cannot be spent under any circumstances. Alternatively, if the Congress should wish to rescind these amounts, I would have no objection.

Respectfully yours,


[The Speaker of the House of Representatives]


Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service: Salaries and expenses:

Research $15,000

Plant and animal disease and pest control 160,000

Cooperative State Experiment Station Service:

Payments and expenses 3,220

Extension Service: Cooperative Extension Work: Payments and expenses:

Federal Extension Service 362,500

Farmers Cooperative Service: Salaries and expenses 1,130

Soil Conservation Service: Conservation operations 198,300

Economic Research Service: Salaries and expenses 14,530

Foreign Agricultural Service: Salaries and expenses 85,000

Commodity Exchange Authority: Salaries and expenses 1,390

Office of the General Counsel: Salaries and expenses 4,265

Office of Information: Salaries and expenses 1,390

National Agricultural Library: Salaries and expenses 2,000

General Administration: Salaries and expenses 3,220

Rural Electrification Administration: Salaries and expenses 90,000

Department of Commerce

General Administration:

Participation in Century 21 Exposition 600,000

West Virginia Centennial Celebration 4,625

Area Redevelopment Administration: Area redevelopment fund 20,000,000

Office of Business Economics: Salaries and expenses 10,000

Bureau of the Census: 1962 Census of Governments 75,000

Weather Bureau: Salaries and expenses 200,000

Department of Justice

Federal Prison Industries, Inc.: Limitation on administrative

and vocational training expenses 107,000

Department of State

International Boundary and Water Commission,

United States and Mexico: Operation and maintenance 10,000

Treasury Department

Internal Revenue Service: Salaries and expenses 200,000

Office of the Treasurer: Salaries and expenses 900,000

General Services Administration

Strategic and critical materials 5,560,000

Operating expenses, Public Buildings Service 113,000

Operating expenses, Federal Supply Service 225,000

Operating expenses, Utilization and Disposal Service 12,000

Federal Aviation Agency

Operations 2,500,000

Housing and Home Finance Agency

Office of the Administrator: Salaries and expenses:

Limitation on non-administrative expenses $250,000

Federal National Mortgage Association: Limitation on

administrative expenses 100,000

Veterans Administration

General operating expenses 1,217,000

Grants to the Republic of the Philippines 20,000


Bank of Washington

Limitation on administrative expenses 75,000

Federal Communications Commission

Salaries and expenses 20,000

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

Salaries and expenses 12,000

National Capital Transportation Agency

Salaries and expenses 100,000

National Security Council

Salaries and expenses 11,000

Railroad Retirement Board

Limitation on salaries and expenses 93,000

Special Representative for Trade Negotiations

Salaries and expenses 7,000

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare

Food and Drug Administration: Salaries and expenses 100,000

Office of Education: Educational improvement for the handicapped 85,090

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation: Salaries and expenses 20,000

Public Health Service:

Child health and human development 8,000

National Cancer Institute 63,000

Mental health activities 55,000

National Heart Institute 32,000

National Institute of Dental Research 9,000

Arthritis and metabolic disease activities 30,000

Allergy and infectious disease activities 32,000

Neurology and blindness activities 35,000

National health statistics 32,000

National Library of Medicine 8,000

Emergency health activities 21,000

Social Security Administration:

Assistance for repatriated United States nationals 29,000

Salaries and expenses, Bureau of Family Services 150,000

Salaries and expenses, Children's Bureau 130,000

Salaries and expenses, Office of the Commissioner 68,000

Office of the Secretary:

Salaries and expenses, Office of the Secretary 50,000

Salaries and expenses, Office of Field Administration 40,000

Salaries and expenses, Office of the General Counsel 40,000

Juvenile delinquency and youth offenses 7,000

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the Speaker Reporting on Reductions in the Cost of Operating the Government. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives