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Letter to the Speaker Requesting Supplemental Appropriations for the National Teacher Corps, the Rent Supplement Program, and the Selective Service System

February 14, 1966

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I have the honor to transmit, for the consideration of the Congress, a supplemental appropriations request for three urgently needed and essential programs of government:

--for the National Teacher Corps, $13,200,000.

--for the Rent Supplement Program, $30,000,000.

--for the Selective Service System, $12,681,000.

Two of these programs are vital to our efforts to improve the quality of life in America. The third is a direct effect of our commitment to freedom in Southeast Asia.

Together they testify to a progressive, compassionate and resolute people. They are not the frills of luxury. They are the necessities of a nation devoted to the improvement of man's estate.


The National Teacher Corps was authorized by the landmark Higher Education Act of 1965. Funds are needed now--so that the first teams to be chosen for the Teacher Corps may begin training this summer. This fall, in poor rural and urban areas, they will be sharing their skills and understanding with the children and teachers who need them most of all.

Parents know how much good teaching means to their children's future. School administrators know how a few teachers, trained in today's advanced methods of instruction, can raise the entire level of education in their schools. Most poignantly, children themselves know what it is to be taught with enthusiasm and skill.

Our country is blessed with young men and women who desire to serve those less fortunate than themselves. In the ranks of experienced teachers there are others who would devote part of their lives to children in most critical need. The Teacher Corps offers a practical means of uniting the idealism and wisdom of each--young graduates and accomplished teachers--and thus enriching the lives of coming generations.


The Rent Supplement Program responds to the critical shortage of decent low-income housing in many of our cities.

It makes possible the construction and management of such housing by private enterprise. Rental assistance would he provided, to make up the difference between the market rent for modestly designed dwellings and 25 percent of the occupant's income.

Since it was authorized last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has received preliminary proposals to construct nearly 70,000 low-income units under this program--as soon as funds become available.

These proposals involve 424 projects in 43 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Sponsors have already selected sites for some 40,000 units. Non-profit organizations and private limited-dividend developers are actively interested in the program and its promise for our poor.

Since the last session of Congress adjourned, responsible officials in the Department have reviewed all aspects of the program. They have paid particular attention to the views of the Congress on a family's eligibility for rent supplements. They have confirmed the following guidelines:

Income limits: A family must have an income below the income limits established for entrance to public housing in the various communities.

Asset limitations: Asset limitations are well within the limits usually imposed in the public housing programs.

Changes in income: All tenants receiving rent supplements (except the elderly) must re-certify their current incomes each year. FHA will examine any income changes revealed by this review and will make appropriate adjustments in rent supplement payments-including elimination of payments where incomes have risen above those imposed for eligibility.

Quality of housing: Mortgage limitations and other FHA restrictions will require that new construction under this program must provide housing of modest design and cost. Luxury items, such as swimming pools and two bathrooms, will not be permitted.

We have now prepared sound policy guidelines and administrative procedures for the rent supplement program.

Sponsors in 43 States have responded with extensive proposals for new low-income housing.

Yet the Congress alone can convert procedures and proposals into decent shelter for our people.

This is the action I recommend today.


The Selective Service System requires additional funds because accelerated inductions into the Armed Forces have substantially increased the workload of the System.

We now estimate that inductions in fiscal year 1966 will total approximately 360,000, as compared to the estimate of 125,000 upon which the original 1966 appropriation was based.

In addition, funds are needed to meet the costs of the recently enacted civilian and military pay acts.

The attached letter from the Director of the Bureau of the Budget examines these proposed appropriations in greater detail.

I urge the Congress to act promptly and favorably on each of the requests. The hopes aroused by the Teacher Corps and Rent Supplement programs--and the world responsibility to which the Selective Service System responds--require our full and vigorous support.



[Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The Second Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1966, providing additional funds for the National Teacher Corps, the rent supplement program, and the Selective Service System, was approved by the President on May 13 (see Item 213).

The letter from the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, to which the President referred, is printed in House Document 380 (89th Cong., 2d sess.).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the Speaker Requesting Supplemental Appropriations for the National Teacher Corps, the Rent Supplement Program, and the Selective Service System Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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