John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act

June 29, 1961

It is with the greatest pleasure that I today sign into law the Highway Act of 1961. The House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the Public Works Committees of both Houses, and the Congress as a whole, accepted the challenge imposed by the perils facing our Federal pay-as-you-go highway program, and have enacted a bill providing the increased authorizations and revenues required to permit completion of the vital national system of interstate and defense highways in time to meet the traffic for which it was designed.

Earlier this year, I presented to the Congress a plan for financing the highway program and equitably distributing the tax burden among the various highway users. There are many honest differences of opinion on how this should best be done, but the resolution of the problems--and there are problems of great complexity involving great interest--in the Highway Act presented to me, is a tribute to the diligent and conscientious work that was done by the Members of Congress.

With the support provided by this act, the States and the Federal Government can continue with the construction of the new highway system, a system which will increase our defense readiness, decrease the appalling highway accident toll, lower transportation costs, and stimulate economic development.

And therefore it is a great pleasure to sign this bill into law.

Note: The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1961 is Public Law 87-61 (75 Stat. 122).

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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