Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Second Supplemental Appropriation Act.

April 30, 1965

I AM this afternoon signing into law the Second Supplemental Appropriation Act of 1965, appropriating $2,227,000,000 which has just been approved by the Congress.

Actually the deadline for Presidential action on this measure is not until May 12, but there is a special urgency for signing this measure immediately.

Among various items in this bill, there is a provision for $407 million for public assistance programs affecting more than 8 million people. Unless the bill becomes law today, on this last day of April, the lives of these 8 million across the Nation would be very adversely affected. It would be impossible for aged citizens in a number of States to receive the checks that they are awaiting without undue delay. I think in total a minimum of 12 States are covered.

Both Houses of the Congress have spared no effort in completing action on this measure so that it would reach my desk in time for signature this evening. As soon as I have signed it, Secretary Celebrezze of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, will notify these States by wire immediately.

This means there will be no delayed checks for any of our citizens.

On their behalf, and for myself, I want to express the great appreciation to those Members of the Congress who gave their support and their cooperation on this action in this deficiency bill. This is another demonstration of the very responsible spirit that prevails among the Nation's elected public servants. I am particularly pleased that Congress has given its approval to the full amount requested in order to keep full faith with those who are trying to live a life of dignity and decency on the modest support that our programs are able to provide.

I am sure this prompt action is appreciated. I would mention also that this measure provides funds for other valuable and compassionate purposes, such as funds to begin our development program in the Appalachia area, funds to support our programs for manpower development and training, and funds to help more of our people qualify for jobs that they can obtain and hold to support themselves and their families in the days to come.

There is also in this bill some $35 million for disaster relief funds. This includes an increase of $10 million to cover the tornado and flood disasters recently suffered by our fellow citizens of the Midwest.

There is another $150 million to meet the needs of our veterans programs for both compensation and pensions, and another $100 million to strengthen our loan program under the Small Business Administration.

This measure further includes an authorization of $250 million for investment in the Inter-American Bank, reflecting the interest and the determination of both the Congress and the Executive to support the development of a better life for our friends and neighbors in this hemisphere.

I am very proud and privileged to sign this bill this evening, enacting into law this constructive and this responsible course by the 89th Congress.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke in the Theater at the White House. His remarks were broadcast over radio and television.

As enacted, the Second Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1965, is Public Law 89-16 (79 Stat. 81).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Signing the Second Supplemental Appropriation Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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