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Statement About Congressional Action on the Philadelphia Plan

December 23, 1969

I AM deeply gratified that the Congress has acted responsibly to allow continuation of the Philadelphia Plan and our program of positive steps to assure equal job opportunity. The Members of the Congress who contributed to this wise action have my thanks and congratulations.

There is no civil right more central to the American system than the right of equal opportunity. Every American should have equal opportunity for new jobs created by the taxes paid by all Americans. I have worked for implementation of this principle since 1953 when President Eisenhower appointed me Chairman of the President's Committee on Government Contracts. This administration is determined to see that this right--so long denied or given lip service--becomes national policy.

The Philadelphia Plan has been opening new jobs for minority workers in the construction industry, an industry with a severe labor shortage in skilled crafts. With this action by the Congress, this program of economic opportunity can go forward as planned.

Note: By a vote of 208 to 156 the House of Representatives agreed to delete from the conference report on H.R. 15209 the Senate amendment which in effect rejected the Philadelphia Plan. Later the Senate voted 39 to 29 to accept the action of the House of Representatives.

Richard Nixon, Statement About Congressional Action on the Philadelphia Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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