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Statement on Signing an Appropriation Bill for Public Works.

October 07, 1970

I AM TODAY signing H.R. 18127, which makes appropriations for fiscal

1971 in a broad area of public works, including dam construction. This bill contains funds for many important purposes and projects that must be carried forward.

However, I am deeply concerned about its impact on spending in future years. In my proposal to the Congress last January, I requested funds for 37 projects in construction and preconstruction planning to be started by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. Seen through to completion, these new projects would cost over the years a total of $1.3 billion. The Congress increased the number of starts to 102 new projects which would ultimately cost $4.5 billion. The extra $3.2 billion is now committed by the Congress.

Many of these added starts are for projects which would benefit some particularly interested group but would be of little value to the people generally. There is too much pork in this barrel.

It is my intention to consider all means possible to minimize the impact of these inflationary and unnecessary appropriations, including the deferment of the proposed starts and the withholding of funds. There are too many top priority demands on our resources to permit this kind of spending.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 18127 is Public Law 91-439 (84 Stat. 890).

Richard Nixon, Statement on Signing an Appropriation Bill for Public Works. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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