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Statement on Signing Appropriation Bill for the Emergency Employment Act of 1971.

August 09, 1971

TODAY I have signed the appropriation for the Emergency Employment Act of 1971. I am pleased that the Congress has approved my request for the full $1 billion authorized by the act for this fiscal year and that its swift action has enabled me to sign this appropriation today.

I have instructed the Secretary of Labor to move with the greatest possible speed in distributing this money to States and localities, so that unemployed people may begin work at the earliest possible moment. In this regard, the Secretary has already announced the distribution of $600 million which the act requires to be apportioned for expenditure within each State.

Next week, major units of city and county government, along with the State governments, will be notified as to how much of this money will be made available within their jurisdictions. They will also be supplied information on how to request initial funding. This initial funding will be made available within 3 weeks so that hiring may begin at once. By Labor Day, the first group of unemployed people should be working in the jobs financed by this act, which will eventually help more than 150,000 jobless persons. I am especially pleased that our returning veterans will be given special consideration for the newly created jobs.

The jobs which will be made available under this act will be "real" jobs--jobs which promise future career opportunities. At the same time, the work performed by participants in this program will help meet some of our needs in such fields as environmental protection, health, education, public safety, housing, recreation, public facility maintenance, and rural development.

I want to emphasize that all governmental units will be eligible to receive these funds. Cities and counties of more than 75,000 population and all State governments will be asked by the Secretary of Labor to serve as his program agents. It will be the responsibility of these agents to develop plans that will ensure equitable distribution of funds among eligible applicants, taking into account the number of unemployed in each applicant's area, the priority of public service needs, and the capacity of the applicant to carry out the requirements of the program.

The Emergency Employment Act provides a great opportunity for governments at all levels to plan and work together to provide necessary jobs for unemployed persons.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.J. Res. 833) is Public Law 92-72 (85 Stat. 182).

Richard Nixon, Statement on Signing Appropriation Bill for the Emergency Employment Act of 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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