Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President on the Signing of the Labor, HEW, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

September 01, 1965

THE SIGNING of H.R. 7765 was a moment of particular pleasure for me, and, I believe, an event of profound significance for this country.

Too often when we talk about rising productivity and growing prosperity, when we compile and analyze statistics, the truly significant concerns are clouded over in the process of counting up.

I think it important, therefore, that we make clear just what the true meaning of this bill is.

This bill is more than a routine appropriation measure.

It is more than a symbol of the patient work done by the Congress on complex and detailed legislation.

It is a symbol of our commitment to fulfill through common effort some of the deepest hopes of our people: the desire for a better job, richer educational opportunities, better health protection and care.

The $8 billion committed through this measure will make possible activities from cancer research to vocational education to the fight against juvenile delinquency.

It extends the programs of the National Institutes of Health which are seeking the causes and the cures for epilepsy, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, mental illness, and hundreds of other diseases.

This bill will assist in reducing the number of mentally ill in State institutions; it will make possible better facilities, care, and rehabilitation for the mentally sick all over the Nation. It promises hope to 5 million mentally retarded persons through research centers and modern medical and educational services.

It makes possible such simple and easily attainable accomplishments as better care for newborn babies--but it also reaches into the future and promises such developments as an artificial heart and the successful transplant of human organs.

By the signing of this bill we advance the fight against polluted air and water, unsafe drugs and food.

We expand vocational education and manpower training programs; loan programs to 340,000 college students; educational assistance to teachers, librarians, physicians, dentists, nurses, and social workers. We help build schools, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities throughout the Nation.

The Congress which passed this measure is building more than a record of statistics: it is building a monument to hope--and showing that hope can become reality, that national problems can be alleviated through creative Government programs.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 7765), approved by the President on August 31, 1965, is Public Law 89-156 (79 Stat. 589).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President on the Signing of the Labor, HEW, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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