Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing Appropriations for Certain Civil Functions, Including Those of the Corps of Engineers.
I HAVE APPROVED H. R. 8090, "Making appropriations for civil functions administered by the Department of the Army and certain agencies of the Department of the Interior, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1958, and for other purposes." I am deeply concerned, however, about the large financial commitments represented by the unbudgeted new construction starts for the Corps of Engineers which the Congress has provided for in this bill. This is the third successive year in which this has happened, with the result that future financial commitments of the Federal Government have increased about $2.5 billion in that period, most of which must be appropriated over the next 3 to 5 years if these projects are to proceed.
In fiscal year 1956, the Congress added unbudgeted new starts for the Corps of Engineers involving direct future commitments in excess of one billion dollars. Last year, the Congress added projects with future commitments of three-quarters of a billion dollars. In this bill for the fiscal year 1958, the Congress has added projects with future commitments of over $700 million, only slightly less than last year. This action has been taken in spite of the fact that in 1958 expenditures for the Corps of Engineers, civil functions, will approach the previous all-time high, with almost 500 projects, having a total cost of over $9 billion, in various stages of construction. These projects have a cost to complete at the end of fiscal 1958 in excess of $3.3 billion.
In my budget recommendations to the Congress, I carefully weighed the need for water resource developments against the needs of national defense and other necessary functions of government. I attach particular importance to the necessity of maintaining economic stability and fiscal solvency both now and in future years. The Congress, by the action it has taken on this bill, has seriously hampered the attainment of these objectives. I shall continue to adhere to these principles of fiscal soundness, and therefore the size of recommended future appropriations for these unbudgeted new starts will be dependent on the over-all budgetary situation.
Note: As enacted, H. R. 8090 is Public Law 85-167 (71 Stat. 416).
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Providing Appropriations for Certain Civil Functions, Including Those of the Corps of Engineers. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233488