Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Veto of Bill for Relief of William J. Kaiser.

April 11, 1960

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith, without my approval, H.R. 6023, a bill "For the relief of William J. Kaiser."

The bill would relieve Mr. Kaiser of all liability to refund to the United States amounts improperly paid to him as sickness and unemployment benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act while he was also receiving a pension as a retired member of the New York City Fire Department. The bill would further direct the Railroad Retirement Board to repay to Mr. Kaiser from the railroad unemployment insurance account of the unemployment trust fund the amounts already recovered from him.

The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act itself provides that the Railroad Retirement Board may extend equitable or compassionate relief in appropriate cases of overpayment when the Board finds recovery would be against equity or good conscience. This the Board did not do and there is no evidence available to me that indicates the Board's decision to have been erroneous.

The payments which the bill would require are not authorized by general law. More importantly, the money for the payments would have to come from a trust fund. The beneficiary has no valid claim to this money and its payment would constitute a discriminatory gift from funds which the Government holds in trust for railroad employees.

For these reasons, and because the bill would create an undesirable precedent, I am constrained to withhold my approval.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veto of Bill for Relief of William J. Kaiser. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234155

Simple Search of Our Archives