Gerald R. Ford photo

Veto of Legislation To Reclassify and Upgrade Deputy United States Marshals

August 12, 1974

To the House of Representatives:

I am today returning to the Congress without my approval H.R. 5094, a measure that would require the reclassification and upgrading of deputy United States marshals.

A bill substantially similar to this legislation was passed by the Congress and then pocket vetoed by President Nixon in October, 1972. Since that time various departments of the executive branch have consistently argued that such legislation would be unwise and discriminatory.

That opposition has been based upon the view that by singling out deputy United States marshals for significant salary increases, the Government would be creating serious pay inequities with other Federal law enforcement personnel, thus violating fundamental principles of fairness. In addition, H.R. 5094 would severely disrupt existing grade and pay relationships among the deputy marshals themselves. In some cases, under this legislation, junior marshals would be paid $1,150 a year more than their senior colleagues. Some deputies doing identical work would be placed in different pay grades, while deputies performing different jobs would be placed in the same pay grade.

I fully appreciate the fine service performed by our deputy U.S. marshals, and I am aware that the Congress was prompted by a desire to ensure that their pay matched the increasing responsibilities they have assumed in recent years. But I also believe that this legislation would run directly counter to the principle of equal pay for equal work that underlies our civil service system. Our policy has been and must continue to be one of fundamental fairness to all Federal employees. For that reason, I am returning this legislation without my approval.


The White House,

August 12, 1974.

Note: The text of the veto message was released August 13, 1974.

APP Note: In the Public Papers of the Presidents series, this document is dated August 13, 1974, the date it was released. The American Presidency Project dates this document as August 12, 1974, the date the bill was vetoed.

Gerald R. Ford, Veto of Legislation To Reclassify and Upgrade Deputy United States Marshals Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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