Windfall Profits Tax Legislation Remarks by Telephone With the Senate Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on Senate Approval of the Legislation.
THE PRESIDENT. Hello.
Very good. Senator Byrd? Yes.
Well, I'm glad you—
It's the same way on this end. I'm glad you've got Russell Long on the phone. Russell, we really appreciate the great leadership you've shown in this very difficult matter.
I think this is going to be wonderful news for our country, not only in the fact that we will have $227 billion that can be spent for the well-being of our people, for the low-income families, and for the generation of alternative supplies of energy for public transportation, and also maybe in the future for a genuine income tax reduction, but because this will help, I think, to set the tone in our country for a major commitment that hasn't been adequate so far to resolve the long-term energy problems. And I'm grateful to you, to all the Members of the Congress, and to Senator Byrd for your great leadership. It's good news for the whole country and I think also good news for the whole world.
Well, when we get the mobilization board and security corporation passed that'll be good news too. The bill is effective as of the 1st of March. Is that not right, Russell?
Very good. I don't know when it'll be coming to me from the Hill. I guess we can find that out after a few days, when the House and Senate leaders decide to sign it.
That sounds good.
Well, you could leave the ribbons off of this one in order to get it on down here. Well, I hope we'll have a chance to sign it when we can have a group down for a ceremony, because I think it's something that needs to be emphasized to the Nation.
Well, we have a few here around me in the Oval Office, Bob. I would like to say to the press on your end that the Congress has shown not only great wisdom in the final content to this legislation but also great courage in dealing with one of the most controversial issues that we've had to levy a tax of this kind. Almost a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next 10 years to be used for the benefit of the American people is indeed an achievement of which we can all be proud. And I believe that it leaves adequate resources with the oil industry to expedite even more rapidly their search for and discovery of American supplies of oil and natural gas. And of course, we can be using their receipts from this tax to explore other alternative sources of energy and particularly to expedite the Americans turning toward conservation and the saving of energy.
So, in every respect, it's good for our Nation in lessening our dependence on foreign oil imports, in cutting down on inflation, and building up more jobs in our own Nation and setting an example for the rest of the world. So, I'm doubly grateful to all of you, and I hope you'll extend my thanks to all the Members of the Senate, Bob.
Good luck to you both, and thank you again.
[At this point, the telephone conversation was completed.]
It's good news.
REPORTER. IS it better late than never, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, Russell said he was sorry that it took so long. But I think it came out very well; the final results of the bill was excellent. And we can already start benefiting from the passage of it. And they pledged to me that now they'll turn their attention to the other two major pieces of legislation—the energy mobilization board and also the security corporation—that will expedite the production of alternative supplies of energy.
So, I'm very pleased. Thank you.
Q. Are you discouraged by the reports out of Iran that the parliament won't take up the hostage crisis now until summer?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't think I'll hold a press conference now.
Note: The President spoke at 12:12 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. The White House transcript does not include the Senators' remarks.
Jimmy Carter, Windfall Profits Tax Legislation Remarks by Telephone With the Senate Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on Senate Approval of the Legislation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250308