January 12, 1982
This issue of whether to deny tax exemptions to nonprofit, private educational institutions raises important questions and sensitive policy considerations.
My administration is committed to certain fundamental views which must be considered in addressing this matter:
-- I am unalterably opposed to racial discrimination in any form. I would not knowingly contribute to any organization that supports racial discrimination. My record and the record of this administration are clear on this point.
-- I am also opposed to administrative agencies exercising powers that the Constitution assigns to the Congress. Such agencies, no matter how well intentioned, cannot be allowed to govern by administrative fiat. That was the sole basis of the decision announced by the Treasury Department last Friday. I regret that there has been a misunderstanding of the purpose of the decision.
I believe the right thing to do on this issue is to enact legislation which will prohibit tax exemptions for organizations that discriminate on the basis of race.
Therefore, I will submit legislation and will work with the Congress to accomplish this purpose.