Statement on Action by the House of Representatives Concerning Federal Budget Legislation

June 24, 1981

As I have been traveling today, very distressing news has reached me from Washington, D.C.

In my absence, it seems that the Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives have agreed to go forward with a scheme tomorrow morning that would effectively sabotage our attempts to cut Federal spending.

I have asked the House leadership to let us have a single up-or-down vote on our bipartisan package of spending cuts.

Instead, the leaders want to splinter that package into pieces. They are pursuing a divide and conquer strategy -- a strategy that would once again allow special interest groups to triumph over the general economic interest of the nation.

This parliamentary scheme is unacceptable to me and, I am sure, to the great majority of the American people.

We now have the best opportunity in years to achieve real change in this country. We just can't surrender it to backroom politics in the Halls of Congress.

Time is now short; the House promises to bring this issue to a vote as early as tomorrow morning.

I want the American people to understand that if they want to bring real change in Washington -- if they want real reductions in spending -- this is the time to speak up. This is the time to be heard.

Telegram to Members of the House of Representatives on Federal Budget Legislation

June 24, 1981

Urgently request your support for Rule to permit single up-or-down vote on our bipartisan budget package to save additional $20 billion consistent with Gramm-Latta I. I consider this vote on the previous question vital to our Economic Recovery Program. Gag rule to deny House consideration of our entire package is unacceptable and denies American people opportunity to be heard on runaway Federal spending. Our previous efforts will be badly damaged unless we can stay together on this issue. Therefore, I seek your support to reconfirm your vote on the May 7 Budget Resolution.

Note: The President sent the telegram to 190 Republican and 63 Democratic Members of the Congress who had voted in favor of the Gramm-Latta amendment.