Letter to Congressional Leaders on United States Assistance for the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance

September 10, 1986

DearXXXX :

As the Congress returns to an exceedingly heavy work schedule prior to sine die adjournment, I wanted to once again convey to you my grave concern about the situation in Central America and the urgency of completing final action on a compromise plan to provide assistance to the Nicaraguan freedom fighters. This bipartisan proposition has passed the House and Senate and now awaits final conference action on the Military Construction Appropriations bill.

The Nicaraguan freedom fighters cling to our promise of assistance. The affirmative votes of the House and Senate have confirmed congressional commitment to that goal. However, months have passed since House action and weeks have passed since the Senate reaffirmed its position. In the intervening time, supplies of food and medicine have been drained and the ability of the democratic resistance to defend itself has been significantly reduced. There has been no lack of resolve on the part of the Soviets or their proxies in arming and sustaining a regime that clearly seeks to destroy the hope of freedom for millions in Central America.

It is my hope that you will assist in expediting conference action on the Military Construction Appropriations bill in order that it might reach my desk for signature as quickly as possible. Time is short, and we must avoid further delay in order to sustain those in Central America who have committed themselves to democracy and freedom.


/s/Ronald Reagan

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives; George Bush, President of the Senate; Robert Dole, Senate Majority Leader; Robert Michel, House Minority Leader; Mark O. Hatfield, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee; and Jamie L. Whitten, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. The original was not available for verification of the content of this letter, which was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 11.