Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate Transmitting Proposed National Debt Retirement Legislation

September 22, 1982

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

I am forwarding for the consideration of the Congress a draft bill entitled the ``National Debt Retirement Act of 1982.''

As you know, my Administration has recently undertaken a number of policy initiatives with respect to the disposal of surplus Federal real property. For example, on February 25, 1982, I signed Executive Order 12348, establishing the Presidential Property Review Board, which has been given the responsibility for developing Federal property disposal policy to ensure that surplus Federal real property is identified and made available for sale at its fair market value. Proceeds from the sale of surplus real property are to be used to help retire the national debt.

The enclosed legislation eliminates a barrier to using the proceeds of the sale of surplus real property to retire the national debt. Under current law, receipts from the sale of such property are deposited in the Land and Water Conservation Fund of the Department of the Interior. Our proposed legislation amends present law to state that, notwithstanding any other requirement of law, cash proceeds from the sale, lease, or other disposition of such property are to be covered into the general fund of the Treasury. This proposal does not affect the statutory requirement that there be an annual income level of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Revenues from Outer Continental Shelf oil lands will continue to be deposited in the Fund, thus ensuring that the required $900 million annual floor for deposits in the Fund will be met.

Enactment of this draft bill would help put the Federal government on a sounder fiscal footing. Accordingly, I would appreciate prompt and favorable consideration of this legislative proposal.

I am sending an identical letter to the President of the Senate. (Speaker of the House of Representatives.)


Ronald Reagan

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Bush, President of the Senate.

The White House press release contained a copy of the proposed bill.