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1961 Washington Report 1 (1961)

handle is hein.tera/wingtore0011 and id is 1 raw text is: 920 Washington Building
No. 1-1961                          Washington 5, D. C.       iharch 16, 1961
FEDTI.AL ASSISTANCE TO DEPRESSED AREAS
The extent to which the Federal government should assume responsibility for
solution of the problem of chronically depresscd areas is the basic point at issue
in legislation which has reached the stage of action in Congress. 1passage by the
Senate and ap-.roval by a House subcommittee of bills with few differences bring
to the point of dtciLi-n a controversy extondin- over several years. The question
of whether t *e program provides the tyme of asistance most desirable and gives
best assurance of lasting results provokes iuide differences of opinion.
The movement for Federal lcgislation appears to have developed new strangth
in the present session, for two ma.or reasonis: first, its endorsement by president
Kennedy; and second, a worsening of cconomic conditions.
Former President Eisenhower, who in his final budget message in January noted
that for five years he had advocated more effective Federal assistance without
merely substitutin7, temporary Federal aid for indispensable local leadership, vetoed
one bill in September 1958 and another in Hay 1960.
Kenedy Endorsement
President Kennedy, in his special messar~e to Congress on economic recovery and
growth on February 2, asserted that 'the distressed areas constitute a national
problem that is properly the concern of the Federal government.
The subject has been studied by standinp and special corriittees of the Congress,
by individual states, by groups of stetes, and private study roups, continued the
President.  There is veneral erreement that we should enact legislation providing
the means for loans for private projects, technical assistance, loans and zrants for
public facilities, and programs for training and retraining workers. I urge that
any area redevelopment program be flexible enough to benefit urban and rural areas
alike and to apply to regions of economic distress which include parts of two or
more states.
The immediate subsistence needs of the people of these econoically depressed
areas must be met, but it is equally important thct these areas be enabled to acquire
the basic facilities, physical plant and trained labor force necessary to secure
their share of the nation's economiic expansion.
Terms of Bills and Actions in Congress
The Senate on llarch 15 passed S. 1, introduced by Senator Douglas (f-Ill.),
who was chairman of a task force on the problem appointed by Prcsident Kennedy
prior to his inauguration. The vote on a roll call was 63 to 27. As passed, the

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