Statement About Signing a Bill Providing Emergency Highway Repairs Following Tropical Storm Agnes and the South Dakota Flood
President Richard Nixon
August 4, 1972
I AM gratified to have signed H.R.15950, the first of the emergency measures I have recommended to the Congress for relief in those areas devastated by Tropical Storm Agnes and the flood in Rapid City, S. Dak.
This measure, which will add $150 million to the normal $50 million program for emergency highway repairs, is a most welcome and vitally needed aid program-but it should be regarded only as a down payment on the total disaster relief program of $1.8 billion I proposed to the Congress on July 17, 1972.
H.R. 15950 will give us a total of $200 million in this fiscal year and $100 million in future years to repair and reconstruct Federal-aid highways and Federal roads and trails damaged by natural disasters.
The highway repair money, however, will not provide any direct, personal assistance to the many individuals struggling to repair or rebuild homes, farms, and small businesses.
I am pleased, therefore, that the Senate today has scheduled consideration of a major element of my relief program, one which would substantially improve the terms of loans made to homeowners, farmers, and small businessmen. Speedy action is urgently needed on this part of my program, and I urge the House of Representatives to follow up quickly.
Another pending element of my recommendations is for supplemental appropriations to provide the necessary funds for the Federal Government's relief and recovery measures.
Again, I urge that the Congress place the highest possible priority on approving my entire package of disaster relief legislation, so that tangible help can start flowing at the earliest possible time to the tens of thousands still in dire need weeks after the disasters.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 15950, approved August 3, 1972, is Public Law 92-361 (86 Stat. 503 ).
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