September 4, 2020|Jeff Davis
This PDF file is an exchange of letters between Senator Albert Gore (D-TN) and President Eisenhower in the fall of 1959.
Gore sent Eisenhower a ten-page letter on September 16, 1959 stating that proposed “contract controls” on the rate at which states could obligate highway contract authority, which were being considered by the Eisenhower Administration, would “destroy the concept of the program which you recommended and which Congress approved.”
Eisenhower responded with a two-page letter on October 9, stating that if Congress had given him what he asked for (a 1.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax increase, effective on July 1, 1959) instead of what they gave him (a 1.0 cent per gallon increase, effective on October 1, 1959), the contract controls would not be necessary, so Congress “is directly responsible” for the need for the contract controls. Unless Congress put additional revenues into the Highway Trust Fund, he wrote, “it is clear to me that orderly scheduling of new contracts is the only prudent and equitable course to follow.”
Originals located in Eisenhower, Dwight D.: Records as President (White House Central Files), 1953-61, Official File, Box 612, folder “OF-141-B Highways and Thoroughfares (23),” Eisenhower Library.