TLS to Pat Moynihan: 'Your continued interest in welfare reform'
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CARTER, JIMMY (JAMES EARL, JR.).(b.1924). Thirty-ninth president of the United States and winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. TLS. (“Jimmy”). 1p. 8vo. Washington, May 23, 1979. On mint green White House stationery to Senator DANIEL PATRICK "PAT” MOYNIHAN (1927-2003).
Thank you for your continued interest in welfare reform and for your helpful counsel. I know you will give these proposals careful consideration. I believe that they provide an opportunity to make important progress in this Congress. I hope to have your active support. I look forward to working with you. Sincerely…
A successful farmer from Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter rose from local politics to serve as Georgia’s governor. Carter took advantage of America’s post-Watergate cynicism and fashioned himself as a political outsider with moderate positions and old-fashioned morals. Pairing up with Senator Walter Mondale for a presidential race, Carter succeeded in creating a balanced ticket that appealed to a majority of voters, defeating the incumbent, Gerald Ford. Carter served four years during which time he faced a recession, rampant inflation and an energy crisis. His greatest diplomatic victory was bringing Israel and Egypt together to sign the historic Camp David Accords.
Moynihan served the Kennedy and Johnson administrations as assistant secretary of labor until 1965. Despite being a Democrat, he was selected by President Richard Nixon to be his counselor on urban affairs, and in 1973, he was appointed U.S. ambassador to India. Herepresented New York in the U.S. Senate from 1977 to 2001.
Carter attempted to reform welfare several times after taking office. His first attempt was the 1977 Program for Better Jobs and Income, which faced much opposition and died in the House of Representatives committee review process. At the time, Moynihan was chairman of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Public Assistance and a co-sponsor of Carter’s legislation. However, “six days after the House of Representatives announced the termination of its efforts to reform welfare [via Carter’s Program for Better Jobs and Income], Senators Daniel Moynihan and Alan Cranston (D.-CA) introduced a ‘no-frills’ welfare bill, ‘The State and Local Welfare Reform and Relief Act of 1978’ …Although its own bill was dead, the Carter Administration was forced, once again, to enter the welfare fray – this time as a negative participant. Denouncing the Moynihan-Cranston-Long ‘no-frills’ plan as a ‘substantial roadblock’ to welfare reform, the Administration, in turn, prompted a series of angry replies from its former welfare ally, Sen. Moynihan,” (“Picking up the Remnants of The Better Jobs and Income Plan: The Limits of Reform from H.R. 9030 to S. 3498,” The Federal Role in the Federal System: The Dynamics of Growth, Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations report, July 1980). Competing legislation and poor timing resulted in the failure of the Moynihan/Cranston bill. Carter again pushed his own version of welfare reform in the next session of Congress with The Social Welfare Reform Amendments of 1979 (H.R. 4321 and H.R. 4904). After review by four committees, this legislation passed the House on November 7, 1979. It was then sent to the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance, on which Moynihan sat, on November 9; it died in committee.
Our letter, a reply to a letter or conversation on the topic, seeks to regain Moynihan’s support for Carter’s efforts, specifically for The Social Welfare Reform Amendments of 1979.
Folded once with a stamped docket number in the left margin and a handwritten docket number in red ink and another in green ink in the upper right margin. A date stamp in purple ink on the verso shows through. Folded once and in very good condition.