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1958 Federal-Aid Highway Act – White House Enrolled Bill File

This is a collection of memos to President Eisenhower discussing whether or not he should sign into law the 1958 highway bill. This PDF file contains:

  • A cover page with a one-line summary of each agency’s opinion (Eisenhower’s own handwriting indicates that the Secretary of Commerce had changed his mind since his memo was sent).
  • A memo from the Bureau of the Budget recommending a veto, followed by a five-page summary of the enrolled bill.
  • A memo from the Commerce Department (the department in which the Bureau of Public Roads was then housed) recommending a veto of the bill.
  • A memo from the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers recommending that the President sign the bill, followed by a three-page analysis of the bill.
  • Memos from the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Agriculture recommending that the President sign the bill.
  • An April 9, 1958 memo from the Acting Secretary of the Treasury stating that the Department had “no objection” to a signature, followed by an April 15, 1958 memo from the Under Secretary of the Treasury to White House senior aide Sherman Adams stating that the Secretary did in fact have two significant objections to the bill.
  • A letter from the Council of Economic Advisors to the White House Counsel’s office criticizing a draft veto message.
  • A memo from John S. Bragdon, the President’s special advisor for public works, recommending he sign the bill but issue a critical signing statement.
  • Various draft versions of a veto message.

In the end, President Eisenhower decided to sign the bill into law (after being urged to do so by Congressional GOP leaders). He issued a signing statement critical of the bill, which became Public Law 85-381.

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