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Eno Transportation Library

Document of the Week
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1946 Draft Reorganization Plan Creating A Federal Transportation Agency
Draft Reorganization Plan from the Truman Administration creating a Federal Transportation Agency to include all functions currently exercised by the Public Roads Administration, the Coast Guard, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Civil Aeronautics Board, the U.S. Maritime Commission, and the Weather Bureau.
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1959 National Capital Region Mass Transportation Survey
This is the full civil engineering study from the 1959 Mass Transportation Survey of the National Capital Region, the first official federal study to recommend the creation of a mass transit system in the Washington DC area.
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1966 Department of Transportation Act - White House Enrolled Bill File
Memo to President Johnson from the Bureau of the Budget on H.R. 15963 (89th Congress), the Department of Transportation Act, summarizing the legislation and recommending signature. The memo is accompanied by letters from various federal agencies expressing their views on the enrolled bill as well as a three-page summary of the major differences between the President's original proposal and the enrolled bill.
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November 1955 "Road Gang" Meeting
Internal White House memorandum dated November 17, 1955 summarizing a "Road Gang" luncheon panel discussion on what the outcome for the highway bill would be in the upcoming 1956 session of Congress.
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1956 (Nov.) Bragdon Presentation on Planning
November 1956 proposal from White House public works planning advisor John Bragdon for a comprehensive system of federal grants to state and local government to encourage long-range public works planning and the creation of what are now called MPOs.
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1916 Federal Aid Road Act Summary Document
A September 1916 pamphlet containing the text of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, a summary thereof, the text of implementing regulations, and an article by the Secretary of Agriculture explaining the need for the program.
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House Markup Transcript of 1966 USDOT Act - June 22, 1966
Transcript of the subcommittee markup session of H.R. 13200 (the Department of Transportation Act proposed by the Johnson Administration) held by a subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee on June 22, 1966, at which the subcommittee ordered the bill favorably reported with amendments.
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March-April 1994 White House Memos on Air Traffic Control Reform Legislation
Series of internal White House memos from March-April 1994 evaluating the options for air traffic control reform legislation to be proposed by the Administration. The memos set the table for an April 13, 1994 meeting chaired by Vice President Gore to decide which of the four legislative options to select.
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May 1966 White House User Fee Memos
PDF file containing three memos relating to the Johnson Administration's quest for more transportation user charges, from May 1966.
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1969 USDOT Mass Transit Trust Fund Proposal
Documents related to the original 1969 proposal by the U.S. Department of Transportation to create an Urban Mass Transportation Trust Fund, to be financed by an extension of the expiring federal excise tax on automobile sales at a rate of 3.5 percent (enough to raise $10 billion over the life of the Trust Fund).
April 1966 Cabinet Meeting on Cutting Federal Expenditures
Records of the April 1, 1966 Cabinet meeting convened by President Johnson to discuss the need to reduce federal expenditures to fight inflation. At the meeting, Johnson ordered all federal agencies to try to find ways to cut federal expenditures (outlays) for construction-related activites for the upcoming year by 10 percent. This was the root of the highway spending impoundments that would plague the highway program from fall 1966 through spring 1975 and which shaped the debate over the Highway Trust Fund for decades after that.
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1991 ISTEA - Legislative Text of Administration Proposal
Text of the George H.W. Bush Administration's proposed Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 1991, as introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 1351. The bill proposed the creation of a 150,000-mile National Highway System and provided some of the foundation for the eventual ISTEA law later that year.
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1966 LBJ Message to Congress on Transportation
Message from President Johnson to Congress on March 2, 1966 that recommended the following: creation of a new Department of Transportation, the establishment of a new federal program of highway and vehicle safety, and the strengthening of the President's power over the Interstate Commerce Commission.
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1966 (Jan.) Memo to LBJ Recommending DOT Creation
January 28, 1966 memo to President Johnson from White House aides Joseph Califano, Jr. and Lee White recommending specific components of a new Department of Transportation and asking the President to side with them on disputes over treatment of the Coast Guard and Civil Aeronautics Board. LBJ hand-wrote at the end of the memo "I don't know enough - can't you reconcile difference before I act - L".
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1966 (Jan.) Boyd Response to McKee Paper
This is a January 10, 1966 "Eyes-Only" memo from Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Alan S. Boyd to White House domestic policy czar Joseph Califano, Jr. The Boyd memo is a direct response to a December 20, 1965 "Confidential" memo from Federal Aviation Administrator Charles "Bozo" McKee objecting to many specifics of the pending plan to create a new Department of Transportation (though it is not clear that Boyd knew that the unsigned December 20 paper was from McKee). Whenever the Boyd memo says "attached paper" it is referring to the December 20 McKee memo.
1976 (Jan.) RRRR Conference Decision Memos for President Ford
A January 2, 1976 memo from OMB Director James Lynn and Transportation Secretary William Coleman to President Ford asking the President to decide what positions to take in final negotiations with House and Senate conferees on the pending omnibus railroad bill (S. 2718) and a follow-up memo on January 6 from White House staff to Lynn listing and explaining the President's decisions. The final bill became the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210).
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1965 (Dec.) White House Meetings With Transportation Stakeholders
This is a series of White House memos from December 1965 relating to outreach sessions held with transportation stakeholder groups to solicit their opinions in an off-the-record setting on two prongs of the draft 1966 Johnson Administration legislative agenda for transportation: the creation of a Department of Transportation and economic regulatory reform.
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1965 (Nov. 24) Bureau of the Budget Comments on Transportation Legislative Agenda
Set of memos sent to White House domestic policy chief Joseph Califano on November 24, 1965 giving the Bureau of the Budget's opinions on the three parts of the FY 1966 legislative agenda for transportation proposed by the Interagency Task Force on Transportation. The three parts of the agenda were transportation reorganization in general, the reorganization of transportation regulatory agencies, and highway safety reorganization. Also includes a memo from the White House Science and Technology adviser on the highway safety proposal.
1970 White House Memo on Motivation Behind Highway Impoundments
April 29, 1970 confidential memo from White House aide Ed Harper to President Nixon's domestic policy czar, John Ehrlichman, suggesting that the President impound (hold back from availability) even more highway contract authority from the Highway Trust Fund. The aim was to cause the Highway Trust Fund's unspent balances to build up so that they could build support for opening up the Trust Fund to spending on non-highway programs like mass transit.
1975 Ford Decision Memo on Highway Funding
This is a series of memos presented to President Ford in May 1975 requesting his decisions on highway funding policy for fiscal 1976 and thereafter. The main issue was that the newly created Congressional budget process had ended the practice of executive branch "impoundment" of money (including highway contract authority), which was causing a huge increase in the amount of highway contract authority available to states for obligation.
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1965 (Oct. 22) Memo from Under Secretary Boyd to Joe Califano with Initial DOT Recommendations
October 22, 1965 memo from Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Alan Boyd to White House domestic policy chief Joseph Califano, Jr. The memo transmits two papers dealing with transportation organization that Califano had requested at a September 25 meeting - a 19-page paper recommending which existing agencies and programs should and should not be included in a new Department of Transportation, and a 12-page paper examining a proposal to consolidate the existing transportation regulatory agencies (the Interstate Commerce Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, and Federal Maritime Commission) into one transportation economic regulatory authority.
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1965 (Sep. 22) Decision Memo for LBJ on 1966 Transportation Agenda
September 22, 1965 decision memo for President Johnson from Joseph Califano asking Johnson's approval to order the Commerce Department to prepare plans for the creation of a Department of Transportation, a reorganization of transportation regulatory functions, a program of transportation rate reform, and a major highway safety program for the FY 1967 (calendar year 1966) legislative agenda.
1965 White House Justification for User Charges
The issue of whether the government should pay for transportation through general revenues or through some kind of charges on the users of the transportation system goes back a long way. In 1965, the Johnson White House attempted to move the conversation forward by proposing to increase user charges on aviation, levy new user charges on inland waterway transportation, and increase and extend the user charges on highway transportation, all of which were excise taxes. These White House memos from 1964 and 1964 summarize and justify those user charge proposals.
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1978 (Nov.) White House Decision on WMATA System Length
November 16, 1978 memo to President Carter asking him to settle a disagreement between DOT, OMB, and the White House Domestic Policy Staff on whether or not to insist on building the originally-envisioned 101-mile DC Metrorail system or to support truncation of less cost-effective extensions. Includes previous memos of August 15, 1978 from Transportation Secretary Brock Adams and of August 15, 1978 and November 22, 1978 from the Domestic Policy Staff. Includes President Carter's handwritten notes and checkoffs of decision boxes.
1978 STAA - Enrolled Bill Memo
Memo presented to President Carter on November 5, 1978 expressing the views of Administration agencies on the enrolled bill H.R. 11733, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978.
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1965 White House Transportation Task Force Papers
Fifty years ago today, Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation Alan Boyd sent a letter to President Johnson’s domestic policy advisor, Joseph Califano, transmitting the first round of working papers prepared by the interagency Task Force on Transportation Legislation.
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1965 Moyers Memos to Develop 1966 Transportation Legislative Proposals
August 1965 memoranda from White House advisor Bill Moyers relating to meetings “to identify and lay plans for the careful development and review of potential legislative proposals to the second session of the 89th Congress in the field of transportation."
1982 White House Gas Tax Decision Memoranda
A series of three late November 1982 memos from DOT and OMB trying to refute the arguments that each agency made to President Reagan in the final Cabinet meetings to determine whether or not the President would request a gasoline tax increase.
1961 HHFA Recommended Urban Planning Draft Legislation
A June 1961 memo to President Kennedy from the head of the Housing and Home Finance Agency transmitting the draft legislation to give permission for two or more states to establish joint planning organizations for urban areas, to ensure that federal housing planning grants could be used for transportation planning, and to provide the first federal demonstration grants for mass transit.
1923 U.K. Cabinet Memo on Road Fund Revenue Dedication
A January 1923 memo to the U.K. Cabinet by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury questioning the wisdom of the Road Fund (created in 1909 with a dedicated revenue stream from motor vehicle taxes) and the propriety of dedicating specific excise taxes to specific spending programs.
1975 White House Freight Rail Assistance Decision Memo
Briefing papers prepared for President Ford in advance of an April 1975 meeting to discuss what kind of freight railroad rescue package to request from Congress. The legislation eventually became the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform (4R) Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210).
1993 Robert Rubin Memo to President Clinton on Energy Taxes
February 1993 memo to President Clinton from his chief economic adviser giving the pros and cons of various types of new energy taxation. The memo framed the decision to request a BTU tax, which was changed by Congress to a 4.3 cent per gallon gasoline and diesel tax.
1982 White House Federalism Initiative - Jan. 25 Draft
Internal White House summary of a proposed "New Federalism" initiative for President Reagan, dated January 1982, which would have turned back significant highway and mass transit spending (and their dedicated excise tax revenues) back to states.
1972 Highway Bill "No Bill" Strategy Memo
In October 1972, House and Senate negotiations over the biannual highway bill were breaking down over the issue of whether or not the Highway Trust Fund should be opened up to fund mass transit capital expenses in urban areas instead of urban freeways. This October 16 memo from the White House Deputy Budget Director to his boss (OMB Director Cap Weinberger) and to Nixon domestic policy staffers Ken Cole and Bud Krogh gives an insider view of the House-Senate negotiations and then suggests a novel strategy: “I recommend that we settle for no bill at all.”
1978 President Carter Meeting on Airline Deregulation Bill
This week’s ETW Document of the Week is a Carter Administration memo preparing the President for a meeting with the chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees, Rep. Harold “Bizz” Johnson (D-CA) and Sen. Howard Cannon (D-NV), and with House Aviation Subcommittee chairman Glenn Anderson (D-CA). The memo to Carter makes it clear that the chairmen were holding airline deregulation hostage in order to get Carter’s support for an unrelated airline noise bill.
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Creation of the Amtrak Route Map
This week’s ETW Document of the Week is an exchange of memoranda from late 1970 and early 1971 between the Nixon White House, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Transportation over what routes the newly formed National Rail Passenger Corporation should serve.
1956 AASHO Letter to Senator Byrd
This week’s ETW Document of the Week is a letter sent from Rex Whitton, the head of the American Association of State Highway Officials, to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Harry F. Byrd, and other Senators in May 1956 expressing the candid views of the state DOTs on the Interstate Highway Act that had just been passed by the House of Representatives.
FY 1982 Reagan Transportation Budget Details
Few budget amendments have been broader in their scope than the ones submitted by Ronald Reagan in March and April 1981 for the fiscal year 1982 budget. Of particular note are the proposed aviation excise tax reforms mentioned in the document, which prove that from the outset President Reagan was not averse to increasing some kinds of excise taxes if they were dedicated to a trust fund whose programs benefit the taxpayers and if the tax increases, "would eliminate general fund subsidy of the costs put on the system."
1915 Coast Guard Origination Statute
Wednesday, January 28, is the 100th anniversary of President Wilson's signing of the law that created the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Act combined two existing services: the Revenue Cutter Service (founded 1797, basically tax collectors with boats and guns to make sure shippers weren't avoiding tariffs by docking boats and unloading cargo outside designated Customs ports of entry), and the Life-Saving Service (established in 1878 to aid survivors of shipwrecks).
1915 Report of the Joint Committee on Federal Aid to Good Roads
On January 21, 1915, the Congressional Joint Committee on Federal Aid in the Construction of Post Roads issued its final report to Congress. The report of the Joint Committee represented, by far, the largest assemblage of information regarding roads ever published in the United States.