71. Note From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


Attached is the strategy which the House leadership is anxious to pursue in sandbagging Fulbright. There are two aspects of it that are worth considering: One is it keeps a low White House profile which means we will have to turn Scali and the maniacs off, and second it would be a bitter repudiation of Fulbright if it succeeds. I am inclined to think that it is simple enough to work providing we can get lots of drumbeat going without direct White House involvement.

We have had a reaction today of considerable magnitude from those on the Hill who do not like to be considered irresponsible.

Timmons hopes to get your clearance on this tonight at the initialing tab.

Al Haig 2
[Page 169]


Action Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for Congressional Relations (Timmons) to President Nixon


  • Foreign Assistance Legislation

A four-step strategy to restore foreign aid is recommended:


Continuing Resolution to Adjournment Sine Die. This continuing appropriation can probably be before the House late this week or early next, containing continuing authority for all unfunded programs (including foreign aid) till adjournment. The current authority expires November 15th.
Defense Appropriations could be on House floor early the week of November 15. It will contain security assistance provisions of foreign aid. Since this is funding for unauthorized programs a special rule waiving points of order will be sought. There will be minor cuts in the program.
Foreign Operations Appropriations could be out of House committee and on House floor the week of November 15th. This contains the economic and so-called “humanitarian” provisions of foreign aid. Like the Defense bill, this too would contain unauthorized funds and a special rule required. There will be major cuts in the program.
Continuing Resolution to March 1, 1972. Should either Defense or Foreign Operations money bills be defeated or filibustered by the Senate, House Leaders expect to pass another continuing resolution just before adjournment funding unauthorized programs to a date certain, probably March 1, 1972.
Foreign Assistance Authorization. The House Leaders and ranking members of the Foreign Affairs Committee have no desire to pass a new authorization. They feel that since the Senate defeated the House-passed bill they should not be required to create a new program, patterned after Fulbright’s dictates. Also time works against any new measure clearing both Houses before adjournment.


Continuing Resolution to Adjournment Sine Die. Since this has to originate in the House there is nothing that can be done yet in Senate. [Page 170] However, most Senators now recognize the need to have a temporary continuing resolution.
Military and Foreign Operations Appropriations. The Senate Parliamentarian tells us no points of order can be made against these money bills, if passed by the House, even though funds are unauthorized. Undoubtedly, Chairman Fulbright and others will complain on grounds of usurpation of jurisdiction and fact the Senate had defeated foreign aid authorization. While these measures will be difficult to pass, the military bill should have strong support from conservatives and the foreign operations staunch backing from liberals. A tough fight in Senate.
Continuing Resolution to March 1, 1972. This resolution will not be necessary if the defense and foreign operations appropriations are enacted. It should be considered as a fall-back however.
Foreign Assistance Authorization. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is conducting meetings to get a consensus for some new aid package. There is a likelihood Fulbright will call Rogers, Laird and Hannah to testify.3 Should the Committee report a bill, it probably will strip away vital parts of security assistance and also may contain the Mansfield and Cooper-Church amendments. Since the bill would also have to pass the House, there is little possibility of enacting an acceptable foreign aid authorization this year.

Recommendations 4

That as a tactic we try to avoid a new authorization. This will require a delay of the Foreign Relations Committee’s consideration of a new bill.
That we privately urge the House to pass the military and foreign operations appropriations, although unauthorized, and try to win sufficient votes in Senate. We will work closely with GOP House leaders on funding levels.
Since foreign aid is unpopular with the American people, the White House should adopt a low profile on efforts to restore the program. Loyal Senators, columnists and outside groups should keep heat on Senate’s irresponsibility.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 195, AID 1/1/71-12/21/71. No classification marking. Concurred in by MacGregor and Kissinger.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  3. Rogers and Hannah testified on November 3; see Document 73.
  4. None of the Approve or Disapprove options is checked or initialed.