353. Memorandum From Secretary of the Treasury Miller to President Carter1


  • Your Meeting with President-Elect Reagan2—Passage of IDA Legislation

Despite major efforts by a number of Republican members of the House, and indications of support from potential members of the Reagan cabinet (particularly Bill Simon and George Shultz), there was insufficient indication of Republican support for the IDA legislation to persuade the Democratic leadership to bring the bill to the floor today. Chairman Reuss of the Banking Committee summarized it succinctly: “With Reagan yes, without Reagan no”.

As you will recall, passage of the IDA legislation in this session is critical. Without it, IDA will be out of funds for most of next year and the United States will be blamed (correctly) for a major breach in North-South relations. In addition, it will be very difficult to halt PLO involvement in the institution, and Tom Clausen’s nomination, if it proceeds, will do so under a very dark cloud. Pushing the bill into next year would also add substantially to an already full legislative plate in this area (World Bank callable capital, completion of authorization for the regional development banks, the normal appropriation bills, the Common Fund, etc.).

All this suggests that it is clearly in the interest of the President-Elect for the IDA legislation to be passed in the current session. I strongly recommend that you lay out the situation for him and urge him to take a firm position—publicly if possible, perhaps immediately after your meeting—in support of moving ahead on the legislation im [Page 1108] mediately. Congressional action could be taken as early as Friday3 of this week, or certainly during the first week of December before the Congress adjourns.4

G. William Miller5
  1. Source: Department of the Treasury, Office of the Secretary, Executive Secretariat, 1980 Files, 56–83–05. No classification marking. Sent to Miller for his signature under a November 19 cover memorandum from Bergsten, who wrote: “The attached explains to the President the status of the IDA legislation, concludes that only direct intervention by the President-Elect can save the bill, and recommends that the President seek such action at their meeting tomorrow. Henry Owen has already alerted the President to the possibility that such a step will be needed. You may prefer to call the President rather than send this memo, and Don [not further indentified] and I strongly recommend that you do so.” Miller wrote on Bergsten’s memo: “11/21, Handled by phone call to President on 11/19 and 11/20.” (Ibid.) Carter and Miller spoke by telephone on November 19 from 10:19 p.m. until 10:22 p.m. and on November 20 from 10:32 a.m. until 10:37 a.m. (Carter Library, Presidential Materials, President’s Daily Diary) No memoranda of conversation of these telephone calls were found.
  2. On November 20, Carter met with Reagan in the Oval Office from 2:07 p.m. until 3:32 p.m. (Carter Library, Presidential Materials, President’s Daily Diary) No memorandum of conversation of this meeting was found.
  3. November 21.
  4. The House of Representatives did not pass the bill, H.R. 6811, before the end of the year. According to Congress and the Nation: “The House was to have taken up HR 6811—H Rept 96–1015 during the lame-duck session, but proponents of the bill could find no more than 25 to 30 Republicans who would vote for it—not enough to ensure a majority. And C.W. Bill Young (R–Florida), threatened to offer amendments that could have snarled the bill in lengthy floor fights. At that point, the House leadership decided to drop the bill for 1980.” (Congress and the Nation, vol. V, 1977–1980, p. 88)
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.