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The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Edmondson.

Mr. EDMONDSON. Mr. Chairman, do the other members have permission to file their statements at this point? Our colleague from California, Mr. Johnson, has an opening statement in connection with the legislation.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes, first, let's hear the gentleman from Arkansas, Mr. Hammerschmidt.

Mr. HAMMERSCHMIDT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As we begin these hearings, I am confident that through the outstanding leadership of our most distinguished chairman, our committee will do its utmost to solve the very perplexing problems with which we are faced. I believe that we should continue to maintain the time proven and grassroots approach to economic needs in programs developed in this committee. However, as we change from a wartime to a peacetime economy there are other dislocations in our economy that have an immediate effect on people; and, Mr. Chairman, I am sure that is why we are here today, early in this first session of the 92d Congress, to see if we cannot be instrumental in moving toward a solution.

During these hearings we need to discuss the broad economic programs we have before us which are designed to revitalize rural and other economically distressed areas. Many of our social and environmental problems can best be remedied by accomplishing a reversal of the present trend of migration of people into already compacted cities.

It should be our legislative aim to establish laws that will allow the creation of a sound economic base for these lagging areas and at the same time help local communities to protect and improve their quality of life. The job this committee does may have much to do with whether the people will want to remain in these areas. Unless they are reasonably content and happy, and enjoy the benefits our great society can provide, folks will continue to migrate in search of their fair share.

The basic reason for the legislation before us is to extend the existing authority of programs designed to combat, on a long-term basis, the economic lag experienced by some areas, as well as to determine the best solution for the more short-term needs. I am certain that the forthcoming testimony will be most helpful to this committee in its deliberations.

One important tool which I endorse to combat economic lag is that of the economic development district. If you will permit me to hecome momentarily provincial, I would like to discuss these districts. My own State of Arkansas is unique in being the only State to be totally divided into economic development districts.

District programs hold a great potential in dealing with economic problems and I hope that an awareness of this potential will develop as our hearings progress. The Arkansas districts were formed and established in line with carefully selected criteria. Guidelines were established to minimize interagency conflicts of interest and encourage local leaders to work together toward their common economic and social goals. These districts were established to be properly representative of the people by making the chief administrative officers of the various counties and cities members of the district governing board as well as representatives of the entire economic spectrum and social strata of the communities. The governing board selects full time professional staff. We learned our lessons under a previous program in that purely voluntary organizations, without professional staff, cannot do the job required.

E.D.D.'s were not only formed with the full knowledge and assistance of the Governor's office, but were also created, implemented, and partially funded through the appropriation process of the State legislature.

We have noted also that economic problems and inequalities are often interstate in character extending across State lines thereby making it difficult, if not impossible, for one State to cope with them. To meet these problems the economic development regions were created with an emphasis on raising per capita income by accelerating economic growth, or closing the income gap. Unfortunately, the five title V regions, other than Appalachia, these regions have not had adequate funding to cope with the task as effectively as they might have.

For example, the Ozarks Regional Commission has the greater portion of its planning accomplished and now needs action more than it needs extensive further planning.

I am looking forward to these hearings and the testimony of the outstanding witnesses we have scheduled. With such expertise and with the determination of the members of this committee, I feel sure we will arrive at a solution which will better meet the needs of the people. Thank you, sir.

. The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman for a very constructive and informative opening statement.

The gentleman from Oklahoma.

Mr. EDMONDSON. Let me say initially I am highly pleased personally that the chairman of our full committee has recognized the importance of the work of this particular subcommittee and the importance of its mission in this Congress by personally assuming the chairmanship of the subcommittee. I think that is a wonderful thing for the subcommittee and for the subject matter before us.

For the millions of unemployed people in the United States today and for the 52,000 identified unemployed in my State of Oklahoma, this legislation is, without a doubt, the most important legislation pending before the Congress today.

I am highly pleased to be associated with the chairman's sponsorship of H.R. 5376 and H.R. 4810. I am convinced personally that if we are going to get action that directly benefits approximately 5 million unemployed Americans, this legislation should have the highest priority. I am pleased to observe, looking at the record for Thursday, March 11, that the administration has come forward and let the Senators know in the Public Works Committee on the other side that the administration is now ready to go along with a 1-year extension of EDA and regional commissions. That is something I had been hoping that they would come forward with.

I hope we can continue along the line that we are working with this legislation to not only extend these commissions and extend the economic development district legislation that my colleague, Mr. Hammerschmidt, has mentioned so favorably, but also add to the package the accelerated public works proposal that will bring jobs directly to hundreds of thousands of Americans in areas where the unemployment problem is today.

I thank the chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Roberts of Texas.

Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I would like to echo the statement of the gentleman from Oklahoma. I think that this is probably as important a piece of legislation as we will have before the committee this year. I am delighted that the chairman has taken the chairmanship of this important committee. We are going to have to have some type of program that will relieve these areas of the tremendous stress and strain of unemployment. I appreciate very much getting to work on this subcommittee.

The CHAIRMAN. A unanimous-consent request was made earlier, to allow those who have brief opening statements to have them included in the record, and they will be included in the record in order at this point.

I recognize my colleague from the State of California, Harold T. (Bizz) Johnson.



Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, as a Representative from California, I am particularly aware of the urgent need for an accelerated public works program and continuation of Economic Development Administration projects.

California and the Second Congressional District have been very hard hit in recent years. Unemployment has been well above national averages and extremely high in the construction industry. Let us look at some of the basic unemployment statistics affecting my area.

In the Chico-Oroville vicinity in Butte County, unemployment has been above 10 percent in 1968, 1969, and 1970, when the average jobless rate was 12.1 percent. In December, just a few months ago, 16.4 percent of the working force in Chico and Oroville was unemployed.

In Grass Valley in Nevada County, according to data compiled by the Human Relations Agency of the California Department of Human Resources Development, 12.6 percent was unemployed last year. Three months ago, the latest available information shows that 16.5 percent were out of work. And in February of 1970 18.1 percent were seeking employment.

Placerville, in El Dorado County, had approximately 14 percent unemployed in 1970, while Quincy, in Plumas County, and Susanville, in Lassen County, had jobless rates exceeding 11 nercent. In Quincy. the level of unemployment reached 17.1 percent in December, and in February of last year a disastrous 20.4 percent of the job force was out of work. The city of Sonora, in Tuolumne County, also had high unemployment, although figures are not yet available for 1970

Redding, in Shasta County, is one of the cities that has been hit hardest by unemployment in the construction industry. Last year, 10.3 percent of the work force was unemploved. Right now, however, the jobless rate is running at about 15 to 16 percent.

Obviously drastic action must be taken to reverse the long-range trend toward greater and greater unemployment. The attack must be waged on many fronts, not the least of which is a broadened and extended Economic Development program which we consider here today. These programs are based, of course, upon long range, permanent employment, but in northern California we have a critical and urgent need in the construction industry. One of the fastest ways we can get substantial numbers of people back to work, off the unemployed rolls, is through stimulating public works construction of all types.

Unemployment statistics as they relate to northern California's construction industry are not just alarming; they are frightening.

Hundreds have exhausted their unemployment insurance and have had to seek work in other parts of California or in other States while their families stayed behind at home. Hundreds have been forced to take jobs in other trades while waiting and waiting for construction work.

The State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO, has provided me with the latest available statistics on unemployment in the hardest hit counties in northern California. These figures document the need for legislation that will spur construction of needed public facilities and thereby will reduce unemployment in these hard-hit areas.

In Alpine, Amador and Calaveras Counties, and in San Joaquin County, construction industry unemployment reach 35 percent in December, 1970. Bill Dorcey, of the Building and Trades Council in that area, reports that “Even during the summer months, which usually show a drop in unemployment percentages, we had 20 percent of our total membership unemployed. A lot of the members (are) forced to work away from home,

even out of State, to provide for their families."

In Butte, Plumas and Glenn Counties, unemployment in the construction industry has been very high for about 4 years. In December, 1970, the grim unemployment figures stood like this: Electricians 85% | Laborers

50% Sheet metal workers_ -80% Roofers

50% Plumbers 75% Painters

50% Carpenters 60% | Operating engineers--

40% In Redding and northeastern California the situation was worse. The December 1970 jobless figures were: Cement masons.. 30% Carpenters

85% Teamsters 25% Electricians

60% Cement masons. 90% Painters

50% Laborers 90% Engineers

40% Plumbers 90% Sheet metal workers-

25% Almost half of the unemployed construction workers in this area have exhausted their unemployment insurance claims.

I think it is important to remember that this is not an experimental project. It is a proven program. The Public Works Acceleration Act signed by President Kennedy on September 14, 1962, provided an $861 million shot in the arm for our economy through June 30, 1964. More than 7,700 public works projects were built with funds from that program, and thousands found meaningful employment.

The fundamental concepts of this legislation, however, go much farther back in history, back to the New Deal days. I would like to insert a cogent and appropriate editorial recalling the history of the

Work Projects Administration. The editorial is from the February 5, 1971, Redding Record-Searchlight in Redding, Calif.

We must get this Nation moving again. This legislation is not a cure-all, but it is an important step and an important tool. The backlog of demands for funds to combat pollution and build better health facilities must be met, and our areas of long-term and high unemployment must be helped.

(The editorial referred to follows:)

[From the Redding-Record Searchlight, Redding, Calif., Feb. 5, 1971]


In vetoing a manpower training bill, President Nixon said, “WPA-type jobs are not the answer.” In the Environmental Action Bulletin, two scientists criticized the space program and the supersonic transport plane as "nothing more than a meaningless WPA project.”

Judging by these aspersions, one who has no personal memory of the Great Depression would assume that WPA was the biggest, most wasteful boondoggle in history.

But can something that gave employment to a total of 8.5 million persons between 1935 and 1943, and indirect support to 30 million of their dependents, have been an unmitigated “boondoggle"?

In cold statistics, this is some of what the Works Progress Administration (later renamed Work Projects Administration) accomplished in its lifetime, solely in construction activities :

-Nearly 644,000 miles of roads were constructed.

- More than 77,000 new bridges and viaducts were built and 45,000 others were reconditioned.

-A total of 285 new airports were built and more than 500 existing ones were enlarged or improved. Improvements included 700 miles of new runways and huge numbers of hangers and other buildings.

-About 16,000 miles of new water lines and 24,000 miles of storm and sanitary sewers were installed in communities and military bases.

-Some 122,000 public buildings were constructed or improved during the period, among them libraries, schools and hospitals.

Other construction work by WPA "shovel-leaners” included parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools, firebreaks, irrigation systems, dams, reservoirs and tunnels.

Among the “meaningless” WPA projects enjoyed by Americans today are the Philadelphia Art Museum, New York's Central Park Zoo and Chicago's waterfront.

Mention must also be made of the WPA's contribution to culture by giving employment to jobless painters, writers, actors and cinematographers. Not reducible to any statistics, however, is simply the morale boost which the WPA gave a stricken nation.

In accepting the final report of the WPA in December 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote:

“The Work Projects Administration has reached a creative hand into every county in the nation. It has added to the national wealth, has repaired the wastage of depression and has strengthened the country to bear the burden of war

It has brought to the people renewed hope and courage. It has maintained and increased their working skills; and it has enabled them once more to take their rightful places in public or in private employment .

“With the satisfaction of a good job well done and with a high sense of integrity, the Work Projects Administration has asked for and earned an honorable discharge."

How easily we forget.

The CHAIRMAN. Next, to present his statement, is the Honorable Mike McCormack from the State of Washington. Mr. McCormack.

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