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June 18, 1981
Called Tip O’Neil—there is no question but that games are being played. The Dem. dominated Committees have put together their plans for implementing the Gramm-Latta bill. Some did alright but a number of them claimed savings by putting in unrealistic figures they knew would not hold up. For example one of them called for eliminating 1⁄3 of the P.O.’s in the U.S. Now they know we’d have to ask for replacement of those which means their claimed savings doesn’t exist. I called attn. to this one in the Tues. Press Conf. & the next day Pickle called a comm. meeting to change it & stated publicly it was because of my press conf.—in other words he confessed they’d been caught. Tip was blustery on the phone & accused me of not understanding the const.—separation of powers etc. I was asking only that he allow an amendment to be presented on the floor for correction of the phony comm. recommendations. He wont allow that of course. He is blocking our move to consolidate categorical grants into Block grants. Claims Cong. would be abdicating its responsibility. In truth Wash. has no business trying to dictate how States & local govts. will operate these programs. Tip is a solid New Dealer and still believes in reducing the states to admin. districts of the Fed. govt. He’s trying to gut our program because he believes in big spending.