Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jonathan R. Winkler, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Kathryn B. Meyer, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Paul Douglas Lockhart, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


On June 26, 1973, Congress passed a supplemental appropriations bill that included a rider that immediately cutoff the use of U.S. funds for U.S. combat activities in Cambodia or Laos. President Nixon vetoed this bill and the House failed to override the veto. Nixon and Congress negotiated a “compromise” under which the cutoff did not take effect until August 15, 1973 and applied also to Vietnam. This thesis concerns the reasons that Congress passed this revised rider, that Congress expanded the rider to Vietnam, and that Nixon signed the revised rider. Changed circumstances (such as the Vietnam Peace Accords) helped Congress pass the rider. Nixon counselor Mel Laird and House Republican leader Gerald Ford took actions that facilitated Congress adding Vietnam to the rider and that compelled Nixon to sign the rider. Sources reviewed for this thesis include Congressional sources, executive branch sources, memoirs, oral histories, and secondary sources.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of History

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

History Commons