Box 22, Folder 17, Document 15

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Box 22, Folder 17, Document 15

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Washin.gtcin, b: c:; Frldoy/ Novem6rir .i8, 1966
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- - - - - - - P O I N T OF V I E V I - - - - - - -
GOP Bg]res
Star Staff Writer
Rep. 1\11elvin R. Laird, chairman of the House Republican
- Conference, has unveiled the
Union" message, which the
_newly revivetrminority party
plans to repeat-January.
He expounded at length on a
federal-state tax2 h,l)~inf-n!an
~ ~ginallv pushed
bVTvafter1'ieller. wno ser ved
noTFi Tue New r."7cinticr and the
Great Society as chairman of
the President's Council of
Econom"ic Advisers.
Congressional Republicans
are putting a major effort into
their minority declaration this
year. With 47 new House
' members and a brilliant array
of new faces in the Seriate,
they hope their "State of the
Union" which was somewhat
facetiou_sly received i!i 1966,
will be taken seriously in 1957.
Laird told the press he
thinks the real action in the
coming year will be in the
House, where the swelling of
R epublican ranks means that
some of the legislative goals
might actually _be accomplished.
Jn drafting the "State of the
Union," the views of the newly
elected governors a·nd legislators will be consulted, but
L aird said he hoped the House
Republicans "would not get
involved in presidential politics."
He and House Minority
Leader Gerald E . Ford alr eady are involved to some
extent, since they ; ·aised the
money to fin ance the highly
·successful 30-staet campaign
tour of Richard M. Nixon.
They sought and received
clearaz:ice from Ford's governor, George W. Romney, the
leading contender. They said
they were working not for the
candidacy of Nixon but for the
congr essmen whom he was
The drafters of the "State of
the Union" paper foresee little
difficulty with the domestic
proposals. The Republican
governors went on record in
July 1965 in favor of the taxsharing scheme.
But if .Senate Min;rity
Leader Everet t M. Dirksen
EconoR~uic Plan·
opposition were formed during ,
reserves for himself the right
to speak again on foreign the Eisenhower years, when ·
the then· Senate Minority ·
policy, as- he did in 1965, the
Republicans will find them- Leader Lyndorr B. Johnson ·
took the position that partisan·
selves in difficulties.
differences stopped at the
, Dirksen pleased neither
ha_wks nor doves of his party water's edge.
with his previous declaration.
The rule was observed,
He will again fail the hardexcept in 1954 when Johnson,
liners like Nixon and Rep.
in concert with several other
Ford, who favor increased air Democrats, took exceptio.n to
and sea power use and the
the Eisenhower policies in
like Sen.-elect Viet Nam.
Charles H. Percy of Illinois
Dirksen initially made a few
and Sen.-elect Mark 0. Hat- noises about Viet Nam last
field of Oregon, who empha- · year, but refused the _langua ge
size negotiation.
, provided him by the Joint
The Senate minority leader Minority Conference and went
is a law unto himself, and
all the way with LBJ in his
none of the technicians in the
portion ot the ·'State of the
House leadership can appeal . Union."
to him to shape his views to
Romney is botll vulnerable
and defensive on for eign
Dirksen's thinl-:ing on loyal policy. He r evealed in his first
post-election national television appearance s~mday that
he not only has no position but
no views he dares express.
It is this weakness that may
prove to be the opportun ity of
48-year-olcl Sen.-elect P ercy,
who proposed the all-Asia
peace conference, which he _
insists, despite the presidential trip to i\'Ianila, has never
· Percy makes no secret to
fello w Republicans of his
feelin g that he is far more
informed on quesliohs of war
and peace than the governor
of Michigan.
He has one other adva ntage
over Romn ey. He supported
his party's nomi nee in 1964
and Romney did not, a circumstance for which the
. Goldwater wing of the par ty
has not yet for given him.
If P ercy- no matter what
. Dirksen s ays in the " State of .
the Union" message-forges
out. a peace position, then it
could mean problems, not only
· for Rom ney, but for President
J ohnson as ,1·ell in 1968.

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