Box 7, Folder 8, Document 4

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata


NOTE: This is an interim report on follow-up to the June 10 Policy
Council meeting.


June 14, 1968

TO: Members of-the Policy-Council
FROM: John W. Gardner

SUBJECT: Meeting with House of Representatives Leadership,
June 11, 1968

Andrew Heiskell, Arthur Flemming, Clarence Mitchell
and I visited leading House members on June 11. We had
conversations with Speaker McCormack, Majority Leader
Carl Albert, Whip Hale Boggs, Appropriations Chairman
George Mahon, Minority Leader Gerald Ford, and Ways and
Means Chairman Wilbur Mills.

Although we talked about all of the various objectives
of the Coalition, we gave special emphasis to the desirability
of sparing the crucial urban programs in the $6 billion budget
cut. We also stressed the severe and very immediate need
for the 75 million dollars for the OEO summer job programs
and the 25 million dollars for Headstart.

We received the following reactions from the various
members of Congress:

The Speaker, Mr. Albert, Mr. Boggs. They did not wish
to make any cuts in the urban programs and hoped the Urban
Coalition would help them prévent such cuts. They offered hope
that, if the Republican leadership would go along, the 75
million dollars for jobs could be restored in the regular
supplemental budget. The Senate would have to add it.

They felt this could be done even though the President
has not requested it.

They told us that Congress will cut approximately three
billion dollars, leaving the rest to the President, and felt
that the President would have wide discretion to provide
funding for urban programs.

George Mahon. His attitude was quite negative. He
said that the Kerner report had cgntributed substantially
to the unrest, and furthermore, the country could not
buy its way out of riots. He felt that whatever was done
on the Hill would make no difference.

When we stressed the need for 75 million dollars for
the OEO summer job program, he responded that he had been told
by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be 40% percent
more jobs this year than last and that although this was
not the best situation, it was "pretty good". He did not
explain how the Budget Bureau arrived at its estimate.

Gerald Ford. Mr. Ford said Congress would cut around
three billion dollars and the rest would be left to the
President. He was somewhat optimistic about the 75 million
dollars for OEO summer jobs and stated that possibly this
could be accomplished. He stressed that it could be
accomplished far more easily, however, if the President
were to ask for it. He indicated that if it were to come
back from the Senate it was possible that it could be
sustained in conference.

Wilbur D. Mills. We had a long session with Mr. Mills
who stated unequivocally that the $6 billion could be cut
without touching any of the crucial programs for the cities
and the poor. He told us that Congress would cut around
three billion dollars and stated further that cuts would
be made in research and development and foreign aid.

He indicated that he favored the OEO program, and
at the same time said that it was in some trouble. The
request is 2.18 billion dollars and he stated that Congress
probably would appropriate two billion.

He said further that all new "starts" in public works
would be stopped. The highway program would continue; how-
ever, no new dams and other such public works projects would
be built. He said that the Bureau of the Budget and the
President agree with this.

In addition, he said that he believed the President
was fully aware of the need to provide full funding for
programs that affect urban areas.

public items show