July-August 1966 White House Memos on House of Reps. Consideration of the DOT Bill
August 28, 2016 | ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
This is a PDF compilation of memos from the LBJ Library relating to the House of Representatives’ consideration of the bill creating a new U.S. Department of Transportation. This compilation includes:
- A July 29, 1966 memo from Commerce Secretary John Connor to White House domestic policy chief Joseph Califano, Jr. stating that “the only substantial opposition to the Department of Transportation bill is on part of members who are critical of the Merchant Marine policy and who want the Maritime Administration as a separate independent agency.”
- An August 10, 1966 memo to President Johnson from Bureau of the Budget Director Charles Schultze describing how legislation opposed by the Administration creating an independent Maritime Administration was gaining ground in the House and suggesting how to combat it. (Accompanied by an August 15 cover memo to Schultze from White House legislative affairs liaison Henry Wilson asking Schultze not to go around Wilson’s back.)
- An August 10, 1966 legislative analysis of proposed maritime amendments to the DOT bill in the House.
- An August 11, 1966 memo from Commerce Department legislative liaison Paul Southwick to Under Secretary for Transportation Alan Boyd describing the need for Vice President Humphrey to intervene on the maritime issue.
- An August 19, 1966 memo from Wilson discussing the need for the White House staff to start telephoning House members over the weekend to make sure they are on board before the bill comes up on the House floor.
- An August 19, 1966 memo from Joe Califano to Bill Moyers forwarding a fact sheet on the maritime issue to be used in lobbying.
- An August 23, 1966 memo from Califano to Speaker McCormack transmitting proposed compromise legislation on maritime issues.
- An August 27, 1966 set of memos relating to a labor issue raised in a last-minute amendment from Rep. Frank Horton (R-NY).
- An undated memo to President Johnson from around this time from Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz regarding a telegram sent by AFL-CIO head George Meaney to every House member the night before opposing the inclusion of maritime in a DOT.
- A memo to President Johnson from Califano dated 4:30 p.m. on August 30 notifying him that the House had passed the Garmatz amendment (removing the Maritime Administration from the purview of the proposed DOT) by a vote of 190 to 63.
- A memo sent by Califano to the President at 11:45 p.m. that evening explaining that though the just-passed House bill is weaker than the Senate bill vis-a-vis its exclusion of maritime from DOT, it is stronger than the Senate bill in many other ways, and that “The best of all possible worlds would be for the Senate to pass the House bill with the Maritime Administration included. At this stage, this is not in the cards.”