July 18, 1969 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENA l'J(
THE SURTAX EXTENSION AND TAX
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. P resident, the
Finance Committee overrode the judgment
of its own chairman. Senator LoNG,
in voting out the House bill on surtax
extension at this time; the action was
regrettable, even though the committee
was within its rights in doing so, because
Senator LoNG was seeking a way
to break through the impasse which had
On top of that, the tax extension came
out by a seriously split vote of 9 to 8,
without hearings; yet, this is a most controversial
bill which passed the House
by only a handful of votes.
Insofar as the leadership is concerned.
it has no intention of calling the surtax
extension up at this time In this context;
under the rules. however, any
Member of the Senate is at liberty to do
so by a simple motion which. of course, is
It should be noted that an attempt to
call up the surtax measm c and make it
the pending business will be at the expense
of consideration of the vit.al!y important
military procurement authorization
bill which is now before the
There may well be a prolonged discussion
of the question of displacing
military construction as the pending
business and taking up the surtax measure
at this time. The question is procedural,
and every hour spent on it wlll be
an hour wasted insofar as considering
the substance of either issue is concerned.
If the Senate votes to take up thE' surtax
extension in preference to continuing
on military construction, what then?
Amendment after amendment can be
offered, debated, and tacked on to the
surtax extension-reform A.mendments.
special Interest amendments. exemption
amendment.~ and what-not amendments--
until, as I have said on many
occasions, the bill Is an overloaded
After that there are two alternatives:
send the bill back to the Finance Committee
to lop off the decorations and
start all over again or forward it, packed
with goodies, to conference with the
House. In conference, the process of reducing
the bill once again to reality will
get underway, the process of undressing
the Christmas tree will begin. How long
it will take is anyone's guess.
If the measure comes out of conference
stripped to the bare essentials, it
will be in jeopardy in the House, where
it passed in that form on the first roLmd
by only the skin of its teeth.
A stripped-down conference report,
moreover, will also be in jeopardy in the
Senate, where a very serious determinat
ion exists--as evidenced by the unanimous
decision of the Democratic policy
committee--thai reform in the direction
of more equitable taxation for Americans
of moderate and lower inr.omes Is
no less significant to the pconom1c l!calLh
of this Nation than continuing the burdens
of the surtax extension which also
fall heaviest on these groups.
What started out, therefore, as an understandable
effort on the pari o! the
Finance Committee to hasten the extension
of the surtax may well end up
w1thout any extension at all, along with
a long delay in the military procurement
authorization bill, and with uncertainty
for many weeks for the Nation's economy.
What may well come out of this
action, in short, would be an exercise in
futility or, worse, in legislative mischief.
Whether to move this bill now in the
context in which it has emerged from
committee is a judgment which rests
with the Senate. In my judgment, however,
it will hurt American wage earners
and salaried employees, it will hurt the
Senate, it will hurt the President, and it
will hurt the Nation.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 45, Folder 4, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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