November 3, 1969 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE s 13571
TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, what
I am about to say is for the record. The
proposed reform of the draft law is one
of the most important social measures
to be considered by the 91st Congress.
It affects the lives of the youth of our
Nation. Many Senators have devoted
much effort to devise proposals to remove
the great inequities in the present system.
These proposals wlll be considered
!n the Senate when the Senate considers
changing the draft laws. The Senate
rules grant that prerogative to each
Senator on every measure to come before
the senate. This draft reform proposal
.should not be considered as being any
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 45, Folder 25, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
s 13572 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-- SENATE No11eml>ei' :J, 1909
The Senate Democratic leaders should
think again about their decision to block the
administration's proposal tor limited draft
reform. They should reconsider--e.nd they
should follow the lead of the Houae which
approved the measure 382 to lS.
There Is no doubt about the leadership's
abi11ty to bottle up the legislation. It Senator
Mansfield says It will not move this year,
It wm not move. There must be a strong
temptation to use this simple means to embarrasa
the administration. But it Is a temptation
that should be resis ted.
The leadership's arguments in favor of
procrastination are not very persuasive. The
l1mited measure, which would permit the use
of lottery procedure In the dra.tt, was attacked
by Senator Kennedy as a fraud on
the young because it would not cure all the
ills of the present system. Mansfield argued
that action Is Impossible In this session because
there Is no time to reconclle the struggle
between those who favor the adm1ni&tcation
move and those who want tar-reaching
reform of the draft Jaws.
No one in the administration has arg
that the plan to pick 19-yea.r-olds first er
a lottery system is a cure for all the equities
of the draft. No one has pr._ted the
proposed amendment to the pr.e&ent law,
which would remove the prohl'bivlon against
a lottery, 86 an alternative to further sweeping
reform in the next session of Oongress.
It Is not ~n el~her-or situation. The
amendment should be passed now so that
the most glaring !neqult!ee in the present
law can be promptly eliminated. Then Congress
should start the len~hy and complex
debate on over-o.ll reform.
The siren son~t of easy pol!tical cain is always
a strong temptation. But in thiS case
the apparent advantage may be wholly !llusory.
It is quite possible that the young
voters-to-be w111 remember just whp it was
that blocked the way when a measure or
relief was in sight, and w111 Mt acoordingly.
[From the Boston Globe, Nov. 1, 1969]
MANSFIELD Ell !IS ON DRAFT LAw
An able and good man ii Senate Majority
Leader Mike Mansfield. The Montana Democrat
has erred, however, In his refusal to let
the Senate take up proposa.le to a.m.end the
draft law at thiS session of Ooni:TeSll. Pre<>ident
Nixon Ia on the side of the angels in
urging him to reconsider. He should.
The Mans1leld argument, In which he 1S
joined by Senate Armed Sen1ces Oonunittee
Chairman John C. Stennl& a.nd others, li
that If the draft law were to be called up
tor ftoor debate now, so ma.ny a.m.endments
would be offered that the Senate would have
little time tor anything else. But merely because
a Jaw is so outrageously defective that
major repairs are required !8 no reason for
Jetting it stand as is. It 1S a reason for retting
to work. ·
To remedy one major defect of lhe law, the
Senate neede but accept one simple a.menti.ment
already approved by the House. This is
a one-liner striking out of the 19i7 law a
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