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TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 1974
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:50 a.m., in room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (chairman) presiding.
Present: Representatives Rodino (presiding), Donohue, Brooks, Kastenmeier, Edwards, Hungate, Conyers, Eilberg, Waldie, Flowers, Mann, Sarbanes, Seiberling, Danielson, Drinan, Rangel, Jordan, Thornton, Holtzman, Owens, Mezvinsky, Hutchinson, McClory, Smith, Sandman, Railsback, Wiggins, Dennis, Fish, Mayne, Hogan, Butler, Cohen, Lott, Froehlich, Moorhead, Maraziti, and Latta.
Impeachment inquiry staff present: John Doar, special counsel; Albert E. Jenner, Jr., special counsel to the minority; Samuel Garrison III, deputy minority counsel; Robert J. Trainor, counsel.
Committee staff present : Jerome M. Zeifman, general counsel; Garner J. Cline, associate general counsel; and Franklin G. Polk, associate counsel.
The CHAIRMAN. We will come to order and the photographers and other live media will please leave the room. I recognize the gentleman from Iowa, Mr. Mayne.
Mr. MAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a resolution at the desk which I would ask that the staff read.
The CHAIRMAN. The clerk will please read the resolution.
The CLERK (reading]: Resolution by Mr. Mayne :
Resolved that the committee staff prepare a subpena directed to the Clerk of the House of Representatives ordering him to make available to the staff for inspection and copying all records in his custody pertaining to campaign contributions received from the Trust of Political Education, Agricultural and Dairy Education Political Trust, and Trust for Special Political Agricultural Community Education during 1970, 1971, and prior to April 7, in 1972 by Members of the House who sponsored legislation during the spring of 1971 prior to March 25, to increase the milk support level to at least 85 percent of parity or who wrote, wired, or otherwise urged the Department of Agriculture or White House during the spring of 1971 prior to March 25, to so increase the milk support level.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Iowa.
This resolution is made necessary by the fact that the Clerk of the House--as I have been informed by the chairman-has refused to make available to the committee staff any records of campaign contributions from the three milk funds, TAPE, ADEPT, and SPACE for the period prior to April 7.
I believe that this is information which is relevant to our inquiry and should be obtained by subpena to the Clerk.
Mr. DANIELSON. Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman?
Mr. DANIELSON. Mr. Chairman, I raise a point of order on the motion offered by the gentleman from Iowa, Mr. Mayne. Although it is an item listed on the agenda for today, I raise a point of order that it is not germane to the inquiry. We are operating under H. Res. 803, which authorizes this committee to investigate matters pertaining to the President of the United States. And the Clerk, under that resolution, would have no authority whatever to honor a request of this committee for materials pertaining to Members of Congress.
If we are proceeding under the authority of the House under H. Res. 803—which we are—and that is, in fact, our authority, then the gentleman's motion is not germane.
Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman?
Mr. HUTCHINSON. I make the point of order that the point of order comes too late. The Chair asked that the resolution be read, and then he recognized Mr. Mayne for discussion; that is to say, debate, and under the rules of the House, in order for a point of order to lie, that point of order shall have been reserved before Mr. Mayne was recognized
Mr. DANIELSON. Well, Mr. Chairman, I was seeking to obtain the microphone, but somehow or other the electronics here are faulty, and I could not get the microphone until I did.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair might advise the gentleman from Michigan that the point of order would, under normal circumstances, be sustained, but the gentleman from California had advised me, and the gentleman from Iowa understood the point of order was going to be raised. And I did notice that the gentleman from California was attempting to get the mike, and was unable to do so. And so I would
Mr. HUTCHINSON. It would seem to me under those circumstances, Mr. Chairman, the chairman should immediately recognize the gentleman from California before he recognized the gentleman from Iowa, because as I say, certainly under every precedent of the House that I know anything about, the procedures of the House are very clear that under these circumstances the Speaker would rule that the point of order came too late.
Mr. DANIELSON. Mr. Chairman, I wish to respond in addition to my previously well-founded objection, I would like to point out that the resolution by Mr. Mayne, the gentleman from Iowa, had not been distributed, at least not to me, at the time I raised my point of order. Therefore, of course, I was without sufficient data to make it as precisely as is my custom.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, if the
The CHAIRMAN. If the gentleman insists, does the gentleman from Michigan insist on the point of order to the point of order?
Mr. HUTCHINSON. I do.
Mr. BROOKS. Would the gentleman yield just a moment? Might I suggest to my distinguished friend from California that if they do not want you to withhold your point of order until they have had an opportunity to discuss this rather foolish proposal, why don't you just make a motion to lay on the table the proposal of the gentleman from Iowa, and we will cease debate. We will vote on it right now and we will get on with the business of this committee.
Mr. DANIELSON. Well, my distinguished colleague from Texas, Mr. Brooks, has, as usual, raised an excellent point. And if the Chair will recognize me for the purpose, I do now make a motion to lay on the table the resolution of Mr. Mayne of Iowa.
Mr. BROOKS. Yes.
Mr. MAYNE. I ask for a record vote. If we are going to have that kind of a gag rule here, and a coverup, it will be a record vote and it may be funny to the gentleman from California, but it is not funny to the people of America to have these milk funds hidden except as to the President of the United States.
Mr. BROOKS. Regular order, Mr. Chairman. The question is on the motion.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the motion.
The Chair would like to state, however, before putting the question, that the Chair was prepared to recognize the gentleman after the gentleman from California would have reserved his point of order, for the purpose of having the gentleman from Iowa make his explanatory statement, and the Chair would have advised him accordingly.
But, in view of the fact that the gentleman from Michigan has insisted on the point of order, we will put the question on the motion to table.
And the question is on the motion to table, and all those in favor of the motion to table, please say aye.
[Chorus of “ayes."]
The CHAIRMAN. A record vote is demanded and the clerk will call the roll. All those in favor of the motion to table, please say aye; all those opposed, no.
Mr. MAYNE. I asked for a rollcall.
The CLERK. Mr. Waldie.
No response. 1
The CLERK. Fifteen members have voted aye, 21 members have voted no.
The CHAIRMAN. And the motion to table is not agreed to. The gentleman from Iowa.
Mr. MAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for recognizing me to be heard on this point of order which I believe is now before the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. No, no. The motion of the gentleman is before us now.
Mr. MAYNE. How much time am I allotted, Mr. Chairman?
I think it is most unfortunate that an attempt should have been made to keep important and relevant evidence of milk fund payments from the record through the device of a point of order. This matter clearly deserves consideration on its merits.
The initial presentation of evidence by the staff shows that during the week before the President made the decision to raise the level of the milk support from 79 to 85 percent of parity, he was under intense pressure from Members of the House and Senate to do exactly that; 154 Congressmen and Senators introduced bills to mandate a support level of at least 85 percent of parity; 139 Congressmen and Senators wrote, telephoned or made personal calls to the Department of Agriculture or White House in support of such an increase.
It is indispensable to any fair and objective conduct of this inquiry that the committee have before it for its consideration all relevant evidence having a bearing on what may have motivated the President to make the decision to raise the support level, and also what may have motivated those members of the Congress who were urging him to do so.
The staff's presentation adequately presents evidence of campaign contributions made to the Committee for the Reelection of the President, but the committee does not yet have before it the best evidence