The 1960’s and Civil Rights Legislation By Marcy James Sixties Expert!…Who Me???
The Essential Question : To determine what role bipartisanship played in establishing Civil Rights Legislation
Bipartisanship This word means “two party”. If a bill has bipartisan support, it means that both major political parties, Republicans and Democrats support it.
CongressLink Major Features of the Civil Rights Legislation of 1964 Link to CongressLink for many resources about the Civil Rights Legislation of 1964.
H.R. 7152 passed February 10, 1964 420 members voted ~ 290 support 130 opposed Republicans favored the bill 138 to 34 Democrats favored the bill 152 to 96 A bipartisan coalition of Republicans and northern Democrats was key to the bill’s success To pass the Senate, Republicans and Democrats would have to work together once more
The Bill is Introduced in the Senate To avoid the bill being delayed or pigeonholed, the bill is placed directly on the Senate calendar Senate floor debate began in March of 1964 Senator Hubert Humphrey led the pro-civil rights Democrats Senators Thomas Kuchel and Everett McKinley Dirksen led the pro-civil rights Republicans Senator Richard Russell led the opposition
Pro-Civil Rights Forces Take Action Everett Dirksen and Lyndon Johnson compare notes on the legislative agenda in January 1964. Hubert Humphrey is on the left; House Speaker Carl Albert is on the right.
“Sharp opinions have developed. Incredible allegations have been made. The mail volume has been heavy. The bill has provoked many long-distance phone calls, many of them late at night or in the small hours of the morning… thousands of people have come to the Capitol to urge immediate action…Telegrams, petitions, and letters all expressed the climate of opinion that shaped the legislative struggle and pressured Congress to act.”- Everett Dirksen The Dirksen Center Everett Dirksen
The Senate Debate As the debate began it became clear that opponents objected to two sections of the bill: The cut-off of federal funds to projects that discriminated against African Americans Fair employment practices enforcement *
Opposition Forces Filibuster A filibuster is a delaying tactic used in the Senate to prevent a vote on a bill or a resolution. As long as at least one Senator objects to cutting off the debate, the rules state it may continue. In this manner, a small group of Senators, or even a single Senator, could delay the business of the Senate with endless debate. During the long filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Senate stayed in session around the clock. Senators had to eat and sleep near the Senate chamber.
Pro Civil Rights Legislation Groups AFL-CIO- Labor Unions The National Council of Churches National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice National Jewish Community Relations Advisory council National Student Christian Federation Americans for Democratic Action Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom American Veteran’s Committee
Dirksen Strategies to Win Swing Votes Focused on a compromise to emphasize state responsibility for civil rights enforcement. Focused on keeping federal government intervention in local affairs at a minimum. Proposed 10 amendments to modify the bill assuring states primary jurisdiction over complaints about discrimination during a transition period before the federal government entered the picture. - Dirksen Center
Filibuster Immobilized Senate Filibuster continued into June Two hour speeches most common Dirksen remembered one 1500 page speech On May 13, Dirksen, Humphrey, Mansfield, and Kuchel proposed a compromise
The compromise made over 70 changes to H.R. 7152, most of them concerning wording and punctuation. The major change was to lessen the emphasis on federal enforcement in cases involving fair employment and public accommodations. The compromise allowed for a period of voluntary compliance before the U.S. Attorney General could act in discrimination suits.- Dirksen Center
The procedure used to cut off debate and end a filibuster is known as cloture. 16 Senators must file a petition to end the debate. Two days after the petition is filed, the Senate takes a vote to end the debate by limiting each Senator to one hour. With the filibuster at an end, the bill would be brought before the Senate for a vote On June 10, 1964, after an impassioned plea by Dirksen, the Senate voted 71 to 29 to end the Civil Rights filibuster. Cloture ended 57 days of debate. 44 Democrats and 27 Republicans supported cloture.
On June 19, 1964, the Senate voted by a 73 To 27 roll call vote. In all, the 1964 civil right Debate had lasted a total of 83 days, and had Taken up almost 3,000 pages in the Congressional record.
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