Senators May Filibuster Draft Bill Despite Amendment Against War
Senator Mike Gavel (D-Alaska) said yesterday that he will filibuster any bill to extend the draft past the present law's June 30 expiration date.
Grayel's intention to filibuster may be complicated by the proposed attachment to any draft extension bill of a McGovern-Hatfield amendment. This announcement would prohibit the stationing of any U. S. troops in Southeast Asia after December, 1971.
Mark Schneider, a Kennedy legislative aid, does not foresee a split among antiwar Senators over a draft bill amended to end the war. "I'm almost sure Gravel will make a statesmanlike decision if the McGovern-Hatfield amendment is passed and decide not to filibuster," Schneider said yesterday, "and if he doesn't, he won't get more than one or two senators to filibuster with him."
Douglas Jones, a legislative aid in Gravel's office, said however that Gravel "is willing to go over the falls on this." Although Gravel agreed with antiwar Senators last Friday not to filibuster until the McGovern-Hatfield amendment has been discussed, he is, according to Jones, still committed to prohibiting the enactment of further draft legislation.
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Jones added that opposition to the draft is "picking up momentum in the Senate." Jones counts 13 Senators "who have taken an explicit position to end the draft" and "four or five" who have agreed to filibuster, including Senators Harold E. Hughes (D-Iowa), Vance Hartke (D-Ind.), Marlow W. Cooke (R-Ky.), and William Proxinire (D-Wis.).
An aide to Hartke said yesterday that "the Senator will participate in lengthy discussion. Now whether 'lengthy discussion' is any different from filibuster, I'm not sure."