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House Speaker John W. McCormack gave 18 Harvard Young Democrats a generally optimistic picture of the prospects for the Kennedy legislative program during a 45-minute meeting in his Washington office Friday.
Gesturing vigorously with a long cigar in his right hand, the Speaker predicted passage of Kennedy's trade expansion bill. He also repeated his pledge to vote for an aid to education bill even if it does not offer assistance to parochial schools.
McCormack delivered a hard sell for the trade bill which he called "frightfully necessary." In an elaborate analysis he compared the legislation to the Marshall Plan both in historical significance and importance to the national interest of the United States.
Despite reports of a rift with President Kennedy, McCormack warmly praised the legislative record of the New Frontier. The discussion with the Young Democrats ended when a McCormack aide announced "Larry O'Brien is here from the White House." O'Brien, who is Kennedy's chief Haison man with Congress, shook hands with members of the YDCHR group. Then, he and McCormack withdrew for a huddle.
Farlier, Rep. Richard Bolling (D-Mo.) told the Young Democrats that McCormack was "one of the dukes" that run the House and does not have the great personal power which the late Sam Rayburn acquired because of his long tenure.
Asked about a McCormack-backed plan to add three seats to the House, Bolling replied, "I'm from Missouri." Missouri is one of three states that would lose one less Congressman if the expansion plan were adopted. The others are Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
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