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Enforcement and Administration:
EDITORS' NOTE: An amendment offered by Congressman Sikes (D., Fla.) would have limited the life of the EEOC to four years, running until September 30, 1968, instead of making it a permanent agency. The amendment was defeated by a division vote, 61 to 135.
AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. SIKES Mr. SIKES. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. SIKES: On page 71, line 15, after the word "Senate" strike out the remainder of line 15 and line 16 through 22; and, on page 72, on line 21, after the word "desirable" add a new sentence: "The Commission shall submit to the President and to the Congress a final and comprehensive report of its activities, findings, and recommendations not later than September 30, 1968.".
Mr. SIKES. Mr. Chairman, the Commission as set up in the bill is permanent. I seek simply to limit its life to 4 years. This was done to the Civil Rights Commission in this bill. The language which I propose is taken from present law. We have a precedent. It is logical to adopt the language. It gives the Congress and the Nation time to observe the operations and to determine the need for such a Commission.
For 30 years there have been efforts to foist an FEPC onto the American people. Periodically, it has been done but each time it has been short lived simply because it makes no sense and the American people do not want it. Now you try to slip it in the back door. You try to make it part of a catch-all bill which would reduce all American enterprise to a commissar-dictated shambles and all
American employees to a common dull level.
Surely you recall that the Russians tried this system. They threw it into the discard. It would not work even under a totalitarian system. You cannot, by law, make all men equal; mak everyone conform. It just will not work. But I will tell you what this bill would do. It would give the Russians their finest opportunity to pass us on all fronts-to take over world leadership. For under this bill as far as we can see into the future, we would be struggling with human discord and seeking to pass more bills in Congress to prop up a failing economic system which we ourselves had undermined by this foolish legislation.
When Khrushchev said he would bury the West, he probably had in mind a procedure just like this, by which America would destroy itself. But in his wildest dreams, I doubt that he envisioned our two major political parties scrambling for top hold on the shovel with which to dig the grave.
This bill would kill the American free enterprise system. The great industrial system which has been our pride is built on initiative. There can be no initiative where incentive is destroyed by incessant interference; where you dare not reward ability for fear you will be charged with discrimination, where you must employ not skill but one of every kind, class, religion, and color.
The entire section on FEPC should be stricken. Then at the very least, let us limit the term of the damage to 4 years. Let us not make something permanent of
which we may soon be very sick-possibly even after the next election.
Mr. GROSS. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. SIKES. I yield to the gentleman. Mr. GROSS. While I support the gentleman's amendment, I see no reason why we should have both a President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities and an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. One or the other ought to go. We are spending over a half million dollars each year on the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities. Yet, there is being created, as the gentleman points out, a permanent commission in this bill for, it must be, the same purpose, and at an additional cost to the already overburdened taxpayers of nearly $4 million. This is the worst kind of duplication and there is no way by which it can be justified.
Mr. CELLER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
Mr. Chairman, this amendment would limit the life of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to 4 years, namely, through 1968. This is not like the Civil Rights Commission which we have limited. The Civil Rights Commission is a factfinding commission to advise Congress and the Nation concerning discriminations on the basis of race, color, creed, or national origin. In title VII, the Commission envisioned is permanent.
It must be remembered that in the first place, the Commission does not fully go into operation until 1 year after enactment.
In the second year, it only applies to 100 employees.
In the third year, it only applies to 50 employees.
In the fourth year, it applies to 25 employees.
Thereafter, it applies to 25 employees. So in truth and in fact, the Commission hardly will get started before it goes out of existence if we adopt this amendment that has been offered by the gentleman from Florida. It just gets, as it were, underway and then, under this amendment, it would have to fold up.
I would say the adoption of this amendment would make the title VII and the establishment of this Commission a hollow shell.
Mr. Chairman, the amendment should be voted down.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CELLER. I yield to the gentleman.
Mr. ROOSEVELT. I just want to state very briefly that the provisions of this bill and this title of the bill in no way infringe on the right of an employer to reward people for their skill or for the excellence of their work.
It will be a clear aid to our very fine principle of free enterprise. There will be cost savings and much help given to communities so far as school dropouts, juvenile delinquency, and other matters are concerned. Instead of being a deterrent to our free enterprise system, it will be, indeed, a great aid.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. Chairman. will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CELLER. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. McCULLOCH. I rise in opposition to the amendment. It would not aid the legislation in any manner.
Mr. Chairman, will the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary yield to the gentleman from New York [Mr. LINDSAY], who has made a particular study of this subject?
I plan to do so. Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. CELLER. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
Mr. GROSS. So far as the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee is concerned, there are no holds barred. They go all over the landscape into every facet of employment in this Government.
Mr. GROSS. Let me say to the gentleman that I happen to be a member of the Subcommittee on Manpower Utilization of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service. I say to the gentleman that the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee activities go far beyond Government contracts. We have investigated the operation of this Committee. The gentleman is not factual when he makes that statement.
Mr. GOODELL. That is the basis for the Committee.
The Commission in this bill, at any rate, is to operate far beyond that purview. The scope of the Commission is to cover all employers affecting interstate commerce who have more than 100 employees the first year and thereafter down to those with 25 or more employees.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman from Iowa yield?
Mr. GROSS. Yes. The gentleman from Iowa is not looking for a Federal judgeship. I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. LINDSAY. Mr. Chairman, I demand the regular order.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. ChairmanThe CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Iowa yielded to the gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. McCULLOCH. Mr. Chairman, I wish to say to the gentleman from Iowa that one of the main reasons for providing for the Commission in the legislation was to give the Commission legislative stature. The Committee of which the gentleman has spoken is a Presidential Committee under an Executive order.
It was the well nigh unanimous, if not unanimous, decision of the subcommittee that that was the compelling reason for the legislation.
Mr. SIKES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield to me?
Mr. McCULLOCH. I have not finished on the point.
Mr. GROSS. I will yield to the gentleman from Florida.
Mr. SIKES. It appears you have struck the opposition where the hair is short. As is so often the case, the gentleman from Iowa is right. With two tables full of experts here in the Chamber scrambling to find an answer to a very simple question, nobody has been able to come up with one which possesses either logic or fact.
It appears pretty obvious there will be under this bill a double layer of officialdom meddling in everybody's business throughout the country. There will be two Commissions-at double costcompeting for priority.
Mr. GROSS. The gentleman is exactly right.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida | Mr. SIKES).
The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. SIKES) there were-ayes 86, noes 131.
So the amendment was rejected.