Box 22, Folder 17, Document 15

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Box 22, Folder 17, Document 15

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Woshington, D: C.; Friday, "November 18, 196 x


2 huis ey Te

GOP Bares Economic Plan

Star Staff Writer
Rep. Melvin R. Laird, chair-
man of the House Republican
Conference, has unveiled the

rincipal economic provision
GOP "Sialeoi-the

"message, which the
newly revived minority party
plans to repeat—January.

He expounded at length on a
federal-state_tax-sharing plan
which.cas_originally pushed
by Walter Heller, who served
both the New Frontier and the
Great Society as chairman of
the President's Council of
Economic Advisers,

Congressional Republicans
are putting a major effort into
their minority declaration this
year, With 47 new House
members and a brilliant array
of new faces in the Seriate,
they hope their “State of the
Union” which was somewhat
facetiously received in 1966,
will be taken seriously in 1957.

Laird told the press he
thinks the real action in the
coming year will be in the
House, where the swelling of
Republican ranks means that
some of the legislative goals
might actually be accom-

In drafting the “State of the
Union,” the views of the newly
elected governors and legisla-
tors will be consulted, but
Laird said he hoped the House
Republicans “would not get
involved in presidential poli-

He and House Minority
Leader Gerald E. Ford al-
ready are involved to some
extent, since they raised the

money to finance the highly |

successful 30-staet campaign
tour of Richard M. Nixon.

They sought and received
clearance from Ford's gover-
nor, George W. Romney, the
leading contender. They said
they were working not for the
candidacy of Nixon but for the
congressmen whom he was

Fe The drafters of the “State of
the Union” paper foresee little
difficulty with the domestic
proposals. The Republican
governors went on record in
July 1965 in favor of the tax-
sharing scheme,

|. But if Senate Minority
Leader Everett M. Dirksen

reserves for himself the right
to speak again on foreign
policy, as. he did in 1965, the
Republicans will find them-
selves in difficulties.

. Dirksen pleased neither
hawks nor doves of his party
with his previous declaration.
He will again fail the hard-
liners like Nixon and Rep.
Ford, who favor increased air
and sea power use and the
soft-liners, like Sen.-elect
Charles H. Percy of Illinois
and Sen.-elect Mark O. Hat-
field of Oregon, who empha-
size negotiation.

The Senate minority leader
is a law unto himself, and
none of the technicians in the
House leadership can appeal
to him to shape his views to

Dirksen’s thinking on loyal

opposition were formed during ~
the Eisenhower years, when ©
the then Senate Minority -
Leader Lyndon B. Johnson
took the position that partisan

differences stopped at the
water's edge, -
The rule was observed,

except in 1954 when Johnson,
in concert with several other
Democrats, took exception to
the Eisenhower policies in
Viet Nam. :
Dirksen initially made a few
noises about Viet Nam last
year, but refused the language

‘provided him by the Joint

Minority Conference and went
all the way with LBJ in his
portion of the “State of the

. Union.”

Romney is both vulnerable
and defensive on foreign
policy, He revealed in his first
post-election national televi-
sion appearance Sunday that
he not only has no position but
no views he dares express.

It is this weakness that may
prove to be the opportunity of
48-year-old Sen.-elect Percy,
who proposed the all-Asia
peace conference, which he |
insists, despite the presiden-
tial trip to Manila, has never
occurred. \

Percy makes no secret to
fellow Republicans of his
feeling that he is far more
informed on questions of war
and peace than the governor
of Michigan.

He has one other advantage
over Romney. He supported
his party's nominee in 1964
and Romney did not, a cir-
cumstance for which the
Goldwater wing of the party
has not yet forgiven him.

If Percy—no matter what

- Dirksen says in the ‘‘State of

the Union’ message—forges
out. a peace position, then it
could mean problems, not only

‘for Romney, but for President

Johnson as well in 1968,

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