The Center for Legislative Archives

Research Interview Notes of Richard F. Fenno, Jr. with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1959-1965



Interview Notes Index

Access to this interview is subject to the deed of gift of December 14, 1993.


Interview with Rep. Chet Holifield (D-CA)
March 1963
"There's a latent hostility to the committee. It's an obstructionist committee with regard to the projects that members want."

If you're a responsible legislator, you don't vote against appropriations. I can't vote for eighty billion dollars in expenditures and then vote against the appropriation."

"It's a hard work committee. It's working hour after hour with figures. There's no publicity on appropriations. It's all drugery and no romance."

He said with regard to a question as to whether the California Democrats want more seats he said that two seats are all California "is entitled to." He pointed out that they had one northern California seat and one southern California seat.

"It may not be expert pruning. But we all recognize that pruning has to be done. Otherwise, we'll be back to the time when the legislative committees did all the appropriating and we had no budget bureau."

It is interesting that he answered the question of fragmentation in the science field by saying that coordination occurs in the budgetary process, I have the feeling that a lot of people pass the coordination buck over to the appropriations process, Perhaps this is an important expectation which members of the House have in terms of the committee's job.
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