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. Otto E. Passman (D-LA)
June 1960
[At House Speaker Sam Rayburn's party for Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson--running for president.]

Passman regarding water lilies--one year later: "I said to them, 'Don't worry, don't worry. It's in the budget.' . . . We won by one vote. Mr. [Clarence] Cannon [D-MO, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee] has hardly spoken to me since. I wish I'd gotten rolled. . . . When you think of that man, being here fifty years, the parliamentarian of the House, the Chairman of the Committee, getting rolled by a country boy like me. That's rough. I wish I'd been rolled; but it got to be a personal matter. Mr. Cannon gets mad at you if you ever go against the Committee. He held the vote over from Friday till Tuesday, but I was working, too. What a fight!"

Spoke about a fellow congressman who asked him to boost a public works project for him in full Committee. "I'm not even on that subcommittee, but I'm on the full Committee. I just sat there looking down, and when the vote came, I voted with him. He mustered only four votes, and he got mad at every damned member of the Appropriations Committee. I tell you, if you stay around here long enough, you'll have every single member mad at you. You can't win on this Committee."
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