- Historic Sites
The “down” Years 1972-74
A Senator’s View
August 1976 | Volume 27, Issue 5
This was one occasion where I had to rely upon the advice of some of my colleagues who are versed in the law. Our constituency at home would probably be amazed to learn how little we members of the Senate know about the fine points of some highly specialized legislation which we pass upon. It has always been like this. And so we simply have to depend on the expertise of someone well versed in the proposals that come before us.
Congress is still working to get back all the excess authority which has been given to the executive branch over the last forty years. I am virtually certain that if the Congress has its way, it will not only recover all of the powers which have been so recklessly handed over to the Executive, but will also insist on authority which never belonged to it in the first place. The changes in our government likely to take place over the next few years are hardly predictable at this time, but I am certain that they will be far-reaching.
Freshman Democrats in the House, apparently feeling their oats, have decided to take over and run things their way. Of course they have an exceptionally large freshman class and, like other newcomers, seem to feel that seniority is wrong. Sometimes they are right, but when they have been re-elected a few times they will find the seniority system is fine. Personally I have never found experience to be a handicap in my work.
Early Friday evening the Senate adjourned sine die. When the Ninety-fourth Congress convenes on January 14, there will be eleven new members of the Senate and some ninetytwo new members of the House. A lot of folks seem to think that they will be pretty wild-eyed and radical and [will] insist upon removing the senior members of the Congress from important positions. I have seen this happen so many times that I am not particularly worried.
I am very glad to be winding up my own senatorial career with the successful completion of nearly every project with which I have been substantially involved. There have been a lot of eulogies for departing members of the Senate spoken on the floor. Perhaps I should not call them eulogies, for I hope that leaving the Senate will not mean the end of my career. About seventy members of the Senate took time to speak of the work I have done and the position which L.P. A. and I hold with the people of Washington, particularly those with whom we have worked.
Going back to Vermont will not be as difficult as they seem to think it ought to be.