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Democrats Score Victory in Congress

Jan. 9, 1963 - The 88th Congress got under way today with an unexpectedly easy victory for President Kennedy (pictured with Senator Mike Mansfield) in the battle to block conservatives from regaining control of the House Rules Committee. By a roll call vote of 235-196, the House voted to keep the strategic committee permanently enlarged at 15 members and thus in the hands of administration backers. The victory margin for the Kennedy administration was far larger than two years ago when the committee was wrested from conservative control by just five votes. To President Kennedy, the hard-fought battle was a good omen on the opening day of a Congress that will span the last two years of his White House term and could have a big bearing on his 1964 re-election prospects. It will be a Congress that will be asked to pass a sweeping tax cut this year, act on what is expected to be the biggest federal budget in history, and again provide billions for defense, space exploration, foreign aid, and many other activities. Mr. Kennedy is expected to spell out his program Monday when he delivers his annual State of the Union message before a joint session of Congress.


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