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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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I didn't know them. I had supported them because they were liberal Democrats and I wanted to support liberal Democrats. However, I did know Lyndon Johnson who was then the Majority Leader, so I paid him a visit on some other matter and asked if he'd go along with a citizens' budget of 478 million for fiscal '60. He looked at me, staggered, and said, “Isn't that too much money?” and I said, “Is it too much to stay alive?” He took a breath and said, “No. What do you want me to do?” I said, “Support Hill on the floor of the Senate when the bill is up.” He said, “I'll make a speech if you get me a draft. What else do you want?” I said, “I need to speak to some of the new Senators, Bird, Bible and McGee.” He turned to his secretary and said, “Get them in here.”

Within seconds, it seemed to me, they arrived one by one, first Senator Bible from Nevada. I had never laid eyes on him before. I sat in the office with Lyndon sitting at his desk and I was sitting at a long table, and Lyndon introduced me to him, and we were supposed to carry on business while Lyndon was talking on the phone. I explained to Bible what the needs for research and training of the National Institutes of Health were.

They had never heard of the whole subject. They found themselves in the office of the Majority Leader, and they were extremely agreeable and liberal-minded people to whom it sounded reasonable. So, all of them all agreed to go along at once. They were really, naturally, sympathetic, but the

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