Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 999

25 million dollar increase from the House because through Quinn's and Dr. Dertis work and my friends we had put so much pressure through letter writing to people in the districts of Charlotte Reed and Michael that they felt, even these two Republicans felt, they had to do something to show they were interested in cancer research.

So with the additional money that Elmer Balist had urged Nixon to put into his budget, which was 20 million, and an additional 25 million, we had 45 million dollars more for cancer, or 227 million which we thought was doing pretty well compared with what we'd got in any one year recently.

Well, the whole health field Mike said to O'Hara he thought should have another 120 million dollars. O'Hara said, “You must be crazy, why would we be bothered to make a floor fight for such a small amount of money? It has to be for more than that.” What music to my ears!

So Mike went back and really got a sensible figure, which only included a little additional money for heart. Most of the money was for Hill-Burton and for medical manpower. He came back with a package of about 360 million dollars.

O'Hara and the Democratic Study Club but particularly dynamic O'Hara organized very carefully, with the help of Mike and some help from Luke Quinn but not much, to make a floor fight. That meant that they had a number of people prepared to make speeches on the floor -- Eddie Boland and Jates took the leadership, and had excellent speeches and were very impressive, and annoyed Congressman Flood and Congressman Mahan of Texas, chairman of the full Appropriations Committee of the House, very much by making a fight like this. It was the first time that any fight

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help