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VIDEO - Was It Johnson ? - Part 3


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M:Interviewer, K:Katzenbach (LBJ Library Oral Collection)

M: Generally speaking, what was the result of that? Did you

find that the Vice-President had perhaps more executive

authority than had generally been thought?

K: Yes. At least it was our view that he was a member of the

Executive Branch with only this very narrow legislative

function, but there were no executive powers that would have

been improper for him to exercise. He really was a member

of the Executive Branch.

The other contact that I remember was a slightly more

amusing one, and this came fairly early. He'd sworn in a

couple of people and he just checked to make sure he had the

authority as Vice-President to swear people in, which he did

not have.

M: This was after the event that you checked on it?

K: So he said "Could you draft me something we could just stick

on as a slight rider on one of these bills down here to make

sure that I do have authority?"

We had advised him that it might be better if he did

not have authority, on the theory that a lot of people might

be asking to be sworn in by the Vice-President; but he

wanted it, so we got it for him legislatively, my

recollection is, after he had already sworn in some people.

As this was early (1961) of Katzenbachs appointment it might be interesting to know who the people Johnson had appointed

Edited by John Dolva
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