tv Tip O Neill Elected Speaker of the House CSPAN January 3, 2015 8:12am-8:31am EST
that was a hallmark of his politics. >> ronald reagan was in the white house in 1985. what was happening in the house of representatives? >> his relationship with president reagan is really quite interesting. both irishmen. after hours, they could still be buddies after 6:00 and have a drink together but they were tooth and nail against one another. by 1985, tip o'neill had survived the reagan revolution of 1981 when reagan came into office and of course the senate went to republican in 1981. so it was very hard for the speaker to stop reagan policies even though many democrats wanted him to and he simply said, "i don't have the votes." so in the early years, the reagan agenda of cutting taxes and other programs went through without much trouble.
and even though tip o'neill had a majority of democrats in the house, there were always 40 or 50, sometimes 60 members of the democratic party that were conservatives who would frequently side with the minority. so tip o'neill didn't always control his own delegation. >> thank you, ray smock. and now, here's tip o'neill from 1985, on the opening day of the 99th congress. >> the 114th congress gavels in mr. doorkeeper. the house of representatives, speaker tip o'neill.
notable exceptions since the founding of this institution for the vanquished to present to the victor and i consider it a high privilege to condition in that privilege. may i make a few observations of my own? [laughter] may i express my profound thanks and appreciation to our republican congress for again honoring me and my family with their nomination for speaker of the house of representatives. [applause] unfortunately, mr. speaker as your presidential nominee well knows, it's one thing to be nominated, it's another thing to get elected. [laughter] obviously in this race, i was overwhelmed again by the numbers.
since this is the only time that i shall be in this lofty position during this congress with the possible exception of the day we adjourned this covers, let me say at the very outset, how pleased i am to see those 33 bright new republican faces out there. [applause] and let me also say to my democratic colleagues that i am fully cognizant of the fact that there are 71 more of you than there are of us. [applause] but now hearing that applause, i would urge you not to run roughshod over the minority. i think we have demonstrated in the past that as much as we dislike being fewer in number we can be very constructive in this house of representatives. [applause] it might be well for all of us
to keep in mind that there were nearly 73 million people who cast their votes for members of this body in contested elections around the country. of that total, there were only 40,000 more democratic votes cast than republican votes which suggests a much more evenly divided american sentiment out there then is actually represented[here by the numbers. applause] in this congress, like all the others, there will be times of serious confrontation and that is as it should be in a truly deliberative roddy were differences of opinion on the issues are expected to be thrashed out on their merits. there will be times of compromise but ultimately there has to be a coming together any meeting of minds to craft legislation that will eventually pass both houses of the congress. we in the minority party welcome
the opportunity to help move the process along and would urge you, mr. speaker as the presiding officer of this distinguished body, to do everything you can during this congress to make it happen. since you have said publicly that this is to be your last term serving in this body, it would be fitting -- it would be a fitting cap to your career to have the house complete its work at the end of this congress with accolades and showers of praise. you have it within your power mr. speaker, to help bring it about and we on the republican side of the aisle pledge our efforts to do likewise. finally, on a more personal note, may i congratulate you again on winning all three of your contest against your good friend bob michaels. if only we could have waged of this contest out there on the golf course, i think i could have made it. [laughter] ladies and gentlemen of the house come i have the pleasure of presenting to you that house
speaker, thomas p o'neill from the great commonwealth of massachusetts. [applause] thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> my fellow members, their families, friends, and guests and particularly my close personal friend, bob michael whom it is very wise of the republican party to present as their leader such an able and talented and respected individual. bob and i get along except in a
philosophical matter which we don't always agree or seldom agree. you have presented to this body is worthy a man as your candidate for the speakership. no question that bob gives me eight or 10 strokes on the golf course but the interesting thing is often times, his statistics get a little shady. but that's quite all right. we figure we want about 53% of the vote and i don't know where you got your totals from. [laughter] i'm deeply honored to be elected speaker of the house for the fifth time. at the conclusion of this session, i believe i will be longer -- i will have served
longer than any individual. in the gallery is my wife millie and some of my family and brothers and sons and some of my grandchildren. i oh so much to millie and the family through the years for their faithful support in my lifetime of politics. [applause] last november, my constituents in the eighth district of massachusetts chose me to represent them for the 17th time. i want to thank them for the
trust they have placed in me. the congress of the united states is the greatest legislature in the greatest nation on earth. the office of speaker is the highest elective state of office in our country. to serve as speaker is a very special honor which carries with it solemn responsibility. today, i promise you g that i willavel fairly, firmly, and was -- and with responsibility always respecting the rules and precedents of this house. once again, congress is convening its two houses controlled by two political parties. the founding fathers set up a system of checks and balances that makes passing laws a very difficult process under the best of circumstances and even more difficult when the control of the congress is divided between the parties.
before 1981, when these things occurred, this partisan division promoted legislative inaction and stalemate. this has not been the case for most issues considered during the 97th and 98 congresses. there were many legislative fights but there was almost always a decisive outcome. consequently, i will continue to do all i can to expedite the nation's business in this house for the next two years because the members of this house are elected every two years, we put a premium on action and results. we expect conflict but i hope that we will reject any obstructionism. i am prepared to work with the leadership of the other 40 the president of the united states bob michael and republican members of this house to try to reduce the deficit, reduce unemployment rates, and reduce
the threat of a nuclear war. as we meet today, there are many ambitious proposals to change the way we raise revenue for the federal government as well as to reduce the deficit. these proposals, i promise you, will receive a full and fair hearing in this house. it is clear that something must be done to restore confidence in the fairness of our tax system. in addition, american confidence about the future is being tried by an annual $200 billion budget deficit. we ran a bigger deficit one month last fall than we did during the entire year of 1979. these deficits as we know will not take care of themselves. it's up to the president and the congress to act upon them and to take care of them.
no doubt, the public will judge the success of this congress by our willingness to make the tough decisions to forget our fiscal -- to get our fiscal house in order. the latest economic figures seem to indicate that the recovery is continuing and that's good and welcome news. but these times are tough for final -- farmers and minorities in many blue-collar workers many banks are overextended and are businessmen are fighting a flood tide of fallen input. in the case of our farmers our direct involvement is inevitable. we have to reauthorize, during this congress, the farm bill. the case of the poor and unemployed is a matter of choice. i want them to know that here in the house, we will try to do all we can to ease their burdens and reduce their numbers over the next two years.
the poor in this country come in my opinion have already paid their share to reduce the budget. it's time we did our share to give them not only something to live for -- that is a real problem that we have here, giving the port something to live for. we begin this session of a new congress in a year with a renewed sense of hope that the upcoming discussions with the soviet union will lead to an arms control agreement which will reduce the risk of nuclear conflict and take us a step back from the abyss of nuclear holocaust. i want to make it clear that as speaker, i welcome these discussions and am prepared to be as helpful as i can to the president of the united states and the secretary of state in their quest for an arms control agreement. we begin our new term today and
the president will begin his new term and about two weeks from today. let me say that my party in the house and i want to work with him. we want to meet the great challenges that face this nation. of course, there will be disagreements. there always is in our two-party system. we all have a common love of this country and a respect for democracy. the founding fathers referred to the house during their deliberations. as the first branch they did so because it gave the people a direct share in the government by beginning a new every two years. and so it is today we begin a new. i hope that our actions will prove the correctness of thomas jefferson's observation that the government is founded not on the fears and follies of man but in his dreams. and in his reason. finally, i hope most of all that what we do here in this house
over the next two years will result in increasing the respect and appreciation of our constituents for this congress and our own government. i want to thank my democratic colleagues. they put my name five times in nomination. by of them a debt of thanks. i am deeply grateful to my democratic colleagues for the honor they have given me. may i thank the members of the house for the respect they have always treated this role of the speakership of the house. in conclusion, may i say with god's might, may we pray to him that he will give to us the reason, the judgment, the knowledge, the talent that he has given to this body all through the years that has been part and parcel of making our nation the greatest nation in the world. thank you all.
[applause] thank you. i am now ready to take the oath of office. as is the custom, i am delighted to see that the dean of the houses in the well and is ready to administer the oath. mr. speaker, will you raise your right hand? do you solemnly swear you will support and defend the constitution of united states against all enemies foreign and a mistake and that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any
mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that he will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do, thank you. [applause] i appreciate the minority leader h,i micahlea. [applause] that's an o'neill for you. i want to make this presentation. this is the gavel with which you