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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with David Pryor, June 13, 1974. Interview A-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Unrewarding membership in U.S. House of Representatives

Pryor describes the frustrating impotence of being one of 435 members of the House of Representatives. Representatives have little power until they become a committee chairman, he says, and until then, cannot shape legislation.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with David Pryor, June 13, 1974. Interview A-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

DAVID PRYOR:
Well, I think for example Edwin had the same problem I did in the US Congress. Several of us have. And that is the frustration of not being able to. . . . There's 435 people there and it's just a terribly frustrating experience. It would have been the year 2003, so said the computer, when I would have been chairman of the appropriations committee. And unless you are chairman, or chairman of a subcommittee at least you have very little voice in really shaping legislation. And I think it's just a very frustration experience for the impatient. And I'm impatient, Edwin was impatient. The only thing that got John Tunney out of the House of Representatives was not his great desire to be US Senator but I think his great desire to remove and extricate himself from the House of Representatives. Because it requires a special type of person who has great, long suffering perserverance to withstand what you go through there in the House.