Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks in the Chamber of the United States Senate

August 21, 1974

Mr. President, Senator Mansfield, Senator Scott, Members of the United States Senate:

I wanted to stop by today just to say hello to those with whom I had an opportunity to get better acquainted and to officially inaugurate Pennsylvania Avenue as a two-way street.

It is wonderful to be back in a chamber where so much of America's history for almost 200 years has been written, and, I say without any hesitation, one of the greatest experiences of my life was the privilege of presiding here, though for a relatively short period of time.

Although my tenure was quite short, I think it was long enough to convince me that the U.S. Senate is one of the greatest legislative bodies in the history of mankind.

I think in the days and months ahead all of us must draw upon the great traditions of the Senate. Our job, both in the legislative as well as the executive branch, is to restore the people's faith in the history and tradition of our American Government. No single man and no single woman can possibly do this all alone. It is a job for all of us working together to achieve.

As Governor Rockefeller said yesterday, we must deal with some very hard and somewhat harsh realities. We are not always going to be on the same side. It would not be America if we were. I do not think that really matters. It only matters if we end up by being on the best side for America from one State to another.

I would be very, very remiss if I did not express my appreciation for the Senate and the House going more than halfway on several measures of major importance in the last week or so.

I speak here specifically of the Cost of Living Council proposal, some actions taken on appropriation matters, the action on housing, the action on pension legislation, and the legislation affecting education.

I think what has taken place and transpired in these various proposals is indicative that we can march toward the center in achieving some good results for our country as a whole.

Now, I do not intend to talk specifically about any prospective legislation. I think I would probably be out of order, and I certainly shall respect the rules or traditions of the Senate in that regard.

As we go ahead, we must look not only at our problems at home but also at our problems abroad.

I believe we have a good team in the executive branch of the Government, and I can assure you that that team will be working with this team, the House and the Senate, in the months ahead.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 2:40 p.m. His remarks as printed above follow a text printed in the Congressional Record.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks in the Chamber of the United States Senate Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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