Report on 87th Congress

by Rep. Morris K. Udall
(District 2)

Copyright 1961 by Arizona Frontiers.
Reprinted with permission from Arizona Frontiers, vol. 1, no. 6, December 1961, pp. 16-17.

From the lst session of the 87th Congress emerged 401 bills affecting all of us directly or indirectly.

In this and subsequent reports I'll discuss briefly some of the major legislative action. I've arbitrarily divided the issues into categories of "domestic," "foreign and defense," and "Arizona."

Here are some of the major domestic actions taken by Congress:


Provides $4.88 billion in loans and grants to cities, towns and rural areas for urban renewal, public housing, elderly housing, farm housing, college housing, community facilities, development of "open space" in cities, mass transportation, home improvement, housing for moderate-income families, and liberalizes FHA home mortgage insurance program . . . Allows guaranteeing of long-term loans for home fallout shelters . . . Last year in Arizona, the FHA guaranteed $171,103,000 worth of loans made by private lending institutions for the construction of homes and apartments and for improvements to existing structures.


Additional 13 weeks of benefits granted to unemployed workers . . . Arizona unemployed who had exhausted their regular benefits collected $1,129,159 in the period April through August . . . Unemployed railroad workers were also granted emergency benefits and payments in Arizona total $220,000 through September 30.


$394 million program of loans and grants designed to help city and rural areas of low income and/or chronic unemployment . . . After state and federal approval of an over-all program for economic development, loans and grants may be obtained to build new plants, refurbish existing ones, improve public facilities, pay workers being retrained, etc. . . . In Arizona, counties of Apache, Mohave and Navajo and Indian Reservations of Colorado River, Fort Apache, Gila River, Hopi, Navajo, Papago, San Carlos and Salt River have been designated rural redevelopment areas . . . Clarence Wesley, tribal chairman of the San Carlos Apaches, has been named to the National Public Advisory Committee on Area Redevelopment.


3,600,000 new employees, mostly in retail and service fields, brought under coverage of Fair Labor Standards Act . . . Act provides for overtime for hours worked beyond 40 weekly . . . Newly-covered employees due federal minimum wage of at least $1 an hour, going in steps in four years to $1.25 an hour . . . Workers previously covered by Act go to $1.15 now and $1.25 in two years . . . Immediate affect has been to raise nearly 2 million workers from $1 to $1.15 an hour and to increase pay of 663,000 retail workers up to $1 an hour.


For Presidential appointment of 73 new judges (10 circuit, 61 permanent district, 2 temporary district) . . . Arizona received one permanent district judge.


Authorized additional $11-1/2 billion to keep on schedule the 41,000 mile Interstate System and set new highway user taxes . . . Billboard control provision extended until July 7, 1963 . . . Arizona in 1960 fiscal year received $30-1/2 million of federal funds for all types of roads.


Extended program of VA home loan guarantees and direct loans for World War II veterans until July 25, 1957 and for Korean veterans until February 1, 1975 . . . Provides additional $1.2 billion for the direct home loan program . . . (Direct loans made by VA where private financing not available) . . . For year ending August 31, 1961, VA in Arizona guaranteed 2,803 loans worth $35,157,427 . . . Direct loans made for the same period totalled 129 worth $1,301,133.


Lowered optional retirement age for men from 65 to 62 (with reduced benefits) . . . Provides $780 million in new or increased benefits during the first 12 months to an estimated 4.4 million persons . . . Raised benefit from $33 to $40 . . . Increased widow's benefits by 10 per cent . . . Raised earnings ceiling for retired persons . . . Broadened insured status requirements . . . Increased federal share of state programs for needy aged, blind and disabled . . . Social Security payments of all kinds to Arizona last fiscal year totalled $76 million.


Broadened and extended act to June 30, 1967 . . . This is program of federal aid to communities for constructing waste treatment plants . . . Arizona cities received $631,687 last year and $822,320 so far this year . . . Biggest recipient in state: Phoenix whose five grants total $1,169,697 . . . Other communities which have received grants are Tucson (6), Pima County, Holbrook, Scottsdale (5), Clarkdale, Douglas, Oracle . . . Flagstaff has $82,300 request pending . . . Other communities expecting to request $1 million total this year include Kingman, Seligman, Payson, Superior, Mammoth, Tombstone, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Gila Bend, Bullhead City, Parker, Chandler, Globe-Miami, Yuma, Youngtown.


Program extended for three years . . . $225 million authorized for grants to states and localities for construction and improvement of airport facilities . . . In the 12 months ending last June 30, Arizona cities were granted a total of $1,125,727 in federal aid for their municipal airports . . . Phoenix received $573,252; Tucson, $475,688; Flagstaff, $65,758, and Chandler, $11,029 . . . Mesa request for $52,225 and Coolidge request for $1,889 were withdrawn by the communities.


Program of providing milk for underprivileged children extended until June 30, 1962 . . . Authorization raised from $95 million to $105 million . . . Agriculture Department in fiscal year 1960 spent $485,292 in Arizona for this program.


Attorney General received "package" of anti-crime legislation . . . Makes it unlawful to use wire communication facilities to transmit gambling information in interstate commerce . . . Outlaws interstate transportation of wagering paraphernalia such as numbers slips . . . Outlaws interstate travel or distribution of proceeds in connection with gambling, drug, prostitution or liquor operations that are in violation of federal or state law.


Securities and Exchange Commission directed to study adequacy of rules of national securities exchanges and associations so as to protect the average investor from fraudulent practices . . . $750,000 allotted . . . Report to Congress required by January 3, 1963.


Last update: December 22, 1998