1961-1963 John F. Kennedy was president during this time period and we were under Democratic leadership. Kennedy’s first year in office brought him considerable success in enacting new legislation. Congress passed a major housing bill, a law increasing the minimum wage, and a bill granting federal aid to economically depressed areas of the United States. The most original piece of legislation Kennedy put through Congress was the bill creating the Peace Corps, an agency that trained American volunteers to perform social and humanitarian services overseas. The goal of the Peace Corps was to promote world peace and friendship with developing nations. However, after his initial success with Congress, Kennedy found it harder and harder to get his programs passed into law. Although the Democrats held a majority in both houses, Southern Democrats joined with conservative Republicans to stop legislation that they did not like. The Medicare bill was defeated, a civil rights bill and a bill to cut taxes were debated. Kennedy wanted economist Robert C. Weaver to be the new secretary but this nomination was poorly received from Southern Congressman and representatives from mostly rural areas because weaver was a black man. Kennedy did win approval of a bill to lower tariffs allowing more competitive American trade abroad. Congress also authorized the purchase of $100 million in United Nations bonds, and the money made it possible for the international organization to survive financial crisis. The House Ways and Means Committee put off action on Kennedy’s revision of the tax laws in 1961. Kennedy sent a message to Congress proposing various tax law reforms, some of them were also requested by former President Eisenhower. These tax adjustments were supposedly the first step to constructive reform. He would then send Congress a comprehensive tax reform program aiming to reverse the trend to preferential treatment of various…
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