Staff Memos-Spencer Smith, 1979 - 1980
- 1979 - 1980
Scope and Contents
The formation of the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee (DSPC) was one of several reforms suggested by the Hansen Committee in 1973 as a response to "perceived inefficiency in congressional performance." The committee was created within the Democratic Caucus to serve as a leadership forum for considering and promoting party policy, especially legislative priorities. It is commonly considered a "leadership dominated" committee whose membership indudes the Speaker, Majority Leader, Majority Whip, Chairman of the National Democratic Campaign Committee and other top party and committee leaders.
The majority of the information in these files was generated by the DSPC staff. By far the largest amount of material in these holdings are in Sub-Subseries 1. Jack Lew's Files (1973-1987). Jack Lew served as a Legislative Analyst on the DSPC from 1980 to 1985. In 1986, he succeeded Ari Weiss as Executive Director. Sub-Subseries 2. Malcolm Russell's Files (1975-1980) contain background material that predates his tenure as a researcher with the DSPC in 1980. Sally Ericsson worked as a Legislative Analyst on the DSPC staff from 1983 to 1986, though her files span a greater time range (1975-1987); her files are found in Sub-Subseries 3. Ari Weiss served as Executive Director of the DSPC staff from 1979 to 1985. Prior to this position he had been a valued research assistant and House floor liaison on O'Neill's Majority Leadership and Speaker staffs. Again, Weiss's files (1975-1985), found in Sub-Subseries 4., reflect material gathered as background that predate his time at the DSPC.
Files from the above staff members, combinations of them (Sub-Subseries 5. and 6.) and general files (Sub-Subseries 7.) cover a wide array of topics similar to those found in other sections of the collection. Budget files deal with the Balanced Budget Amendment movement. Energy issues covered include the Synthetic Fuels Task Force and the National Energy Conservation Act of 1979. Health files provide information on National Health Insurance ideas. It is within the DSPC Files that material on the National Commission on Social Security Reform and other Social Security issues can be found. Other highlights include information on the Auto Industry and the Economy, especially the balance of trade problems between the United States and Japan during the 1980's. Democratic Party related documents contain Platform Committee files from the 1980 Convention. There is also information on State-of-the-Union Messages and Television Network Response Time for the Democratic Party.
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research. Selected items are closed due to fragility; a microfilm access copy is available. Audiovisual recordings in this collection have been migrated from source media; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Burns Library Reading Room.
From the Sub-subseries: 1.25 Linear Feet (3 containers)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
- From the Collection: O'Neill, Tip (Person)
Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository
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