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In the Shadows Of Ronald Reagan: Civil Rights Policymaking in the Clinton Administration
Unformatted Document Text:  department responsible for administering the order) and included Secretary of State George Shultz (who was Labor Secretary in the Nixon administration when 11246 was adopted),Treasury Secretary James Baker, Elizabeth Dole, the Transportation Secretary, and HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce. 46 The divided Council decided to send Reagan four options (1) revised language strengthening the existing ban on quotas, (2) allow federal contractors to voluntarily use goals and timetables, (3) a complete ban on the use of goals and timetables, and (4) no changes in the existing order. 47 Although it is not completely clear from the available records at the Reagan library, apparently given the divisions in the Council Regan decided not to submit any options to Reagan. 48 Regan was aware of widespread opposition in Congress. By June of 1986 sixty-nine senators and 182 representatives had publicly announced their opposition to any changes in the order, and many had sent personal letters to the President. Opposition was almost unanimous among Democrats, and among those publicly opposed to any revisions were Republican congressional leaders Bob Dole and Bob Michaels. Although Reagan might have had the votes at least in the House to sustain a veto of legislation, the battle would have divided his cabinet and in his party in Congress, and led to a rancorous, racially polarized debate throughout the country. In the speech prepared by the Justice Department for Reagan’s delivery on national television announcing his revocation of the order, Reagan would have said “affirmative action” is discrimination pure and simple…. Purely and 15

Authors: Smith, Robert.
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department responsible for administering the order) and included Secretary of 
State George Shultz (who was Labor Secretary in the Nixon administration when 
11246 was adopted),Treasury Secretary James Baker, Elizabeth Dole, the 
Transportation Secretary, and HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce.
The divided Council decided to send Reagan four options (1) revised 
language strengthening the existing ban on quotas, (2) allow federal contractors 
to voluntarily use goals and timetables, (3) a complete ban on the use of goals 
and timetables, and (4) no changes in the existing order.
Although it is not completely clear from the available records at the 
Reagan library, apparently given the divisions in the Council Regan decided not 
to submit any options to Reagan.
 Regan was aware of widespread opposition in 
Congress. By June of 1986 sixty-nine senators and 182 representatives had 
publicly announced their opposition to any changes in the order, and many had 
sent personal letters to the President. Opposition was almost unanimous among 
Democrats, and among those publicly opposed to any revisions were Republican 
congressional leaders Bob Dole and Bob Michaels.
Although Reagan might have had the votes at least in the House to 
sustain a veto of legislation, the battle would have divided his cabinet and in his 
party in Congress, and led to a rancorous, racially polarized debate throughout 
the country.
In the speech prepared by the Justice Department for Reagan’s delivery 
on national television announcing his revocation of the order, Reagan would 
have said “affirmative action” is discrimination pure and simple…. Purely and 
15


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