The event was supposed to informally kick off a series of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the longtime Democratic congressman.
Henry Jackson died suddenly in 1983 and had served 12 years in the U.S. House and 31 years in the U.S. Senate before he died. He was a leader on defense issues and foreign policy but was also an environmentalist who is credited with such things as the creation of the the wilderness act and expansion of public lands. Jackson was twice a candidate for the presidency and was said to have been then-Sen. John Kennedy’s first choice for vice president, a selection that went instead to Lyndon Johnson.
Along with the late U.S. Sen. Warren Magnuson, Jackson is considered one of the giant of state politics and of the Demcoratic party.
With House Republicans still in closed caucus meeting with presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, majority Democrats took up the resolution. With the chambers half empty the Speaker Pro Tem Jim Moeller did not even allow the resolution to be read in full, resorting to the procedure of having the clerk read only the first and last
No speeches were allowed and after recognizing Jackson’s children Peter Jackson and Anna Marie Jackson Laurence – in the gallery the House Democrats went into their own closed-door caucus. The family was invited in to caucus.
House Democratic spokeswoman Melinda McCrady said the House has policies to control the amount of time spent on such resolutions. Leaders agree before session which will be done on the floor and with speeches from members. The rest are adopted in the Rules Committee or from the rostrum.
This resolution was not brought forward until after those decisions had been made, McCrady said. Even recognizing the family in the gallery was an exception to normal procedure for resolutions not on the list.
I asked Rep. Reuven Carlyle about the brisk treatment. Carlyle had been a Senate page for Jackson and was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution. He appeared upset but said he had no idea why the event was handled the way it way.
Just a few weeks ago the Democrat-controlled Senate had conducted a similar event for former Republican U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton. The resolution was read in full, senators offered congratulations and Gorton was allowed to address the Senate.
Here is the text of the resolution that wasn’t read on the House floor Friday
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 4678, by Representatives McCoy, Sells, and Carlyle
WHEREAS, The one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of Washington’s most revered and favorite sons, Henry Martin Jackson, on May 31, 2012, will be celebrated by friends and well-wishers in Everett and other Snohomish County communities, and in other towns and neighborhoods throughout his beloved state of Washington; and
WHEREAS, The centennial of the birth of this great patriot and public servant, United States Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, should be honored by true friends of human rights and democracy nationwideand all across the globe; and WHEREAS, Congressman and later Senator Scoop Jackson, in more than four decades of unswerving public service, until taken from family and country by his untimely death on September 1, 1983, established a steady and respected grasp of subjects ranging from public lands and other environmental issues, to hydroelectric power and other energy concerns, to national security and other public safety matters; and
WHEREAS, Scoop Jackson, born in the Everett home of his Norwegian immigrant parents, Peter and Marine Jackson, was elected Snohomish County prosecuting attorney in 1938, at the age of twentysix, just two years after he graduated from the University of Washington School of Law; and WHEREAS, Earning a strong reputation as a dedicated foe and prosecutor of illegal gambling and bootlegging, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, for the Evergreen State’s Second District, in 1940; and
WHEREAS, Scoop Jackson was reelected five times to his congressional seat, won election to the United States Senate in 1952, and was reelected five times to his Senate seat; and WHEREAS, An “environmentalist” many years before the word became part of the American lexicon, Scoop Jackson wrote the groundbreaking National Environmental Policy Act, and championed legislation preserving such enormous and unspoiled Washington treasures as North Cascades National Park and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness; and
WHEREAS, Scoop Jackson sponsored the Endangered American Wilderness Act, the Redwood National Park Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Federal Lands for Parks and Recreation Act, the Youth Conservation Corps Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Trail System Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, and the National Wilderness Act; and
WHEREAS, He also sponsored legislation establishing the Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, which was later named in his honor, to work toward medical and other scientific programs and advancement that help members of the armed forces and civilians alike; and WHEREAS, Henry M. and Helen Jackson raised two children, Anna Marie Jackson Laurence and Peter Jackson
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the State of Washington join in celebrating the centennial of the birth of Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be immediately transmitted by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives to the faithful citizens working diligently on the Scoop Centennial Committee, to Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, and to the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle.
I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of Resolution 4678 adopted by the House of Representatives
February 24, 2012