84. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

[Omitted here are items unrelated to Central Africa.]

3. Congressional Reactions on Zaire Assistance—The following is a summary of Congressional reactions to the Zaire assistance plan:

Senator Robert Byrd. Byrd said he “views any involvement with concern and skepticism, which is not to say I would not support it if I knew more about it.” We will spend more time with him to answer any questions he may have.

Tip O’Neill. He goes along reluctantly.

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John Rhodes. Rhodes said nothing when informed but thanked us for calling.

Jim Wright. Wright appreciated being notified. His chief concern was whether this assistance would really make a difference and whether we shouldn’t do more. He believes we should firmly defend the notion of territorial integrity.

Alan Cranston. He was appreciative of the call, accepted our explanation and moved on to another subject.

Dick Clark. He is opposed but will moderate his criticism.

Dan Inouye. Supports our plan.

John Anderson. Anderson is concerned over the possibility of an arms race. He appreciated our contacting him but did not offer support.

John Buchanan. Andy Young contacted Buchanan and reports that Buchanan has no problem with this limited package.

Clifford Case. We were not able to reach Case but discussed the situation with his staff. They report that Case will be on board.

Clem Zablocki. Zablocki continues to be concerned about the use that our aid will be put to. He hopes that we will not be drawn more deeply into the conflict. Zablocki will support the decision.

Congresswoman Cardiss R. Collins. Mrs. Collins strongly supports the Administration’s decision. She will appear on local television this weekend and will be supportive.

Congresswoman Yvonne B. Burke. Mrs. Burke was pleased that we called her but is highly skeptical. However, she conceded that a decision not to spend money already authorized would be read as backing out of our commitment to Zaire. She will appear on a television talk show tonight (in Los Angeles, we believe) and can be expected to raise questions but will be moderate in her criticism.

We have not been able to contact Howard Baker, Jim Pearson, Bill Broomfield, Hubert Humphrey and Don Bonker (Andy Young is trying to reach Bonker, who because of his criticism of the initial shipments to Zaire could be important). We expect to reach these people by tomorrow.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 18, Evening Reports (State) 4/77. Secret. Carter initialed the memorandum.