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With six wavering senators providing a four-vote victory margin, the final tally stood at 71 to 29.Never in history had the Senate been able to muster enough votes to cut off a filibuster on a civil rights bill.
Va.) completed a filibustering address that he had begun 14 hours and 13 minutes earlier opposing the legislation.Kennedy called the congressional leaders to the White House in late October, 1963 to line up the necessary votes in the House for passage.The bill was reported out of the Judiciary Committee in November 1963, and referred to the Rules Committee, whose chairman, Howard W.An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.And only once in the 37 years since 1927 had it agreed to cloture for any measure.
On June 19, the substitute (compromise) bill passed the Senate by a vote of 73–27, and quickly passed through the House–Senate conference committee, which adopted the Senate version of the bill.
The principal lobbyists for the Leadership Conference were civil rights lawyer Joseph L. Johnson, who wanted the bill passed as soon as possible, ensured that the bill would be quickly considered by the Senate.
Normally, the bill would have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator James O. Given Eastland's firm opposition, it seemed impossible that the bill would reach the Senate floor.
On June 19, the president sent his bill to Congress as it was originally written, saying legislative action was "imperative".
The president's bill went first to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Emanuel Celler, a Democrat from New York.
By the time of the 1963 winter recess, 50 signatures were still needed.