would be acceptable. Once the full scope of the Mansfield- Dirksen substitute bill had been determined, all of the House leaders indicated their willingness to accept the changes.
It was crucial that this happen. If the House had insisted on a conference, the report of the conferees would have to be approved by each house. This would have given the southern Democrats in the Senate another opportunity to conduct a filibuster. 96
As soon as the Committee on Rules voted out a resolution authorizing the House to accept H.R. 7152, as amended by the Senate, the House could approve the resolution of acceptance and dispatch the act to President Johnson for his signature. In order to prevent Howard W. Smith (Dem., VA), chairman of the Committee on Rules and an implacable foe of the legislation, from stalling action further by not convening the committee, the Democrats initiated the procedure to authorize a meeting without the chairman. 97 In response to this pressure, Smith scheduled a Rules Committee meeting for June 30, 1964, and the bipartisan majority for the bill promptly approved the resolution, 10-5. 98 On July 2 the House voted, 289-126, to accept the bill as amended by the Senate. 99
A few hours later, after addressing the nation in a televised ceremony from the East Room of the White House, and in the company of the massive coalition of senators, representatives, and private citizens who fought for the bill, President Johnson signed H.R. 7152 into law. 100