Did Senator Joe Biden block President Ford’s Vietnam evacuation in 1975, and the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees?
Take a look at the viral post, and find out what the FACTS really are!
Claim : Senator Joe Biden Blocked President Ford’s Vietnam Evacuation
After President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in a rout of the Afghan government, and a stampede to escape the Taliban, people started sharing this viral message.
The message, which was first introduced before the 2020 US Presidential Elections, is now circulating on social media and WhatsApp.
Truth : Joe Biden Did Not Block President Ford’s Vietnam Evacuation
This recycled FAKE NEWS was originally created by Trump supporters, and remains fake news today.
Here is a quick summary of the facts :
- Senator Joe Biden did not block President Gerald Ford’s Vietnam evacuation plans.
- Senator Joe Biden did not torpedo any support for Vietnamese refugees.
- President Ford did not rely on Christian organisations to help the Vietnamese refugees.
- Senator Joe Biden voted to approve humanitarian aid for Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.
- Humanitarian aid was approved for both Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.
- Senator Joe Biden voted to welcome the Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.
For those who want the nitty, gritty details, here are the facts…
Fact #1 : Senator Joe Biden Voted Against Vietnam Contingency Act
Senator Joe Biden voted against the Vietnam Contingency Act (S. 1484) when it was proposed in the US Senate, because he disagreed with two terms in the bill :
- military assistance to Vietnam
- authorisation to use American troops (if necessary) to protect the evacuation of South Vietnamese citizens.
Specifically, he was against the Ford Administration tying military assistance to Vietnam and the continued use of US troops, with the evacuation of American and Vietnamese civilians.
He was worried that $100 million of contingency funds in this bill would be used to provide military aid, instead of helping to evacuate the refugees.
Fact #2 : Joe Biden Was One Of 17 Who Voted Against S. 1484
The claim that Senator Joe Biden was the only senator to vote against S. 1484 is false. He was one of 17 senators who voted against the Vietnam Contingency Act.
Fact #3 : Vietnam Contingency Act Passed In The US Congress
Despite Senator Biden’s Nay vote, together with 16 other senators, the Vietnam Contingency Act (S. 1484) was approved in the Senate with a 75-17 vote on 24 April 1975.
Fact #4 : Vietnam Contingency Act Rejected In House Of Representatives
The Vietnam Contingency Act however failed to pass the House of Representatives, where it was defeated in a vote of 162 to 246 on 1 May 1975.
It was generally agreed that the majority of Representatives were against the Ford Administration’s intentional linking of the evacuation with military assistance to Vietnam.
So it was ultimately not Joe Biden – a very young senator at that time – who blocked President Ford’s militarised evacuation plan, but the US House of Representatives.
Fact #5 : HR 6096 Rejected In House Of Representatives
The Vietnam Humanitarian Assistance and Evacuation Act of 1975 (HR 6096) was proposed in the US House of Representatives, to assist the Vietnamese refugees.
However, it was defeated in the same US House of Representative vote for S. 1484 above, with a vote of 162 to 246.
The defeated bill never got to the US Senate, so Senator Joe Biden never voted for or against it. It is therefore categorically FALSE to claim that he torpedoed the bill.
Fact #6 : S. 1661 Passed In The US Congress
After HR 6096 failed in the House of Representatives, President Ford submitted a new bill to the US Congress – the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (S. 1661) on 6 May 1975.
This bill passed the US Senate with an overwhelming majority vote of 77 to 2. Only Republican senators Jesse Helm and William Scott voted against it.
Senator Joe Biden was not present for the vote, but later voted to advance the bill to the House of Representatives with a “favourable recommendation”.
Joe Biden certainly did not torpedo this humanitarian bill either.
Fact #7 : President Ford Did Not Rely On Christian Organisations
The S. 1661 Senate bill was merged into HR 6755 (Authorizing Funds for Assistance to Refugees from South Vietnam and Cambodia), which passed in the House of Representatives with a 381 vs. 31 vote.
HR 6755 was signed into law by President Gerald Ford on 23 May 1975.
So the claim that President Ford had to rely on Christian organisations to help the Vietnamese refugees is also FALSE.
Fact #7 : US Congress Welcomed Vietnamese + Cambodian Refugees
On 8 May 1975, the US Congress issued a resolution called “Welcome the latest refugees to our shores (S. Res. 148)“.
92 senators, including Senator Joe Biden, voted in favour, with only one Republican senator voting against – Senator William Scott, and seven others abstaining.
In short, Joe Biden voted to welcome both Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees to the United States.
Now that you know the truth, please SHARE THIS OUT so other people won’t get fooled by the fake viral claim!
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