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A bill may become law by a majority vote of each house of Congress and the signature of the President. If the President takes no action within ten days, Sundays excluded, the bill becomes a law without his signature, provided Congress does not adjourn meanwhile. Or, if he vetoes a bill, it may still become law if again passed by a two-thirds vote of each house.

55. The Underwood-Simmons 1 Tariff Bill Traced. - In 1912, when a Democratic President and Congress who favored tariff reduction were elected, the party leaders conferred and prepared a tariff bill during the winter months. President Wilson was inaugurated March 4, 1913, and on March 17 called a special session of Congress, which convened on the 7th of April.

The bill “ to reduce the tariff duties and to provide revenue for the government, and for other purposes," having been prepared to the satisfaction of the President and the Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Underwood of Alabama, Chairman of the Committee, introduced it on April 21 by placing it in the “hopper” of the House. The parliamentary clerk at the Speaker's table, acting for the Speaker, numbered the bill H. R. 3321, there having been 3320 other bills introduced by members of the House of Representatives since the 7th of April. He referred it to the Committee on Ways and Means. Tho bill was recorded by its title in the Journal of the Houses and in the Congressional Record 4 for that day and thus brought to the attention of the members.

1 A law commonly takes its name from the chairman of the House committee and the chairman of the Senate committee to which the bill has been referred.

2 The “hopper” is a large basket in which new bills are deposited.

8 The Journal of the House contains the minutes of the proceedings from day to day, which are read at the opening of each daily session.

4 The Congressional Record reports the debates of congressmen, the motions, the votes, and the disposition of bills. Each morning a copy of it is furnished to each member of Congress. The official reporters always correct the English of speeches and often give them a more elegant finish without changing the meaning

As the Committee had already considered the bill, Mr. Underwood, acting for the Committee, reported it back to the House the following day, April 22, without amendment and with recommendation that it be passed. It was listed upon the proper calendar, announced by title to the House, and reported to the Committee of the Whole. The House resolved itself into Committee of the Whole day after day for the consideration of this bill, and here only was it read and considered section by section. On May 7 the Committee of the Whole reported the bill back to the House with amendments. The bill was ordered “engrossed,” that is, printed upon paper of a fine texture under the direction of the clerk. The next day it was read by title and passed by a vote of 281 yeas to

139 nays.

The clerk of the House carried a certified copy of the bill to the Senate and announced that it had been passed by the House. After debate for several days as to whether the Finance Committee should hold public hearings upon the bill, it was referred to the Finance Committee on the 16th of May. (It should be noted that there is no Ways and Means Committee in the Senate, as all bills for raising revenue originate in the House.) On July 11 Senator Simmons of North Carolina, Chairman of the Finance Committee, reported the bill back to the Senate with numerous amendments. It was freely debated by the Senate “as in Committee of the Whole" and passed with amendments on the 9th of September.

1 After revenue or appropriation bills have been reported from one of the standing committees, the House always resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole in order that these bills may be discussed freely. This committee is composed of all the members of the House, but only 100 are required for a quorum, therefore members who are not interested in the bill under consideration need not attend. It operates with less formal rules than the regular sessions of the House and no individual votes are recorded - only the totals. The Speaker does not preside when the House is Committee of the Whole but calls another member to the chair. There is no reason for his vacating the chair except that we follow the old English custom whereby the Speaker of the House of Commons was excluded from the Committee of the Whole of Parliament for fear he would report to the King what was being discussed in committee. The mace is also removed from its high pedestal at the right of the Speaker. In Committee of the Whole the bill is discussed in detail, and amendments are usually recommended when it is reported back to the House (regular session) for a final vote.

In the Senate all 'bills are debated as in Committee of the Whole. The Senate “ Committee of the Whole " differs very little from the Senate proper. The President of the Senate remains in the chair and a full majority of the whole body is necessary for a quorum.

As the bill had been amended by the Senate it was necessary to have a conference committee of the two houses to reconcile the differences, therefore the Speaker appointed seven representatives and the President of the Senate appointed seven senators. This committee brought the houses to an agreement and the amended bill was accepted by the respective houses. After the presiding officers of the houses had signified this agreement the bill was sent to the President, who signed it on the 3d of October. Thus did bill H. R. 3321 become Public Law No. 16, this being the sixteenth bill of a public character enacted into law by the Sixty-third Congress.

56. Making the National “ Budget.” — Nearly every civilized state has a finance minister who prepares a statement of the estimated cost of conducting the government and indicates how the necessary money is to be raised. The legislative body of such a state accepts the proposal or rejects it, or may decrease certain items, but it may not increase them. This method of raising money and expending it creates a true budget.

When the Congress of the United States created the office of Secretary of the Treasury it provided that the Secretary should be a true finance minister. His duty was “to prepare and report estimates of the public revenue and the public expenditures.” Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, prepared a true budget, which provided for raising the revenue as well as appropriating it.

In the early part of the nineteenth century the House created a Committee on Ways and Means to provide revenue and to make all appropriations, thus taking from the Secretary of the Treasury the responsibility of creating a true budget.

For many years one annual bill provided for raising all rev

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enue and also for its expenditure. Gradually more and more appropriation bills were passed each year, but all were prepared by the Ways and Means Committee.

As a result of the Civil War a new committee, known as the Committee on Appropriations, was created to prepare all appropriation bills, the Committee on Ways and Means continuing to prepare all bills for raising revenue. In 1885 the House began to divide the work of creating appropriation bills among various committees, and by 1920 there were eight such committees.1

Congressmen were elected for membership on these committees because of their special interest in the services for which these appropriations were to be made. So each committee was inclined to obtain as much money as possible from the treasury, regardless of its relative importance. Likewise, each congressman, through these various appropriating committees, endeavored to get as much money as possible out of the treasury to be spent in his home district — to use the congressional phrase, “ to get pork out of the public pork-barrel.”

These “pork-barrel” appropriations were commonly obtained for pensions, private claims, federal officers, post offices in small towns where they were not needed, for a new army post or naval station wherever the committee chairman's district happened to be, and for river and harbor improvements where

1 The committees that prepared appropriation bills until 1920 were: 1. Committee on Appropriations. This committee prepared bills for the legislative, executive, and judicial expenses; for sundry civil expenses; for fortifications and coast defenses; for the District of Columbia ; for pensions ; and for all deficiencies.

2. Committee on Military Affairs.
3. Committee on Naval Affairs.
4. Committee on Indian Affairs.
5. Committee on Foreign Affairs.
6. Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads.
7. Committee on Rivers and Harbors.
8. Committee on Agriculture.

The Committee on Claims and the Committee on War Claims prepared special appropriation bills from time to time.

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there was little commerce. Some years ago Senator Tillman of South Carolina openly declared that when general stealing is going on it is his business to see that his State gets its share. During a Senate debate he declared : “The whole scheme of river improvement is a humbug and a steal; but if you are going to steal, let us divide it out, and not go on complaining." Upon another occasion when the naval appropriation bill was before the Senate he remarked: “We have a little orphan of a naval station down in South Carolina, for which I am trying to get a few crumbs of this money which is being wasted.”

Each congressman was able to get “pork” for his district because he helped every other one to get it for his own. This practice of working together in securing appropriations is known as “log-rolling" - a term drawn from pioneer life where neighbors lent a hand in rolling logs when a settler was building his cabin.

This pork-barrel-log-rolling practice was a natural result of the irresponsible system of budget-making in the United States, and showed the great need of reform. Therefore, in 1920, the House increased the membership of the Committee on Appropriations from twenty-one to thirty-five; and provided that all House appropriation bills should be handled by this single committee.

In 1921 the Budget Act created the Bureau of the Budget, with a director and an assistant. Under this new Act the head of each department and establishment prepares an estimate of its needs for the succeeding year and transmits it to the Bureau by September 15. It is the duty of the Bureau to examine these estimates, and, under such rules and regulations as the President may prescribe, prepare for him the Budget. The President then transmits this to Congress on the first day of the regular session - the first Monday in December.

The committees that formerly had power to prepare appropriation bills continue to prepare legislative bills for their services, but are dependent upon the Committee on Appropriations to provide funds for their projects.

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