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Comparison of (A) Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1949, to establish a Department of Welfare; (B) Reorganization Plan No. 27 of 1950, to establish a Department of Health, Education, and Security; 2 (C) S. 2060 (substitute) (81st Cong., 1st sess.), to establish a Department of Health, Education, and Security 3—Continued
Plan No. 1 of 1949
Sec. 2: (d) Present Federal Security Administrator to serve as Acting Secretary of Welfare for not more than 60 days pending initial appointment of Secretary.
Plan No. 27 of 1950
pensation at $14,000 per annum.
Sec. 6: Authorizes Secretary to
Sec. 7: Abolishes Federal Security Agency, Federal Security administrator, Assistant Federal Security Administrator, 2 assistant heads of Federal Security Agency, heretofore existing Office of Surgeon General, and heretofore existing Commissioner of Education.
Sec. 8: Authorizes President to designate any officer of Federal Security Agency to head any office provided for by secs. 2, 3, 4, and 5 above for 60 days pending initial appointment to such offices.
To the Bureau of Health; Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, Freedmen's Hospital, and St. Elizabeths Hospital; to the Bureau of Education; the U. S. Office of Education; to the Bureau of Public Welfare; Social Security Administration.
(c) Federal Security Administration functions relating to administration of Howard University, American Printing House for the Blind, and the Columbia Institute for the Deaf, are transferred to the Bureau of Education.
Sec. 11: The act shall take effect 90 days after date of its enactment.
1 Rejected by the Senate Aug. 16, 1949 (S. Rept. No. 851).
MILES SCULL, Jr., Professional Staff Member.
WALTER L. REYNOLDS, Staff Director.
2 S. Res. 302 (Taft, et al.) disapproving Reorganization Plan No. 27 of 1950, filed June 22, 1950. Identical to S. 140, 80th Cong., 1st sess. Reported favorably by Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments (S. Rept. No. 242).
The CHAIRMAN. Some week or 10 days ago, as chairman of the committee, I called these hearings and announced that we would hold public hearings for 2 days, today and tomorrow. We are going to undertake to conclude hearings tomorrow.
So far there are 24 and possibly 25 witnesses who desire to testify on this resolution and reorganization plan. I want to give the sponsors of the resolution and the representatives of the executive departments who actually are interested in this and are involved in this proposed plan, ample time to thoroughly state their position, either in support of or in opposition to the plan. Thereafter I am going to ask witnesses to try to confine their testimony to 10 minutes. There is no use rehashing a lot of history about this. The history is a matter of record here, and we are pretty well familiar with it, and we are going to ask the witnesses, then, to just state categorically why they are for and why they are against, and let us confine this to the issue and try to expedite these hearings.
Senator Taft, we are very glad to have you with us this morning, and since you are the author of the resolution of disapproval, the com mittee will be glad to hear you in support of your resolution.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT A. TAFT, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OHIO
Senator TAFT. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appeared before this committee on Thursday, July 28, 1949, in opposition to plan No. 1 of 1949. My testimony on that subject appears at page 75 of the hearings before this committee on Reorganization Plans Nos. 1 and 2 of 1949.
What I said there I think applies almost as strongly today. There is one matter in which an attempt has been made to meet some of the objections raised at that time, and I will discuss that matter in a comparison of the two plans later.
In the first place, this plan is no more in accord with the Hoover Commission recommendations than the plan No. 1 of last year. The Hoover recommendations, as you know, provided for a separate Medical Administration and did not put the health matter in the Department.
It was evident at that time, it was said, and it is said now, that after the Department is established, then maybe you can lift the health out and put it into a separate Medical Administration. It was pointed out a year ago that Mr. Ewing testified that he was absolutely opposed to that. It is perfectly apparent that the President is opposed to it. They have now had 12 months in which to work out a United Medical Administration or a separate Health Service, or whatever you choose to call it, in accordance with the general principles of the Hoover plan, and they have not shown the slightest interest in it or done anything to bring it about. So it is perfectly obvious that this plan does not contemplate at any time a further separation of the Health Service in accordance with the plans of the Hoover Commission. So that it seems to me entirely clear that this is in violation of the Hoover report.
I notice that in the House committee report it is stated that
Mr. McCormack, research director of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, whose membership is representative of a strong public sentiment for adoption of the Hoover Commission recommendations, testified that Reorganization Plan No. 24
I think that that should be plan No. 27—
was so much at variance with the Hoover Commission program that his committee could not give it support.
It seems to me obvious that the claim that this is part of the Hoover plan is entirely a mistaken one. It is actually an effort to create a permanent Department of Health, Welfare, and Education, in violation of the general recommendations of the Hoover Commission regarding the treatment of health in the Federal Government and the consolidation of those services.
A bill has been introduced and has been pending before the Labor Committee for a year, and the Labor Committee chairman has shown no interest whatever in developing the possibilities of a separate Health Service or a United Medical Administration, or whatever it is to be called, an independent Medical Administration.
I feel very strongly that, whether we exactly agree with the Hoover recommendations or not, this is a subject which Congress ought to study before a committee and ought to work out in detail the proper solution of the problem in accordance with the action of Congress.
We are presented here with a plan which violates the Hoover plan and on which we are required to vote "yes" or "no" on a lot of detailed differences.
Senator IVES. Senator Taft, do you feel in this over-all approach to which you are referring, all of the legislation or all of the plan, regardless of the form it takes, goes to one committee for consideration? It has occurred to me that having these several proposals go to different committees has caused a great deal of confusion in one way, and at the same time it has prevented us from making any general concerted, comprehensive approach to the matter.
Senator TAFT. I agree. I think the Thomas bill to set up a separate Medical Administration went to the Labor Committee. Senator IVES. It did.
Senator TAFT. And I rather think the Labor Committee ought to try to work it out, since in that case it happens to have jurisdiction of health and welfare and education, all three. It seems to me that it would be its proper function to work out the details, and I have spoken to Senator Thomas about it several times, but evidently the Administration does not want anything like the separate Medical Administration.
Senator IVES. My reference in my question, Senator Taft, was primarily to the bills themselves, the proposals. It seems to me in any reorganization set-up, that these proposals, whatever form they may take, should all be centered in one committee for consideration, preferably this committee because this committee seems to be handling most of them.
Senator TAFT. It seems to me that that goes too far, with due respect to the committee. For instance, the reorganization of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense went to the Armed Services Committee, and it seems to me that they are the only committee that could properly deal with that subject.
Senator IVES. I am referring now primarily, Senator, to this one aspect of the thing, this health and education and security, and anything pertaining to that it seems to me ought to go here.
Senator TAFT. I do not quite see why. It seems to me if you have one committee with jurisdiction over the whole department, the whole Federal Security Administration today and all of the subjects in it, that it might well consider the question of what should be the proper working out of this relationship. The relationship in health, welfare and education involves questions of major policy. First, its big battle, fundamentally-and the issue has been going on here for 10 years, ever since I have been here is whether health should be controlled by the Welfare people. That is the reason for the violent opposition of the doctors to being included in any department at all, certainly in any department under the direction of the Social Security Administration or the general type of administration that it has had. They feel very strongly that under those circumstances, health is going to be directed by welfare. That is the fundamental reason also for the battle about education. In principle, I see no reason why the three should be combined at all. At the local level where the work is really done, education is always completely separate, and it has nothing to do with the other two at all. Welfare and health are separate in every city I know of, and separate, I think, in every State govern
ment, I am not certain. But where the work in these fields is really done the three things are so distinct that they are separate functions. There is only one reason for putting them together in the Federal field, and that is that in all three cases they are matters in which the Federal Government has only a secondary interest. Primarily, the job is to be done at the local level by the local people, the States and local governments. But the Federal Government has an interest. It has many State-aid plans by which it gives money, and it has some functions of its own in those fields.
The Public Health Service originally was entirely a Federal function for the particular features of health the Federal Government had to do with.
The only reason for grouping them that I can see is that the function of the Federal Government in each field is perhaps not so important that it justifies a Federal department for each one. Theoretically, we should have three departments. They do have this similarity which justifies putting them together, and that is that they each, as I say, involve a secondary Federal activity in which a large part of their interest is giving aid to States. So in a way, they are related to each other.
For that reason I have no great objection, myself, to a single department; but if there is such a single department, my position has always been that each division should be practically autonomous, the three functions should be practically autonomous under the Secretary.
Some years ago, as you know, Senator Fulbright and I introduced a bill which I referred to here, which set up those three functions entirely separate. One of the battles that I had at that time was my objection to putting in any general Under Secretary at all, but only an Under Secretary of Health, an Under Secretary of Welfare, and an Under Secretary of Education. The Secretary was a kind of a coordinator who represented those three functions in the President's Cabinet and saw that they got proper consideration.
Last year the bill went so far as to give all of the functions of the different people, the Director of Education and the Social Security Administrator and the Surgeon General, directly to the new Secretary. The CHAIRMAN. You mean plan No. 1 of last year?
Senator TAFT. Yes. And the one improvement in this present plan, which has been emphasized and which is an improvement, is the fact that it does recognize, officially at least, the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service and the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Social Security, and give them the functions they now have.
I suggested to Mr. Ewing, when he spoke to me about this before, that at least he ought to provide that all health functions, then, shall be under the Surgeon General, and he has not so provided. Except as the Surgeon General has some function given him by statute today the new Secretary can assign Health Services wherever he wants to.
Furthermore, he has certainly established here a tremendous overhead organization that is going to constantly interfere in all three operations. If you take this plan, you will see that, in the first place, he has an Under Secretary of Health, Education, and Security. Then he has an Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Security.
Then he has an Administrative Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Security. So that there are four of these officials in this big overhead organization before you get to the Surgeon General and the Public Health at all, so far as Health is concerned, or the Director of Education.
It is provided that:
In the interest of economy and efficiency the Secretary may from time to time establish central administrative services in the fields of procurement, budgeting, accounting, library, legal, and other services and activities common to the several agencies of the Department; and the Secretary may effect such transfers within the Department of the personnel employed, the property and records used or held, and the funds available for use in connection with such administrative service activities as he may deem necessary for the conduct of any services so established: Provided, however, That nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to authorize the Secretary to transfer or remove from the control of the Surgeon General, the Commissioner of Education, or the Commissioner of Social Security any professional or substantive functions vested in them, respectively, under the provisions of this reorganization plan or of law hereafter enacted.
The bill also provides that the Surgeon General and the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Social Security shall each report directly to the Secretary. Of course, the report matter seems to be unimportant. Fundamentally, it seems to me that you have a great department in which you have got merged the health, welfare, and educational functions, and these Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries, according to the trend in the past 10 years, will be welfare people, and the whole thing will be dominated by the welfare situation, and whether the Surgeon General or the Director of Education has any real independence, I doubt. I do not think that he is going to have anything like what our Under Secretary for Health directly under the Secretary would have without this big overhead organization.
It seems to me that health ought to be an independent service. There are many other Federal health activities that ought to be transferred to this Under Secretary of Health.
The Surgeon General has always been a special officer with rather limited jurisdiction. If you turn to the authority that he has under present law, he is not the head health officer of the Government. He started out as somebody to look after the Public Health Service, which originally, I think, had to do with merchant seamen and a few Federal activities with different limited groups. It has never been a Health Department of the Government. It has always been a kind of semimilitary organization engaged in a limited number of Federal health activities, to which we have added from time to time these State-aid functions and the new health services that have come along. What power does he have that he retains under this plan? I do not know that it is a greal deal of power, because whatever powers the Federal Security Administrator now has are transferred definitely to the new Secretary, and those powers limit the powers of the Surgeon General today and under the new plan.
I refer here to quotations from Reorganization Plan No. 1 which set up the Federal Security Agency back in July of 1939, and it said that the Federal Security Administrator
shall have general direction and supervision over the administration of the several agencies consolidated into the Federal Security Agency * * *