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committee and not by the chairman alone, though perhaps in practice he makes the actual appointments.
Senator FERGUSON. I think that in practice that is a rather hard rule to apply, that the members of the committee have to vote for the staff.
Senator BRICKER. You get a conglomerate rather than an organized and cooperative staff. But, on the other hand, what if the chairman doesn't do it? That is the situation I am thinking about.
Senator FERGUSON. Yes; it has its strength and its weakness. I think this is true, that it isn't an easy thing to get a staff. That is where you should have continuity. This staff idea should be nonpartisan because good men are always fearful that if there is a changeover in the chairman from one party to another the staff is going to be wiped out and you don't have continuity.
Dr. GALLOWAY. The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress conceived of these professional staff positions as career places that would be occupied by highly qualified experts in the subject-matter fields within the committee's jurisdiction, and that they would hold office for an indefinite tenure and would become part of a career legislative service.
You asked me a moment ago, Senator Bricker, if I had any suggestion to make with regard to the selection of qualified persons to the professional staffs of these committees and, as you will note, my third point on page 12 deals with that very matter.
Senator BRICKER. Yes.
Dr. GALLOWAY. I suggest the creation of an Office of Personnel Adviser to assist Members and committees with their personnel problems. I will not read the entire supporting argument.
Senator BRICKER. Of course, it probably will not be as difficult again as it was at the beginning of this Congress to get organized and staffed.
Senator FERGUSON. That is correct. That is why I say it isn't an easy matter to go out and get enough qualified men.
Mr. VAN HORN. Dr. Galloway, in the staffing of this committee and in talking to members of other committees and other committee staffs, it has been brought very forcefully to my attention that it is somewhat difficult to obtain qualified applicants for another reason that hasn't been mentioned here, and that is that a large part of them have to be drawn from the Federal Government itself, from the various executive agencies. Now, that is fine. You want a man, for instance, who is familiar with Federal budgetary procedure and you wouldn't go to a corporation to get that man. You must find a man with Federal experience. Now, the present law says that if he accepts a position on the professional staff he may not take a position again in the executive branch until 1 year has expired from the date of his separation from committee work, as I understand. It is a good law but it has its disadvantages. Now, a lot of people tell us, "I would like to work for your committee but I don't like that regulation in there if something happens to me and I get thrown out the next time the complexion of Congress changes. I have got to find another job I am qualified for until I can get back in the executive branch." What do you think of that provision of the law, Dr. Galloway?
Dr. GALLOWAY. I am glad you mentioned that particular section of this act, Mr. Van Horn, because it provides me with an opportunity to state for the record that I opposed that provision and had nothing to do with its insertion in the bill. It was not recommended by the joint committee originally. But it was defended on two grounds, first, that it would tend to prevent committee staff positions from being used as a stepping-stone to more lucrative jobs in the executive branch of the National Government; and, second, that it would prevent persons formerly employed in the executive branch of the National Government from taking temporary positions with congressional committees and gaining certain information and advantages there which they could take back and place at the disposal of administrative agencies in the executive branch. Those, I think, were the reasons in the mind of Senator La Follette when he offered the amendment on the floor of the Senate during the debate on this bill which was accepted.
Senator FERGUSON. Dr. Galloway, I am a strong advocate of that provision. I want the record to show that. I wouldn't let it go by without saying that I think it is an excellent provision. Human nature being what it is, if we were to staff our committees with men who could immediately leave the legislative branch and go into the executive departments, we would find the same complaint that we are finding when we try to run a war and we bring businessmen down here who entered into contracts and carried on the public business with their corporations and then just as soon as there is a change, why, they go right back into the corporate structure. There are many such people and we have reasons to believe that they do chart their path in such a way that it leads directly into the corporations, If we were not careful, we would find that our legislative staff would be favoring the executive because there they could get civil service and all that goes with it. They might, and some of them undoubtedly would, chart their path in order that it would lead them there. In that case the Congress and the people would not have that loyalty which I think is essential in a representative government such as ours. I think it is one of those arrangements that may now and then deny us an able man, yet I think we ought to have men in government who are ready, willing and able to come in and just as ready, willing and able to leave if the people don't want them, just as Congressmen and Senators are. And I think they should be of such caliber that if they can't stay in government they ought to be able to earn a living outside and without going from one branch into the other. So, I just could not let this opportunity go by without making that statement.
In my work on the War Investigating Committee my conviction has been strengthened that we should not allow this path to be followed by people from government into business and from one agency in government to another agency because they pay favors. We have had that too much in the States, men that went into commissions they used as stepping stones to go into large corporations or to obtain corporate business from corporations. Unless you have some provision like this, you are bound to have that situation. There is a tendency to do that.
Dr. GALLOWAY. Well, Senator, I think that is a very cogent argument, and it was doubtless one of the reasons that led the Congress to approve this section, although in particular cases it may work a hardship upon individuals and although in some cases it may curtail the labor market, so to speak, for the employment of competent committee people.
Senator BRICKER. There is certainly no salary advantage on the administrative side until you get to the rank of an under secretary anyway that would induce one to leave a top legislative staff job for an administrative job, is there?
Mr. VAN HORT: The range of competive to eight thousand, aouthe
Dr. GALLOWAY. The range of compensation provided by this act for professional staff employees is from five to eight thousand dollars basic compensation. The top compensation for similar work in the executive branch of the National Government is $8,000 basic or $9,975 gross. So, at the top level, you are correct, there isn't much advantage financially in making a change.
But it is this very question of assuring some security of employment to these qualified professional staff people on the standing committees of the Congress that underlines the importance, I submit, of the suggestion for the creation of an Office of Personnel Adviser to assist the Members and committees with their personnel problems.
You may recall, that a similar provision was in the legislative reorganization bill, when it was introduced into the Senate, and that was the only provision of that bill which was lost in the Senate debate upon the measure.
I suggest there is growing recognition on both sides of the Capitol of the need of some central clearing house to assist in handling personnel problems. Congress needs a personnel adviser who could relieve it of these time-consuming and harassing chores. Such a personnel adviser would be responsible for the initial interviewing and screening of job applicants. He would gradually build up a roster or slate of personnel qualified for appointment to places in committee offices. When a committee had a vacancy to fill, it could turn to the adviser for suggestions and recommendations of persons competent to do the work involved. Chairmen would inform the adviser of their personnel needs, and he would select from his roster one or more persons for their consideration whom he thought competent to fill the job.
Under the head of strengthening the supervisory and liaison functions of the Congress, I suggest that some staff expansion may be necessary for the standing committees of both Houses to assist them in reviewing executive performance. Section 136 of the act directs “each standing committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives” to “exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws' within its jurisdiction. I suggest that, to make this directive effective, all standing committees should be adequately staffed with investigators.
At the present time, as table 5 appended to this statement shows, only three, I think, of the standing committees of the Senate now have their full complement of professional staff experts, and these experts have been so far, I think, largely preoccupied with the legislative work of their respective committees and have had little time, with a few exceptions, to assist their committees in the performance of their oversight function.
Senator FERGUSON. That being true, Doctor, one of the functions of this committee is a general oversight, is it not?
Dr. GALLOWAY. Yes, sir; it certainly is.
Senator FERGUSON. And then to report. Don't you think that that probably is the solution, rather than to have a committee itself which deals with the legislation to watch it? Self-discipline is sometimes a very difficult thing, and a committee such as this should have a staff large enough to look into how a law was being operated. I have in mind one report that we got from our staff on Indian claims. They went down to the Indian Claims Commission and made a little investigation as to how the law was being carried out. There were three commissioners, or four, and they found an equal number of lawyers, an equal number of clerks, and they also discovered that there was practically no work for them to do. They were just waiting, as it were. Now, it appears to me as a member of this committee that that oversight function is one that can be carried on. I realize other committees would feel that they ought to have that privilege, too, which I think they could use, but if we had some watching power, then we could repeal or amend. I think there is too little repealing or amending of laws, and the reason is we haven't any way really to supervise the enforcement of the law. After all, under our system, the making of law is in the people.
What do you think Would you give the overseeing job to the committees or does the law as it now reads give it to this committee?
Dr. GALLOWAY. Well, sir, in my opinion, this committee has one of the ablest professional staffs of any standing committee of the Senate. I think, however, that in order fully to carry out its assigned functions the professional staff of this committee, as well as certain other committees, should be expanded.
Before you came into the room, Senator, I undertook to clarify the distinction between the investigatory functions of this committee and those of the legislative and appropriating committees of the two Houses. I suggested that under this act there is a three-way division of labor in the performance of the investigatory function; that, first, the Appropriations Committees are to exercise financial control before expenditure through their scrutiny of the departmental estimates and that, second, the Expenditures Committees are designed to supervise administrative practices and procedures of the executive agencies, and, finally, that the legislative committees have the task of reviewing the operation of substantive legislation. That is the way in which I distinguish between what appears to be some duplication of function with respect to investigations by committees of Congress.
Does that answer your question?
Senator BRICKER. I have one question at that point. It is a very practical one. Some of us sit on the Atomic Energy Joint Committee. We are not under rule 16 or under the law related in any way to the Appropriations Committee, and this is not singular to the Atomic Energy Committee; it is true in Tennessee Valley and some others. The over-all appropriation is made. Now, last year the over-all appropriation was made upon the application of the Atomic Energy Commission. How carefully it is scrutinized by the Budget Bureau, I don't know. I haven't seen the details. The details do not come to the Senate; they do not come to the House. Generally, the recom
mendation of the Appropriations Committee is approved. We had a bill last year to create scholarships, a science research bill for creation of scholarships throughout the country and the appropriation would have been around a million or two, as I remember it. The President vetoed that bill. It didn't pass.
There has been from time to time money appropriated for research in the field of cancer, for instance. I sit on this Atomic Energy Committee, and I have never heard this thing mentioned; I doubt if the Appropriations Committee has ever heard it mentioned; but I saw in the paper one day this week that the Atomic Energy Commission is going to use over $2,000,000 for the creation of scholarships and research in the field of medicine and science, and cancer, without it ever having been brought to the attention of the Congress, thus nullifying the veto of the President of that bill.
How are we going to reach the governments within the Government, these so-called independent agencies that seem to have unlimited control of their funds, that do not report to the Congress, that do not report to anybody?
Senator FERGUSON. When you are dealing in millions, even billions, when you speak of one agency spending 2 billion, it is an easy thing to take out a million for something that really isn't authorized. Unless you have someone watching, you can't hope that the press alone will supervise all these agencies. That is apparently how Senator Bricker learned about this. Someone in the press had ferreted this out rather than the Congress.
Senator BRICKER. That is where I found it out.
Dr. Galloway. I suggest that the answer to that particular problem, Senators, is the more adequate staffing of the appropriations committees of the two Houses and, in this particular instance, of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy.
Ordinarily, as you know, an administrative agency in submitting its estimates of financial need does so in great detail, and they are more or less carefully scrutinized by the subcommittees of the Appropriations Committees. It may be in the case of the Atomic Energy Commission, in view of the highly confidential character of its work, that it did not submit a detailed estimate of how it intended to spend its money.
Senator BRICKER. At times, I think they hide behind this so-called “confidential” screen just to carry on this kind of a thing. Here is a bill that Congress passed, the President vetoed it, that carried substantially the amount that they are using for somewhat the same purpose. It is in the same field. I don't know, but I will wager that when it came to the Appropriations Committee it was either concealed behind this so-called “confidential” information or it was itemized as research.
Dr. GALLOWAY. If the item was not sanctioned by the Appropriations Committee at the time that the Commission came up to justify its estimates, the Commission will probably receive a pretty severe scolding the next time it comes up on that particular item.
Senator FERGUSON. Yes, but as a member of the Appropriations Committee, let me give you an example. I can cite now the Tennessee Valley, and I think I will put this in the record, that we appropriated money to build a dam and a chemical plant and put a limitation on it. We now find that about $3,000,000 that could have been