Page images
PDF
EPUB

The jurisdiction of the standing committees has been so comprehensively defined in the reformed rules as to cover every conceivable subject of legislation. Thus, to set up a special committee is to trepass upon the assigned jurisdiction of some standing committee.

În the second place, I suggest that the Joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Federal Expenditures be discontinued. This committee was established by section 601 of the Revenue Act of 1941 "to make a full and complete study and investigation of all expenditures of the Federal Government with a view to recommending the elimination or reduction of all such expenditures deemed by the committee to be nonessential.” This joint committee has made many useful studies and reports during the last 6 years and has rendered a great public service. But its function overlaps that of the Committees on Expenditures in the Executive Departments which, having been rejuvenated by the Legislative Reorganization Act, are now equipped to assume their historic responsibilities in this field.

In the third place, I suggest that the election of committee chairmen

Senator BRICKER. Just one minute.

Mr. VAN HORN. Dr. Galloway, may I ask if Senate Joint Resolution 182 has come to your attention? That is the resolution introduced by Senator Butler to create a joint committee for the formation of a legislative budget. I shall quote from it:

It shall be the duty of the committee to make a continuing study and investigation of all expenditures of the Federal Government with a view to recommending the elimination or reduction of all such expenditures deemed by the committee not essential, and the committee shall report to Congress the result of its study.

Have you seen that resolution?
Dr. GALLOWAY. Yes, I have.

Mr. VAN HORN. Would you care to make any comment on that, Dr. Galloway?

Dr. GALLOWAY. Yes, sir. In my opinion, it would be a mistake to adopt that part of the resolution that you have just read which would create a joint committee on executive expenditures because the function of scrutinizing such expenditures has already been assigned and is being ably carried out by the standing Committees on Expenditures of the two Houses.

Furthermore, it seems to me that when you consider the multitudinous number of agencies in the executive branch of the National Government which are depicted upon that chart upon the wall, and when you consider their multifarious activities, it would be much too big a task to assign to any single committee of the Congress, be it joint or a committee of either House, to investigate the expenditures, the practices and the procedures of all the agencies in the administrative branch of the National Government.

That suggestion was seriously considered by the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress and, after due deliberation, the committee recommended and the Congress approved of the division of the oversight function among the standing committees of both Houses. We were also persuaded to make that recommendation, and I think the Congress was convinced in approving of it, by the experience of the so-called Smith committee of the House of Representatives which bad this function proposed to be assigned to this joint committee by the resolution you have read, which attempted to perform it for several

years, and which finally concluded it was too big a job for a single committee of the Congress to undertake.

Mr. VAN HORN. The sum of your argument would be that you would not favor the inclusion of that provision of the resolution?

Dr. GALLOWAY. That is correct.

Senator BRICKER. The remainder of the resolution is just a question of policy as to whether or not we ought to cut this big committee to a small joint committee on the budget.

Dr. GALLOWAY. On that, Mr. Chairman, I think that it would be a wise move to reduce the size of the Joint Budget Committee to more manageable proportions. As you know, section 138 of the Legislative Reorganization Act provides that the Joint Budget Committee can carry out its function through a subcommittee thereof, and that has been the practice. A subcommittee composed of five members each of the four constituent committees has been set up, and I understand is performing the function assigned by that section of the act. It might be possible to reduce even further the size of the subcommittee to 12 members composed of three each from the four constituent committees.

Senator BRICKER. Do I understand that this resolution proposes a substitute for the Committee on the Budget, or is it supplementary?

Mr. VAN HORN. Substitute. Senator BRICKER. Substitute? Mr. Van HORN. Yes, sir. Senator BRICKER. This would reduce it to eight, I believe, wouldn't it?

Mr. VAN HORN. No, sir. This would reduce it to 12.

Senator THYE. Mr. Chairman, I find it necessary to leave, and I would like to ask a question of Dr. Galloway.

Senator BRICKER. Senator Thye.

Senator Thys. From observation of the functioning of the various standing committees in the first session of the Eightieth Congress, have you any criticism of the number of subcommittees that have been established within these standing committees?

Dr. Galloway. Well, Senator, I have studied the subcommittee structure of the standing committees of both Houses of Congress as presently organized and my opinion is that on the whole the subcommittee structure is a sound one. It is true that there are some 16 more standing subcommittees at the present time than there were prior to the passage of the act under review. But if you examine the structure of those subcommittees you will find that they have been set up for the most part along parallel lines in the two Houses and that they have been defined so as to cover principally the jurisdiction of the former standing committees of both Houses which were absorbed by the new committees. So, while there may be some room for improvement in the standing subcommittee structure in a few cases, on the whole I think that that structure is a good one.

Senator THYE. I am sorry that I cannot stay, Mr. Chairman, but I am committed to another meeting.

Senator FERGUSON. I am sorry to be late this morning but I have four committees in which I am interested this morning.

Senator BRICKER. You might comment on that. [Laughter.]

Dr. GALLOWAY. I intend to comment on that, Senator, in just a few minutes.

[blocks in formation]

In the third place, I suggest the possibility of the selection of committee chairmen by some better method than seniority. The preponderant judgment of many legislators, political scientists, and students of the congressional committee system is that the seniortiy custom is not the best method of selection and that some substitute should be sought.

I recognize the advantages of the automatic protocol, so-called, that the seniority custom permits, and I recognize also that the abolition of the seniority custom is less necessary, perhaps, now since Public Law 601 eliminated 47 seniors by abolishing that many cominittees, and also because of the fact that section 133 of the act reguntes committee operations by placing certain controls upon the chinirinen in the conduct of the standing committees. Nevertheless, I think it is worthy of this committee's consideration.

Henator FERGUSON. Of course, Dr. Galloway, you do recognize, do you not, the power of a chairman in a committee?

Dr. CALLOWAY. Yes. He has great power.

Henntor FERGUSON. And that when seniority does control of course there is great power there.

Dr. CHALLOWAY. That is correct.

Henator FERGUSON. And anything that can be done to solve the woblem of getting better committee chairmen is always desirable. That is one of the things that you had in mind when you said you pealed the 33 Senate committees to 15 now? DE GALLOWAY. Yes, sir.

tor FERGUSON. Plus the fact that it has taken away quite a lot of the power where, let us assume, it was almost possible for him to arry the committee around in his pocket, as it were, and report or not

the desired. Dr. GALLOWAY. Exactly.

mtor FERGUSON. Do you think that has been entirely eliminated lay the section to which you referred?

Dr. CALLOWAY. Well, Senator Ferguson, I have not been able to Pelow the conduct of all the committees of both Houses of Congress conly enough to be able to answer that question with conviction, but em loms it that section 133 of the act has not always been fully

But, as you know, during the past year I have been rupied with working for a committee of the House on a particular

nient and thus I haven't been able to pay as close attention to Herperation of this act as I should like to have done.

intor FERGUSON. We have to acknowledge that we are dealing Hitlu have machine.

ID ALLOWAY. We certainly are. Fator FERGUSON. And when we set up that section as we did, it da vot control it as it would a mechanical machine. The human want sometimes varies, and that is what is wrong with some of

CALLOWAY. Exactly. This section does not automatically tor BKICKER. It does not, per se, make an able chairman or a

[ocr errors]

1. GIALLOWAY. After canvassing several methods of selecting

mittee chairman, I have been led to think that two methods un result in a better solution of this problem. I suggest, first, the

possibility of the selection of committee chairman by the committee on committees of the majority party which now makes the other committee assignments and which, freed from the incubus of seniority, could be counted upon to appoint the majority party's ablest men to the chairmanships.

Senator FERGUSON. Would you include the word "ablest” in all cases?

Dr. Galloway. That is a difficult question to answer, Senator Ferguson.

Senator FERGUSON. Doctor, you don't have to answer that question. If that were true, I think you have solved the problem.

Senator BRICKER. You would have to have more than a slide rule.

Dr. GALLOWAY. As you know, the committee on committees in making its assignments on the majority side takes into consideration several criteria. They consider not only seniority in the Senate but seniority of service upon the committee; they consider the question of geographical balance; they consider the offices that the Senator has previously held in his home State; they consider the population of the State, the relative size of the State in point of population.

Senator FERGUSON. And even the date that the State was admitted to the Union, on occasion.

Dr. GALLOWAY. Exactly.

And I believe they also consider age among their criteria. So that seniority is not the sole criterion of selection.

Another possible method of selection would be appointment of the committee chairmen by the majority leaders in each House. These men are responsible for steering their party's legislative program through the stormy waters of floor debate to the safe harbor of final passage. They receive legislative proposals from the committees and determine the order of business on the floor. To vest the power of appointing committee chairmen in the floor leaders would greatly strengthen party responsibility and the authority of the majority leaders in both Houses.

It may be objected that this suggestion would lead to a return to “Cannonism." But I should like to remind the committee that it was not simply the power of Speaker Cannon and his predecessors to appoint the chairmen of the standing committees of the lower House so much as it was the power of the Speaker to grant or withhold recognition on the floor and his powers as chairman of the Rules Committee of the House which gave rise to the revolution of 1910 which overthrew the Speaker and deprived him of all these powers. If I remember my history correctly, it was these other powers that I have mentioned rather than the power of the Speaker to appoint committee chairmen which gave rise to the alleged abuses that were complained of.

Senator BRICKER. Of course, if he had the power to appoint the chairmen of the committees he could also control what bills should be presented to those committees in the House.

Dr. GallOWAY. That is true.

Senator BRICKER. And he would have a great deal of influence over what they would recommend.

Dr. GALLOWAY. That is quite true.

Senator FERGUSON. Of course, after all, there is something in the theory that party responsibility does permit the people back home every 2 years, talking about the House, and one-third of the Senate,

to change that. That gives party responsibility to the people; does it not?

Dr. Galloway. I think that is true, except in one-party districts.

Senator FERGUSON. Well, but there again in real theory we wouldn't have one-party districts unless the people of those particular districts believe that that is what they want, and of course then if they have a free vote, if they have political freedom—that is, for all to vote and to have their votes counted-and they desire that kind of a system, then that kind of a system should endure. Isn't that correct?

Dr. Galloway. I think that is correct, though in actual practice, an you know, Senator Ferguson, there are seven Southern States in which, because the suffrage is so restricted and for other reasons, only one political party is in existence.

Senator FERGUSON. Yes; I found that out a little more forcefully than I had before when I went down into Arkansas on the Privileges and Elections Committee to conduct an inquiry into an election down there. I hadn't realized the full significance of the vote in that State and some other States.

Senator BRICKER. Likewise, it results, also, when the Democratic Purty is in control of the Congress, in practically all of the

committee chairmen coming from the same general section of the country.

Dr. Galloway. That is correct.

Senator BRICKER. It was true in the last Congress and it would be true again.

Dr. GALLOWAY. Yes.

Senator FERGUSON. And, of course, seniority does in a way control that situation.

Senator BRICKER. That is what I mean. Under the seniority rule that is what you have.

Dr. GALLOWAY. Precisely.

Senator FERGUSON. Under the one-party system men remain in the Congress much longer than where you have the two-party system.

Dr. GALLOWAY. That is the advantage of the one-party system. Senator FERGUSON. Yes; and, therefore, you really control seniority.

Dr. GALLOWAY. It gives one section of the country the control of the committees of the Congress when that party is in power.

Senator FERGUSON. Yes.

Senator BRICKER. Have you paid attention to your sixth suggestion here? That is, "Automatic rotation in office at periodic intervals." I can see that it wouldn't work in the House; it might work in the Senate. I know several courts of the country, courts of last resort of the States, that follow that method. Ours does not. I wonder if it has any practical recommendations.

Dr. GALLOWAY. Yes, Senator; I think that the automatic rotation of committee chairmen in office at periodic intervals is worthy of your serious consideration. This method of selecting committee chairmen by rotating the chairmanship at intervals, say 4 or 6 years, among the senior members of the committee was recommended in the final report of the committee on Congress of the American Political Science Associntion after a 6-year study, a committee of which I had the honor to be chairman. So that might also receive special attention in reviewing the alternatives to the seniority custom. Shall I proceed? Senator BRICKER. Yes.

« PreviousContinue »