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for study and report and thereafter to Judiciary for final action. (Congressional Record, February 10, 1947, p. 957.)
7. Senate Joint Resolution 122, consenting to an interstate oil compact to conserve oil and gas. Interstate and Foreign Commerce versus Judiciary. Referred to Judiciary. (Congressional Record, June 2, 1947, p. 6277.)
8. Senate Joint Resolution 145, authorizing commencement of an action by the United States to determine interstate water rights in the Colorado River. Public Lands versus Judiciary. (Congressional Record, July 3, 1947, pp. 8448–50; July 8, 1947, pp. 8591-99.) Senate voted after debate to refer resolution to Committee on Public Lands.
EXHIBIT B. RE-REFERENCES OF HOUSE BILLS DURING EIGHTIETH CONGRESS,
FIRST SESSION During the first session of the Eightieth Congress 12 House bills were referred by unanimous consent from one committee to another. The Parliamentarian of the House interprets the fact that these changes of reference were made by unanimous consent to indicate that no jurisdictional disputes over bill reference occurred during the session. The 12 changes of reference were as follows:
H. R. 70 from the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service to the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.
H. R. 243, 507, 1184 from the Committee on Armed Services to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
H. R. 2473 from Banking and Currency to Public Works.
Exhibit C. STANDING COMMITTEES Which WERE ACTIVE IN SUPERVISING THE
ADMINISTRATION DURING EIGHTIETH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION 1
Senator FERGUSON. The next witness is Mr. George H. E. Smith, staff director, Majority Policy Committee, United States Senate. We have asked the Senate to allow us to continue that we might finish here.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE H. E. SMITH SECRETARY AND STAFF
DIRECTOR MAJORITY POLICY COMMITTEE, UNITED STATES SENATE
Mr. Smith. I am very grateful for that, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, and I have so designed my statement that I will not take the full time for the statement as printed but just pick up certain high lights of it.
Senator FERGUSON. I should like to have this printed in its entirety.
19. Smith. If I may have the privilege of having the statement ist appear in the record, then I will eliminate a lot of the trivialities
a bare been covered in prior hearings. Scator FERGUSON. All right. We will put it in the record as waren, and now you may proceed to give us your ideas.
Wr. Suith. I should explain at the outset, Mr. Chairman, that vän I hold the office of secretary and staff director of the Majority e Committee, I speak solely for myself and not for the Policy
mittee or any of its members. I have also had the pleasure yesterday and today of hearing former Sator La Follette and Representative Monroney and Dr. Galloway give their statements, which to me were so comprehensive in their purview and appraisal of the Reorganization Act that I have designed mr own statement not to repeat what they have done but to supplement it wherever the detailed supplement is within my own compeience to explain. So that, instead of going over the whole act and tolling what works and what doesn't work and wbat we have suggested, I have limited myself to three basic subjects which are imporiant in the act: One, the legislative budget; two, the question of seniority, because I think that is a question you may be plagued with as these hearings go on; and, third, the question of the work load of Members of Congress which' I believe will not be touched upon by very many witnesses before you in this or subsequent hearings.
Senator FERGUSON. I think, Mr. Smith, you have special knowlodge on this question of the work load. You not only have special knowledge of the work load of one Senator but you have it of all of the majority Members. Anyone else that would testify would probably be speaking about the work load of an individual Senator if he was an agent of that Senator or in that office. The general public, I think, are unaware of the work load of the Congress as a whole and of a majority or minority party, so I think you have special knowledge and we welcome that knowledge here because that is one of the big problems before the people and the Congress, the work load of individuals and the party as a whole. Is it not?
Mr. Smith. I believe that is true, Senator. I think I can make a contribution on the problem of the work load that would not very well be brought before this committee. Having to deal with a large number of Senators and with a large number of committees, the implications of the work load have come to my attention in a way not
wily described by others not similarly placed. So, if I may have that privilege, I will touch upon that, too.
Senator FERGUSON. Spend all the time you like on that because it one of our vital problems.
Mr. Smith. Just by way of a preliminary observation, I would like #w) say that this Reorganization Act of 1946 was one of the most
ping reorganizations of Congress within my knowledge of the history of the Federal Government. And, while that is true, RepreSutive Mike Monroney made the statement at the close of the first
xion of the Eightieth Congress that the Reorganization Act was at est if not more than 50 percent effective. I have checked that from niher sources and I believe the effectiveness of the Reorganization Act san greater than 50 percent. I should like to point out that if this
most sweeping reorganization of Congress, and if it can be 50
percent effective in one session of Congress, you have made a remarkable achievement.
Congress is a complex institution in which all the deep forces of X human relations are at work. It is also governed by rules and customs tried in years of experience. Any material change in a body so complicated must of necessity go through a period of transition while adjustment is made between the old and the new. If you have made 50 percent progress that is indeed a remarkable achievement.
Now, I should like to take up the first of the special problems you are probably facing in relation to the Reorganization Act; that is, the legislative budget, which is on page 6 of my statement. The concurrent resolution on the legislative budget is scheduled for the floor of the Senate beginning this afternoon, and it has been one of the most irritating problems that Congress has had to contend with.
The purpose of the legislative budget was to provide an over-all estimate of receipts and expenditures early in the session as a means of correlating the several appropriation measures and guiding the committees in their work. The idea grew out of very, very deplorable conditions. Some 12 to 15 departmental appropriations bills were being handled piecemeal over many months by the Appropriations committees and a large number of subcommittees. So long as the over-all Federal budget did not exceed, as in 1932, $5,000,000,000, so long as it was not more than $9,000,000,000 as in 1938, appropriations control was relatively a simple problem. But now that you are handling $40,000,000,000, one-fifth approximately of the national income, the fiscal problem of government as far as Congress is concerned is in a very confused and chaotic condition.
Each of these Appropriations Committees acts in a sovereign capacity. Their subcommittees pass upon the merits of each department and agency budget without correlation with the work done in other subcommittees.
These committee meetings go on piecemeal over many months in each session of Congress. It is not until Congress adjourns that the final total of appropriations for the Government can be known. The system is haphazard. It is without any measure of congressional control over the total of Government expenditures. The value of different Government services cannot be compared for the purpose of making equitable economies.
Those who framed the idea of a legislative budget were seeking a device which would give an over-all view of proposed Federal Government expenditures early in the session. The President's budget would be examined by the Joint Committee on the Legislative Budget. The committee would make an estimate of revenues for the fiscal year and then fix a figure for the total Government expenditures which would bear a desirable relation to the estimated revenues. In this way, some idea could be gained whether the Federal Budget could be balanced; whether a surplus might be available for debt and tax reduction; or whether a deficit would compel an increase in the public debt. It was hoped that these figures would become a guide to the Appropriations Committees to achieve the over-all result desired by Congress. The objective of the legislative budget was thus a desirable and much needed reform in budget-making and appropriations control.
Having made a study of what took place in the last session of Congress with respect to the legislative budget, I have come to the conclusion that the idea is quite unworkable. This can be explained by_describing some of the difficluties which arose.
First, the time allowed for the job is too short. The President presents his budget approximately on January 14. This budget is as large as a telephone book and the committee is expected to go over it and produce an over-all report by February 15. The time allowed is too short for the size of the job. The suggestion has been made that the legislative budget report be delayed until March 15 or April 1. If it is postponed too long, then the whole idea of the budget report is lost. It no longer functions as a guide; it no longer correlates anything. If it is postponed beyond the period when the committees begin to work, which is fairly early in the session, much of the usefulness of the legislative budget as a guide is lost.
The second difficulty arises from the fact that the number of members on the four committees is too large. The joint committee was unbalanced and unwieldy. That was one of the things which irritated relations between the House and the Senate in legislative budget procedure last year. The membership of 102 was finally reduced to an executive committee of 20, but the statute still requires action by the full number.
The third difficulty arose from inadequate staffing. It is a serious question whether the staff can or should be made large enough to do a thorough job. Proper examination of the budget amounts to and almost requires full appropriations hearings. Budget making in the executive department involves a large staff of experts, accountants, and statisticians. Every Government department, bureau, and agency has its budget officers and staff. There are several hundred additional officers in the Budget Bureau itself to review departmental budgets. They are at work the entire year. And yet the small staff of the Joint Budget Committee is expected to review, to examine, to criticize, and to cut down or increase, the President's budget figures, in a matter of about 6 weeks, work which takes thousands of employees to do over a whole year. I doubt whether it is even possible to approximate the number of staff people in the joint budget committee needed to do the kind of job that has to be done.
Senator FERGUSON. Mr. Smith, right on that point, this isn't just a question of figures that these men on this committee are facing but it is field work, is it not?
Mr. Smith. Quite right.
Senator FERGUSON. It is field work to ascertain whether or not the amount is too high, too low, or the correct amount. These men that are the budget directors out in the field in the department have that knowledge, and we find that they almost always put in for more than they actually expect because they have under the system in former years learned that usually a certain percentage is wiped out, so that if they can get in a large budget they are successful. But you have to go out into the field, do you not, if you want to find out how much we should budget?
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
One of the erroneous assumptions back of the legislative budget is the idea that it could be a mere statistical computation, that it was only necessary to take the President's budget and say, "We will
mark down expenditures by 10 percent in this department and 5 percent in that department,” and in this way come through with a congressional budget either larger or smaller than that of the President. Well, that, of course, is quite ludicrous. Percentage alterations on paper soon create difficulties with the real interests affected by the changes in the budget. The budget involves $40,000,000,000 worth of interests-veterans' interests, Army and Navy interests, reclamation projects, interests of river and harbor construction, foreign aid programs, and all other activities which vitally affect the people and the national economy. When interests like these are involved, changes in the President's budget will require detailed support before they will be accepted by Congress as a whole. Simple percentage changes in the over-all departmental budget totals will not be enough. Senators and House Members who are not on the budget committee will want to know in detail where budget reductions are to be made before they vote to approve the legislative budget. The members of the budget committee will be pressed to go into the substantive detail and away from the statistical detail, which brings the discussion right into the field of the operations of the entire Government program. Yet these details can only be developed in the regular appropriations hearings.
That situation is illustrated by what is now going on in connection with the Bureau of Reclamation. Joint meetings of House and Senate subcommittees on Interior Department appropriations have been held over the last 3 or 4 months in a simple attempt to learn what the Reclamation Bureau is spending in the western areas of the United States.
Senator FERGUSON. Not only what but how they are spending it.
Mr. Smith. Yes. What they are spending, how they are spending it, and how they have misrepresented certain expenditure data, in prior hearings before appropriation committees. Hearings like these illustrate the fact that appropriations deal with vital realities and cannot be treated merely as statistical computations. That is why it is not so easy to take the President's budget and a pencil and come up with a legislative budget. May I proceed with the rest of these points, Senator? Senator FERGUSON. Yes.
Mr. Smith. The idea of a legislative budget is not properly fitted to the appropriation process. No ceiling to Government expenditures can be set until a substantial body of fact is developed. In the debate on the legislative budget last year the charge was repeatedly made that the Joint Committee was wielding a meat ax in the dark in making cuts in the budget without having a detailed study at hand. Members of the Joint Budget Committee explained time and again that the details of where the cuts were being made could not be given because the budget had not been examined in detail. That was an appropriations process, they explained, but other Senators persisted in asking for details which could not possibly be provided in a general legislative budget report. Many hours of fruitless debate were spent in controversy because the legislative budget was expected to contain matters which could only be developed by an appropriation process extending over several months.
The CHAIRMAN. You might say that although the Appropriations Committee may have been using a meat ax in the dark-I don't