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LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATION BILL, 1944
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE EMMET O'NEAL
(CHAIRMAN), JOE HENDRICKS, ALBERT GORE, MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, D. LANE POWERS, NOBLE J. JOHNSON, WALTER C. PLOESER, AND H. CARL ANDERSEN (SERVING TEMPORARILY), OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN CHARGE OF THE LEGISLATIVE-JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION BILL, 1944, ON THE DAYS FOLLOWING:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 1943. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
STATEMENTS OF J. C. SHANKS, DISBURSING CLERK, ACCOMPANIED
BY H. NEWLIN MEGILL, OF THE CLERK'S OFFICE, AND JOHN C. PAGE, PROPERTY CUSTODIAN
Mr. O'NEAL. Mr. Shanks, will you first make a statement as to your past experience, and, in general, what your activities and duties have been here on the Hill, and also tell us what are the duties of the disbursing clerk.
Mr. SHANKS. Mr. Chairman, you made a similar request last year, and I will be glad to read that statement into the record, as follows.
DUTIES OF DISBURSING CLERK
The duties of the House disbursing clerk, and his office under the jurisdiction and direction of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, are numerous in addition to disbursing funds, that is to say:
First: Handles the preparation of pay rolls and the disbursement of all salaries of employees, including clerks to Members, and all other funds appropriated for the operation of the House, with the exception of salaries and mileage of Members, which latter two accounts are handled by the Sergeant at Arms of the House. Handles all voucher payments covering the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, and other necessary expenses, as well as the salaries and expenses of special investigating committees. All such vouchers must first be checked and audited before payment. Also, keeps complete books, records, accounts, and allocations covering each appropriation item and the expenditures therefrom. Is bonded to the Clerk of the House for the faithful performance in carrying out the duties of his office. Must comply with all laws as well as the rules and regulations of the United States Treasury, Bureau of the Budget and General Accounting Office. All accounts and disbursements are audited quarterly by the Comptroller General of the United States.
Second : Acts as Budget officer in the name of the Clerk of the House in the preparation of all estimates and handles the justifications thereof before the Committee on Appropriations.
Third: Acts as Personnel Officer of the House insofar as maintaining personnel records are concerned, and furnishes all such data and information relating thereto that may be required by an employee or the Government departments and other parties concerned.
Fourth: Has complete charge of all retirement deductions and records of about 500 employees who are under retirement as provided by law and in connection therewith must comply with all retirement laws as well as the rules and regulations of the United States Civil Service Commission.
Fifth: Must secure a personnel affidavit from each and every employee and clerk as to his or her American citizenship before paying any salary or wages. This requirement also applies to all voucher disbursements such as salary or wages paid to any person employed by an investigating committee. A complete card index file is maintained covering these affidavits.
Sixth: Has charge of the purchase and distribution of air-mailpostage stamps for Members of the House which necessitates his keeping 438 individual accounts covering the same.
For the further information of the committee would state that at the present time we are carrying over 1,900 employees in a pay status. Our monthly pay roll covering salaries only runs about $400,000. Our total monthly disbursement, including salaries, averages $450,000. or approximately $5,500,000 a year. In addition to the disbursing clerk the office staff consists of six assistants.
I may add, Mr. Chairman, that since this statement was made that we now have the provision for increased compensation to take care of, and I am also in charge of the operation of the Victory tax as it affects employees of the House. Mr. Trimble, designated me as the withholding agent for the House in handling that work, and I have to account for the same and submit reports to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Mr. O'NEAL. Your past experience has been what?
Mr. SHANKS. I have been disbursing clerk of the House for 16 years. Prior to that I had the pleasure of serving as a secretary to a Member of Congress for 8 years, and at the same time clerk of a committee for 4 years, and for over a year as secretary to a United States Senator. I have had over 25 years' experience on Capitol Hill. I first came here in 1915, although for 2 years I was not on the Capitol pay roll. Before coming to Washington, I was employed by a large manufacturing concern for 4 years doing cost accounting, financial, and pay roll work.
Mr. PLOESER. There are 2,000 employees included under your jurisdiction?
Mr. SHANKS. All the employees of the House, including clerks to Members; everybody except the Members. We have about 1,200 clerks to Members and about 800 other employees.
Mr. PLOESER. You are including the staffs of all Members?
Mr. SHANKS. Yes, congressional clerks or secretaries. There are various other employees the number of which will fluctuate from time to time, but on a rough estimate there are about 2,000 on the roll.
COMPARISON OF 1943 APPROPRIATION AND 1944 ESTIMATES Mr. O'NEAL. Have you a statement you would like to make to the committee?
Mr. SHANKS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHANKS. Mr. Chairman, we desire to insert in the record a comparative statement marked “Exhibit A” showing the appropriations for the fiscal year 1943, the estimates for the fiscal
year 1944, and the increase or decrease proposed in the estimates as compared with the current appropriations.
(Exhibit A referred to is as follows:)
Exhibit A.—Comparative statement showing the appropriations for 1943, the
estimates for 1944, and the increase or decrease proposed in the estimates as compared with the current appropriations
EXHIBIT A.-Comparative statement showing the appropriations for 1943, the
estimates for 1944, and the increase or decrease proposed in the estimates as compared with the current appropriations—Continued
1 Includes $4,200 supplemental estimate of appropriation, fiscal year 1941, for the employment of two additional committee employees.
2 Includes $7,500 supplemental estimate of appropriation, fiscal year 1944, for the employment of an additional official reporter of proceedings and debates.
3 Includes $250,000 additional for 1943 appropriated by H. J. Res. 82, 78th Cong., 1st sess. * Includes $250,000 supplemental estimate of appropriation, fiscal year 1944.
Mr. SHANKS. The total Budget estimates, both regular and supplemental, for the House of Representatives, fiscal year 1944, exclusive of “Legislative miscellaneous,” amounts to $9,528,195, or an increase of $43,092 over the appropriations for the current fiscal year 1943.
The total increases in our estimates amount to $50,124 while the total decreases amount to $7,032, making the total net increase $43,092. The items of increases are for salaries, officers, and employees, amounting to $15,124. The decreases, same appropriation, amount to $5,772, er a net increase totaling $9,352. In the contingent fund we have an increase in one item amounting to $35,000 and a decrease in another item amounting to $1,260, or a net increase totaling $33,740. All of these items of increases and decreases, as well as the regular estimates, will be explained in detail as we take up each paragraph as appearing in the Budget estimates.
SALARIES OF MEMBERS, DELEGATES, AND RESIDENT COMMISSIONER FROM
The estimates for 1944 for "Salaries of Members” calls for $4,385,000, the same as appropriated for the current fiscal year 1943, and is based on 435 Members, 2 Delegates, and 1 Resident Commissioner, or a total of 438 at $10,000 each and $5,000 additional compensation for the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
MILEAGE OF MEMBERS, DELEGATES, AND RESIDENT COMMISSIONER FROM
The next item is for “Mileage of Representatives, the Delegates from Hawaii and Alaska, and the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico," and the amount estimated for 1944 is $171,000, the same as appropriated for the fiscal year 1943.
SALARIES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
The estimates for 1944 amount to $13,500, the same as appropriated for 1943, there being no change whatsoever in the paragraph.
THE SPEAKER'S TABLE
The estimates for the employees at the Speaker's table for the fiscal year 1944 amount to $15,400, the same as appropriated for the fiscal year 1943, there also being no change whatsoever in the paragraph.
The estimate for the chaplain's compensation for 1944 totaling $2,500 represents an increase of $820 per annum over the basic salary of $1,680. This additional compensation is to be paid only so long as the position is held by the present incumbent, as authorized by House Resolution 138 adopted December 2, 1942, and since December 1, 1942, we have been paying this additional rate of compensation out of the contingent fund of the House.
Mr. PLOESER. In other words, the Chaplain has been getting an additional amount?
Mr. SHANKS. Yes; by resolution of the House.
OFFICE OF THE CLERK
The next item is for the Office of the Clerk, and the estimates for 1944 amount to $182,144 as compared with $178,540 appropriated for 1943, or an increase of $3,604; $3,600 of this increase is for the employment of an assistant tally clerk as authorized by House Resolution 569 adopted November 11, 1942, and since November 1, 1942, this salary has also been paid out of the contingent fund. The remaining $4 increase represents the additional day's salary for a substitute telephone operator on February 29, as 1944 is a leap year.
REQUESTS FOR DEFERMENT FROM MILITARY SERVICE
Mr. O'NEAL. Have you in your office requested any deferments from military service, and if so, what are they, and for what length of time have they been requested?
Mr. SHANKS. You mean in my own particular office? Mr. O'NEAL. For any employee in the office of the Clerk of the House, or anyone else.
Mr. SHANKS. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will turn that matter over to Mr. Megill, who has more knowledge of the Clerk's office in general.
Mr. O'NEAL. Mr. Megill, have any deferments been asked for of any employees on the Hill, of whom you have any knowledge ?
Mr. MEGILL. The Clerk has requested the deferment of only one of his employees.
Mr. O'NEAL. For what period of time was the deferment requested, and what deferment was granted ?