and the Failure
of the Opposition
The passage of the Emergency Banking Act and the reopening of the banks solved the immediate banking crisis, but the problem of remedial bank reform legislation remained. Franklin Roosevelt's original plan was to summon the legislators, enact the emergency program, and then recess Congress until comprehensive economic reforms could be formulated. Public reaction to the bank holiday was so favorable, however, that the administration decided to proceed with additional legislation designed to aid not only the banking situation, but overall economic conditions as well. In a letter to a Massachusetts banker, the president wrote: "We seem to be off to a good start and I hope to get through some important legislation while the feeling of the country is so friendly."1 On March 10, the president sent his second message to Congress. He asked for curtailment in government spending by reducing veterans' pensions and government salaries. The Economy Act was passed on March 20. Although the atmosphere was optimistic, the president was keenly aware of the problems that lay ahead, and he understood well the attitude that the banking community would take toward many of his proposals. After the passage of the Economy Act, Roosevelt wrote to Colonel Edward M. House, Woodrow Wilson's adviser.