Congress Makes a Law: The Story behind the Employment Act of 1946

By Stephen Kemp Bailey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
The Staff in Room 15A

Once begin the dance of legislation, and you must struggle through its mazes as best you can to its breathless end, -- if any end there be. -- Wilson, Congressional Government, p. 297.

DURING the extensive hearings on the reorganization of Congress in 1945 much was said about the need for adequate staff assistance to Congressional committees and individual members. The growing complexity of government as a result of the economic and political changes of the past sixty years has made it impossible for the lay Congressional mind to deal adequately with the myriad technical problems of modern public law. T. Swann Harding has pointed out that

It is up to congressional committees and then to the Congress as a whole to grasp and decide upon the justice of appropriations for such projects as: The use of endocrines to increase egg production; the role of Johne's disease; coccidiosis and worm parasites in cattle production; the production of riboflavin from milk byproducts; spot treatment with soil fumigants for the control of root-knotnematode on melons; the use of mass releases of Macrocentrus ancylivorus to control oriental fruit moth injury; and the conversion of lactose into methyl acrylate to be polymerized with butadiene for the production of synthetic rubber.1

____________________
1
T. Swann Harding, "The Marriage of Science to Government," American Journal of Pharmacy, Oct. 1944, reprinted in U.S. Congress, Symposium on Congress by Members of Congress and Others, Joint Committee Print, 79th Cong., 1st Sess. ( Washington, 1945), p. 94.

-61-

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