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

By Stephen Kemp Bailey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
The Senate Approves

Nowadays many of the Senators are, indeed, very rich men, and there has come to be a great deal of talk about their vast wealth and the supposed aristocratic tendencies which it is imagined to breed. But even the rich Senators cannot be said to be representatives of a class. -- Wilson, Congressional Government, p. 225.

IT WOULD DO considerable violence to history to suggest that the Senate as a whole, or the Senate sponsors of S.380 in particular, spent most of their working hours in 1945 worrying about the Full Employment Bill. During the first session of the Seventy-ninth Congress, which lasted from January' 3 to December 21, 1945, the Senate passed 1,005 bills and resolutions, voted for 23 investigations of which nine were by special committees, handled 11,056 Presidential nominations, and filled up 5,960 pages of the Congressional Record with its proceedings.1 Besides full employment, the Senators among themselves, in committee, or on the floor, had such weighty matters to discuss as the extension of the reciprocal trade agreements, the organization of the United Nations, the death of Roosevelt, the Bretton Woods agreement, the end of the war, the Civil Aviation Treaty, the atomic: bomb, the extension of war powers, the return of the United States Employment Service to the states,

____________________
1
Floyd M. Riddick, "The First Session of the Seventy-Ninth Congress", The American Political Science Review, Vol. XL, April, 1946, passim.

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