« 이전계속 »
intent of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended by the Congress
During my tenure in the Senate, I have supported all of the legislavion providing for the reorganization of our National Government in the quest for efficiency and economy. I shall continue to support that basic principle. The results of some of the plans that have been adopted heretofore have been rather disappointing. No notable economies have flowed from any reorganization that has occurred heretofore, so far as I am advised.
It seems that to secure any real economy in Government, it will be necessary for the Congress to resort to the idea of reducing appropriations rather than depending upon reorganization. But some of the programs have undoubtedly contributed to the efficiency of the Government, and I still approve of the basic policy of the Reorganization Act.
But I submit, Madam Chairman, that the so-called Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 does not propose to reorganize the Department of Agriculture. It is purely a sweeping grant of power to a nonelected official, the Secretary of Agriculture, to reorganize that Department. It uses the machinery of the Reorganization Act, under which the Congress required that the President submit specific reorganization plans, to delegate great powers to one of the Executive Departments of the Government, a power that I dare say the Congress would never grant by way of direct legislation.
There is no doubt in my mind, Madam Chairman, that if the Congress approves this Reorganization Plan, it will represent the most complete abdication of legislative responsibility and power that has ever been made by this body.
In the passage of the reorganization laws, the Congress has always established certain specific safeguards to protect the proper prerogatives of the legislative branch of the Government. The law requires that the President submit to us a reorganization plan which we may approve or disapprove, under the conditions set forth in the act.
The power of the President of the United States to reorganize the executive branch of the Government has in each piece of legislation that has been enacted, been strictly limited as to time. When we enacted the amendment extending the Reorganization Act in this Congress, we placed a definite time limit of April 1, 1955, on the powers of the President to reorganize.
But this alleged reorganization plan has no time limit. It is a permanent delegation to any individual who happens to be Secretary of Agriculture to shift or alter the functions and activities of that Department to accord with his views without submitting to the Congress the proposed changes that he desires to make.
I wish to point out that there is no time limit, that this will confer these powers permanently. It gives to the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture far greater power than the Congress has ever been willing to give to the duly elected President of the United States, because it is without time limit and without having to submit back to the Congress, what be proposes to do.
If this plan be approved, the Congress has surrendered legislative control over the Department to an appointive official for all time to come.
We all know as practical men that any President would support any shifts that might be made even after 1955 in the Department of Agriculture, and that means in essence that the Congress would be required to summon a two-thirds vote to override a Presidential veto to enable the Congress ever to assert its control over the activities of this Department, although every activity in the Department is a creature of the Congress of the United States.
Reorganization Plan No. 2 is nothing but a blank check. It is not even a blank check made out to the President of the United States, but, as I have pointed out, it is to an appointive official. Once we sign this check, if we approve this alleged plan, the Secretary of Agriculture will have in effect taken over the powers and prerogatives of the Congress with respect to congressionally created functions of the Government.
I submit, Madam Chairman, that there is nothing in any of the Reorganization Acts which showed any intent whatsoever on the part of Congress to grant any such power to a member of the President's Cabinet. The entire basic law delegates the power to the President wherein it is tied in with the time limitation.
Section 2 of the act says:
The President shall examine and from time to time reexamine the organization of all agencies of the Government and shall determine what changes therein are necessary to accomplish the following purposes.
It then sets out the six purposes declared by the Congress.
I believe the Chair has already inserted the Reorganization Act of 1949 in the record. So I will not read all of these purposes.
Section 3 says:
Whenever the President, after investigation, findsand the findings that he must make are set forth-he shall prepare a reorganization plan *** and transmit such plan to the Congress * * * the delivery to both Houses shall be on the same day and shall be made to each House while it is in session, The President, in his message transmitting a reorganization plan, shall specify with respect to each abolition of a function included in the plan the statutory authority for the exercise of such function, and shall specify the reduction of expenditures (itemized so far as practicable) which it is probable will be brought about by the taking effect of the reorganization included in the plan.
Any reorganization plan transmitted by the President under section 3the entire act shows that the Congress never intended for the President to use the machinery of the Reorganization Act to delegate to a member of his Cabinet power that is greater than the Congress gave to the President himself when they passed the Reorganization Act.
Now, I submit, Madam Chairman, that my position cannot be construed as a reflection upon the present Secretary of Agriculture. This plan does not involve the question of personalities. There is very little difference between Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 and Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1950.
The Congress refused to grant this blank-check authority to a Democratic Secretary of Agriculture in 1950. I was one of those who opposed that grant of power.
I am opposed to granting such blank-check authority to a Republican Secretary of Agriculture in 1953, and if in the future the vicissitudes of politics bring the Democrats back into the control of the Government and I am in Congress at the time, I will continue to refuse to vote for any such abdication of congressional power as this plan No. 2 provides.
I listened with great interest as the distinguished chairman read some of the differences which she said distinguished plan No. 4 of 1950 from plan No. 2 of 1953. I have read both plans very carefully. There are some differences in them. But I must submit that they are very minor in character, and I could not agree that they were quite as outstanding as the chairman has indicated.
I understood her to say that there was assurance that the proposed changes would meet with the approval of those that were affected. But I find no such provision in the reorganization plan. It gives the Secretary the right, if he wishes to, to have hearings, but it does not even require him to have hearings on the plan. It says that to such extent to which he regards it to be advisable he can have hearings on the plan. And I consider this matter of hearings in here to be mere window dressing. There is no appeal, and there is no way on earth, if all of the farmers of America were to disapprove of something that the Secretary of Agriculture wished to do under this plan, in the year 1960, whereby they could enforce their demands.
It does not transfer to the Secretary the functions of the Farm Credit Administration. In that degree it is an improvement over plan No. 4 of 1950.
It also does not give the Secretary the same power over the appropriations for the current fiscal year as plan No. 4 did.
But I submit that the heart of this whole plan, placing all of the functions in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, whoever he may be, is identical with the 1950 plan which was condemned as a blanket abdication of the power of the Congress, by Republicans and Democrats alike. There was scarcely a dissenting voice raised.
To sustain that position, I merely wish to read into the record the pertinent portion of both plans, which is found in section 1. Here is plan No. 4 of 1950:
Section 1. Transfer of functions to the Secretary.-Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, there are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture all functions of all other officers of the Department of Agriculture and all functions of all agencies and employees of such Department.
Here is the language of plan No. 2 of 1953, that really conveys the power: Subject to the exceptions specified in subsection (b) of this section, there are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture all functions not now vested in him of all other officers and all agencies and employees of the Department of Agriculture.
I submit that there is no difference whatever except that one uses the word "except” and the other uses the word "subject." They both are subject to the same criticism that was made to the plan of 1950, that it was too sweeping a grant of congressional power of unlimited duration to an appointive officer.
Now, the 1950 resolution of disapproval was offered as a nonpartisan measure. It was sponsored by 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans. The senior Senator from Florida, Mr. Holland, and the junior Senator from South Carolina, Mr. Johnston, were the Democrats, and the senior Senator from Kansas, Mr. Schoeppel, and the senior Senator from Minnesota, Mr. Thye, were the Republicans.
At the hearings before this committee, witnesses opposed the plan. They attacked it as an unbridled grant of power. It was attacked on the ground that the plan did not conform to the report of the Hoover Commission. It was assailed because the reorganization was sought before the Department knew the nature of a long-range farm program that might be adopted by agriculture in this country.
I submit that all three of those objections apply to this pending proposal.
I do not wish to burden the record by lengthy statements from those hearings, but in looking over them, I was interested to find that some of those who are in effect seeking this power at the present time, roundly condemned this grant of power in 1950. For example, I want to read a brief excerpt from the testimony of Hon. John H. Davis, at the present time the Director of Commodity Marketing and Adjustment, but who appeared as a witness before this committee as the executive secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and I quote now from Mr. Davis' testimony. I shall not read all of it, but just excerpts:
However, we do not feel that plan No. 4 moves in that direction. We feel that it leaves too much open to discretion and too much latitude for the people who are carrying it out * * *
At the present time our hasic agricultural policy is in more or less of a state of flux. The farm plan that will be the basic structure for the bext several years is not definitely crystallized. There are various plans that are up for discussion, and it seerns to us that it is very difficult and unwise to try to reorganize the Department until we know what kind of farm plan the Department is to carry out.
I submit that that language applies to the condition in this country today relating to agriculture with just as much force as it did when that statement was made in 1950.
We have secured extensions of the 90 percent support plan from time to time with power in the Secretary to control production, at least insofar as the basic commodities are concerned. But that law expires next year, and so far as I am advised, the Secretary of Agriculture and his Director, Commodity Marketing and Adjustment, and assistants, have never yet disclosed to the American people the plan that they would recommend to the Congress to be applied in this country to the farmers after 1954.
So that language of Mr. Davis, who is the present Director, Commodity Marketing and Adjustment, applies with great force to the condition in which the American farmer finds himself today.
I now proceed to read further from Mr. Davis' statement:
I think we will know much more about the shape of our farm policy within a few months, and the reorganization should be geared to the evolving farm policy. So we do not think now is a good time for a reorganization to take place.
I hope we know more about the shape of our farm policy within a few months than today.
We feel further that Congress should assume the responsibility for the laying out of the general outline of organization at the time Congress lays out the general outline of basic farm policy.
The other point that I want to make is this: Within the Department of Agriculture there are a number of strong, well-organized agencies. They are agencies that are set up to carry out important functions. The people that are heading those agencies and that are working in those agencies are most of them very sincere people
I am willing in applying it today to concede that they are all fair people but it is only human nature for a person to think that his particular task and his particular agency is the most important. The result is that whenever a reorganization takes place in the Department, and they are fairly common, it is more or less a matter of rivalry among agencies as to which particular program and agency will be dominant.
Here he projects himself into the future:
I think that any future reorganizations will pretty much suffer from the same type of pressure from within the Department. This being true, it seems to us that it is going to be very difficult for any Secretary of Agriculture, and this is no reflection upon any particular Secretary of Agriculture, to build and put into effect from within the Department the outline of a sound reorganization.
I will say in connection with that statement that that was undoubtedly the view of the Congress when they placed the power to reorganize in the President of the United States, where it properly belongs, rather than to have any such blanket grant of power given to any appointive official.
Now, Mr. Davis gets down to the most objectionable feature of the plan, and I certainly say that this is worthy of notice by the committee:
The thing that we object to most is that plan 4 turns over to the Secretary the whole job of reorganization, and then it provides that if after experimentation with such plan that does not work, he is free to reorganize it again, as he sees fit * * *
We oppose plan No. 4 because it turns over the whole job of reorganizing and determining the center of emphasis within the Department to the Secretary. If I were Secretary, I certainly would prefer to have Congress outline the organization structure, rather than attempt to do it myself.
That is the objection that comes from, as I stated, the present Director of Commodity Marketing and Adjustment.
Another prominent official of the Department, the Honorable Romeo E. Short, who now has a very important position as head of one of the new divisions of the Department created by the present Secretary, and who I understand is in line for the office of Assistant Secretary if the Congress creates the two new Assistant Secretaries provided by this new reorganization plan, likewise appeared before the committee on Reorganization Plan No. 4 and I will read a brief excerpt from his
Reorganization Plan No. 4 submitted by the President on March 13 constitutes a general grant of authority to the Secretary of Agriculture, without direction or guidance to him to carry out any phase of reorganization recommended either by the Hoover Commission or its task force on agriculture. Since it is without guide or direction, we regard the plan as an unwise grant of general authority and power.
It is exactly and identically the same power that is proposed in this plan.
Reorganization Plan No. 4 is really not a plan. A plan should have recommendations, framework, and structure. Plan 4 does not have these. It is therefore not a plan.
We would like to call attention to the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture is a very large Department; its agencies reach into every State, into every community and into every county, not with just one program, but with several. If in the future, effort was made to misuse this extensive administrative organization, the ill effects or the disadvantages of centralized government might be much more noticeable in an organization of this kind than in some of the other administrative branches of government. We would like to call attention to the fact that the legislative history of the reorganization act indicates that the