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"If section 9 (c) were held valid, it would be idle to pretend that anything would be left of limitations upon the power of the Congress to delegate its lawmaking function. The reasoning of the many decisions we have reviewed would be made vacuous and their distinctions nugatory. Instead of performing its law-making functions, the Congress could at will and as to such subjects as it chose transfer that function to the President or other officer or to an administrative body. The question is not of the intrinsic importance of the particular statute before us, but of the constitutional processes of legislation which are an essential part of our system of Government."
It is clear, therefore, that the Congress does not have the authority to delegate its legislative power.
In McGrain v. Daugherty (273 U. S. 135), the Supreme Court of the United States, among other things, said:
“The Constitution provides for a Congress, consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives, and invests it with ‘all legislative powers' granted to the United States, and with power 'to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper' for carrying into execution these powers and all other powers' vested by the Constitution of the United States or in any department or officer thereof (art. I, secs. 1 and 8). Other provisions show that while bills can become laws only after being considered and passed by both Houses of Congress, each House is to be distinct from the other, to have its own officers and rules, and to exercise its legislative functions independently (Art. I, secs. 2, 3, 5, 7.)”.
The Ex parte Grossman (267 U. S. 87), decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1925, the Court said this:
"The Federal Constitution nowhere expressly declares that the three branches of the Government shall be kept separate and independent. All legislative powers are vested in a Congress. The executive power is vested in a President. The judicial power is vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time establish.
Complete independence and separation between the three branches, however, are not attained, or intended, as other provisions of the Constitution and the normal operation of government under it easily demonstrate. By affirmative action through the veto power, the Executive and one more than one-third of either House may defeat all legislation.
"Negatively one House of Congress can withhold all appropriations and stop the operations of government. The Senate can hold up all appointments, confirmation of which either the Constitution or a statute requires, and thus deprive the President of the necessary agents with which he is to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
“These are some instances of positive and negative restraints possibly available under the Constitution to each branch of the Government in defeat of the action of the other."
Under this bill neither House can veto a plan—the legislation-proposed by the executive branch of the Government–the President.
The Court in the above language points out some of the restraints which are specifically provided for in the Constitution. This bill gives the President the power to enact legislation affecting the executive departments with the sanction of the Congress.
Permit a repetition: This present reorganization bill provides, as have other reorganization plans, that the President may recommend a plan to the Congress, and that, unless both Senate and House veto that plan within the prescribed time, it becomes the law of the land.
Comptroller General Warren attempted to justify the legislation with the argument that it was necessary because only in that manner could legislation establishing greater efficiency and needed economy be enacted.
But the issue still is, Do our economic needs justify scrapping a portion of the Constitution, and that one of the most important parts of the Constitution (secs. 1 and 7 of art. I), the power of the people's elected representatives to enact legislation needed to protect the public health, safety and welfare?
If there existed a national emergency which presently threatened our national security, and no other means of avoiding disaster existed, we might justify a disregard of the constitutional provisions. Assuming that infficiency, wastefulness, extravagance of an ever-expanding bureaucracy, if continued, will not only seriously impair but perhaps destroy our national security, that danger is one which has been with us over the years. There is no logical reason for employing an unconstitutional method, for a surrender of the legislative power granted exclusively by the Constitution to the Congress, the Senate and the
House—transferring that power to the President who by the Constitution is not granted that power, when the same objective can be attained by simple conStitutional processes. It is true that section 3 of article II of the Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” But nowhere is there a word which gives the President power, acting alone Or with one House of Congress, to enact legislation. Section 1 of article I of the Constitution provides that “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Section 7 states that “Every bill which shall have passed the House of RepreSentatives and the Senate shall before it becomes a law be presented to the President of the United States.” Assuming then (a) that reorganization legislation is vitally needed—is a must—and (b) that the Congress will not enact the needed legislation unless forced so to do, and, as the objective sought in H. R. 1569 can be attained by constitutional procedure, there is no excuse for following unconstitutional procedure. Therefore the following amendment is offered : On page 7, in line 12 of subsection (c) of section 6, after the semicolon following the word “it”, Strike out the words “but only if" and insert in lieu thereof the words “Provided, That” and in line 14, strike out the word “not” and in line 15 strike out the word “not”. In line 16 after the word “plan” strike out the period, insert a semicolon and add the following words, “Provided further, That the Congress shall, within such sixty-day period, either approve or disapprove of Such reorganization plan.” So that in lieu of section 6, which now reads: “Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the provisions of the reorganization plan shall take effect upon the expiration Of the first period of sixty calendar days, of continuous session of the Congress, following the date on which the plan is transmitted to it; but only if, between the date of transmittal and the expiration of such sixty-day period there has not been passed by the two Houses a concurrent resolution stating in substance that the Congress does not favor the reorganization plan.” the words italicized will be stricken and in lieu of the words “but only if" the words “Provided, That” inserted, and to insure speedy action after the word “plan” in the last line add the words: “Provided further, That the Congress shall, Within such sixty-day period, either approve or disapprove of such reorganization plan.” Subsection (a) and (b) of section 6, if amended as proposed, would then read as follows: “Except as may be otherwise provided pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the provisions of the reorganization plan shall take effect upon the expiration Of the first period of sixty calendar days, of continuous session of the Congress, following the date on which the plan is transmitted to it; Provided, That between the date of transmittal and the expiration of such sixty-day period there has been passed by the two Houses a concurrent resolution stating in substance that the Congress does favor the reorganization plan; Provided further, That the Congress Shall, within such sixty-day period, either approve or disapprove of such reorganization plan.”
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any other business? If not, we will stand adjourned.
(Thereupon, at 3:30 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.)
(The following matter was submitted for the record:)
STATEMENT OF HON. RUSSELL W. MACK, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CoNGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name is Russell W. Mack. I am the Representative in Congress of the Third District of the State of Washington. The district I represent contains most of the seacoast counties of the State of Washington. It is bounded on the south by the navigable part of the Columbia River, one of the Nation's greatest rivers, and is bounded on the north by Puget Sound, one of the world's greatest inland waterways. My district probably has more river-and-harbor projects than any congressional district in the Nation. I therefore think I am familiar with river-and-harbor improvements, which is one of the principal activities of civil-functions work. As a former president of the Pacific Northwest River and Harbor Congress, comprising port-improvement leaders of Oregon and Washington, and more recently as a member of the Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives, I have had many occasions to contact the Army engineers and review their WOrk. These experiences and contacts have convinced me that in all the Government there is no agency that has done a better job for the people of the United States than the United States Army engineers. The United States Army engineers are impartial, efficient, and courteous. The personnel is well-trained and especially educated for the work they do. They have years of experience behind them. If the civil-functions work of the Federal Government should be transferred to some other agency, I fear that the results may be not greater efficiency and economy, which is the purpose of the Reorganization Act, but exactly the Opposite. I, therefore, strongly urge that the Army engineers be retained to handle civil-functions work. In stating this as my opinion, I know I am expressing not only my own but also the wishes of every Official of any public agency in my district that has anything to do with river and harbor or flood-control work. I have heard officials of these western public agencies time and time again express their admiration for the United States Army engineers which they, like myself, call the ablest and most efficient agency of the Federal Government.
EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION NO. 38
RESOLUTION No. 8 of THE TWENTY-THIRD ANNUAL CONVENTION, NoFTHWEST RIVERs AND HARBORs CONGREss, EveRETT, WASH.
Whereas the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army has for more than 100 years been the agency of the Federal Government specifically designated by Congress to have jurisdiction over navigable waters including flood control and other civil-works functions, and
Whereas appearing in the public press at the present time are reports indicating a proposal to transfer the civil works functions of the Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, to other agencies is being advocated by the Hoover Committee, and
Whereas the Northwest Rivers and Harbors Congress has the utmost confidence in the ability of the Corps of Engineers to efficiently handle all problems in connection with navigation, flood control, and other civil works functions, and
Whereas practices heretofore in effect have been invaluable in time of war because staffs experienced in contractual and construction work have been immediately available to the Department of the Army, and
Whereas decentralization of engineering as applied to rivers and harbors improvements under jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, has been economically sound and efficient for a proven period of nearly 150 years: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Northwest Rivers and Harbors Congress in annual session convened at Everett, Wash., August 26, 27, and 28, 1948, urges Congress to specifically exempt the Corps of Engineers from any legislation which will transfer civil-works functions of the Corps to any other agency; and be it further
Resolved, That the secretary is instructed to forward copies of this resolution to congressional representatives of Oregon and Washington at the Eighty-first Congress, and the Corps of Army Engineers, and to the chairman of Senate Committee on Public Works, and the Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments.
Unanimously adopted August 28, 1948.
ALEx D. STEwART, Corresponding Secretary, Northwest Rivers and Harbors Congress.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, January 31, 1949. Hon. WILLIAM A. Dawson, Chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments,
Washington, D. C. DEAR CHAIRMAN DAWSON: I am enclosing Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, which was adopted by the Senate of Arkansas and approved by the Governor of Arkansas on January 28, 1949.
I would appreciate if it you would incorporate this resolution into the hearings on the reorganization bill which is now being considered in your committee. Thanking you, I am, Yours sincerely,
E. C. GATHINGS. [Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, by Senator Lawrence Blackwell, of Jefferson] A RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
TO OPPOSE THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HOOVER COMMISSION EMBODIED IN THE PROPOSED REORGANIZATION ACT, IN SOFAR AS SAID ACT AFFECTS THE JURISDICTION AND FUNCTIONS OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, CIVIL WORKS DIVISION
Whereas an effort is being made to abolish the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, Civil Works Division, which has been engaged in flood-control operations in the entire Mississippi Valley area for more than 100 years; and
Whereas the Reorganization Act, on which hearings are now being held by the House Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, constitutes a grave threat against continuance of the Army engineers' flood-control activities; and
Whereas flood-control programs affecting levees, drainage, navigation, flood control, and the development of hydroelectric power are well under way throughout the entire Arkansas area; and
Whereas the passage of the Reorganization Act by the Congress of the United States would retard development of the flood-control program through this entire area; and
Whereas the Army engineers have throughout the years proceeded with the river program in an orderly and efficient manner and in a democratic way to the satisfaction of flood-control advocates throughout this area ; and
Whereas said civil-works functions of the Corps of Engineers provide wide experience and training for said corps which have proved, and will prove, invaluable in times of war and national defense: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of Arkansas (the House of Representatives concurring therein), That the Congress of the United States be urged to make every effort possible to amend such proposed legislation so that no reorganization plan shall provide for any reorganization affecting any civil function of the Corps of Engineers of the United States Army, or of its head, or affecting such corps or its head with respect to any such civil functions; be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States and to the members of the congressional delegation of the State of Arkansas.
Approved this 28th day of January 1949.
SID McMATH, Governor of Arkansas.
CERTIFICATION I, Jim Snoddy, Secretary of Senate, certify that the above and foregoing are correct copies of Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, as adopted by the Fifty-seventh General Assembly.
JIM SNODDY, Secretary,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., January 31, 1949, Hon. WILLIAM L. DAWSON, Chairman, House Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I earnestly suggest that, in the reorganization plan about to be reported by your committee, no change shall be made in the civil functions of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
We who reside in that great Northwest area which is traversed by the Columbia River and its tributaries have had much experience with the United States Army engineers and know that, beyond question, they are the best-qualified and most-experienced flood-control and river-improvement engineers in the world, and of inestimable value to our country in peace or war.
They are a nonpartisan organization, loyal and devoted to the service; and I trust that your committee will recommend similar action to that in the reorganization act of 1945, which excluded the Army engineers from the provisions of that act.
I will appreciate having this letter made a part of the record in hearings before your committee. Sincerely yours,
COMPTON I. WHITE, M. C.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. O., February 1, 1949. Hon. WILLIAM L. DAWSON, Chairman, House Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments,
Washington, D. C. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: I am writing to you with reference to the bill which your committee is now considering which grants authority to the President to reorganize the executive branch of the Government.
I do not know whether it is the intention of the committee to transfer the Corps of Engineers to a department of public works; but, if this is true, I wish to strongly protest to it.
The record of the Corps of Engineers in maintaining and building our rivers, harbors, and so forth, shows that, since the existence of our country, its record has been excellent and above any criticism. I need not tell you that the work which the Corps of Engineers has done in connection with the Calumet-Sag project has met with the full approval of the committee on harbors, wharves, and bridges of the city of Chicago. I am sure that its record could not be equalled by private contractors; and to transfer the functions of the Corps of Engineers would involve a great deal of duplication, which would not only delay the Calumet-Sag channel project but also many other projects which the Corps of Engineers has started but not yet completed.
I would deeply appreciate your cooperation, as well as the cooperation of the members of your committee, in specifically exempting the civil functions of the Corps of Engineers from any reorganization. Sincerely yours,
CHESTER A. CHESNEY, M. C.