Deadlocks in Tariff Legislation

November 1, 1929

Report Outline
Present Status of the Hawley-Smoot Bill
Major Issues Between the House and Senate
Tariff Disagreements and the Conference System
Tariff Measures Lost in Deadlock

Twenty-six days remained on October 31 before the end of the special session of the Seventy-first Congress, summoned fay President Hoover to consider “legislation to effect further agricultural relief and legislation for limited changes of the tariff.” Congressional action upon the recommendations submitted by the President in his message of April 16 had been completed when Congress recessed for the summer on June 19, with the exception of tariff legislation which-embodied in the Hawley-Smoot bill -is still pending before the Senate. The assertion that “this bill is dead” was made by Senator Reed, F., Pa;, a member of the Finance Committee of the Senate, in an address at Philadelphia oh October 26, an opinion which he reiterated on October 28 on the floor of the Senate.

Sharp disagreement with this contention was voiced by other members of the Senate. Senator Smoot, R., Utah, chairman of the Finance Committee, said that, if the Senate consented to continue in session every day from 10 until 6 o'clock, “I am going still to have hope that we will pass the bill before the end of this session, and that the bill at least can go to conference.” Senator Robinson, D., Ark., minority floor leader, likewise believed that “a conclusion can be reached, in so far as the Senate is concerned, during the extraordinary session.-”

The contrary belief-that final Senate action on the bill at the special session would be impossible-was voiced on the same day by Senator Simmons, D, N. C., ranking minority member of the Finance Committee. This opinion had already been expressed earlier in the month by Senator Watson, R., Ind., majority floor leader. Completion of the Senate's-revision of the Hawley-Smoot bill during the regular session of Congress, which will begin December 2, was prophesied by Senator Simmons.

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