Business Before the 76th Congress

December 12, 1938

Report Outline
Major Issues for Legislative Action
National Defense; Neutrality; Treaties
Relief; Social Security; Public Works; Education
Administrative Changes; Special Committee Reports
Appropriations; Taxes; Monetary Changes
Aid to Fanners; Labor; Railroads and Business
Special Focus

Major Issues for Legislative Action

Party Alignments in 75Th and 76Th Congresses

When the 76th Congress convenes on January 3, 1939, the Democratic party will no longer have the two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives it won in 1932 and held until the recent election. Otherwise, the Democrats remain nominally in complete control, and any attempt to block or repeal New Deal legislation can succeed only if it wins substantial support from conservative Democrats in the Senate and House.

On the basis of increases of over 90 per cent in the number of Republican representatives and over 35 per cent in the number of Republican senators, the minority party may expect a general gain in committee representation. At the same time, the strategic position of the New Dealers in the House is improved by the defeat of Representative O'Connor, chairman of the Rules Committee. Representative Sabath of Illinois, next in line for the chairmanship on the basis of seniority, is a New Deal supporter.

By comparison with the party lineup immediately after the 1936 election, and disregarding possible contests, the Republicans have gained 6 seats in the Senate and 81 seats in the House. The Democrats have lost 6 Senate seats and 72 House seats, while the Progressives have lost 6 representatives and the Farmer-Labor party 4. The American Labor party enters Congress for the first time with one representative.

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