Business Before the Seventieth Congress

September 26, 1927

Report Outline
Party Strength in the Seventieth Congress
Taxation and Appropriations
Agricultural Surplus Legislation
Flood Control and Public Works
National Defense and Veteran Legislation
Transportation and Communication
Immigration and Alien Legislation
Miscellaneous Bills and Resolutions
Special Focus

The Seventieth Congress will convene for its first regular session Monday, December 5, 1927. President Coolidge has decided not to summon an extra session in advance of that date. He has been advised (1) by the Secretary of Commerce that existing resources are adequate to care for the situation in the Mississippi flood area until the end of the present year, (2) by the Secretary of War that the permanent flood control plan for the Mississippi Valley will not be ready for submission to Congress before December 1, (3) by congressional leaders that the Senate will have sufficient time to dispose of the Smith and ware cases, without delay to legislative business, while the House is considering tax reduction and appropriation bills during the early weeks of the regular session.

The December meeting will be for the “long session” of the Seventieth Congress, which will continue until a recess is taken in June for the national political conventions. It is expected that Congress will reassemble for a few additional weeks after the conventions have met and before the national campaign gets actively underway. The full membership of the House and one-third of the members of the Senate will come up for re-election in 1928. Furthermore, the Senate will have in its membership half a dozen men who have been suggested as presidential possibilities one as its presiding officer. In this situation much of the maneuvering and debate, and many of the decisions in both houses will be influenced by political considerations.

Outstanding Legislative Issues

Congress will be torn in its next session between a desire to afford maximum appropriations and at the same time to give maximum reductions in federal taxes. On the side of tax relief there are the projects for reduction of the corporation tax, the wiping out of all nuisance taxes and repeal of the estate tax. On the side of appropriations there are the projects for Mississippi flood control, agricultural relief, naval expansion, adjustment of German-American war claims, construction of Boulder Canyon dam, river and harbor improvements, public buildings and other public works. The probable solution of the congressional dilemma will be found in the authorization of large appropriations -for expenditure over a period of years wherever that method can be applied while holding initial appropriations within such limits as not to interfere with the tax reduction program.

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