The Vare Case

December 1, 1929

Report Outline
Finding of the Reed Committee in Pennsylvania
By-Products of the Investigation in Pennsylvania
Special Focus

The first regular session of the Seventy-first Congress will convene on December 2, 1929, and on the following day the resolution of Senator Norris, R., Nebraska, to deny William S. Vare a seat in the Senate from the state of Pennsylvania will be laid before the Senate as the first business of the session. The Norris resolution cites the facts brought out in the investigation conducted by a special Senate committee under the chairmanship of former Senator Reed of Missouri into the “improper use of money” and the employment of “corrupt and unlawful means” to bring about Mr. Vare's nomination and election in 1926. It proposes that the final report of the Reed committee, made on February 22, 1929, be approved and adopted and that Mr. Vare be excluded from the Senate.

Senator Norris, a leader of the Republican insurgents, offered his resolution in its present from on September 9, 1929, during the course of the recent special session, and sought action upon it at that time in order that the Vare case might be fully disposed of before the first regular session of the present Congress met. Senators upholding Mr. Vare's right to a Senate seat said, however, that many days of debate would be required before the resolution could be voted upon, and advocates of early action on the pending tariff bill protested against any protracted interruption to the discussion of the tariff. Senator Norris withdrew his demand for immediate action, and the Senate adopted a motion by Senator Watson, the majority leader, to postpone consideration of the resolution until December 3, 1929. The nature of the resolution gives it privileged status and Senator Norris has given notice that after the resolution has been taken up he will seek to hold it before the Senate until a final vote is reached.

Pennsylvania Senatorial Primary of 1926

The Vare case had its origin in the Pennsylvania senatorial primary election of May 8, 1926, in which Mr. Vare won the Republican nomination for United States senator over George Wharton Pepper, the incumbent, and Governor Gifford Pinchot. In the Democratic primary William B. Wilson, former Secretary of Labor, was chosen as the senatorial nominee of the minority party. The vote received by these four candidates in the primary was as follows.

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