tv 150th Anniversary of the Senate Appropriations Committee CSPAN July 22, 2017 3:20pm-4:01pm EDT
as a public service by america's cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. year marks the 150th anniversary of the senate appropriations committee. next, betty koed reflects on the committee's history. senators thad cochran and patrick leahy also speak at the program. held in the kennedy congress room on capitol hill, this is about 40 minutes. everyone.ening, i am a trustee of the u.s. capital historical society. welcome to our celebration of the 150th anniversary of the senate committee on appropriations. this committee traces its origins to 1816, making it one
of the first standing committees established by the senate. it is also one of the most powerful committees, and one of the largest. we are so grateful to the generous donors who helped make this evening possible. , independentca community bankers of america, , leonardoor america l , and mr. terry ehrman. thank you all so much for making tonight possible. we will begin the evening with the presentation of the colors and the pledge of allegiance. please rise.
of the cochran, chairman appropriations committee, senator patrick leahy, vice chairman of the committee, several current community in -- committee members, including barbara mikulski, former chairwoman of the comm ittee. and i saw suzanne collins. thank you for joining us. we also have several former staff directors, and i would ask that you stand to be organized. english, charlie hoy, keith kennedy, terry lehrman, jim orhart, and frank sullivan. in our keynote speaker, dr. betty koed. [applause]
we are so pleased that you could be part of our celebration. senator daniel and away was an important force on the senate appropriations committee for many years, as a ranking member and a chairman. the senator passed away in 2012, but we remember his quiet demeanor and outstanding leadership. , irene, captured his esteem for this committee and his colleagues in a letter that we would like to share with you this evening. i invite charlie lloyd to read the letter. [applause] >> the letter is dated june 20 8, 2017. dear friends, good evening and a
low half -- and aloha. i wish i could join you this evening as you come together take commemorate the 150th anniversary of the senate appropriations committee. i am working in japan this week at an out of country event which caused me to miss this occasion. i congratulate the historical society on what i am sure will be another successful and enjoyable evening. i extend warm wishes to senator thad cochran and senator pat leahy, chairman and vice chairman of the senate appropriations committee, who are spearheading tonight's event. my late husband worked closely with both senator cochran and senator leahy, and he considered them very good friends. they, along with dan and many , represent strong
leaders in the u.s. senate who have represented the appropriations committee with distinction. their ability to work across the aisle and forge common ground is legendary, and an inspiration that is still remembered by many . they found ways to support important projects for a nation that remain significant to this day. one of dan's most cherished times in the senate was his chairmanship of the committee from 2009 until his passing in late 2012. i thank you for remembering him in asking me to share brief remarks. as tonight's event highlights the 150 years since the senate appropriations committee was created, it is important to recognize those that have
developed the committee into one of the most powerful in the senate, and to reflect on how the appropriations committee can continue to work towards partisanship and appropriations that will -- towards bipartisanship and appropriations that will support the country now and in the future. i'm impressed by the work of the u.s. capital historical society. , ia former museum director am most appreciative of the work of the society to organize education programs, symposia, and tours. for your hard you work and dedication in ensuring that the archives of the capitol building and u.s. congress are preserved and shared with future generations. thank you for including me in tonight's celebration, and my warmest wishes to the continued
success of the u.s. capital historical society. with best regards. [applause] >> what a wonderful tribute to this great committee and its leadership. thank you. the role of the appropriations committee is spelled out in the constitutional requirement that appropriations must be made by law before any federal funds can be spent. in the early years, spending bills were sent to ad hoc committees and later to the finance committee. frustrated by the lack of coordination between appropriations laws and the spending actions of the executive department, the senate in 1850 passed rule 30. tied appropriations directly to spending for
specific programs. to the present day, congress and the senate appropriations tomittee have taken steps centralize the process of allocating funds, getting congress greater oversight of federal spending. to further streamline the process in the 100 10th congress, the house and senate appropriations committees agreed to a common subcommittee structure. today, the authority of the appropriations committee is unquestioned. the stature of the committee is reflected in its meeting room, one of the most beautiful rooms in the capital, designed and decorated by constantino remedi. we thank the committee for assembling a talented, bipartisan staff who have contributed to the effectiveness of the committee, and for outstanding leadership throughout its long history. congratulations to 150 years of
service. [applause] it is my distinct pleasure to present the chairman of the senate appropriations committee, senator that cochran. senator cochran needs no introduction. all of us feel we know him. he has represented the state of sincesippi in the senate 1978. me.tor cochran, please join [applause] sen. cochran: i assume i am going to make remarks.
when you heard the appropriations committee, a lot of names of important people trickle down, including pat friend.y good john was a marvelous person. served with distinction on the committee. from watching him and jamie whitten from the house side when he was chairman, there was a brand new kind of upwardly in the time ofan really testedich all of us in the u.s. senate. the traditions are powerful here . i knew from watching folks like john stennis and jamie whitten and the appropriations committee greats, it could be a
influence in times of distress, offortune, but also in times -- in times that are designed to of the united states senate and its appropriations committee. i have been very fortunate to work alongside people like i mentioned, and many others who are dear friends. also must admit that i have benefited enormously from the association with so many staff members who carry on the rules of thend senate and the appropriations committee in particular. i feel grateful to be selected
for whatever this is. it has not been clearly defined exactly, but i like it, and i appreciate it very much, and i thank all of you to the air to -- tos in our celebration be here to help us in our celebration that the historical society has organized and prepared. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, senator. i now invite the vice chair, senator patrick leahy, to say a few words. like senator cochran, senator leahy is well known to all of us as a senator and as the guy with the camera. instagram.him out on he served in the senate since
1975, representing the state of vermont. senator leahy. leahy: thank you so much. friend.hran, my dear i think of the people i have served with on the senate , allpriations committee good friends from both parties. of course, senator cochran is one of the closest friends i have in the senate. all the chairs were good friends. also, my dear friend barbara mikulski, who is chair. -- who was chair. [applause] i was going to step
aside and have her be chair because the first woman to be chair of it, the longest-serving woman in the history of congress , k mandated. -- came and did it. we are all friends, both parties . we work things out together. how important that was. --also recognize the fact and i love seeing some of these pictures and seeing senator magnuson, another person i ,erved with, all the others makes me realize that i have been here for a bit of time. [laughter] sen. leahy: but i just do what chuck tells me to. [laughter] sen. leahy: the fact is, we all
work together. we recognize the power of the purse is one of the most important tools congress has. checks and balances are in the power of the purse, and that is , to overseee senate the executive and judicial branch. the appropriations committee is where we translate the priorities of a nation, everybody in the nation. business.y is not a we don't invest in order to make a profit or a dollar for a dollar. we invest in areas where we think the government should take a leave, invest in the areas where the government makes a difference. we invested half of our
infrastructure, our national security, our science, a research. what we do to make sure the new does notn coming up have to sit through class hungry , make sure they can eat healthy, make sure we have resources, make sure we invest in research that can cure cancer. we make sure we define what we are as a nation. no committee does this more than appropriations. as the most junior member of the senate, i remember going to mississippi's senator to say that we have nobody from new england when john pastore he left to be on appropriations. jim, and thad
remembers jim very well. i said i don't want to just talk, i want to get things done. said, boy, this is not a partisan thing. this is where we work. you are a workhorse, not a show horse. we will put you on their. the years i have served with thad cochran. we have traveled together, we have worked together. he is still a friend, even it turned out -- were the coldest days we ever had. [laughter] sen. leahy: he said he did not know that they could get 20
below zero. i said it will get colder tomorrow. [laughter] sen. leahy: but i'm glad to be here. i have fought long and hard for appropriations. i look at the men and women in both parties who have served their. i wanted to be an appropriations. i am proud to be here with you today to celebrate this. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, senator. bottle yourould bipartisan spirit and send it everywhere. [laughter] our keynote speaker this evening, betty koed, is the historian of the senate.
she is the third person to hold the position and the first woman. has an extraordinary talent for telling stories, all the details, about of who have served their. betty, we look forward to your comments, knowing we will learn greating new about this institution. please join us. [applause] thank you. i am delighted to be here. the senate reaches an important milestone in its history. the committee on appropriations turned 150 years old, and now i am going to magically distill 150 years of community -- a
committee history and to about 12 minutes. well, that's not really possible . but i will cover a few highlights and share a couple of stories, and i am also going to take note of a little-known milestone in your committee's history. for its first quarter of his injury, the senate operated without permanent standing legislative committees. instead it rip -- it relied on temporary committees. 1816, having created nearly 100 of these ad hoc committees, the senate decided on something more permanent. in december of 1816, it created 11 standing committees, including judiciary, foreign relations. however, it did not create a committee on appropriations. over the next five decades, the finance committee handled most appropriations, but that overworked committee and its poor overworked chairman struggled with haphazard funding requests from the executive agencies.
agency to appear frugal, directors often understated their funding needs to the house of representatives. in the final days of the session -- of the senate, they would plead for emergency funds. the threat of suspended operations usually convinced congress to replenish the coffers. if agencies ran a surplus, they would spend it any way they pleased. by the 1860's, senators realized they needed to gain better control over the appropriations process. the civil war has vastly expanded federal spending. in fact, in 1865, expenditures d the billion-dollar mark for the first time in our national history. the lack of centralized control also played the president's advantage, and the executive often spent millions without first securing any congressional
appropriations. in other words, by the end of the civil war, no less than the power of the purse was at stake. senator henry anthony of rhode island proposed a new committee for spending bills. the senate agreed and passed subsequent legislation to regulate out such funds would be used. committeeg, this new that came senate powerhouse, led by strong chairmen. the appropriations committee reached new heights of influence during the senate's gilded age. not surprisingly, the senators who did not serve on the committee began to complain. did this upstart committee have too much power? the chairman of the legislative committee as well as the executive agency said yes, and they looked for ways to rest
back to power. in the 1890's, senators curtailed the jurisdiction of the appropriations committee, giving control over spending in certain areas like agriculture, military affairs, and pensions back to the legislative committees. committee chairs were delighted, but with no centralized control over the process, the committee's ran amok, spending increased with little or no ability. in 1921, prompted by war related costs that had pushed annual spending to more ability than $5 billion a year, congress passed the budget and accounting act. signed by president warren g. harding, the law required an annual budget by the president, created an accounting office, the bureau of the budget, and led to the establishment of permanent subcommittees for appropriations. the passage of that bill was just the beginning. in implementing the new law,
chair and francis e warren of wyoming -- chairman francis e warren of wyoming shapes the committee.he he introduced legislation to centralize the appropriations process. he also included in his rule that required appropriations bills and in the midst such bills be referred to the committee on appropriations. this established the broad jurisdiction enjoyed by the committee today. since that time, the appropriations committee has continued to evolve as its duties and workload have been amended by subsequent legislation. the biggest change came in 1974 with the budget act, which the house and senate budget committees along with the congressional budget office. again, the appropriations committee remained intact. in the 1980's and 1990's, new elements were added.
but you all know that history better than i do, because you lived it. today, one hundred 50 years after its creation, the senate committee on appropriations -- creation,after its the senate committee on appropriations continues to be an influential voice in national policymaking. of course, that does not mean the appropriations process has always been easy. at times, it has been downright testy. for example, on a hot day in august of 1950, as the senate continued to work past its scheduled adjournment date, tempers inside the committee got as hot as the scorching sun was outside. the senators began to show signs of overwork, observed newspaper columnist jack anderson. sessions are growing longer and tempers are getting shorter. among the confrontations that had caught jack anderson's i was
a battle between two avails best loan curmudgeons, kenneth mckellar and clarence cannon. n of thee the chairme senate and house appropriations committees, and for years they had argued bitterly over federal spending. that battle climaxed in 1950, a gavel bashing, name-calling clash between 81-year-old mckellar and 71-year-old kennan was broken up just short of physical violence, noted the washington post. while meeting in congress, senator mckellar had sharply commented on his personality, using language peppered with words like "blind" and pig-headed." -- " he said, i've taken all that i
can take. in the nick of time, the post reporter reported that a staff member grabbed cannon and seized the gavel from mckellar. police was restored for a moment -- peace was restored for a moment. later, another chairman fought so bitterly with old clarence cannon that the two houses of congress had to establish neutral ground. like mckellar, hayden was an old hand at appropriations. with 50 years of service behind him, his skills had earned him the labeled a third senator from every state. notable- but it is length of service had not prepared him for clarence cannon . in the house since 1923, cannon knew his way around bicameralism its. this was a -- bicameral
disputes. this was a battle on capitol hill. the agencies are going broke, wrote a reporter in 1962, just because two members of congress keep yelling at each other. for months, cannon and hayden delayed legislation while arguing over seemingly petty issues. the press dubbed it the battle of the octogenarians, but underlying this was a dispute as old as congress itself -- was the senate truly the upper house? fueling the argument was a long simmering resentment of the senate's general layer of superiority, an attitude which has resulted in some rather high-minded practices. for example, for two centuries, all congress committees had been shared by senators, and such meetings had always been held on the senate side of the capital. in 1962, the house decided to challenge this old custom of
senatorial privilege, leading the charge was appropriations chairman clarence cannon. defending the senate's prerogative, perl hayden. cannon informed hayden, and he refused to make the trek to capitol hill for congress meetings. he insisted to senators would have to walk to the house side at least half the time. further, he demanded he be allowed to chair have to conquer -- half the conferences. hayden conquered that the senate negotiate half of all appropriations bills. the stalemate lasted months. meeting after meeting produced no agreement. the appropriations process remains stalled well past the end of the fiscal year. finally, perl hayden -- carl hayden called for a truce. meetingsted a special
to be held on neutral ground, and he turned to mike mansfield for a solution. needless to say, mansfield was anxious to end the battle. he searched for a proper meeting place. finally he found ef-100, a small, nondescript meeting room located in the exact center of the capital. i even agreed to have it surveyed, mansfield explained, so that the conference table would not be as much as an eighth of an inch to one side or another. agreed to meet in conference, but stood firm on his demands to cochair in some of the meetings. , and probablysis urged on by mansfield, carl hayden relented. government operations returned to normal. pundits dismissed the battle as a tempest in a teapot. more of student -- more astute
observers recognized that this battle was another chapter in the ongoing struggle over the shared constitutional duties of the house and senate. finally this evening, i want to highlight an important, but mostly forgotten, milestone in the committee's history. since 1867, about 300 senators have served on the committee. of those, and mayor doesn't have been women. -- a mere dozen have been women. the first was made, who joined in 1953. in 2012, senator barbara mikulski, the second woman to serve on the committee, became the first woman to chair. those are both major milestones in senate history, and here is one more. way back in 1911, a woman served as chief clerk to the committee on appropriations. her name was leona wells.
she joined the senate's clerical staff in 1901 and remained on the payroll for 25 years. i believe her to the first woman to hold the top committee position in the u.s. senate. born in illinois in 1867, wells moved to wyoming when she turned 21 because the young suffragists could vote in wyoming. there, she met senator francis warren, whose patronage brought her to washington. senator warren appointed wells to the clerical staff. when he became chairman of appropriations in 1911, he brought wells with him, giving her the position of chief clerk, although it appears that the senate never gave her that official title. at the time, leona wells was unusual, a well-paid professional woman on capitol hill. in fact, she was so unusual that she attracted attention from the press. leona wells is probably the most
envied women in government service, reported "the boston globe." not only did she earn a good salary, "to the globe" noted, but she was the first woman to be placed in charge of affairs of a big committee, while scouting new territory for female staff. but one area remained off-limits, the senate chamber. when chairman warren was on the floor doing committee business, wells had to wait outside. male community clerks -- committee clerks freely entered the chamber, but the senate was not ready to admit a female staffer. instead, wells waited just outside the chamber and kept the door and inch or two in jar so she could hear what was going on inside. wells is largely forgotten now, but her service on the appropriations committee opened a door so whether wo -- so
other women could come in. has been an all-too-brief summary of the history of the appropriations committee, but i hope it will serve as a reminder, just like francis warren or perl hayden or even leona wells, all of you are part of the history of the committee on appropriations. thank you. [applause] for youryou, dr. koed, thoughtful remarks. as a token of our appreciation,
we want you to have this scarf. [laughter] featuring the work of constantino remedi. dr. koed: thank you. it is gorgeous. [applause] is the's interesting colors reflect the true colors uncovered by the conservators orstoring the corrido where it was prized. chairman cochran invites chairman leahy -- don't leave yet. [laughter] please join me at the podium. we have gifts for you as well. we present each of you this historic print. it is called "the view from washington city," 1871,
reproduced from the washington kiplinger collection. the principal or accumulated by the kiplinger family over 90 years. we hope you will treasure this piece of history. [applause] like to thank the u.s. capital historical society for entrusting me with the job of an eeing this event. this concludes our program. please enjoy the reception. [applause]
announcer: you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. like us on facebook theext on c-span bookshelf, use of students is undercover agents. she is the author of patriotic betrayal. this discussion was recorded in 2015 at the university of journalism. >> karen has had a long career. she was part of the boulder citycouncil in boulder colorado,