tv 150th Anniversary of the Senate Appropriations Committee CSPAN July 22, 2017 9:15pm-10:01pm EDT
structures of race and conspiracism. have a good weekend. i will see you then. join us every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern as we join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. "lectures in history" are also available as podcasts. c-span.org/histor y/podcasts or download them from itunes. >> this year marks the 150th anniversary of the senate appropriations committee. next senate historian 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.
>> good evening, everyone. 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. bank of america, independent community bankers of america, airlines for america,
several distinguished guests have joined us this evening. senator thad cochran, chairman of the appropriations committee, senator patrick leahy, vice chairman of the committee, several current committee members, including the honorable barbara mikulski, former chairwoman of the committee. senator suzanne collins. thank you for joining us. we also have several former
staff directors, ask that you stand to be organized. jim english, charlie hoy, keith kennedy, terry lehrman, jim morhart, and frank sullivan. and our keynote speaker, dr. betty koed. >> [applause] we are so pleased that you could be part of our celebration. 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. senator -- widow, 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 hoy to read the letter. >> [applause] >> the letter is dated june 28 17. dear friends, good evening and aloha. if this were a white, everyone would say back, aloha. i wish i could join you this evening as you come together to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the senate appropriations committee. i am working in japan this week and am at an out of country event which i could not change, which caused me to miss this occasion. i congratulate the u.s. capital 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 then wonderful colleagues and very good friends. they, along with dan and many before them, represent strong leaders in the u.s. senate who have represented the appropriations committee with distinction. the close friendship of dan and senator ted stevens grew from their work together on the senate appropriations committee. 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 our 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 this evening 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 bipartisanship and appropriations that will support the important work of the country now and in the future. i have been so impressed by the important work of the u.s. capital historical society. as a former museum director, i am most appreciative of the work of the society to organize educational programs, symposia, and tours. i join all of you in thinking
the society for their hard work and dedication in insuring that the collections and archives of the capital 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 ended leadership over the years. 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 passed rule 30. 1950 this rule tied appropriations directly to spending for specific programs. from the 1850's to the present day, congress and the senate appropriations committee have taken steps to centralize the process of allocating funds, getting congress greater oversight of federal spending. to further streamline the 110th 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 salute the committee for establishing a process of finding the federal government, 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 thad cochran. senator cochran needs no introduction. all of us feel we know him. he has represented the state of sincesippi in the senate
1978. senator cochran, please join me. >> [applause] sen. cochran: i assume i am going to make remarks. >> [laughter] sen. cochran: i was not given many hints or suggestions about what i should do or say. but, because this is such a solemn event, i am going to read the speech that my staff members wrote for me. >> [laughter] cochran: i am grateful for
the kind words. i have observed her in her capacity as a member of the staff of the committee and the excellent work product that she produced. when you heard the appropriations committee, a lot of names of important people trickle down, including pat leahy, my good friend. john stennis was a marble -- 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
mobile republican in the time of transition, which really tested 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 members, it could be a great influence in times of distress, misfortune, but also in times that are designed to make you proud of the united states senate and its i have been very fortunate to work alongside people like i mentioned, and many others who are dear friends. i also must admit that i have benefited enormously from the association with so many staff
members who carry on the traditions and rules of the 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 help us in our celebration -- to 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. just check him out on instagram. he served in the senate since 1975, representing the state of vermont. senator leahy. sen. leahy: thank you so much. thad cochran, my dear friend. i think of the people i have served with on the senate appropriations committee, all 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. [applause] sen. leahy: i was going to step aside and have her be chair become the first woman to be chair of it, the longest-serving woman in the history of congress came and did it. my friend, senator collins here we are all friends, both , parties. we work things out together. how important that was. we also recognize the fact -- and i love seeing some of these pictures and seeing senator magnuson, another person i
served 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 a duty of the senate, to oversee the executive and judicial branch. the appropriations committee is where we translate the priorities of a nation, everybody in the nation.
our country is not a business. 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, our research. what we do to make sure the new generation coming up does not have to sit through class hungry , make sure they can remain healthy, 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 left to be on appropriations. i went to jim, and thad remembers jim very well. i said i don't want to just talk, i want to get things done. jim 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 there. i think about the years i have served with thad cochran. we have traveled together, we have worked together.
he is still a friend, even even though i brought him to vermont for one of 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. i wish you could bottle your
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. betty has an extraordinary talent for telling stories, all of them true, about the details of who have served their. -- about the senate and the men and women who served there. betty, we look forward to your comments, knowing we will learn something new about this great institution, the u.s. senate. please join us. [applause]
dr. koed: thank you. i am delighted to be here. on march 6, 2017 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 committee history into 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 -- for the first quarter century the senate operated , without permanent standing legislative committees. instead it relied on temporary select committees to manage proposals and write bills. in 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, commerce, finance. 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. wishing to appear frugal, agency directors often understated their funding needs to the house of representatives. then, in the hectic final days of the session they would quietly turned to the senate and 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
passed 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. on march 6, 1867, two years after similar action in the house, senator henry anthony of rhode island proposed a new committee to consider spending bills. the senate agreed and passed subsequent legislation to regulate how such funds would be used. before long, this new committee became a 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 some of that 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 account ability. in 1921, prompted by war related costs that had pushed annual spending to more than $25 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 future of the committee. he introduced legislation to centralize the appropriations process. he also included in his resolution a 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 created 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. 150 years after its creation, the senate committee on appropriations -- 150 years after its creation, 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. they were the chairmen of the 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. 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.
but it is notable length of service had not prepared him for clarence cannon ,in the house since 1923, cannon knew his way around bicameralism its. 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 half the conferences. hayden conquered that the senate would 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. government agencies scrambled for funds. finally carl hayden called for a truce. he suggested a special meeting 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. chairman cannon agreed to meet in conference, but stood firm on
his demands to cochair in some of the meetings. to end the crisis, and probably urged on by mansfield, carl hayden relented. government operations returned to normal. pundits dismissed the battle as a tempest in a teapot. 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. this 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] >> thank you, dr. koed, for your thoughtful remarks. as a token of our appreciation, we want you to have this scarf. [laughter] featuring the work of constantino remedi.
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] and i'd like to thank the u.s. capital historical society for
entrusting me with the job emceeing this event. this concludes our program. please enjoy the reception. [applause] announcer: doing this on c-span three sunday for an american history tv live special. rights, 50th anniversary. heather and thompson of the university of michigan and 1:15 pmhenderson, at eastern, the former detroit the formerf and detroit free press journalist, and american history tv special,
the 1960 detroit rights, 50th anniversary. sunday on c-span3. announcer: sunday night on afterwards, the journalist reports health smear tactics are used to influence public opinion. ar."er book "the sme she's interviewed by eric lempel. >> you do not stick up for mccain, you feel the washing has has not formally reported on this instead of saying donald trump why are you smearing john mccain? i'm not here to cheer on or defend john mccain or donald trump. the behavior that people do mistake when you criticize media behavior, that does not mean i
am supporting him or cheering him on. it is misread often as he must be supporting him or you must not like x or y. it is looking at what i see as fair or accurate media coverage. watch afterwards sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span2 book tv. american history tv is on c-span3 every weekend featuring museum tours, archival films and programs on the presidency, the civil war and more. here's a clip from a recent program. my argument today will strike beingeople as of this more common sense of that original. the kennedy assassination was a
moment in the history of american national security. it was the aftermath of jfk's assassinations that was a pivotal moment as far as the consolidation of the national security regime. dallas wasnation in a moment of great danger for the cia. if the agency or any of its employees had been held responsible for the wrongful death of the president, the clandestine service may have been abolished like harry truman urged one month after jfk's murder. if the cia and their role leading up to dallas has been shared with the american people, the ambitions and prerogatives of the national security state may have been checked. that's not happen. -- that did not happen.
strands, we three have the search for the kgb spy in the ranks of the cia. , hee monitored the mole monitored the actions of harvey lee oswald. he discussed his fascination with fidel castro as early as 1961 and advised the pentagon on regime and policy -- regime change policies in 1963. ato told -- oswald showed up mexico city at the cuban consulate. angleton did what he knew about oswald from the warren commission, the congress and the public with consequences we are still grappling with today.
you can watch this and other american history programs on our website where all programs are archived. announcer: 50 years ago on july 23, 1957 detroit corrupted in five days of civil disorder that led to 43 deaths, hundreds of injuries and more than 7000 arrests. president johnson announced 5000 federal's were sent to detroit in an attempt to restore order. this is about 10 minutes. >> in the early morning today governor romney communicated with attorney general ramsey clark and told him of the extreme disorder in detroit, michigan. the attorney general kept me advised throughout the morning. at 10:56 this morning i received a wire from governor romney officially requesting that federal troops be dispatched to michigan.