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pair the Senate's prestige and power. The chief grounds for hope that popular election would, nevertheless, improve the tone of the Senate, are three: (1) No candidate could secure the election unless he possessed the confidence and could enlist the support of a plurality at least of all those sufficiently interested to take part in a great national election. (2) In the openness of the direct primary, and in the publicity for the weeks preceding a popular election, the people would have ample opportunity for passing a far more correct judgment upon senatorial candidates, than is possible in the murky atmosphere which often surrounds an election in the legislature. At present, the case is closed as soon as a candidate, who may never have been thought of before, can negotiate a majority from some few score of legislators; under popular elections every candidate's record and qualifications would be under discussion for weeks before the election, and if the popular verdict proved to be not in accord with the evidence, the blame could be shifted by the voters upon no one else. (3) Although the phrasemaker, the demagogue, or even the corruptionist or corporation tool, might capture a seat in the Senate, democracy would learn valuable lessons from such betrayals of confidence, and would correct its mistakes with more promptness and permanence than would a state legislature.
The decisive advantages of the change to popular election of senators, however, would be found in its effects, not upon the federal government, but upon the individual States. However plausibly the apologist for the present system may argue that this very method of election by legislatures has remained unchanged since the time when it produced ideal results, and that, therefore, the causes of the present abuses must lie deeper than the mere mode of election, he cannot deny that our state legislatures have sunk to a deplorably low level, and that one of the most potent causes of this deterioration which has unfitted the legislatures for the performance of this function, by what may seem like a paradox, has been the very exercise of it. The fact that this election
of an important federal official is devolved upon the members of the state legislature blurs the issues in the voter's mind, distorts his political perspective, makes him tolerant of much inefficient legislative service on the part of the man who will vote for his party's candidate for the Senate. To the legislature, as a body, it brings what is liable at any time to prove a task as difficult and distracting as it is incongruous with normal legislative work; to the State it brings interruption, it may be prevention, of needed legislation, the domination of all issues by the national political parties and the tyranny of the boss, who almost inevitably seeks to impose either some tool or his own venal, or at best, narrowly partisan self upon the commonwealth, as the "representative of its statehood" in the United States Senate. To be rid of this would be an achievement well worth the struggle, the earnest of far greater progress in the future.
(b) The following joint resolution providing for the election of Senators by the people was submitted to the States by the 62nd Congress in 1911 and having been ratified by three-fourths of the States became part of the Constitution in April, 1913:
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (twothirds of each House concurring therein), That in lieu of the first paragraph of Section 3 of Article I of the Constitution of the United States, and in lieu of so much of paragraph 2 of the same section as relates to the filling of vacancies, the following be proposed as an amendment to the Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of threefourths of the States:
"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
"When vacancies happen in the representation of any
State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
"This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution."
35. THE COMMITTEES OF THE SENATE.
In 1900 there were fifty-five standing and eight select committees of the Senate. Concerning the appointment of these committees and their procedure in transacting the business of the Senate, Mr. Brainard Avery, formerly clerk of the committee on agriculture and forestry, writes as follows:
Since 1840 it has been the practice for both caucuses of the majority and minority members of the Senate each to name a "steering committee," composed of from five to nine Senators. These steering committees name for their respective caucuses a Committee on Committees which prepares a list of chairmen and a schedule for membership of all the committees. In compiling these lists the rule of seniority of service has much to do with the assignment of committee chairmanships; the Senator having the longest period of consecutive service upon the committee is ordinarily entitled to the chairmanship of that committee, when the organization belongs to his party. Thus, we find States of the Union, which continuously return the same Senators to Congress, become, by this unwritten rule of seniority, possessed of the most important chairmanships, which fact naturally gives those States some advantage in directing the course of legislation.
Of the entire Senate, the average number of standing committees to which each Senator is assigned is six. Yet, many Senators have places on seven different committees; and at present, two Senators serve on eight committees. This is in
striking contrast with the practice in the House, where each member, as a rule, is assigned to only one or two committees, and rarely to three.
It does not follow, however, that the Senator having the largest number of committee assignments is the oldest or the most influential. On the contrary, many Senators as they age in the public service drop some of their minor committee assignments, and confine themselves to a few of the most important committees, where their efforts can be best applied and prove most effective. Rarely is it possible for a Senator to obtain assignment to two of the leading committees simultaneously. A notable exception to this rule is Senator Allison, of Iowa, who is chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, the most powerful committee in Congress, and, also, is a member of the Committee on Finance, the committee next, perhaps, in importance.
The slate prepared by this Committee on Committees is submitted to the party caucus convened in secret session, and when ratified by a majority of the caucus, is forced through the Senate by a strictly party vote. Reorganization of committees usually occurs at the beginning of a Congress, and attempts to change their organization have given occasion for celebrated political fights and compromises. The last complete organization of the Senate committees occurred in 1895. Neither the Democratic nor the Republican caucuses had a clear majority in the Senate, and the balance of power was wielded by six Populist Senators. The Republicans were enabled by a combination to possess themselves of the committee chairmanships, but many of the committees were composed of a majority adverse to Republican policy. An illustration of this was afforded by the Committee on Finance, which, although presided over by a distinguished Republican Senator, reported favorably a bill for "the free and unlimited coinage of silver." The custom is for the dominant political party to name the committees so that each committee shall have a majority in accord with its political faith. Thus, the Committee on Finance, with a membership
of thirteen Senators, as at present constituted, is composed of eight Republicans and five Democrats, with a Republican chairman. But, an exception to this rule is found in several of the smaller non-political committees, some of which are assigned to leading Senators of the minority, out of respect for their long service in the Chamber.
The Committee on Rules assigns one or more rooms to each committee. These committee rooms, for the most part, are located in the Senate wing of the Capitol, and are furnished much like private apartments. The old oblong committee tables-many of them historic boards-have been gradually displaced, and the committee rooms more or less closely resemble private libraries, sumptuous with mahogany furniture, leather-covered chairs and handsomely bound books.
Upon assuming the chairmanship, a Senator takes possession of the room assigned to his committee, and during his chairmanship it remains not only the home of his committee, but his personal headquarters, whence he may direct the conduct of political affairs in his State.
Each committee is provided with a clerk, whose pay ranges from $1,800 to $3,000 per annum. Occasionally a committee has an assistant clerk, with pay at from $1,800 to $2,220, a messenger at $1,440, and a staff of other assistants, according to the importance of, and amount of work before the committee.
Each bill has (as a matter of course) two readings in the open Senate, after which it is referred to the committee having jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the bill. Often questions of doubt exist as to which committee a given bill should be referred. The fate of a bill may depend upon what committee it comes before-whether it must face a tribunal of friends, or of foes. A recent example is the bill now pending in the Senate, providing that a ten per cent. tax shall be imposed upon oleomargarine and its products. This involving a question of taxation, the Committee on Finance ordinarily would be entitled to consider the measure; but the real purpose being to adopt a new agriculture