73rd United States Congress

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73rd United States Congress
72nd  
  74th
USCapitol1956.jpg

March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1935
Members96 senators
435 representatives
5 non-voting delegates
Senate majority Democratic
Senate President John N. Garner (D)
House majority Democratic
House Speaker Henry T. Rainey (D)
(until August 19, 1934)
Sessions
Special: March 4, 1933 – March 6, 1933
1st: March 9, 1933 – June 15, 1933
2nd: January 3, 1934 – June 18, 1934

The 73rd United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1933, to January 3, 1935, during the first two years of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. [1] [2] Because of the newly ratified 20th Amendment, the duration of this Congress, along with the term of office of those elected to it, was shortened by 60 days. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the 1930 United States census.

Contents

The Democrats greatly increased their majority in the House, and won control of the Senate for the first time since the 65th Congress in 1917. With Franklin D. Roosevelt being sworn in as president on March 4, 1933, this gave the Democrats an overall federal government trifecta, also for the first time since the 65th Congress.

Major events

Major legislation

First Session

The first session of Congress, known as the "Hundred Days", took place before the regular seating and was called by President Roosevelt specifically to pass two acts:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act Roosevelt signing TVA Act (1933).jpg
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act

The session also passed several other major pieces of legislation:

Second Session

Constitutional amendments

Hearings

"Merchants of Death"

The Senate Munitions Committee came into existence solely for the purpose of this hearing. Although World War I had been over for sixteen years, there were revived reports that America's leading munition companies had effectively influenced the United States into that conflict, which killed 53,000 Americans, hence the companies' nickname "Merchants of Death".

The Democratic Party, controlling the Senate for the first time since the first world war, used the hype of these reports to organize the hearing in hopes of nationalizing America's munitions industry. The Democrats chose a Republican renowned for his ardent isolationist policies, Senator Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota, to head the hearing. Nye was typical of western agrarian progressives, and adamantly opposed America's involvement in any foreign war. Nye declared at the opening of the hearing "when the Senate investigation is over, we shall see that war and preparation for war is not a matter of national honor and national defense, but a matter of profit for the few."

Over the next 18 months, the "Nye Committee" (as newspapers called it) held 93 hearings, questioning more than 200 witnesses, including J.P. Morgan Jr. and Pierre du Pont. Committee members found little hard evidence of an active conspiracy among arms makers, yet the panel's reports did little to weaken the popular prejudice against "greedy munitions interests."

The hearings overlapped the 73rd and 74th Congresses. They only came to an end after Chairman Nye provoked the Democratic caucus into cutting off funding. Nye, in the last hearing the Committee held in early 1936, attacked former Democratic President Woodrow Wilson, suggesting that Wilson had withheld essential information from Congress as it considered a declaration of war. Democratic leaders, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Carter Glass of Virginia, unleashed a furious response against Nye for "dirtdaubing the sepulcher of Woodrow Wilson." Standing before cheering colleagues in a packed Senate chamber, Glass slammed his fist onto his desk in protest until blood dripped from his knuckles, effectively prompting the Democratic caucus to withhold all funding for further hearings.

Although the "Nye Committee" failed to achieve its goal of nationalizing the arms industry, it inspired three congressional neutrality acts in the mid-1930s that signaled profound American opposition to overseas involvement.

Party summary

For details, see Changes in membership , below.

Senate

There were 48 states with two senators per state, this gave the Senate 96 seats. Membership changed with four deaths, one resignation, and two appointees who were replaced by electees.

Party
(shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Farmer–Labor Progressive Republican Vacant
End of previous Congress 461048951
Begin (March 4, 1933)581036961
March 11, 19335935951
May 24, 193360960
June 24, 193359951
October 6, 193334942
October 10, 193360951
October 19, 193335960
November 3, 193359951
December 18, 193360960
Final voting share
Beginning of next Congress 701123951

House of Representatives

Membership changed with twelve deaths and three resignations.

Party
(shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Democratic Farmer–Labor Progressive Republican Vacant
End of previous Congress 220102064288
Begin (March 4, 1933)311501174332
April 22, 19333124341
April 29, 19333114332
May 12, 19333104323
May 17, 19333094314
June 19, 19333084305
June 22, 19333074296
June 24, 19333084305
July 5, 19333094314
August 27, 19331164305
September 23, 19333084296
October 3, 19333094305
October 19, 19331154296
November 5, 19331144287
November 7, 19333104296
November 14, 19333114305
November 28, 19333124314
December 19, 1933313113
December 28, 19331144323
January 16, 19341154332
January 30, 19341164341
April 1, 19343124332
May 1, 19343134341
May 29, 19341154332
June 8, 19343124323
July 7, 19343134332
August 19, 19343124323
August 22, 19343094314
September 30, 19341134278
Final voting share72.4%1.2%0.0%26.4%
Beginning of next Congress 322371024351

Leadership

Section contents: Senate: Majority (D), Minority (R)House: Majority (D), Minority (R)

Senate

Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership

House of Representatives

Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership

Members

Senate

Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election, In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1934; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1936; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1938.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership

Senate

Senate changes
State
(class)
Vacated byReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 1]
Montana
(2)
VacantThomas J. Walsh (D) died in office.
Successor appointed March 13, 1933, to continue the term.
Successor later lost nomination to finish the term, see below.
John Erickson (D)March 13, 1933
Nebraska
(1)
Robert Howell (R)Died March 11, 1933.
Successor appointed May 24, 1933, to continue the term.
Successor later retired, see below.
William H. Thompson (D)May 24, 1933
New Mexico
(2)
Sam Bratton (D)Resigned June 24, 1933, when appointed Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Successor appointed October 10, 1933, and then elected November 6, 1934.
Carl Hatch (D)October 10, 1933
Vermont
(3)
Porter Dale (R)Died October 6, 1933.
Successor appointed November 21, 1933, and then elected January 17, 1934.
Ernest Gibson (R)November 21, 1933
Wyoming
(1)
John Kendrick (D)Died November 3, 1933.
Successor appointed December 18, 1933, to finish the term.
Joseph C. O'Mahoney (D)January 1, 1934
Nebraska
(1)
William Thompson (D)Interim appointee did not run in the special election to finish the term.
Successor elected November 6, 1934.
Richard Hunter (D)November 7, 1934
Montana
(2)
John Erickson (D)Interim appointee lost nomination to finish the term.
Successor elected November 6, 1934.
James E. Murray (D)November 7, 1934

House of Representatives

House changes
DistrictVacated byReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 1]
Texas 15th Vacant John Garner had resigned at the end of the previous Congress Milton H. West April 22, 1933
Arizona at-large Vacant Lewis W. Douglas (D) had resigned at the end of the previous Congress Isabella Greenway (D)October 3, 1933
Texas 7th Clay Stone Briggs (D)Died April 29, 1933 Clark W. Thompson (D)June 24, 1933
Arkansas 5th Heartsill Ragon (D)Resigned May 12, 1933, upon appointment as a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas David D. Terry (D)December 19, 1933
Georgia 10th Charles H. Brand (D)Died May 17, 1933 Paul Brown (D)July 5, 1933
Louisiana 6th Bolivar E. Kemp (D)Died June 19, 1933 Jared Y. Sanders Jr. (D)May 1, 1934
Alabama 8th Edward B. Almon (D)Died June 22, 1933 Archibald Hill Carmichael (D)November 14, 1933
Pennsylvania 9th Henry Winfield Watson (R)Died August 27, 1933 Oliver Walter Frey (D)November 7, 1933
West Virginia 3rd Lynn Hornor (D)Died September 23, 1933 Andrew Edmiston Jr. (D)November 28, 1933
Illinois 21st J. Earl Major (D)appointed as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois October 6, 1933Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Vermont at-large Ernest W. Gibson (R)Appointed U.S. Senator October 19, 1933 Charles A. Plumley (R)January 16, 1934
New York 34th John D. Clarke (R)Died November 5, 1933 Marian W. Clarke (R)December 28, 1933
New York 29th James S. Parker (R)Died December 19, 1933 William D. Thomas (R)January 30, 1934
Michigan 3rd Joseph L. Hooper (R)Died February 22, 1934Seat remained vacant until next Congress
North Carolina 4th Edward W. Pou (D)Died April 1, 1934 Harold D. Cooley (D)July 7, 1934
Pennsylvania 13th George F. Brumm (R)Died May 29, 1934Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Idaho 2nd Thomas C. Coffin (D)Died June 8, 1934Seat remained vacant until next Congress
New York 23rd Frank Oliver (D)Resigned June 18, 1934Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Illinois 20th Henry T. Rainey (D)Died August 19, 1934Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Kansas 5th William A. Ayres (D)Resigned August 22, 1934, after being appointed a member of the Federal Trade Commission Seat remained vacant until next Congress
Pennsylvania 2nd James M. Beck (R)Resigned September 30, 1934Seat remained vacant until next Congress

Committees

Senate

House of Representatives

Joint committees

Caucuses

Employees

Legislative branch agency directors

Senate

House of Representatives

Employees include: [lower-alpha 2]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.
  2. Rules of the House: "Other officers and officials"
  1. Herring, E. Pendleton (1934). "First Session of the Seventy-third Congress, March 9, 1933, to June 16, 1933". American Political Science Review. 28 (1): 65–83. doi:10.2307/1946722. ISSN   0003-0554.
  2. Herring, E. Pendleton (1934). "Second Session of the Seventy-third Congress, January 3, 1934, to June 18, 1934". American Political Science Review. 28 (5): 852–866. doi:10.2307/1947408. ISSN   0003-0554.
  3. Huckabee, David C. (September 30, 1997). "Ratification of Amendments to the U.S. Constitution" (PDF). Congressional Research Service reports . Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress.
  4. The Vice President of the United States serves as the President of the Senate. See U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 4
  5. The Democratic Senate Majority Leader also serves as the Chairman of the Democratic Conference.