• U.S.

U.S. At War: Away with the Snuffboxes

1 minute read

“You know in the Senate we still keep the old snuffbox right up there where it’s been for more than 80 years, with a fresh supply of snuff, though nobody ever dips into it. And there’s a little silver box on each desk. What do you think is in that? Burnt sand that we’re supposed to use when we sign our names in ink. Well, our legislative system is about as anachronistic.”

Thus, two months ago, Florida’s genial, grey Senator Charles O. Andrews described the U.S. Congress. Many other Congressmen felt the same way. Last week a House committee turned in a report actually recommending that Congress improve itself. The report’s seven signers ranged all the way from Reactionaries Howard Smith and Clare Hoffman to Leftist Jerry Voorhis.

The report proposed: 1) a pool of experts to supply technical information to Congressmen; 2) two joint House & Senate Committees, one to investigate the expenditures, the other to investigate the practices, of executive agencies; 3) another committee to study Congress itself, recommend even more improvements.

In the tradition-bound Congress, this was rank heresy. But it was also a breath of fresh air on Capitol Hill.

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