• U.S.

THE CONGRESS: Work Done, Apr. 12, 1937

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The Senate: ¶ After killing an anti-Sit-Down rider proposed by South Carolina’s Byrnes (see p. 18), passed the Guffey-Vinson coal control bill; sent it to the House, which passed it last month, for action on minor amendments. Aimed to stabilize the sick coal industry (see below), the bill lacks the labor provisions which caused Supreme Court invalidation of the original Guffey Coal Act, creates a National Bituminous Coal Commission to fix minimum prices, enforce a code of fair practices. ¶ Passed the wheat crop insurance bill which provides an appropriation of $100,000,000 to establish the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. through which wheat farmers, paying premiums in grain or cash, can insure their crops against natural hazards. If this pioneer legislation, which is concerned with the 1938 crop only, proves efficacious, the New Deal hopes to extend it to other staples, make general crop insurance a permanent Government policy (TIME, March 1). Basically a campaign promise of both Democrats and Republicans, it was passed without a roll call, sent to the House.

¶ Passed the Wheeler amendments to the Federal Trade Commission Act which would empower the Commission to proceed against individuals and corporations exploiting or deceiving the general public whether their practices are unfair to their competitors or not. Sent it to the House.

The House: ¶ Virtually scuttled the New Deal’s plans for improving the lot of tenant farmers and sharecroppers when seven Democrats joined with six Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee and killed (13 to 11) the section of the Farm Tenancy bill that provided for an appropriation of $50,000,000 annually for ten years to finance farmers seeking to purchase farms they now operate for absentee owners. Day before suffering their first major legislative setback in the present Congress, President Roosevelt, who had previously made the farm tenancy problem the subject of a special message, made a personal plea for retention of the section before members of the House Committee at a White House conference.

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