above the ordinary rates, and the Chairmen of the three (or more) most responsible and laborious Committees of each House (say Ways and Means, Judiciary and Claims) double the ordinary rates; the Speaker double or treble, as should be deemed just; 5. Limit the Long Sessions to four months, or half-pay thereafter.Jan. 20th. Another letter appears to-day, exposing some of the expedients by which the time of Congress is wasted, and the public business delayed. The bill for the appointment of Private Claims' Commissioners was before the House. If it had passed, Congress would have been relieved of one-third of its business, and the claims of individuals against the government would have had a chance of fair adjustment. But no. ‘Amendment was piled on amendment, half of them merely as excuses for speaking, and so were withdrawn as soon as the Chairman's hammer fell to cut off the five-minute speech in full flow. The first section was finally worried through, and the second (there are sixteen) was mouthed over for half an hour or so. At two o'clock an amendment was ready to be voted on, tellers were ordered, and behold! no quorum. The roll was called over; members came running in from the lobbies and lounging-places; a large quorum was found present; the Chairman reported the fact to the Speaker, and the House relapsed into Committee again. The dull, droning business of proposing amendments which were scarcely heeded, making five-minute speeches that were not listened to, and taking votes where not half voted, and half of those who did were ignorant of what they were voting upon, proceeded some fifteen minutes longer, when the patriotic fortitude of the House gave way, and a motion that the Committee rise prevailed.’ The bill has not yet been passed. Just claims clamored in vain for liquidation, and doubtful ones are bullied or manoeuvred through. Jan. 22d. To-day the House of Representatives covered itself with glory. Mr. Greeley proposed an additional section to the General Appropriation Bill, to the effect, that members should not be paid for attendance when they did not attend, unless their absence was caused by sickness or public business. ‘At this very session,’ said Mr. Greeley in his speech on this occasion, ‘members have been absent for weeks together, attending to their private ’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.