On April 21, 2010, Senator Ted Kaufman (D-DE) introduced ambitious financial reform legislation with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Efficient (SAFE) Banking Act was offered in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis and “too-big-to-fail” banks. The SAFE Banking Act sought to scale back the size of the nation’s biggest financial institutions and to ensure banks have the resources to cover their losses. The Senate voted it down two weeks later.
Read more in the exhibit 22 Months: Ted Kaufman in the U.S. Senate.
Images from the Edward E. “Ted” Kaufman papers at the University of Delaware Library, Newark, DE
The April 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, estimated at 7.9 magnitude, was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, claiming more than 3,000 lives. Congress responded to the disaster in several ways. The House and the Senate Appropriations Committees enacted emergency appropriations. Other congressional action included the House Claims Committee handling claims from owners seeking reimbursement for destroyed property. The Senate also passed a resolution asking the Secretary of War to furnish the Senate with a copy of a report on the earthquake and fire. The report on the relief efforts and accompanying captioned photographs, prepared by the U.S. Army, are now housed with the records of the Senate Committee on Printing and include the above photos.
Visit our featured document article for more information on this tragic event and the congressional response.
Photograph of St. Francis Hotel Showing the Clean Sweep of Fire in the Business Section of All Except Class A Steel Frame Buildings After the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 2127289)
This ‘letter of recommendation’ is from members of the Confederation Congress on behalf of James Mathers, who served as their doorkeeper and messenger in 1788. On April 7, 1789, the Senate elected James Mathers to be Senate Doorkeeper. Mathers served as Doorkeeper (and later Sergeant at Arms) until his death in 1811.
As Doorkeeper, Mathers maintained the Senate chamber, stoked the fire, cared for the Senate’s two horses, oversaw the transfer of records and furnishings to Philadelphia in 1790 and Washington, DC in 1800, and kept order once the galleries were permanently opened. In 1795, his job was expanded to Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper to enforce the law should anyone refuse to appear before the Senate in cases of trial and impeachment.
Recommendation From Members of the Confederation Congress to Appoint James Mathers Senate Doorkeeper, 3/4/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 7788932)
The committee appointed to report on the rules and orders of proceedings of the House on April 2, 1789 issued its first report on April 7. The report included duties of the Speaker of the House, rules of decorum and debate, rules for bills, and rules for the Committee of the Whole House. The House adopted the rules with little debate.
Today’s political cartoon explains one of the reasons why Albert Gore Sr lost the 1970 election. Gore’s opposition to the Vietnam War and the Nixon administrations’ lack of concern over inflation left him as a target of Nixon. Gore, who was considered to be a senator for the people, challenged Agnew to a debate over whether to provide tax breaks to the poor or the wealthy.
After the Senate attained its first quorum on April 6, 1789, the House and Senate counted the electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States. The official tally showed that George Washington was unanimously elected President and John Adams was elected Vice President.
Richard Henry Lee from Virginia presented his credentials to the Senate on April 6, 1789. Twelve members of the Senate were needed to attain a quorum. Upon Senator Lee’s arrival, the Senate attained a quorum for the first time since the start of the First Congress on March 4.
This weekend we are posting political cartoons! Today’s cartoon refers to civil rights legislation in the late 1950s and early 1960s, which expanded the power of the federal government to guarantee civil rights. Most southerners were vehemently opposed to civil rights legislation, however Gore tended to support civil rights legislation. In this cartoon, Senators Gore and Kefauver are hiding from a group of southern senators who are opposing civil rights legislation.