these committees.- (3) He decides who has the floor without appeal.- (4) He decides all points of order, subject to appeal.
III. The present powers of the Speaker, as a party leader, are obnoxious to good government.- (a) It reduces the Speaker to the position of a partisan in the chair: N. A. R. Vol. 150. 121.- (1) His committee appointments will be partisan: 19th Cent. XXVIII. 863.- (2) His selection of speakers from the floor will be partisan: Practical Essays p. 13.- (3) His ruling on points of order will be partisan: Bryce, I. 135.
IV. These excessive powers lead to misgovernment.- (a) Bargaining.- (1) Between members and candidates for speaker.- (2) Between Speaker and members wishing to offer resolutions: Nation. XXVI. 226.- (b) Excite contested elections which delay legislative business (exs. 1839, 1849, 1855, 1859, etc.).- (1) When parties are evenly divided none will give up such an all-powerful position.- (c) Corrupt use of power by Speaker to further corporate interests: Cong. Rec. 44 Cong. 1 Sess. 3606.- (d) Minority summarily overridden: 19th Cent. XXVIII. 870.
V. The powers of the Speaker have steadily increased till from moderator he has become despot.- (a) Clay imposed his personality upon House.- (b) Stevenson, 1827-35, made House subservient to Pres. Jackson.- (c) Blaine, 1869-75, used office to further political ambitions.- (d) Carlisle, 1883-89, made himself real source of all legislation by refusing recognition to members he did not favor.- (e) Reed, 1889-91.- (1) Overrode minority summarily.- (2) Increased power of chair by new rules.
Brief for the Negative.
F. R. STEWARD and W. F. WILBOUR.
Best general references: Boston Herald, December 1, 1895; T. B. Reed in North American Review, Vol. 150, pp. 382-390 (March, 1890); and 551-546 (May, 1890); Theodore Roosevelt in Forum, XX, 410-418 (December, 1895); A. B. Hart, Practical Essays, No. 1.
I. The evils of the congressional system are great.- (a) Enormous number of bills presented.- (b) Committee system.- (c) Lack of responsibility for legislation: Woodraw Wilson, Congressional Government, pp. 58-128.
II. The increased powers of the Speaker are a corrective of these evils.- (a) Power of appointing committees.- (1) Speaker as party chief.- (2) Gives policy and method to Congressional action.- (b) Recognition.- (1) Party majority can present its programme.- (c) So-called veto power.- (1) Prevents loss of time on measures obnoxious to the majority.- (d) The Speaker's power as chairman of the Committee on Rules.- (1) Prevents clashing of committees.- (2) Enables measures to be considered in the order of their importance.- (3) Fixes responsibility for legislation.
III. The increased control which the Speaker has gained over procedure and debate is beneficial.- (a) Fillibustering checked.- (b) Party majority is better able to carry out.- (c) This increased power has been confirmed by the courts and by both political parties.
IV. The growth of the Speaker's power is a part of a general tendency in our governmental system to fasten responsibility upon individuals: Hart, Speaker as Premier, Practical Essays, p. 18.