Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1947-1968 Survivor Benefits

Chapter 22. Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives

Table of Contents

Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives (1789-1988) from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committee records described in this chapter:

Select Committee on Survivor Benefits (1954-55)

Select Committee on:VolumeCongress (dates)
Survivor Benefits1 foot83rd-84th (1954-55)

22.188 Following World War II, benefit programs for survivors of military personnel and veterans multiplied to the extent that, by the mid-1950's, there were five separate and distinct programs dealing with almost half a million cases. This created an administrative maze that had to be negotiated before survivors could obtain the benefits to which they were entitled. In order to simplify the application process and eliminate duplication of effort, Congress decided to undertake a study of the survivor benefit programs and prepare new legislation. Because four standing committees had jurisdiction over the five existing survivor benefit programs, the House chose to establish the Select Committee on Survivor Benefits on August 4, 1954, to undertake the study and to draft the legislation.

22.189 For its staff, the committee relied on 10 experts from five Federal agencies. The committee held 28 executive sessions or hearings and 29 public hearings at which representatives of every major veterans organization were invited to testify. The result was the Servicemen's and Veterans' Survivor Benefits Act (Public Law 84-881).

22.190 Records of the committee include transcripts of public and executive hearings, committee minutes, copies of the committee report, the conference report on the survivor benefits legislation, and legislative proposals relating to the committee and its work.

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Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.