Guide to House Records: Chapter 23 Organization of Congress
Chapter 23. Records of the Joint Committees of Congress 1789-1968 (Record Group 128)
Records of the Joint Committees of Congress 1789-1989 (Record Group 128) from
Guide to Federal Records in the National
Archives of the United States, 1789-1988
- Introduction to the Records of the Joint Committees of Congress
- Part One: Overview of the Records of Certain Joint Committees
- Part Two: Records of Individual Joint Committees
Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress (1944-46)
JC.085 As World War II ended and the atomic age began, a consensus developed among Members of Congress that the committee structures by which the two Houses disposed of their business were antiquated, inefficient, and generally ill-suited to the new era. Committees frequently had overlapping jurisdictions, and there were too many committees, according to the prevailing view.
JC.086 The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress was established by S. Con. Res. 23, 78th Cong., with a mandate to study and make proposals to improve the organization and effectiveness of Congress. The committee held 39 public hearings between March 3 and June 29, 1945, as well as four executive sessions. Over 100 witnesses testified, including 45 members of Congress. An additional 37 members submitted statements. The final result of the committee's efforts was the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.
JC.087 The records include copies of resolutions and other documents relating to the committee's establishment, a suggested agenda for the committee, the minutes of the committee's first meeting, a copy of the printed hearings of the committee, and a conference committee print showing the differences between the two versions of the Legislative Reorganization Act. There is correspondence with the public and with Members and staff of Congress, as well as files of documents containing suggestions from Members of Congress, congressional employees, organized groups, and private citizens. Lists of the resolutions and bills that were introduced within the preceding 6 years proposing changes in the legislative organization and operation are supplemented by newspaper clippings and letters regarding the proposals, as well as copies of them. Also included is a typewritten paper entitled "On Reforming Congress" and news notes prepared by staff director George B. Galloway.
This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1989.
Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-42) by Robert W. Coren, Mary Rephlo, David Kepley, and Charles South (Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989), and 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).