Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to the President of the Senate on Inclusions in the Merit System.

June 28, 1937


In signing the Independent Offices Appropriation Bill for the fiscal year 1938, I note that the appropriation for the Social Security Board contains a provision requiring Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation of experts and attorneys receiving compensation of $5,000 or more per annum.

I regret the inclusion of this provision in the bill. Aside from the hampering effect of the prohibition against receipt of compensation by such employees until confirmed by the Senate, particularly during periods when Congress is not in session, the method adopted for the selection of these employees seems to me unfortunate. In lieu of the present procedure for the appointment of these employees without regard to civil service laws, I think it would have been preferable to bring the positions within the civil service system. Under the reorganization of the work of the Civil Service Commission as contemplated by the pending bill, S. 2700, it is expected that there would be developed improved methods for the examination and selection of such employees.

I am writing to express the hope that the Congress may see fit to enact legislation at an early date to place these positions under the merit system. I strongly recommend, as urged in my communication to the Congress of June 2, 1937, that all but policy-forming positions in the Executive branch of the Government be included within the merit system.


The President of the Senate,

Washington, D.C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the President of the Senate on Inclusions in the Merit System. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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