The President's News Conference
THE PRESIDENT. I have nothing for quotation this morning. I thought I might give you a little background about what is going on and what we are hoping for.
The negotiations over the weekend 1 developed a very encouraging unity of action from the leaders of both political parties in the Senate, and gives great hopes for rapid movement in settlement of the revenue bill and the proposals for establishing a new economy committee, which I understand is to be a subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. It will give an opportunity for a reduction of all of the appropriations, together with the economy program. When I refer to economy program I refer to the special authorities which are required by legislative act in order to make reductions in the budget possible. It will enable us to reintroduce to the Congress, or at least perhaps to the committee, the larger measures of special legislation which are required in order to enable substantial further reductions to be made in the budget; and enables us to set our sails again towards something in the neighborhood of $700 million, that is including the $360 million which we made in the reductions in the executive budget last December.
1 The President referred to weekend conferences with the Republican leadership of the Senate and the Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
There is always some misunderstanding on these problems of economy and the methods of arriving at it. I notice that the press outside of Washington in particular has not grasped the fact that neither the Appropriations Committee nor the Executive can affect appropriations in certain directions when there must be special legislation. There is a constant confusion between the action by the Appropriations Committee and action on a definite piece of legislation giving the necessary authorizations and repealing requirements of one kind or another under the laws. So that we have two distinct directions of economy--one of them is by reduction of appropriations so far as it is possible within the authorities, and the other, the new authorizations on which reductions can be based.
The other item of great encouragement is the definite death and burial of the bonus in the House Ways and Means Committee. 2 In fact, the pressing problem before the country is the immediate balancing of the budget by coordinated action in revenue legislation and the settlement of appropriations and authorities by which we may reduce the expenditures on all directions. There is nothing that will more relieve the fear and apprehension and strangulation which have been increasing steadily since the 10th of March, when the Ways and Means Committee proposals began to break down in the House. And I have the feeling that all of the country has recovered courage from the evidence of the Senate taking hold of the program promptly and going along with it.
Otherwise, I haven't anything new today.
2 On May 7, the committee filed an adverse report on the Patman bonus bill (H.R. 7726).
Note: President Hoover's two hundred and forty-seventh news conference was held in the White House at 12 noon on Tuesday, May 10, 1932.
On the same day, Senator Wesley L. Jones, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, appointed members to the bipartisan Senate Committee on Economy. On May 11, the new committee, a subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, met with the President at a breakfast conference. Attending the breakfast were Senators Wesley L. Jones, Hiram Bingham, L. J. Dickinson, James F. Byrnes, Sam G. Bratton, and Kenneth McKellar, Secretary of the Treasury Ogden L. Mills, Director of the Budget J. Clawson Roop, and Secretary to the President Walter H. Newton.
Herbert Hoover, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207872