Howard W. Smith - Congressional Career

Congressional Career

He was elected in 1930 to Congress. He initially supported New Deal measures such as the Tennessee Valley Authority Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act. A leader of the conservative coalition, Smith led the opposition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) established by the Wagner Act of 1935. Conservatives created a special House committee to investigate the NLRB, headed by Smith and dominated by opponents of the New Deal. The committee conducted a sensationalist investigation that undermined public support for the NLRB and, more broadly, for the New Deal. In June 1940, amendments proposed by the Smith Committee passed by a large margin in the House, due in part to Smith's new alliance with William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor. The AFL was convinced the NLRB was controlled by leftists who supported the Congress of Industrial Organizations not the AFL in organizing drives. New Dealers stopped the Smith amendments, but Roosevelt replaced the CIO-oriented members on the NLRB with men acceptable to Smith and the AFL.

Smith proposed the anti-Communist Alien Registration Act of 1940 18 U.S.C. ยง 2385, which became known as the Smith Act. It required resident aliens to register. It also banned advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government or its political subdivisons. CPUSA chairman Gus Hall, among others, was later convicted of violating its provisions. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Yates v. United States (1957) that the First Amendment protected much radical speech, which halted Smith Act prosecutions under the Act.

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Famous quotes containing the word career:

    Each of the professions means a prejudice. The necessity for a career forces every one to take sides. We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
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