Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



It has now been twenty years since the United States altered its internal machinery in a comprehensive attempt at modernization. Its willingness, in 1946, to adopt most of the changes suggested by a congressional study committee indicated the timeliness of that reorganization. The basic areas changed were: standing committees (size,jurisdiction, membership and operating procedures); regulation of lobby groups; coordination and supervision of fiscal affairs; and the bringing of professional research staffs to Congress. Most of these modifications were quickly implemented after passage of the act.' Of those given a trial, many met the test of time and have become a part of the permanent body of rules and practices of Congress. Since that time, additional piecemeal reform of certain controversial practices in the Congress has produced a desirable effect on the responsiveness of that body. What follows will be a review of the developments which led to the adoption of some of the more effective and enduring changes.