Harper's Weekly 02/02/1867


CONGRESS.

The Senate on January 16 concurred in the House
amendments to the Nebraska and Colorado admission
bills, and they now go to the President. The pur-
chase of the site for the post-office in New York was
authorized on the 17th. In a debate on the bill to
regulate the tenure of office Mr. Sumner said “it was
the duty of Congress to protect the loyal people against
the President. There was no precedent in this par-
ticular. There was no such duty against our fathers,
for the President had not become an enemy to his
country.” Mr. M'Dougal rose to a point of order that
such terms against the Executive were unparliament-
ary, but the Chair declined to sustain him. The bill
was finally passed on January 18 by a vote of 29 yeas
to 9 nays. The measure deprives the President of the
power to appoint or remove any officers except the
members of his Cabinet without the advice and con-
sent of the Senate, and effectually prevents removals
and appointments during the recess of Congress, ex-
cept in certain specified cases, and in such contin-
gencies subjects them to the action of the Senate
within twenty days after its reassembling.


In the House, on the 15th of January, the bill for
the admission of Nebraska as a State was passed, after
being so amended as to require the Legislature to
solemnly assent to the negro suffrage clause. The
vote was 103 yeas to 35 nays. The Colorado bill, sim-
ilarly amended, was passed by a vote of 90 yeas to 60
nays.—The Reconstruction bill of Mr. Stevens was de-
bated at length on the 16th and 19th of January. In
the course of the debate, on the 16th, Mr. Paine de-
nounced the present State governments at the South
as “piratical governments resting on the souls of An-
drew Johnson and his Northern and Southern satel-
lites.” Mr. Maynard, of Tennessee, declared that
“the rebels had denuded themselves of citizenship,
and the question was one of franchisement and not one
of disfranchisement.” On the 19th Mr. Scofield made
a speech on the pending question, in which he said that
“a perfidious Secretary, one old man, stood in the
way of the ratification of the Constitutional Amend-
ment.”—The Legislative Appropriation bill was adopt-
ed by the House on the 17th instant.—The Senate
amendment to the New York Post-office appropria-
tion was agreed to by the House, and the bill goes to
the President for approval.


Two important resolutions affecting the reconstruc-
tion of the Southern States were introduced in the
House on the 21st of January. One “declared the ten
communities lately in rebellion to be without civil
governments, and only eligible as State governments
when so recognized by Congress.” This was referred
to the Judiciary Committee. The other declared that
“in ratifying amendments the States not represented
shall not be entitled to vote.” This was referred to
the Committee on Reconstruction.



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