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Regarding the 20,000,000, Eleanor Roosevelt, who had already built bonfires of her own under all home-going Congressmen who voted for Relief restrictions,* said that the sudden cut-off in Government spending was like pushing the country off a precipice. She was reminded of her uncle, Roosevelt I, who used to make herself and other young Roosevelts jump off sandcliffs at Oyster Bay, to teach them how far you slide going downhill and how hard it is to climb back up. Precisely, chimed in her husband; his latest lending program had been devised to create a gentle gradient instead of a cruel precipice.
Coupled with one more statement which he let fly last week, this Court-crowing and Congress-branding revealed Franklin Roosevelt as a President battered but unbowed, and more determined than ever to fight a whole lot more. Third revelation of his mood came in his message to the Young Democrats' convention at Pittsburgh, darkly threatening to smash the Democratic Party by walking out on it if it does not nominate a Roosevelt-approved liberal in 1940.
≫ Besides taking personal advantage of the public hush that always follows Congress' adjournment, the President applied himself diligently to completing Congress' labors. In five days he signed 225 bills, vetoed 40, bringing the total score of the 76th to 719 acts approved, 58 disapproved. Among the last vetoes: salaries for advisers of the Menominee Indians in Wisconsin; $3,000 to relieve Mrs. Bessie Bear Robe, an Indian woman (now dead) who lost her son on a Government reservation; 2¢ postage for Queens County, N. Y.; a five-year extension to the time-limit (Jan. 2, 1940) for War veterans' compensation claims; permission to the Atlantic Coast States to make compacts regulating fishing; a bill turning over to Nevada twelve square miles of U. S. land near Boulder Dam.†
Signed by the President, with a long statement applauding it, and flaying sales-tax schemes like the Townsend Plan, together with Treasury-raiding schemes like the Connally amendment (two Federal dollars for one State dollar), was the Social Security revision act. To study further Security revision, he added Chairman Arthur J. Altmeyer of the Social Security Board (but, strangely, not Administrator Paul McNutt of the Security Agency) to his Cabinet committee on this subject.
≫ Following his hopeful custom, the President asked all department & bureau heads to butter their expense estimates for fiscal 1941 with statements of anticipated economies. Mr. Roosevelt said: "I believe that substantial savings can be effected."
≫ Circular letters were received by 10,000 employes of the Department of Agriculture asking contributions to build the Roosevelt Memorial Library at Hyde Park. Replying to criticism, the collector in charge explained: "This is a strictly voluntary proposition."