Patman, Wright

Powerful chair of the House Banking and Currency Committee thanks Senator Muskie for congratulatory telegram on his reelection

Price: $25.00

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(1893-1976) US Rep from Texas's 1st District, powerful chair of the House Committee on Banking and Currency 1965–75. He coauthored the Federal Anti-Price Discrimination (Robinson-Patman) Act, landmark antitrust measure prohibiting retail stores from restraining competition by charging unreasonably low prices. He was also instrumental in the passage of the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934, the Full Employment Act of 1946, the British Loan Act of 1946, the Defense Production Act of 1950, and the Housing Acts of 1946, 1949, 1961, and 1965. Patman was chairman of the Select Committee on Small Businesses 1955–63 and the Joint Economic Committee (1957–59, 1961–63, 1965–67, 1969–71, and 1973–75). He wielded his foremost influence, however, as chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency. He was the first to call for investigation of Penn Central (1970) and Watergate (1972). Born in Cass County, Texas, received his law degree in 1916 he was admitted to the Texas bar the same year. After service in WW I, he served in the Texas House of Representatives 1920-24. In 1928, Patman was elected to Congress. In 1932, he introduced a bill that would have mandated immediate payment of the bonus to WW I veterans; it was during the consideration of this bill that the Bonus Army came to Washington. Patman was a supporter of FDR’s New Deal. In January 1932, Patman spearheaded a movement to impeach Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, which forced the latter's resignation the following month. He was the author of the landmark Robinson-Patman Act in 1936. Patman's eponymous committee played an important role in the early days of the Watergate scandal that eventually brought down President Nixon. The Patman Committee investigated the $100 bills found on the Watergate "plumbers" upon their arrest, suspecting they could directly link them to CREEP, Nixon’s re-election committee. The Patman Committee's 1972 investigation was stymied by pressure from the White House, in part aided by House Minority Leader Rep. Gerald R. Ford. Despite efforts to stop Patman, his investigative course ultimately proved to be Nixon's undoing in the sense that the money trail, as reported on in the Washington Post, helped lead to the creation of the Sam Ervin-chaired Senate Select Committee on Watergate in April, 1973. In 1975, Patman was voted out of his position as Chairman of the Banking Committee by younger Congressmen, in a revolt against the seniority system which also removed Felix Edward Hébert and William R. Poage from their positions as committee chairmen. Patman was replaced by Henry S. Reuss by a caucus vote of 152–117. The main reason given for the caucus removing Patman was concern about his age and effectiveness. He was 40th Dean of the House of Representatives Jan. 1973–March 1976 (most senior Congressman). The Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union in the House of Representatives in Washington is named after him. It serves the banking needs of elected and former members of the House and their staff. Wright Patman Lake in NE Texas is also named for him. TLS on 10 ½ x 8 official “Congress of the United States/House of Representatives” letterhead, Washington, November 16 1970, to Hon. Ed Muskie, US Senate. Patman appreciated Muskie’s congratulatory telegram upon Patman’s reelection to Congress, which was “most thoughtful” and he is gratefuil for Muskie’s good wishes. With pencil docket at top right, ink checkmark at lower left.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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