Publisher: University of Virginia Special Collections
House Rules Committee
Howard W. Smith chairs a meeting of the Rules Committee of the United States House of Representatives. During his long tenure as a congressman from Virginia (1931–1966), Smith wielded considerable power as chair of the committee, which sets the conditions under which bills may be considered. He used his parliamentary skills to delay, sabotage, or kill legislation for government assistance and civil rights. His influence was so vast that President John F. Kennedy supported successful efforts to reduce the committee's power.