The very first act in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” was passed on March 9, 1933, four days after Roosevelt had declared a nationwide bank holiday. The measure was called the Emergency Banking Relief Act, and it allowed the President to seize insolvent banks, direct the Federal Reserve to make unsecured loans to them and reopen when he decided. Sound familiar?
Because of panic over bank failures that were sweeping across the country, the measure was introduced to a joint session of the brand-new Congress. More than 100 new legislators had been elected the previous November, all of them Democrats.
And let me quote from a history of the time: “The sense of urgency was such that the act was passed with only a single copy available on the floor and most legislators voted on it without reading it.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.