Sculptured Eagle from Main Committee Hearing Room Ceiling


 Click here for a biography of Oscar W. Underwood (D-AL)


As Chairman of Ways and Means, Oscar W. Underwood (D-AL) was one of the most powerful members of the House.  By virtue of his chairmanship, he also served as Democratic majority leader and chaired the Democratic Committee on Committees, a body of fellow Ways and Means party members who controlled committee appointments.  Thus, in the 62nd and 63rd Congresses, he governed the flow of all legislation, not just revenue bills.  In 1913, he introduced the Underwood Tariff.  The reform bill broke 52 years of Republican protectionism and provided for the first Federal income tax levied under the new ratified 16th Amendment.


Click here for a biography