The First Federal Congress Project
Documentary History of the First Federal Congress

The Notes of Paine Wingate

Debate on the Foreign Affairs Act [HR-8] Can the president remove federal officeholders?

 [16 July 1789] 
[Wingate?]
[advi]ce & consent of senate a part of legislative or judicial
[?] at will; at whose will?
[no?]t responsible— Responsponsible for what?
not responsible for the misconduct of his officers—
[he?] may not—
powers not clearly given by the constitution
When provision is made "that this officer is removeable by the President," may not be supposed that when like provision is not made in other bills that the officer is not removeable
When a President shall dye or go out of office will not his instructions cease of course? And will the Secretary of foreign affairs have any power to do the business of that office until he shall receive instructions from his successor?
The question before the house is simply this, Shall the clause be struck out?
A long train of arguments have been adduced to prove that the constitution vests this power in the President. The honorable Gentleman from Connecticut & New Jersies have imagined that it is clear to demonstration that this is in the constitution why then in such an agony for the clause— are they jealous that the president did not discern his power
Why not the respective Representatives of the respective [?] to appointment—
Why not to be consulted before the nomination
Annotations on a copy of the 2 June 1789 printing of the Foreign Affairs Act [HR-8] (E-45654), Paine Wingate Papers, NhD. Words are missing where the imprint has been cut. Wingate also listed here the names of the senators who voted on 16 July against striking from the bill the language authorizing the president to remove officeholders without the consent of the Senate. See July 1789, n. 19, in Part I of this volume.

Recommended citation: Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, ed. Charlene Bickford, et al. (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2002). XML version based on the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, ed. Charlene Bickford, et al. (Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1988) Vol. 9, pp. 104-117; 134-135; 445-449; 465-467; 483-489. http://adh.sc.edu [Accessed (supply date here)]

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