When did the United States Congress pass the Social Security Act?

1 Answer
Jun 4, 2016

Congress' final approval of the Social Security Act (SSA) took place in the House of Representatives on August #8^(th)# and in the Senate on August #9^(th)#, 1935.


The Social Security Act, which from here on out I will refer to as the SSA, was initially referred to as the "Economic Security Bill" and was drafted by President Roosevelt. On January #17^(th)#, 1935 the bill was introduced in both the House and Senate. The House Ways and Means Committee held hearings on the bill from January #21^(st)# to February #12^(th)#, 1935 while hearings in the Senate Finance Committee commenced on January #22^(nd)# and ended on February #20^(th)#, 1935. On March #1^(st)# of the same year this as-of-yet inchoate bill underwent a name in Ways and Means Committee to the "Social Security Act of 1935".

The Ways and Means Committee introduced their report on the SSA to the House on April #4^(th)#, 1935 and debate on the bill commenced on April #11^(th)#. On April #19^(th)# the debate ended, the House voted, and the initial draft of the SSA was passed in a landslide.

On May #13^(th)#, 1935 the Senate Finance Committee finished its initial report on the SSA and sent it to the Senate for debate. The slowpokes in the Senate eventually got around to debating the bill on June #12^(th)#. The debate ended on June #19^(th)# —the SSA passing in yet another landslide victory.

The House and Senate versions of the SSA differed so in order to rectify these issues the bill went to a Conference Committee (a group of the most senior member of the House and Senate). The Conference Committee deliberated throughout July.

The final version of the SSA was sent back to both the House and Senate for a final vote in early August. On August #8^(th)# the House passed the SSA while the Senate (again lagging a little) passed the bill on August #9^(th)#.

On August #14^(th)#, 1935, President Roosevelt enacted (read: signed) the bill into law.

Here's a link to the SSA's website for all you need to know about Social Security and more: https://www.ssa.gov/history/chrono.html

I know this is more than you asked for but I hope it helps!