James Madison Papers
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Loan for the City of Washington, [22 February] 1796

Loan for the City of Washington

[22 February 1796]

In a message of 8 January 1796, Washington urged Congress to provide for the completion of public buildings in the federal city. On 25 January a House committee reported resolutions recommending that the president be authorized to borrow money for that purpose. These resolutions were debated in a Committee of the Whole on 3 and 4 February and reported as a bill on 15 February. This bill was debated again in a Committee of the Whole on 22 February, when Hillhouse (Connecticut) moved that it be recommitted for amendments (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 1st sess., 232, 266, 290–93, 294–96, 325, 356–57).

Mr. Madison did not see any necessity for the committee to rise. He thought the bill conformable to the resolution of the house, and sufficiently simple in itself.

Claypoole’s Am. Daily Advertiser, 23 Feb. 1796 (reprinted in Philadelphia Gazette, 23 Feb. 1796 [debate erroneously dated 18 Feb. 1796]). The bill passed the House 72 to 21 on 31 Mar. 1796, with JM voting in the majority. The president signed “An Act authorising a Loan for the use of the City of Washington” on 6 May (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 1st sess., 840; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 1:461).

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