In order to allow for the installation of scaffolding and floor, statuary, and artwork protection in conjunction with the Dome Restoration Project, the Rotunda of the Capitol will be closed from Monday, July 27 through Monday, September 7. While the Rotunda is unavailable for tours, an alternate tour route will be provided. The Capitol Visitor Center is open during the closure of the Rotunda and will offer special activities which do not require advance reservations. You can also download our new U.S. Capitol Rotunda app.

Fighting Waste: The Truman Committee 1941-1944

National defense was critical on the eve of World War II. Congress worried about possible waste and mismanagement in military preparations, and wanted to ensure that defense dollars were spent wisely. Senator Harry Truman of Missouri chaired a Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program (popularly called the Truman Committee).

Truman Committee hearings exposed abuses while encouraging industry, labor, and government to cooperate. Though scrutinizing military matters, the committee avoided interfering in military strategy. Truman’s tireless investigations won praise for improving defense production and saving millions of dollars. They also won Truman national attention—and the 1944 Democratic nomination as vice president. Truman became president in 1945, after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. His committee, meanwhile, continued after the war as the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

"Everyone connected with the national-defense program should have a patriotic interest in seeing that it is properly carried out."
— Senator Harry Truman of Missouri, February 10, 1941

 

History of Congress and the Capitol

The Senate 1913-1945

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The Truman Committee is shown...
Image Caption

The Truman Committee is shown meeting in the Senate Caucus Room, 1943. The Truman Committee is shown meeting in the Senate Caucus Room, 1943.

The Truman Committee is shown meeting in the Senate Caucus Room, 1943.

U.S. Senate Historical Office

The Truman Committee is shown meeting in the Senate Caucus Room, 1943. The Truman Committee is shown meeting in the Senate Caucus Room, 1943.

The Truman Committee is shown meeting in the Senate Caucus Room, 1943.

U.S. Senate Historical Office

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