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On This Day: Congress Collects

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On the 11th of April, 1789, just ten days after forming a quorum and convening its first session under the new Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives ordered a committee to prepare the first legislation for collecting federal revenue.

The principal source of revenue, being considered separately but simultaneously in the House, was duties on imported goods. The bill presented on the May 8th proposed a temporary federalization of the states’ regulations and officers until a more permanent system could be devised. The bill went through two more iterations before the first permanent act was passed on July 31st.

Hon. Ronald A. Sarasin, President, United States Capitol Historical Society

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