What Was the Patman Bill?

The Patman Bill refers to a bill that was introduced by Texas Representative Wright Patman in 1932, which was intended to force the government to award bonus money to World War I veterans. After protests and intense debate, the House finally passed the bill. However, it was later voted down by the Senate.

The Patman Bonus Bill would have awarded any World War I veterans a sum of around $1,000. Given that this was during the Great Depression, the money was desperately needed by many individuals and families. Many government members sided with Patman on this issue. In particular, Representative Edward Eslick died of a heart attack while delivering a passionate speech to the House in support of the bill.