Who were the major congressional participants in developing Social Security legislation?

The idea of Social Security came from the President himself, in this case, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In January 1935, he submitted his proposal to Congress along with a draft of legislation called The Economic Security Bill.

FDR's bill was presented to the House of Representatives by Congressman David Lewis (D-Md.) and Congressman Robert Doughton (D-N.C.), who was also chairman of the powerful U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. Both men used their power and positions to help guide the legislation through.

In the Senate, the bill was presented by Senator Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.), who was also instrumental in the creation and ratification of the National Labor Relations Act that same year.

Debates began immediately. The final versions of the Social Security Act passed in the House on April 14, 1935, with 372 yeas, 33 nays, and 25 not voting. In the Senate, the Act passed by a vote of 77-6, with 12 not voting. FDR then signed the Social Security Act into law on August 14.