Reorganization of the House of Representatives: Recent Reform Efforts

CRS Report for Congress
Reorganization of the House of Representatives:
Modern Reform Efforts
October 20, 2003
Judy Schneider
Specialist on the Congress
Christopher M. Davis
Betsy Palmer
Analysts in American National Government
Government and Finance Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Reorganization of the House of Representatives:
Modern Reform Efforts
On January 7, 2003, the House created a Select Committee on Homeland
Security. One of its responsibilities is to conduct a “thorough and complete study of
the operation and implementation of the rules of the House, including Rule X, with
respect to the issue of homeland security.” The select committee is required to
submit its recommendations on possible changes to the Committee on Rules not later
than September 30, 2004.
Numerous official and unofficial reviews by Congress have been conducted in
the past 60 years. Three joint committees, two select committees, two commissions,
and party caucuses and conferences have studied various aspects of the House and
its committee system. The contemporary system is primarily a product of the
Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, which, among other things, codified
committee jurisdictions, streamlined the committee system, and instituted a
professional committee staffing structure. The Legislative Reorganization Act of

1970 opened Congress to public scrutiny, modified committee and floor procedures,

and enhanced Congress’s research and budget capabilities. The Committee Reform
Amendments of 1974 (Bolling committee) recommended major changes in House
committee jurisdiction and referral procedures, although an alternative plan was
adopted. The work of the Commission on Administrative Review (Obey
commission) and the Commission on Information and Facilities (Brooks
commission) focused on the administrative structure of the House. The Select
Committee on Committees (Patterson committee) recommended modifications in
House energy jurisdiction, committee assignment process, and committee procedures.
The Joint Committee on the Organization of the Congress altered aspects of
congressional organization and operations. Many decisions affecting committee and
floor operations are within the purview of the respective party caucuses; they too
have modified party and House rules on several occasions since 1946.
This report discusses the reform efforts to reorganize the House committee
system since the 1940s. This report will be updated if events warrant.
For related information on congressional reorganization efforts, see CRS Report
RL32112, Reorganization of the Senate: Modern Reform Efforts, by Judy Schneider,
Colton Campbell, Christopher M. Davis, and Betsy Palmer.

In troduction ..................................................1
Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, 79th Congress (1945-1946)......2
Creation, Membership, and Funding...........................2
Committee Activity and Recommendations.....................3st
Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, 91 Congress (1969-1970)......7
Creation, Membership, and Funding...........................7
Committee Activity and Recommendations.....................8
Party Caucus Reforms, 92nd, 93rd, and 94th Congresses (1971-1975) .....13
House Select Committee on Committees (Bolling Committee),
93rd Congress (1973-1974)...............................17
Creation, Membership, and Funding..........................17
Committee Activity and Recommendations....................18
House Commission on Information and Facilities
(Brooks Commission), 94th Congress (1975-1976)............36
Creation, Membership and Funding..........................36
Commission Activity and Recommendations...................38
House Commission on Administrative Review
(Obey Commission), 94-95th Congresses (1976-1977)..........40
Creation, Membership, and Funding..........................40
Commission Activity and Recommendations...................40
House Select Committee on Committees (Patterson Committee),
96th Congress (1979-1980)...............................43
Creation, Membership, and Funding..........................43
Commission Activity and Recommendations...................44nd
Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, 102 and

103rd Congresses (1991-1994)............................45th

Republican Control, 104 Congress (1995-1996)....................54
House Select Committee on Homeland Security, 108th Congress
(2003-2004) ...........................................60
Creation, Membership, and Funding..........................60
List of Tables
Table 1. Proposed Changes in Standing Committee Jurisdiction ...........20
Table 2. Summary of Reform Entities................................62
The authors wish to acknowledge the production assistance of Patricia Johns

Reorganization of the House of
Representatives: Modern Reform Efforts
The House standing committee system began in 1789 with the creation of the
Committee on Enrolled Bills. By 1810, the House had 10 standing committees. By
the time of the Civil War, the standing committee system was entrenched; the House
had 39 standing panels. When Woodrow Wilson wrote his doctoral dissertation in

1885, he characterized Congress as “a government by the chairmen of the Standing1

Committees of Congress.”
In the years following, many new standing committees were created, although
very few were abolished.2 By 1913, there were 61 standing committees in the House.
In 1927, the House combined 11 expenditure committees into one Committee on
Expenditures in the Executive Departments.
By the early 1940s, there was extensive criticism of Congress by scholars and
Members themselves. In response, Congress created a Joint Committee on the
Organization of Congress, thereby marking the beginning of numerous efforts to3
reorganize Congress, including the House’s committee system.
Since the 1946 effort, Congress created two more joint committees. The House
also created two select committees and two commissions to review its internal
organization and operations. The Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference
have studied various aspects of House organization and the committee system. The
minority party alternatives offered to the majority party resolutions adopting the rules
for a new Congress have contained recommendations for congressional
reorganiz ation.

1Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1981), p. 69.
2Six minor committees were abolished in 1909, and another six were abolished in 1911.
3See also CRS Report RL32112, Reorganization of the Senate: Modern Reform
Efforts, by Judy Schneider, Colton Campbell, Christopher M. Davis, and Betsy

Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, 79th Congress (1945-


Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. On February 19, 1945, the House concurred in Senate amendments
to H.Con.Res. 18, and established the Joint Committee on the Organization of
Congress. The joint committee was composed of 12 members, six from each
chamber, equally divided by party. The joint committee could take testimony and
make recommendations concerning the structure of Congress. The panel was
authorized for the 2 years of the 79th Congress.
The resolution called on the joint committee to “make a full and complete study
of the organization and operation of the Congress,” and “recommend improvements
in such organization and operation with a view toward strengthening the Congress,
simplifying its operations, improving its relationships with the other branches of the
United States Government, and enabling it better to meet its responsibilities under
the Constitution.”
Members had been considering reorganization of Congress for several years
before the creation of the joint committee. The joint committee was created in part
in response to the new environment in which lawmakers found themselves during
and after the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt — a much larger federal
government involved in far more areas of national life. As one scholar noted, it was
“becoming apparent that the role of the federal government was irrevocably
changed...Consequently, institutions such as the Congress, would be required to
change to accommodate themselves to new domestic and international demands.”4
Members also wanted to respond to a public perception that Congress had
become too insular. In 1942, for example, there was a public outcry when the House
passed a bill to bring Members under the Civil Service retirement system. “Letters
poured into congressional offices criticizing Members for voting their personal
concerns in a time of national emergency.”5
Membership. The committee was chaired by Senator Robert M. LaFollette
Jr., a progressive from Wisconsin who caucused with the Republicans. Its vice chair
was A.S. “Mike” Monroney, a House Democrat from Oklahoma. The other House
members were: Eugene Cox (D-GA); Thomas J. Lane (D-MA); Earl Michener (R-
MI); Everett Dirksen (R-IL); and Charles Plumley (R-VT). Other Senators on the
committee were: Elbert D. Thomas (D-UT); Claude Pepper (D-FL); Richard Russell
(D-Ga.); Wallace White (R-ME); and C. Wayland Brooks (R-IL).

4Paul S. Rundquist, “The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 – A View From Forty
Years,” prepared for delivery at the American Political Science Association’s annual
meeting, New Orleans, La., 1985, p. 2.
5 Ib i d .

Funding. The joint committee was authorized to spend $15,000 over its 2-year
lifespan, which was to be taken equally from the House and Senate contingency
Committee Activity and Recommendations.
From March 13 through June 29, 1945, the joint committee held 39 hearings,
receiving testimony from 102 witnesses. The committee issued its report (H.Rept..
1675), on March 4, 1946. The report contained a wide-ranging list of 37 specific
recommendations designed to improve the structure and efficiency of Congress,
many of which were adopted.
The Senate created a Special Committee on the Reorganization of Congress to
deal with the committee’s recommendations. The special committee was also
chaired by LaFollette, and reported out legislation (S. 2177) on May 31, 1946, that
was nearly identical to the set of recommendations. The Senate began debate on the
bill on June 5 and passed it by a vote of 49-16 on June 10, after making several
In the House, the bill sat at the Speaker’s table for weeks while negotiations
took place over several of its provisions. On July 25, the House approved an open
rule for consideration of the bill. After approving a series of amendments, the House
passed the bill by a division vote of 229-61, sending it back to the Senate. The
Senate approved the House-passed version of the bill by voice vote on July
President Harry S Truman signed the measure into law on August 2 (P.L. 601, 79
Committee Organization. At the heart of the set of recommendations was
a dramatic overhaul of House and Senate committee structures. The panel
recommended that the number of standing committees in the House be reduced in
number to 18 from 48, largely by consolidating the jurisdictions of the 48 panels. The

18 restructured committees recommended in the report were:

!Agriculture. Formed by the existing Agriculture Committee.
!Appropriations. Formed by the existing Appropriations Committee.
!Expenditures in the Executive Department. Formed by the existing
Expenditures in the Executive Department Committee.
!Banking and Currency. Formed by the merger of the Banking and Currency,
and the Coinage, Weights and Measures Committees.
!Civil Service. Formed by the merger of the Civil Service, Census, Post Office
and Post Roads, and the District of Columbia Committees.
!Public Works. Formed by the merger of the Flood Control, Public Buildings
and Grounds, Rivers and Harbors, and Roads Committees.
!Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Formed by the existing Interstate and
Foreign Commerce Committee.
!Judiciary. Formed by the merger of the Judiciary, Patents, Revision of the
Laws, and Immigration and Naturalization Committees.
!Foreign Affairs. Formed by the existing Foreign Affairs Committee.
!Labor. Formed by the merger of the Labor and Education Committees.

!Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Formed by the existing Merchant Marine and
Fisheries Committee.
!Armed Services. Formed by the merger of the Military Affairs and Naval
Affairs Committees.
!Veterans’ Affairs. Formed by the merger of the Pensions, Invalid Pensions,
and World War Veterans’ Legislation Committees.
!Public Lands. Formed by the merger of the Public Lands, Territories,
Irrigation and Reclamation, Mines and Mining, Insular Affairs, and Indian
Affairs Committees.
!Ways and Means. Formed by the existing Ways and Means Committee.
!Rules. Formed by the existing Rules Committee.
!House Administration. Formed by the merger of the Accounts, Disposal of
Executive Papers, Enrolled Bills, Library, Memorials and Printing
Committees. The Committee on the Election of President, Vice President, and
Representatives in Congress was abolished. Three separate Elections
committees were abolished and those responsibilities transferred to the House
Administration Committee.
!Un-American Activities. Formed by the existing Un-American Activities
The Claims panel and the War Claims panel were abolished.6
The committee also recommended that House Members be limited to one major
committee assignment.
Jurisdiction and Oversight. The joint committee called on the House and
Senate to spell out the jurisdictions of each standing committee clearly and to
incorporate the re-drawn jurisdictions in the House and Senate rules. The definitions
“should enumerate the activities covered and describe their scope in terms of subject
matter of legislation as well as the administrative organization of the Federal7
Government so that disputes over jurisdiction will be minimized or eliminated.”
The joint committee recommended that each standing committee have authority
to investigate the executive branch departments under their jurisdiction. This
authority would include the ability to issue subpoenas and to open investigations on
their own. This recommendation was in response to the existing practice of creating
a special committee to investigate problems as they arose, for example the House
Select Committee to Investigate Acts of Executive Agencies which Exceed Their
Authority. Because the standing committees would now have the authority they
needed to conduct oversight, the committee recommended that there be a ban on
creation of any new special committees, particularly those charged with conducting

6Title IV of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (P.L. 601, 79th Congress) transferred
adjudication of claims against the government to the Court of Claims, which is now the U.S.
Court of Federal Claims.
7U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, Organization of the
Congress, 79th Cong., 2nd sess., H.Rept.. 1675 (Washington: GPO, 1946), p. 5.

Staffing. The joint committee recommended that each standing committee
have professional staff, who were well paid and who would be available to Members
to help them make policy decisions. Each standing committee would be able to
employ up to four professional staff, who would be hired for their expertise and could
not be terminated for political reasons. These staff were to be paid between $6,000
and $8,000 a year, and were to work only on committee business. The
recommendations also said that committees should be able to employ up to six
clerical staff.
To supplement committee staff, the joint committee recommended that
Congress increase staffing of the Legislative Reference Service, a division of the
Library of Congress. The committee recommended increasing the budget to
$500,000 the first year from $198,000; $650,000 for the second year; and $750,000
in the third year.
The joint committee recommended that each Member be allowed to hire a well-
paid administrative assistant, whose job it would be to free up the Member from
having to take care of much constituent service so that the Member could focus more
on legislation. Administrative assistants would handle most correspondence and
requests for assistance from the public. The joint committee recommended that this
employee be paid up to $8,000 a year.
The joint committee also called for the creation of a congressional secretarial
pool to help overloaded offices with clerical work.
Administrative Proposals. The committee made a series of proposals
designed to update Congress in a variety of ways. The key recommendations were:
!raising pay for Members of Congress to $15,000 from $10,000 and allowing
Members to join the federal retirement system; and raising pay for top
congressional staff, such as the clerk of the House and the secretary of the
Senate, by some 50%;
!creating matching sets of party policy committees in each chamber (for a total
of four) that would be authorized to hire staff and meet regularly with
representatives of the executive branch;
!establishing a personnel director who would be selected by the leaders of the
two chambers and who would set up a system for finding and evaluating
would-be legislative staff, removed from political considerations;
!regulating lobbyists by requiring that representatives of groups with an interest
in legislation register and disclose their funding sources and the names of
groups they represented;
!creating a legislative budget process that would require the Appropriations and
revenue committees in both chambers to draft a tentative budget each year.
Congress could not appropriate more than the estimated receipts for the
coming year without also authorizing an increase in the national debt. Also,
the President would be given the power to reduce appropriations by a uniform
percentage in all programs if expenditures exceeded receipts;
!banning the introduction of bills to build specific bridges and certain other
bills involving claims against the United States;

!setting an annual adjournment date of June 30, with Members returning to
Washington for a fall session; also, the report called for “experimentation by
the leadership of the two Houses in dividing the workweek, reserving 3 days
for morning and afternoon hearings by committees, possibly with evening
sessions on those days, and 3 days for sessions in the Chambers for legislative
!limiting conference reports only to items that were in disagreement between
the two chambers;
!increasing the legislative counsel’s office budget to $150,000 from $90,000
a year to hire more personnel to help Members draft bills;
!requiring all hearings and many of the meetings of the Appropriations
Committee be open to the public, press, and other Members of Congress;
!requiring the General Accounting Office to do an annual audit of each
government agency; and
!banning the reappropriation of funds already appropriated but not yet spent,
and the act of legislating on an appropriations bill.
Senate Provisions. The joint committee called for 16 committees in the
Senate, down from 33. The new committees recommended were:
!Agriculture. Formed from the existing Agriculture and Forestry Committee.
!Appropriations. Formed from the existing Appropriations Committee.
!Rules and Administration of the Senate. Formed by the merger of the Audit
and Control, Enrolled Bills, Library, Printing, Privileges and Elections, and
Rules Committees.
!Banking and Currency. Formed from the existing Banking and Currency
!Finance. Formed from the existing Finance Committee.
!Labor and Public Welfare. Formed from the of Education and Labor
Committee, and the Social Security jurisdiction of the Finance Committee.
!Claims. Formed from the existing Claims Committee. To be dissolved when9
claims were transferred to the courts.
!Interior, Natural Resources and Public Works. Formed from the merger of the
Commerce, Indian Affairs, Interoceanic Canals, Irrigation and Reclamation,
Mines and Mining, Public Buildings and Grounds, Public Lands and Surveys,
and Territories and Insular Affairs Committees. Also to include the Post
Roads jurisdiction of the Post Office and Post Roads Committee, which would
be abolished.
!Civil Service. Formed from the merger of the Civil Service and Post Office
and Post Roads Committees, minus the Post Roads jurisdiction.
!District of Columbia. Formed from the existing District of Columbia10

Committee. To be dissolved when D.C. residents were granted home rule.
8Organization of the Congress, p. 26.
9See footnote 5.
10President Harry S Truman proposed granting home rule to the residents of the District of

!Expenditures in the Executive Department. Formed from the existing
Expenditures in the Executive Department Committee.
!Armed Services. Formed from the merger of the Military Affairs and Naval
Affairs Committees.
!Veterans’ Affairs. Formed from the Pensions Committee and the merger of
veterans’ jurisdiction from the Finance Committee.
!Foreign Relations. Formed from the existing Foreign Relations Committee.
!Interstate Commerce. Formed from the merger of the Interstate Commerce
and Manufacturers Committees.
!Judiciary. Formed by the merger of the Judiciary, Patents, and Immigration
Final Action. The majority of recommendations made by the joint committee
were adopted by Congress. In the House, Members deleted provisions authorizing
a top administrative aide for their offices, creating majority and minority policy
committees, and creating a stenographic pool for Members. They also deleted all the
proposed enforcement provisions for the budget process. Finally, they changed the
Members’ salary increase to $12,500, plus an additional $2,500 for expenses. In the
Senate, Members deleted the section of the plan calling for home rule for the District
of Columbia, deleted the transfer of pensions and rehabilitation programs to a
Veterans’ Affairs Committee from the Finance Committee, moved the adjournment
date of Congress to July 31 from June 30, deleted the fall session recommendation,
and eliminated the new personnel director. The Senate also modified a fiscal
recommendation, allowing the President to reduce spending at his discretion instead
of requiring an across-the-board reduction.
Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, 91st Congress (1969-


Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. The 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act was the product of more
than 5 years of work, spread over three Congresses. It began with the creation of a
Joint Committee on the Organization of the Congress in March 1965, and concluded
when the House concurred in Senate amendments to the bill H.R. 17654 on October

8, 1970, and sent the measure to the President, who signed it (P.L. 91-510).

The charge to the 1965 joint committee was essentially the same as the charge
given to the 1945 joint committee, which had led to the 1946 Legislative
Reorganization Act. The resolution creating the 1965 committee stated that the
committee was to “make a full and complete study of the organization and operation
of the Congress of the United States and shall recommend improvements in such
organization and operation with a view towards strengthening the Congress,
simplifying its operations, improving its relationship with other branches of the
United States Government and enabling it better to meet its responsibilities under the

Columbia during his presidency.

Despite the extensive changes that took place because of the 1946 Act,
Members eventually felt the law had not gone far enough. “[C]omplaints soon
surfaced about some of its deficiencies, omissions, and outright failures. New
grievances about congressional conditions were added in the years that followed.
Calls for reform were increasingly voiced not only in the press, among students of
the place and in Congress itself, but also among elements of the informed public,”
wrote congressional scholar Walter Kravitz.11
During the 5 years it took for the reorganization effort to wend its way to
enactment, from 1965 to 1970, institutional tensions between the legislative branch
and the executive branch escalated. The Vietnam War raised questions about the role
each branch played in war powers; President Nixon battled with Congress over
spending appropriated funds. Congress moved to reassert its role with passage, over
the president’s veto, of the 1973 War Powers Resolution (P.L. 93-148). The budget
fights led to passage of the 1974 Congressional Budget Control and Impoundment
Act (P.L. 93-344), which created the House and Senate Budget Committees and the
Congressional Budget Office and set up a budget process for Congress to follow,
separate from the executive branch. The 1970 Act was part of a broad effort to by
Congress to assert its authority over the executive branch and to increase its access
to information.
Membership. The original 1965 joint committee consisted of six Senators and
six Representatives, equally divided by party. Senators on the committee were: A.S.
“Mike” Monroney (D-OK); John J. Sparkman (D-AL); Lee Metcalf (D-MT); Karl
E. Mundt (R-SD); Clifford P. Case (R-NJ); and J. Caleb Boggs (R-DE); House
members were: Ray J. Madden (D-IN); Jack Brooks (D-TX); Ken Hechler (D-WV);
Thomas B. Curtis (R-MO); Robert P. Griffin (R-MI); and Durward G. Hall (R-MO).
When Rep. Griffin resigned from the House in 1966 to accept appointment to the
Senate, he was replaced by Rep. James C. Cleveland (R-NH).
On April 22, 1969, Rep. William M. Colmer (D-MS), chairman of the House
Rules Committee, appointed a special five-member subcommittee to review
congressional reorganization proposals and make recommendations. The Special
Subcommittee on Legislative Reorganization was chaired by B.F. Sisk (D-CA).
Other members were: Ray J. Madden (D-IN), Richard Bolling (D-MO), H. Allen
Smith (R-CA), and Delbert L. Latta (R-OH). Mr. Madden resigned from the
subcommittee on May 6 and was replaced by Rep. John Young (D-TX).
Funding. The 1965 joint committee was authorized under H.Con.Res. 4 to
spend $150,000.
Committee Activity and Recommendations.
The Joint Committee on the Organization of the Congress held 40 days of
hearings between May 10 and September 23, 1965. It heard from 199 witnesses,

11Walter Kravitz, “The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 and Its Aftermath,” prepared
for the symposium on Service to Congress: The Congressional Research Service at 75, 1989,
p. 2.

including Members of Congress, political scientists, and other government officials.
The committee issued its final report on July 28, 1966 (S. Rept. 1414, 89th Congress,
2nd Session). It contained some 120 recommended changes to the operation of
Congress, ranging from those affecting the committee system to the imposition of
fiscal controls to increases in staffing. Legislation was introduced in both chambers
that year but saw no action. It was reintroduced in the Senate in 1967 as S. 355. The
Senate passed the bill by a vote of 75-9 on March 1967, but the measure saw no
action in the House.
In 1969, the House Rules Committee’s Special Subcommittee on Legislative
Reorganization held 16 executive sessions over several months. After compiling a
draft of a bill, the special subcommittee instructed its staff to hold a series of
briefings for Members to explain the measure to them. Those briefings were held
October 16, 17, 20, and 21, and were attended by some 80 House Members and staff.
Through October, November and December, the special subcommittee held a series
of hearings on its draft bill, at which 44 people testified and 44 more submitted their
views for the record. These hearings were published in a 453-page volume in early
1970. The special subcommittee revised its draft and reported a measure to the full
House Rules Committee early in 1970. That panel reported the measure on May 12,
with amendments (H.R. 17654, H.Rept.. 91-1215).
The House began debate on the bill on July 13 and passed it, amended, on
September 17 by a vote of 326-19. The legislation went directly to the floor in the
Senate. The Senate passed the bill, amended, by a vote of 59-5 on October 6. The
House concurred in the Senate amendments on October 8, by voice vote, clearing the
measure. President Nixon signed the bill into law on October 26, 1970 (PL 91-510).
House Committee System. Unlike the 1946 Act, the 1970 Act focused
more on rules governing committees, not the committee structure itself. One of the
complaints heard most frequently from Members was that committee chairs wielded
too much power. Many of the changes in the process were designed to give greater
voice to the minority Members on committees and to make sure that a chair could not
always override the wishes of a majority of the committee. Also, the special
subcommittee had recommended that the House clarify that the rules of the House
apply to its committees and that committee rules apply to its subcommittees.
The recommendations of the 1965 joint committee formed the backbone of the
House special committee’s work. So while the specific legislation that led to the
1970 Legislative Reorganization Act can be traced back to legislation coming out of
the special committee’s work, many of those recommendations, particularly those
dealing with the Senate, originated several years earlier with the joint committee.
To improve the functioning of committees, the special subcommittee
recommended that each committee adopt written rules, which could not be
inconsistent with House rules, and select a regular meeting day to conduct its
business, though additional meetings could be added at the discretion of the chair.
It recommended that a majority of a committee could call a special meeting without
the assent of a committee chair, and the ranking majority member should preside
over the committee in the absence of the chair. A majority of the minority party
should be allowed to call witnesses during at least one day of hearings.

Dates and times of hearings should be announced at least one week in advance,
the subcommittee recommended, unless the committee determined it could not meet
this deadline, in which case it was to be “noticed” as soon as possible in the Daily
Digest of the Congressional Record. The House Rules Committee was exempted.
The special subcommittee said that committee reports should be filed within
seven days of a request to do so by a majority of the committee. This
recommendation was intended to get around a chair who, when opposed to a bill,
declined to report it to the full House, despite the action of the committee. This
recommendation was matched by a new policy to allow the Speaker to recognize a
member of a committee to call up a bill on the floor if the Rules Committee had
made it in order, even if the Member was not the chair of the committee.
The special subcommittee recommended that the minority should be given three
days in which to file their opinions for a committee report if they “noticed” their
intent at the time of the committee markup. Reports must be available at least three
calendar days before House consideration of a bill. And, for appropriations bills,
printed committee hearings were also to be available at least three days in advance
of the floor action. The House Rules Committee was exempted from many of these
To provide greater public scrutiny of Congress’s business, the special
subcommittee recommended that committee business meetings and hearings be open
to the public unless a majority vote of a committee closed hearing. On each motion
to report, the committee must record the votes for and against the motion and include
the votes in its report.
The special subcommittee recommended that committees allow their hearings
to be broadcast, when authorized by a majority vote of a committee. This
recommendation included radio, television, and still photography. While committees
were to determine the rules governing such broadcasts, the special subcommittee
recommended that, at a minimum, committee rules require that a broadcast be
uninterrupted and not commercially sponsored; no subpoenaed witness be depicted
without his or her permission; cameras be limited to four fixed locations; and
broadcasting not interfere with conduct of a hearing.
The special subcommittee also recommended some administrative changes in
the way committees functioned. It recommended that proxy voting be barred in
committees unless the committee’s rules permitted it, in which case a proxy must be
in writing, designate who was to cast it, and be limited to a specific measure or
amendments to a measure. The special subcommittee recommended that committees
be allowed to meet when the House was in session, unless the House was debating
a bill under the five-minute rule. Even then, five specific committees, Rules,
Appropriations, Government Operations, Internal Security, and Standards of Official
Conduct, could meet. It also recommended that witnesses be required to provide
their written statements in advance of their testimony when it would be possible to
do so. And, it called on committees to provide an annual report of their activities of
the previous year, except for the Appropriations, Rules, House Administration, and
Standards of Official Conduct Committees.

The special subcommittee recommended a funding process for all committees.
Each committee was to file a single, annual funding request for itself, which had to
be available to Members for at least one day before the chamber acted on it. If the
committee exceeded its approved spending, it would have to come back to the House
with an explanation of why it needed additional funding.
Staff. The special subcommittee made a series of recommendations to allow
more information to flow to Members about legislation. It recommended an increase
in the number of professional staff authorized for each committee to six from four
and authorized committees to hire consultants, subject to the approval of the House
Administration Committee.
The special subcommittee recommended that a majority of a committee’s
minority members could hire two of the six professional employees, and one of the
six clerical positions, subject to approval of a majority vote of a committee. Any
staff member could be fired by a majority vote of the committee. The Committees
on Standards of Official Conduct and Appropriations were exempt from many of
these proposed rules.
The special subcommittee recommended that each House Member be authorized
to hire an administrative assistant at pay not to exceed $8,955 per year. This
recommendation was designed to match the structure in the Senate, which already
authorized a top office staff member.
Budget Matters. The special subcommittee recommended that the
Appropriations Committees in both chambers hold a hearing within 30 days of
submission on the entire budget proposed by the President. The special
subcommittee called on the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and
Budget to come up with uniform fiscal measurements for programs and to supply
committees, upon request, detailed program information on government agencies.
The special subcommittee envisioned a bigger role for the Comptroller General, the
head of the General Accounting Office. That office was to provide analysis of
existing programs and provide to committees staff expert in doing cost-benefit
The special subcommittee also called on the President to provide 5 years’ worth
of detailed program information for each program, the current fiscal year and four
succeeding ones.
It also recommended that each House report be required to include a cost
estimate for the bill it accompanied.
Administrative Proposals. The special subcommittee recommended
creation of a Joint Committee on Data Processing to help coordinate the acquisition
and use of computers and technology. The committee was to consist of 12 Members,
six from each chamber, equally divided between the majority and minority parties.
The special subcommittee also recommended that the Legislative Reference
Service, a division of the Library of Congress that was designed to provide research
support to lawmakers, be renamed the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and

its responsibilities be expanded and redefined. The new CRS would be authorized
to require government agencies to provide information, and could hire temporary
services of experts or consultants.
The special subcommittee recommended that the Joint Committee of Congress
on the Library be renamed the Joint Committee on the Library and Congressional
Research to make clear that this panel was to oversee the operations of CRS.
The special subcommittee recommended the abolition of the Joint Committee
on Immigration and Nationality Policy.
The special subcommittee recommended that, in the House, the reading of the
Journal12 be dispensed with and that a vote on the Journal be non-debatable. This
recommendation came in response to the use of the reading of the Journal and votes
on its approval as dilatory tactics by the minority.
The special subcommittee recommended codifying the practice that conference
agreements be prepared jointly by conferees of the two houses, and that time for
debate on a conference report be divided equally between the majority and minority.
The special subcommittee recommended that, when House Members raised
points of order against a bill because it included nongermane amendments, the House
debate the motion for 40 minutes and that a two-thirds vote be required to permit the
amendments to stand.
The House parliamentarian, the special subcommittee recommended, should
prepare and have printed new compilations of House precedents every 5 years. A
condensed and up-to-date version should be printed at the beginning of each
The special subcommittee recommended the creation of the Capitol Guide
Service to provide free, organized tours of the Capitol for the public.
Senate Provisions. The Senate agreed to make it easier for a majority of
committee members to call a meeting. It also adopted a series of changes designed
to give more power to Members, not chairs, of committees. Those included a
requirement that committee reports be filed within seven days of committee action,
that a committee’s minority party be allowed to call witnesses during at least one day
of hearings, and that members have three days to file minority views for committee
The Senate agreed to ban general proxy voting (but permit specific proxies), and
to require that each committee file a single annual expense report.
Most Senate standing committees were reduced in size, and, for future
assignments, Senators were restricted to service on two major committees and one
minor one. It also restricted Senators to service on only one of the following

12Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States.

committees at a time: Appropriations, Armed Services, Finance, and Foreign
Relations. In the future, Senators also could hold not more than one chairmanship,
or more than one subcommittee chairmanship, on any major committee.
The Senate renamed its Banking and Currency Committee to the Committee on
Banking, Housing and, Urban Affairs, and gave it jurisdiction over urban affairs
generally. The Senate created a Committee on Veterans’ Affairs with jurisdiction
transferred from three other standing committees.
The Senate authorized the addition of two professional staff for each standing
committee. The minority party was afforded the right to hire two staff authorized for
a committee. Senate staff salary maximums were increased to roughly match the
The Senate prohibited floor consideration of a measure unless the report on it
had been available for at least three calendar days, though the majority and minority
leaders could agree to waive this rule. If the two leaders agreed, committees also
would be allowed to sit while the Senate was in session.
For both the House and the Senate, conference procedures were changed to
require that both chambers print conference reports, that conferees of both chambers
jointly prepare an explanatory statement to accompany a conference report and that
debate time on a conference report be equally divided between the majority and
minority parties.
Final Action. A few of the recommendations of the House subcommittee were
changed several times during the course of congressional consideration, and
additional changes were adopted later. The House provided that the minority was to
receive no less than one-third of committee staff. Members also agreed to begin
recording how each Member voted during teller votes taken in the Committee of the
Whole, and to allow as few as 20 Members to obtain a roll call vote. The provision
on nongermane amendments, requiring only a majority vote for an amendment for
it to succeed, was modified. Finally, the House struck from the bill the provision
creating a top administrative staffer for Members’ personal offices. The Senate
added a new Veterans’ Affairs Committee to its roster.
Finally, the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations was established.
Made up of 10 members, five from each chamber, the committee was instructed to
continue to study the organization and operations of Congress and make
recommendations about improvements. The committee was also to oversee the new
Office of Placement and Office of Management, which were created to assist
Members in finding staff and provide help with office problems.
Party Caucus Reforms, 92nd, 93rd, and 94th Congresses (1971-


Procedural reforms in the House Democratic Caucus and House Republican
Conference between 1971 and 1975 substantially affected committee organization
and assignment procedures in the House of Representatives.

These reforms were generally advocated by more junior, reform-minded
Members of both parties, who were influenced by the changes underway in society
as a whole during this period and sought to have the House reflect these
developments. The broad changes in American Society included the civil rights
movement, growing opposition to American military involvement in Southeast Asia,
and the widespread questioning of authority engendered by the Watergate scandal
that caused President Richard M. Nixon to resign under threat of congressional
impeachment. Junior Democratic Members joined forces with other reformers in
Congress to push for institutional reforms in a House they viewed as largely
dominated by senior and conservative Southern Members who often sided with
Some Members may have concluded that the organization and membership of
Congress had not kept pace with societal changes. As one Member noted of new
“We were the children of Vietnam, not World War II. We were products of
television, not of print. We were products of computer politics, not courthouse
politics. And we were reflections of JFK as president, not FDR.”13
Among the key impacts of the Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference
reforms were a decrease in the power of committee chairs, a weakening of the
seniority system, and a strengthening of the hand of House leadership over
scheduling and committee assignments. The reforms also gave junior Members
additional mechanisms to influence the workings of the chamber, including
procedures to bypass closed rules on major legislation, separate votes on committee
chairs, giving a role for Members in establishing subcommittee jurisdiction, as well
as a place on the panel making standing committee assignments.
1971-Democratic Caucus. Many reform-minded Members of the House
expressed the view that the 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act did not go far
enough and that additional reforms needed to be made. Toward that end, the
Democratic Study Group, an organization of progressive, Democrats, was successful
in convincing the Democratic Caucus to create a special caucus committee, the
Committee on Organization, Study, and Review (OSR), to examine proposals for
On January 20, 1971, the Democratic Caucus adopted the first set of proposals
put forth by the OSR. Under this plan:
!The Democratic Committee on Committees, made up of the Democratic
members of the House Ways and Means Committee, would recommend
nominees for the chairmanship and membership of each committee. These
nominations were no longer required to be based on seniority.

13Ronald D. Elving, “Rebels of ‘94 and ‘Watergate Babies’ Similar in Class Size,
Sense of Zeal,” Congressional Quarterly Weekly, Jan. 24, 1998, pp. 160-161

!The Committee on Committees would recommend committee chairmanships
separately rather than as a slate. At the request of 10 caucus members, a
nomination for a chair could be separately debated and voted upon.
!Democratic House Members would be limited to one subcommittee
chairmanship, and each subcommittee chair would be entitled to hire one staff
aide. In addition, the chair of a committee could not simultaneously serve as
chair of more than one subcommittee of that committee. These changes
opened approximately 40 subcommittee chairmanships to junior Members.
Not all attempts at change made by junior Members were successful. An effort
to unseat the chair of the House District of Columbia Committee and replace him
with a more junior committee member was rejected. Another effort to seat the
outgoing chair of the Democratic Study Group on the Ways and Means Committee
failed. Finally, even after reforms were adopted by the Democratic Caucus, two
committee chairs were able to implement procedural changes on their individual
panels which lessened the effect of the new rules.
1971-Republican Conference. On January 20, House Republicans agreed
to allow all of their Members to vote on nominations for ranking minority members
on committees. In doing so, the Republican Conference approved the
recommendations of a Republican task force on seniority chaired by Rep. Barber B.
Conable Jr. (R-NY). The recommendations eliminated the requirement that ranking
membership on committees be, in effect, automatically based on seniority.
Under these new procedures, the Republican Committee on Committees, made
up of one Representative from each state that had Republican Members in the House,
would nominate a Member to be ranking on each committee. The conference would
then vote separately and by secret ballot on each nomination. If the nomination was
rejected, the Committee on Committees would nominate another Member.
The Members also agreed that when Republicans won a majority in the House,
the same procedures would apply toward the selection of committee chairs.
1973-Democratic Caucus. In 1973, some Members in the Democratic
Study Group, as well as outside lobbying groups such as Common Cause and
Americans for Democratic Action, waged a nearly 2-month effort to institute further
reforms in the House Democratic Caucus. On February 21, the Democratic Caucus
adopted a series of procedural changes, including changes to:
!require that all House committee hearings be open unless they dealt with
matters of national security or could injure personal reputations; markups
could only be closed by majority vote at the beginning of a committee session;
(The House later adopted these provisions in a slightly modified version as
amendments to the House rules.)
!adopt a change that would allow 50 Members to secure a caucus vote on
directing the House Rules Committee to make an amendment in order on the
House floor; this change was intended to halt the practice of committee chairs
bringing major legislation to the floor without an opportunity for floor

!permit a secret-ballot vote on the nomination of any committee chair at the
demand of 20% of the caucus;
!strip the chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the role of chair of the
Committee on Committees and replacing that person with the Speaker; the
House majority leader and caucus chair were added to the panel; and
!create a new committee, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, to
promote party policy and unity; membership would include the caucus chair,
four deputy whips, three Members appointed by the Speaker, and 12 Members
elected by a vote of the Democratic Caucus.
Finally, the caucus approved a so-called Subcommittee Bill of Rights that
authorized each subcommittee to meet, hold hearings, and act. It empowered the
caucus of Democrats on each committee to establish subcommittee jurisdictions; set
party ratios on subcommittees; and choose subcommittee members and chairs,
guaranteeing all Democratic members of a committee a major subcommittee
assignment. Subcommittees were guaranteed independent budgets, and committee
chairs were required to refer measures to subcommittees in accordance with the
committees’ written jurisdictions.
1974 and 1975 - Democratic Caucus. Additional changes to assignment
procedures and seniority were made in meetings in December 1974 and January 1975
in the House Democratic Caucus. These changes were supported by reformers in
Congress with the assistance of a large class of Democratic freshman who were
elected to the 94th Congress.
The authority to make Democratic committee assignments was transferred from
the House Committee on Committees, which consisted of the Democratic Members
of the House Ways and Means Committee, to the Steering and Policy Committee.
Democrats required automatic secret-ballot votes on committee chairs and allowed
for additional nominations for committee chair if the first nominee was rejected.
Within two weeks of making these procedural changes regarding the selection
of committee chairs, House Democrats, through a series of votes in the Democratic
Steering Committee and in the Democratic Caucus, ended in practice the strict
operation of the seniority system by removing three standing committee chairs.
Additional changes were made in the December and January meetings of the
caucus, including requiring nominations for the chairs of Appropriations
subcommittees to be approved by the caucus. The Speaker was allowed to nominate
all Democratic members of the Rules Committee. The caucus recommended
changing House rules to require open conference committee meetings. The House
also renamed three standing committees, made the Select Committee on Small
Business a standing committee, and abolished the controversial House Internal
Security Committee, which had been previously named the House Un-American
Activities Committee.

House Select Committee on Committees (Bolling Committee),

93rd Congress (1973-1974)

Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. The Select Committee on Committees was established in the 93rd
Congress in response to widespread Member dissatisfaction with the existing
committee structure. As Rep. Bolling stated in House debate on the reform
resolution, "Twenty-eight years ago is the last time the House reorganized itself. I do
not believe that there is a Member here, no matter how much he may disagree with
the content of this resolution, who does not agree that there needs to be a
reorganization."14 Reps. Richard Bolling (D-MO) and Dave Martin (R-NE)
introduced H.Res. 132 on January 15, 1973, and the resolution was subsequently
referred to the House Rules Committee. On January 31, 1973, the resolution passed
the House by a vote of 282-91. The Select Committee on Committees dissolved at
the of the 93rd Congress, consistent with its authorizing legislation.
While a set of reforms less sweeping than those proposed by the committee
ultimately passed the House of Representatives (and even some of these changes
were later repealed), the recommendations made by the Select Committee on
Committees laid the groundwork for several subsequent congressional committee
reform efforts, including those undertaken in the United States Senate,15 by the Joint
Committee on the Organization of Congress in 1991-1994, and by the Republican
majority that took power in the House in 1995. The latter two efforts are discussed
in detail in later sections of this report.
Under H.Res. 132, the select committee was “authorized and directed to conduct
a thorough and complete study with respect to the operation and implementation of
Rules X and XI....,including committee structure of the House, the number and
optimum size of committees, their jurisdiction, the number of subcommittees,
committee rules and procedures, media coverage of meetings, staffing, space,
equipment, and other committee facilities.”

14Rep. Richard Bolling, Remarks in the House, Congressional Record, vol. 120, September

30, 1974 p. 32953.

15In 1976, the Senate undertook a reform and restructuring effort that, in many regards,
echoed the recommendations of the Bolling committee. The Temporary Select Committee
to Study the Senate Committee System, often called the “Stevenson committee” after its
chair, Senator Adlai Stevenson III (D-IL), issued recommendations for reorganizing aspectsth
of the Senate committee system. These recommendations, as adopted in S. Res. 4 of the 95
Congress, reduced the number of Senate committees, consolidated their jurisdictions, set
limits on the assignment of Senators to committees and subcommittees, institutionalized
committee scheduling practices, and reformed the allocation of committee staff between the
majority and minority parties. For more information on the work of the Temporary Selectthst
Committee, see S.Res. 4, 95 Cong., 1 sess., and Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1977,
(Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1977), pp. 781-790.

Membership. The Select Committee on Committees was made up of five
Democrats and five Republicans, each appointed by Speaker of the House Carl
Albert (D-OK). The committee was chaired by Rep. Richard Bolling and is
popularly referred to as the Bolling committee. Other Members appointed to the
select committee were Reps. Robert G. Stephens Jr. (D-GA); John C. Culver (D-IA);
Lloyd Meeds (D-WA); Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD); Dave Martin; who served as vice
chair of the select committee, Peter H.B. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ); Charles E. Wiggins
(R-CA); William A. Steiger (R-WI); and C.W. “Bill” Young (R-FL).
Funding. H.Res. 132 authorized $1.5 million for the budget of the select
Committee Activity and Recommendations.
The select committee conducted hearings and panel discussions, and received
the testimony of Members of the House. It interviewed a large number of House
committee staff and also commissioned a number of specialized studies. Hearings
began on May 2, 1973, and concluded October 11. The select committee issued a
working draft report on committee jurisdiction and procedure in the House on
December 7.
The Bolling committee committed most of its recommendations to legislation,
H.Res. 988, which was given extensive review by the House Democratic Caucus.
After a period of review, the caucus voted to direct the Rules Committee to issue a
rule for consideration of three pieces of reform legislation on the House floor: the
Bolling committee’s H.Res. 988, a less sweeping amendment in the nature of a
substitute to H.Res. 988 forwarded by Rep. Julia Butler Hansen; and a affirmative
piece of legislation offered by Bolling committee Vice Chair Dave Martin, which
included provisions of both the Bolling and Hansen resolutions. Extensive debate
and amendment followed in the House, and the Hansen substitute to H.Res. 988 was16
eventually agreed to October 8.
Hearings. On May 2 and 3, 1973, the select committee heard testimony from
Speaker Carl Albert (D-OK) and Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford (R-MI). The
Speaker’s testimony generally avoided specific reform recommendations, but stressed
his support for the idea of allowing the Members of each new Congress to meet in
December, a month before the official session opening, to dispose of time-consuming
organizational matters that he felt bogged down Congress’s productivity.
Minority Leader Ford expressed support for that idea as well, and in his
testimony focused on a number of specific ways committees should be reformed,
including splitting the Education and Labor Committee into two committees and
shifting some of the workload away from the Interstate and Foreign Commerce
Committee and Banking and Currency Committee. The minority leader stopped
short of calling for the abolition of any House committees.

16For more information on the three reform proposals, see Rep. Olin E. Teague, remarks in
the House, Congressional Record, vol. 120, Sept. 30, 1974, pp. 32959-32963.

A hearing on May 9, focused on the work of the Education and Labor
Committee and the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee, with the select
committee hearing from both panels’ chairs.
Hearings on May 16-18, continued the focus on whether to split the Committee
on Education and Labor. The May 18 hearing also marked the first substantive
statement by Chairman Bolling about specific reform proposals. During that session,
Bolling proposed that the House take from standing committees the power to create
subcommittees. He also suggested splitting oversight functions into three areas of
jurisdiction, with some oversight handled by authorizing committees, some by an
expanded Government Operations Committee, and some by the Appropriations
Committee or a new Budget Committee.
Hearings on June 6-8, focused on Congress’s dealings with the federal budget.
The jurisdictions of the House Foreign Affairs, Internal Security, and Science and
Astronautics Committees were also examined and the select committee heard from
the chairs of those panels.
Hearings on October 3-5 and October 11, heard from outside witnesses,
including a leading consumer rights activist, the chair of Common Cause, the director
of the AFL-CIO Legislative Department, and the director of the Washington bureau
of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
On December 7, 1973, the select committee issued a working draft report of its
Initial Recommendations: Committee Jurisdiction. The December
working draft report of the select committee proposed changing the jurisdiction of

16 of the 21 standing House committees.

Under the proposal, one committee (Veterans’ Affairs) would have no
jurisdictional change. Three standing committees (Internal Security, Post Office and
Civil Service, and Merchant Marine and Fisheries) would be abolished altogether as
would the Select Committee on Small Business. Three standing committees would
receive significant jurisdictional changes. The Education and Labor Committee
would be split into two committees, one overseeing education, the other labor. The
Interior Committee would become the Committee on Energy and Environment. The
Public Works Committee would become the Public Works and Transportation
Committee. In addition, a new Budget Committee would be formed.
Table 1 below details the changes in standing committee jurisdiction proposed
in the working draft report.

Table 1. Proposed Changes in Standing Committee Jurisdictiona
Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Agriculture (to becomeAgriculture.Agricultural colleges (toPublic lands, except leasing and
Agriculture and NaturalAgricultural colleges andEducation).management of energy
Resources)extension services.Food stamps (to Ways and Means).resources (from Interior).
Farm Credit.Public Law 480, except forForestry (from Interior).
Food stamps.domestic production (to ForeignParks and wilderness (from
Public Law 480.Affairs).Interior).
Sugar Act.Commodities exchanges (toDistrict of Columbia parks
Commodities exchanges.Commerce and Health).(from Public Works).
School milk.School milk (to Education).Wildlife (from Merchant Marine
Forestry.Small watersheds (to Energy andand Fisheries and Interior).
Soils and plants.Environment).Fish and fisheries (from
iki/CRS-RL31835Small watersheds.Merchant Marine and Fisheries).
g/wAnimal welfare.Marine affairs (partial
s.orRural development.jurisdiction; from Merchant
leakPesticides.Marine and Fisheries).
Nutrition.Commodity Credit Corporation
://wiki(from Banking and Currency).
httpAppropriationsAppropriations of the revenue forNo jurisdictional loss was proposed.Rescission authority for
the support of the government.previous fiscal years.
Transfer authority.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Armed ServicesArmed Services procurement.Exclusive jurisdiction over militaryArms control and disarmament
Military programs and theirresearch and development(partial jurisdiction; to be shared
operations.(jurisdiction to be shared withwith Foreign Affairs).
Civil defense.Science and Technology).
Common defense.Foreign intelligence (jurisdiction to
Foreign shared with Foreign Affairs and
Foreign military aid.Appropriations).
Military personnel and theirNaval petroleum and oil share
dependents.reserves (to Energy and
Military research andEnvironment).
Military security.
Military housing.
Military installations.
iki/CRS-RL31835Service academies.Military administration.
g/wSelective Service.
s.orStockpiles and reserves.
leakNaval petroleum and oil share
httpBanking and Currency (toBanks and banking.Mass transit (to Public Works andSelect Committee on Small
become Banking,Coins and coinage.Transportation).Business.
Currency, and Housing).Currency.Foundations and charitable trustsRenegotiation (from Ways and
Economic stabilization and(to Ways and Means).Means).

defense production measures.Commodity Credit Corporation (to
Foundations and charitable trusts.Agriculture and Natural Resources).
Government lending.International Trade (to Foreign
Housing and urban development.Affairs).
Mass transit.
International finance.
International trade and export
Money and credit.
Small business.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
District of ColumbiaAll matters relating to theNo jurisdictional loss was proposed.Howard University, Freedmens
municipal affairs of the District,Hospital, St. Elizabeths
other than appropriations.Hospital, Federal City College
Insurance, executors,(from Education and Labor).
administrators, wills, and divorce.
Municipal code and amendments
to the criminal and corporation
Regulation of the sale of
intoxicating liquor.
Taxes and tax sales.
Education and LaborAging.Legal services (to Judiciary).Prison education (from
(education functions splitPreschool, elementary, secondaryFreedmen’s Hospital (to District ofJudiciary).
off to become Houseand post-secondary education.Columbia).School milk (from Agriculture).
iki/CRS-RL31835Education Committee)Arts and humanities.St. Elizabeths Hospital (to DistrictHealth services training (from
g/wEducation technology.of Columbia).Interstate and Foreign
s.orEducational and library facilities.Howard University (to District ofCommerce).
leakFreedmens Hospital in theColumbia).Agricultural colleges (from
District of Columbia.Agriculture).

://wikiInternational education.
httpLegal services.
Special education.
St. Elizabeths Hospital in the
District of Columbia.
Gallaudet College.
Native American education.
Howard University.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Education and LaborAgricultural and migrant labor.No jurisdictional loss was proposed.Unemployment compensation
(labor functions split off toChild labor.(from Ways and Means).
become House LaborConvict labor and prisonWIN (from Ways and Means).
Committee)produced goods.Civil Service generally,
Discrimination against the aged.including the status of officers
Equal employment opportunityand employees, their
and fair employment practices.compensation and classification,
Foreign contract labor.employee travel, transportation
Miner safety.and subsistence (from Post
Labor standards.Office and Civil Service).

Labor statistics.
Manpower and vocational
Mediation and arbitration.
iki/CRS-RL31835Occupational Safety and HealthAct.
g/w P e nsi o ns.
s.orWages and hours.
leakWorkmens compensation.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Foreign AffairsForeign policy of the UnitedArms control (jurisdiction to beTrade and tariffs (from Ways
States. Arms control andshared with Armed Services).and Means).
disarmament.Public Law 480, other than its
Embassies and legations abroad.domestic production functions
International boundaries.(from Agriculture).
Foreign loans.Foreign intelligence (in
International conferences andconjunction with Appropriations
congresses.and Armed Services).
Foreign military intervention.International fishing agreements
Diplomatic service.(Merchant Marine and
Encouragement of internationalFisheries).
trade.Interoceanic canals (Merchant
Protection of businessMarine and Fisheries).
investments abroad.International trade (Banking and
iki/CRS-RL31835Neutrality.Protection of US citizens abroad;Currency).

g/w exp a tr iatio n.
s.orAmerican Red Cross.
leakUnited Nations organizations.
International finance and
://wikimonetary organizations.
httpForeign policy agency
autho r izatio ns.
International environmental
Foreign economic and security

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Government OperationsExecutive reorganizations.No jurisdictional loss was proposed.Postal Service (from Post Office
Intergovernmental relationships.and Civil Service).
Budget and accounting.Census (from Post Office and
Freedom of information.Civil Service).
Federal procurement.National Archives (from Post
Comptroller GeneralOffice and Civil Service).
Economy and efficiency ofHolidays and celebrations (from
government activities.Judiciary).
General Services Administration.Hatch Act (from House
Evaluation of legislativeAdministration).
reorganization acts.Revenue sharing (from Ways
and Means).
Territories (from Interior and
Insular Affairs).
iki/CRS-RL31835Indians (from Interior andInsular Affairs).
s.orHouse AdministrationContingent fund appropriations.Elections (to Standards of OfficialManagement and administration
leakMember allowances.Conduct).of House restaurant, parking,
Federal elections.Campaign finance (to Standards ofand beauty shop (from
://wikiHatch Act.Official Conduct).individual committees).

httpHouse Information Systems.Hatch Act (to Government
House employees.Operations).
House office space assignments.
Committee investigative funds.
Campaign finance.
P r inting.
House restaurant.
Congressional Record.
Library of Congress.
Smithso ni an.
Botanic Garden.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Interior and InsularEnvironment, not includingForests (to Agriculture and NaturalEnvironmental policy; coastal
Affairs (to become EnergyNEPA, clean air, clean water,Resources).zones (from Merchant Marine
and Environment)solid waste, and noise pollution. National parks and recreation (toand Fisheries).
National parks and recreation.Agriculture and Natural Resources).Clean air and drinking water;
Native Americans.Native Americans (to Governmentnoise; solid waste and toxic
Public lands.Operations).substances (from Interstate
Land use planning.Public lands, except leasing ofForeign Commerce).
National resources (to AgricultureClean water (from Public
Minerals and energy.and Natural Resources).Works).
Mining.Territories (to GovernmentOcean dumping (from Public
Territories.Operations).Works, and Merchant Marine
Water and power.Wildlife refuges (to Agriculture andand Fisheries).
Wilderness areas.Natural Resources).Radiation (from Joint
Wildlife refuges.Wilderness areas (to AgricultureCommittee on Atomic Energy,
iki/CRS-RL31835and Natural Resources).and Merchant Marine andFisheries).
g/wEnergy conservation and
s.orregulation (from Interstate
leakForeign Commerce).
Energy power administrations
://wiki(from Public Works).
httpEnergy taxes (from Ways and
Naval petroleum reserves (from
Armed Services).
Small watersheds (from
Flood control (from Public
Internal Security (to beCommunist activities.Transfer all jurisdiction to Judiciary
disbanded.)Internal security.Committee.

Obstructing or opposing
government authority.
Overthrow of government.
Revolutionary organizations.
Subversive activities.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Interstate and ForeignAviation.Aviation (to Public Works andBiomedical research (from
Commerce (to becomeCommunications.Transportation).Science and Astronautics).
Commerce and Health)Consumer protection.Energy regulation (to Energy andCommodities exchanges (from
Energy regulation.Environment).Agriculture).
Environment.Environment – clean air, solidMaternal and child health (from
Health.waste, noise (to Energy andWays and Means).
Insurance.Environment).Non-tax-related aspects of
Regulatory agencies.Health services training (toMedicare and Medicaid (from
Securities and exchanges.Education).Ways and Means).
Surface transportation.Surface Transportation (to PublicPatents, trademarks and
Trading with the enemy.Works and Transportation).copyrights (from Judiciary).
Weather.Weather (to Science andPopulation (from Interior and
Technology).Insular Affairs).
Clean drinking water (to Energy
iki/CRS-RL31835and Environment).
g/wJudiciaryAdministrative law.Holidays and celebrations (toInternal Security (from Internal
s.orBankruptcy.Government Operations).Security).
leakCitizenship.Patents, trademarks and copyrightsLegal services (from Education
Civil rights.(to Commerce and Health).and Labor).
://wikiClaims against the United States.Impeachments and confirmation
httpCongressional matters.of vice presidential nomineesth
Constitutional law.under the 25 amendment.

Federal courts.
Cr ime .
Government relations.
Holidays and celebrations.
International law.
Administration of justice.
Monopolies and improper trade
National corporate charters.
Patents, trademarks, and
Revision and codification of
federal statues.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Merchant Marine andCoast Guard.Coast Guard (to Public Works and
Fisheries (to beFishing and fisheries.Transportation).
disbanded)Merchant marine.Fishing and fisheries (to
Panama Canal.Agriculture and Natural Resources).
Coastal zone management.Merchant Marines (to Public Works
International fishing conventions.and Transportation.)
Oceanography.Panama Canal (to Foreign Affairs).
National environmental policy.Coastal zone management (to
Offshore ports.Energy and Environment).
Wildlife.International fishing conventions
(to Foreign Affairs).
Oceanography (to Science and
T e c hno l o gy) .
National environmental policy (to
iki/CRS-RL31835Energy and Environment).Offshore ports (to Public Works
g/wand Transportation).
s.orWildlife (to Agriculture and Natural
leak Reso ur ces).


Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Post Office and CivilCivil service.Civil service (to Labor).
Service (to be disbanded)Retirement.Retirement (to Labor).
Postal Rate Commission.Postal Rate Commission (to
Railway mail service.Government Operations).
Ocean mail.Railway mail service (to
Pneumatic tube service.Government Operations).
Status of officers and employees,Ocean mail (to Government
their compensation andOperations).
classification.Pneumatic tube service (to
Postal Service.Government Operations).
Postal savings banks.Status of officers and employees,
National Archives.their compensation, and
Census.classification (to Labor).
Employee travel, transportation,Postal Service (to Government
iki/CRS-RL31835and subsistence.Post roads.Operations).Postal savings banks (to
g/wFranking.Government Operations).
s.orNational Archives (to Government
leak Operations).
Census (to Government
://wiki Operations).
httpEmployee travel, transportation,
and subsistence (to Labor).
Post roads (to Government
Franking (to Standards of Official
Co nd uc t ) .

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Public Works (to becomeWater quality.Water quality (to Energy andMass transit (from Banking and
Public Works andWater power.Environment).Currency).
Transportation)Flood control.Water power (to Energy andRailway transportation (from
Disaster relief.Environment).Interstate and Foreign
Public buildings and grounds.Flood control (to Energy andCommerce).
Regional development.Environment).Railroad labor (from Interstate
Rivers and harbors.Parks within the District ofand Foreign Commerce).
Highways.Columbia (to Agriculture andCivil aviation (from Interstate
Relocation assistance.Natural Resources).and Foreign Commerce).
Highway safety.Inland waterway traffic (from
Parks within the District ofInterstate and Foreign
Co lumb ia. C o mme r c e ) .
Merchant marine (from
Merchant Marine and Fisheries)
iki/CRS-RL31835Interstate CommerceCommission, Civil Aeronautics
g/wBoard, Federal Aviation
s.orAdministration, Federal
leakRailroad Administration,
Maritime Administration,
://wikiAmtrak (from Interstate
httpCommerce, and Merchant
Marine and Fisheries).
RulesFinal adjournment of Congress.No jurisdictional loss was proposed.A new bill referral appeal
Rules and joint rules of themechanism.

Ho use.
Order of business of the House.
Recess of Congress.
Reorganization of Congress.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Science and AstronauticsMeasurement.Science fellowships, scholarshipOverview of military research
(to become Science andResearch and development.and grants (to Education).and development (to be shared
Technology)Science.Biomedical research andwith Armed Services).
Science fellowships,development (to Commerce andOceanic and atmospheric
scholarships, and grants.Health).sciences (from Merchant Marine
Science policy.and Fisheries).
Science centers.Energy research and
Scientific programs.development (from Interior and
Scientific resources includingInsular Affairs, Commerce,
manpower.Joint Committee on Atomic
Space.Energy, Merchant Marine and
T e c hno l o gy. Fishe r ie s) .
Technology assessment.Civil aviation R&D (from
Technology transfer.Interstate and Foreign
iki/CRS-RL31835Commerce).Environmental R&D (from
g/wInterior and Insular Affairs,
s.orPublic Works, Commerce,
leakMerchant Marine and Fisheries.)
Weather (from Interstate and
://wikiForeign Commerce).
Standards of OfficialCode of official conduct.No jurisdictional loss was proposed.Federal elections, including
ConductFinancial disclosure.voter registration (from House
Lobbying. Ad mi ni st r a t i o n) .
Campaign expenditures of HouseFranking (from Post Office and
Members.Civil Service).
Special Committee to
Investigate Campaign
Exp e nd itur e s.
Campaign finance (from House
Ad mi ni st r a t i o n) .
Veterans AffairsVeterans affairs, includingNo jurisdictional loss was proposed.No jurisdictional gain was
compensation, education,proposed.

employment, healthcare, housing,
insurance, and training.

Standing Committee (newExisting CommitteeProposed Jurisdictional LossProposed Jurisdictional Gain
committee names inJurisdiction
Ways and MeansNational health insurance.Maternal and child health (toFood stamps (from Agriculture).
Public debt.Commerce and Health).Foundations and charitable
Renegotiation.Public debt (to Budget).trusts (from Banking and
Revenue sharing.Renegotiation (to Banking,Currency).
Social Security OASDI.Currency, and Housing).
MedicareRevenue sharing (to Government
Medicaid. Operations).
Maternal and child health.WIN program (to Labor).
Public assistance.Trade and tariffs (to Foreign
Unemployment compensation.Affairs).
WIN program.Medicare and medicaid to
Taxes.Commerce and Health (non-tax
Trade and tariffs.aspects).
Transportation trust funds.
g/wa For further information on proposed jurisdictional changes, see “Jurisdiction Overhaul Recommended for House,” Congressional
s.orQuarterly Almanac, 1973, pp. 755-769


Initial Recommendations: Other Matters. Jurisdictional change was the
main focus of the December working draft report of the Select Committee on
Committees. However, the select committee recommended other reforms to:
!direct Members to gather in Washington in the weeks before the formal
opening of Congress to dispose of organizational matters, thus allowing them
to be ready to conduct business as soon as sworn in;
!require major committees to establish oversight subcommittees;
!establish a House oversight agenda to be drawn up by leadership or by the
Government Operations Committee;
!improve communication between committees that dealt regularly with the
same federal agencies;
!eliminate proxy voting;
!make exclusive, 15 of the 22 proposed committees; and designate panels as
“A” and “B;” and
!require that no legislation be reported by a committee unless a majority of a
committee was present at the time of the vote to report.
Reform Legislation Drafted. When the select committee released its
working draft report in December 1973, the draft was met with extensive criticism.
The select committee met in February 1974 to revise its draft to increase its chances
of adoption. While several changes were made to the working draft, the framework
of proposed reform remained largely intact and was introduced as H.Res. 988.
One notable change between the working draft and H.Res. 988 made by the
select committee was that the recommendation to abolish the Merchant Marine and
Fisheries Committee was abandoned, although its jurisdiction was diminished.
Additionally, the Select Committee on Small Business would not have been
abolished under H.Res. 988. Instead, it was given legislative jurisdiction, and H.Res.
988 proposed instead to eliminate the Banking and Currency Committee’s Small
Business Subcommittee.
The contentious parts of the working draft report that would substantially reduce
the workload of the Ways and Means Committee remained in H.Res. 988, despite the
opposition of members of that panel.
H.Res. 988 called for 22 House committees. A new committee structure would
be established designating 15 of these committees as “A” committees of generally
equal stature, and seven as “B” committees with more limited jurisdictional purview.

That structure is shown in this chart:
“A” Committees“B” Committees
Agriculture and ForestryBudget
AppropriationsDistrict of Columbia
Armed ServicesHouse Administration
Banking, Currency and HousingMerchant Marine and Fisheries
Commerce and HealthSmall Business
EducationStandards of Official Conduct
Energy and EnvironmentVeterans Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Government Operations
Public Works and Transportation
Science and Technology
Ways and Means
H.Res. 988 retained the recommendations for an early House organizational
meeting, elimination of proxy voting, and increased oversight.
In addition, the legislation allowed an increase in the professional and clerical
staffs of committees, with the minority members of the committee being afforded the
opportunity to select one-third of the staff and one-third of any investigative staff.
H.Res. 988 also authorized the Speaker to refer measures to more than one
committee in joint, split, or sequential fashion, and to create ad hoc panels subject to
the approval of the House.
On March 19, 1974, the Select Committee on Committees unanimously reported
its revised resolution, H.Res. 988, and, at the request of the House Democratic
Caucus, submitted the resolution to the caucus for its consideration and review.
Caucus Consideration and the Hansen Alternative. On May 9, 1974,
the House Democratic Caucus voted by secret ballot on a motion offered by Rep.
Phillip Burton (D-CA) to refer H.Res. 988 to the Democratic Committee on
Organization, Study and Review, chaired by Rep. Julia Butler Hansen (D-WA)
(referred to as “the Hansen committee”) for further consideration. Under the terms
of the motion, the Hansen committee was to report back to the caucus by July 17.
On July 17, Rep. Hansen presented an alternative to the caucus, H.Res. 1248.
H.Res. 1248 called for fewer changes to House rules than H.Res. 988, and left
committee jurisdictions largely unchanged.
On July 23, the caucus adopted a resolution by voice vote urging the House
Rules Committee to send the Hansen and Bolling proposals together to the House
floor under an open rule.

Bolling vs. Hansen. The select committee (Bolling) resolution and the
Hansen alternative differed in several aspects:
Select Committee (Bolling)Hansen Alternative
Divided the Education and LaborEducation and Labor remained intact.
Committee into two committees, one
overseeing education, the other labor.
Abolished the Post Office and CivilPost Office and Civil Service
Service Committee.Committee remained intact and was
given additional duties.
The Ways and Means Committee lostWays and Means lost little
substantial jurisdiction, primarily overjurisdiction.
trade, health, and worker incentive
The Merchant Marine and FisheriesThe Merchant Marine and Fisheries
Committee lost jurisdiction. Committee’s jurisdiction remained
The Rules Committee gained a newThe Rules Committee’s power was
jurisdictional arbitration role insubstantially reduced.
addition to its regular duties.
Required the establishment ofMade the establishment of oversight
oversight committees on all Housecommittees on standing committees
standing committees.optional.
Eliminated proxy voting entirely.Retained proxy voting under tighter
Minority on committees was entitledEach subcommittee chair and ranking
to up to one-third of the fundsminority member could hire one staff
provided under investigatingaide.
The Hansen alternative also required that committees with over 15 members
establish at least four subcommittees; required early organizational meetings; allowed
the Resident Commissioner and Delegates to sit on conference committees; required
a majority of House Members appointed to a conference committee to support the
House bill; established a Commission on Information and Facilities; directed the
Speaker to complete a compilation of House precedents by January 1, 1977, and to
update them every 2 years after that; and gave all standing committees subpoena
authority subject to approval by the full House. It also required that subpoenas be
authorized by the majority of a committee.
House Floor Consideration. On September 25, 1974, after four days of
often contentious hearings in the House Rules Committee, the committee adopted a

rule making H.Res. 988 in order for debate and amendment on the House floor. The
Hansen resolution was made in order as an amendment in the nature of a substitute
to H.Res. 988.
Six days of floor debate followed, opening on September 30, 1974. During
!an amendment offered by Rep. Frank J. Thompson (D-NJ), adding to the
Hansen substitute H.Res. 988's provisions regarding increased minority
staffing, passed by a vote of 218-180;
!an amendment to delete provisions of the Hansen substitute that called for the
elimination of the Committee on Internal Security was adopted by a vote of


!an amendment was adopted to the Hansen substitute to establish a non-
legislative Select Committee on Aging;
!a controversial provision of the Hansen substitute that would have diminished
the power of the Rules Committee by allowing the Speaker to call up bills for
floor consideration without rules was stricken by a vote of 295-104;
!by a vote of 196-166, the House adopted an amendment to the Hansen
substitute to ban proxy voting outright; and
!an amendment was adopted to the Hansen substitute to give the Select Small
Business Committee legislative oversight; this provision was identical to one
already contained in H.Res. 988.
Consideration ended on October 8 with the adoption of the Hansen substitute,
as amended, by a vote of 203-165. The House had also rejected a compromise
package (H.Res. 1321) offered by the Select Committee’s Vice Chairman Dave
Martin by a vote of 41-319. The House then passed H.Res. 988 as amended by the
Hansen substitute by a vote of 359-7.
House Commission on Information and Facilities (Brooks
Commission), 94th Congress (1975-1976)
Creation, Membership and Funding.
Creation. Section 204 of P.L. 93-554 established in the House of
Representatives a temporary Commission on Information and Facilities.
In its final report (H. Doc. 95-22) the commission itself noted that it was
...born out of a growing concern among Members of Congress that (a) the scope
and complexity of the issues facing Congress may have surpassed the ready
availability of the information and analysis required by the Congress to deal
effectively with those issues, and (b) the range of legislative, oversight and
representational responsibilities undertaken by the Congress, together with the
increasing number of staff personnel needed to support its Members, had
surpassed the physical capacity of space and facilities.

The law had directed the commission to undertake a complete study of
...the information problems of the House of Representatives against the
background of the existing institutions and services available to the House, and
to make such recommendations with respect thereto as may be appropriate ... the
facilities and space requirements of the Members and committees of the House,
including space utilization, parking ... the staff required to provide the House
legislative counsel with the capability to fully meet the needs of the members of
the House.
When studying the question of the House’s information needs, the commission
was directed to examine the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the General
Accounting Office (GAO), the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), and the
strengths and weaknesses of each; information collection and dissemination in the
House; outside information resources; methods of organizing information transfer to
and from the executive branch; the possible creation of a staff journal; and
experimental or pilot approaches to dealing with information problems.
The commission was directed to make annual progress reports to the Speaker
on its work, as well as any interim reports as would be necessary or were requested
by the Speaker.
The final report of the commission was to be submitted to the House by January
2, 1977. A set of recommendations dealing with staffing of the House legislative
counsel were to be submitted no later than January 1, 1976.
In addition, the FY1976 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (P.L. 94-59)
directed the commission to include in its study an examination of the organizational
effectiveness of the legislative branch’s support agencies and whether there was
duplication among their functions.
The recommendations and pilot programs undertaken by the Brooks commission
were an attempt to turn the House of Representatives into a more efficient, modern
entity that could keep pace with the considerable demands placed on the institution
by its own growth and by the information age. Many of the Brooks commission’s
recommendations regarding the use of space and facilities were embraced by the
House Commission on Administrative Review, also known as the Obey commission,
that was operating at the same time. (The work of the Obey commission is discussed
later in this report.)
Membership. Under its authorizing legislation, the commission was
composed of nine Members of the House, selected by the Speaker, including the
House Members on the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations. No more than
five Members appointed by the Speaker could be of the same political party.
The panel was chaired by Rep. Jack Brooks (D-TX), and the commission is
popularly know as the Brooks commission. Panel members were Robert N. Giaimo
(D-CT); James G. O’Hara (D-MI); Don Fuqua (D-FL); Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY);
James C. Cleveland (R-NH); John C. Ashbrook (R-OH); Charles W. Whalen, Jr. (R-
OH); and Philip M. Crane (R-IL).

The law also directed the Speaker to establish a six-person advisory council to
help the commission carry out its work. The advisory council was to be made up of
two members who were representatives of public affairs institutions, two members
who had demonstrated ability in office space utilization, and two members of the
general public.
Funding. Section 204 of the law authorized all funding needed “ carry out
the purposes of this section” from the contingent fund of the House of
R epresent at i v es.
Commission Activity and Recommendations.
To conduct its work, the commission established a Task Force on Information
Resources and a Task Force on Facilities and Space Utilization.
The commission utilized the staff of the Joint Committee on Congressional
Operations and also received the assistance from the General Accounting Office,
Congressional Research Service, and House Information Systems. The commission
also, as specifically authorized by its enabling legislation, made wide use of pilot
projects for the production, demonstration, testing, and evaluation of useful products
and services.
By the time the Brooks Commission had issued its final report in January, 1977,
it had published six information inventories, conducted a comprehensive study of
congressional support agencies, started numerous pilot projects designed to test
information services, completed an inventory of existing space uses and needs as well
as made numerous recommendation about ways to better manage congressional space
and growth.
Information. The commission identified the major information problem
facing Congress as the massive volume of information that Members and committees
receive, both in print and online, and the information’s varying levels of quality and
In order to improve the quality of information and how it was presented to
Congress, the commission undertook several studies and pilot projects. These
projects included the publication of detailed guides to the organization of GAO and
CRS to make Members aware of the information and services the agencies provided.
The commission found little evidence of widespread duplication of efforts at CRS,
OTA, and CBO, but made recommendations for better coordination and
communication among these agencies. The commission oversaw the publication of
an inventory of all information services available to the House from internal sources,
from all legislative branch agencies, from the departments and agencies of the
executive branch, and from relevant private organizations such as universities and
research institutes.
The commission oversaw the permanent installation of a 30-terminal system of
computers available to Members and committees that provided access to a legislative
status service, Library of Congress databases, and databases at the Departments of
Justice and Agriculture. The commission piloted the establishment of a computer-

assisted network to continually advise Members and staff on the progress of
legislative debate and related activities on the House floor. The commission initiated
the construction and testing of a computer system for Members and committees
providing information on current and historic data on the federal budget. The
commission recommended that Congress undertake a coordinated institutionwide
effort to develop and expand the availability of automated information services.
The commission instituted the publication of a monthly staff journal to help
keep congressional staff informed on matters affecting the performance of their
duties and recommended that publication of this staff journal be made permanent.
Facilities. The commission concluded that the House lacked adequate space
for its needs and made poor use of its existing space. The commission concluded
that the House had no rational or systematic way to determine space allocations, that
space that could be used for Member and committee work was frequently used for
storage, that equipment and furniture was bulky and incompatible, and that the
physical layout of many Member and committee offices was unplanned or poorly
planned. In response to these problems, the commission undertook a comprehensive
inventory of space under the control of the House, determined its usage, and
categorized each space into one of five categories of importance. The commission
proposed a number of reallocations of existing space, including moving the House
Document Room to the Longworth Building from the Capitol for the convenience of
staff, moving printing functions to House Annex 2 (now the Ford Building), from the
Longworth Building and making additional space available in the Rayburn Building
for events and meetings.
The commission implemented a pilot program utilizing space-saving modular
furniture in House offices. The commission created a copy and production center to
test the idea of freeing up office space by centralizing the production of bulk
documents. The commission proposed a plan to redesign the Rayburn Reception
Room in the Capitol in order to make it a more useful meeting space for Members.
The commission called for a comprehensive study of the advantages and
disadvantages of using the interior courtyard space of the Cannon and Longworth
Buildings as sites for the construction of additional office space. The commission
also issued a report detailing potential sites for the construction of one or more
additional House office buildings.
House Legislative Counsel. The commission found general satisfaction
in Congress with the services of the Office of Legislative Counsel, but noted that
increased demand had tested the capability of the office to serve its clients.
The commission recommended that the professional staff of the office
Legislative Counsel be expanded to no fewer than 40 attorneys from 27 attorneys
over a 5-year period.
The commission also recommended that additional office space be provided for
the Office of Legislative Counsel.

House Commission on Administrative Review (Obey
Commission), 94-95th Congresses (1976-1977)
Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. The House on July 1, 1976, voted 380-30 for H.Res. 1368, which
established the Commission on Administrative Review.
H.Res. 1368 authorized the commission to make a complete review of the
administrative operations of the House of Representatives, including personnel,
accounting procedures, and all aspects of the administration of the chamber,
including Member allowances and recording-keeping practices.
Earlier in 1976, Rep. Wayne Hays (D-OH) was accused of employing a woman
on the staff of the House Administration Committee who did little or no work for
congressional pay. Hays, who was chair of the committee, eventually resigned his
seat. Concern over revelations involving the chamber’s “housekeeping” committee
and over accusations of ethical lapses against several Members contributed to the
creation of a commission to investigate House administration and ethics issues.17
Membership. The 15-member commission was chaired by Rep. David R.
Obey (D-WI), and the commission is popularly know as the Obey commission. Other
House members were: Melvin Price (D-IL); Lloyd Meeds (D-WA); Lee H. Hamilton
(D-IN); Norman E. D’Amours (D-NH); Bill Frenzel (R-MN); William L. Armstrong
(R-CO); and Robert E. Bauman (R-MD).
The commission also included public members. The private citizens were: Dr.
Ralph K. Huitt, executive director of the National Association of State Universities
and Land Grant Colleges; Charles U. Daly, former vice president for Government
and Community Affairs at Harvard University; William DuChessi, executive vice
president of Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union; William R.
Hamilton, president of William R. Hamilton and Staff Inc.; Robert W. Galvin,
chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Motorola Inc.; Roscoe L. Egger
Jr., partner and director of the Office of Federal Services for Price Waterhouse Inc.;
and Lucy Wilson Benson, former president of the League of Women Voters. Mrs.
Benson resigned from the commission upon being sworn in as under secretary of
state. She was replaced by Dr. Victoria Schuck, president of Mount Vernon College.
Funding. In its final report (H.Rept. 95-272) the commission said it expected
its final cost to be roughly $814,000, less than the $1.16 million it had anticipated
Commission Activity and Recommendations.
The commission spent more than a year gathering data on a wide variety of
aspects of the administration of the House. The commission undertook several

17“Congress 1976: Spotlight on Ethics,” Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1976
(Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1976), p. 25.

surveys of House Members and staff, and it also hired an outside consulting firm to
conduct another survey.
The commission divided its work into three parts: the scheduling system for the
House; ethics rules to govern House Members; and overhaul of the administrative
processes of the House. The commission issued its first report on December 1, 1976.
The report (H.Doc. 95-23) contained a list of detailed recommendations for changes
in the House scheduling process. With just one change (dropping the proposed
increase in the number of Members needed to get a vote in Committee of the Whole),
the House, on January 4, 1977 by a vote of 256-142, adopted a resolution (H.Res. 5)
which made the commission’s recommendations on House scheduling a part of
House rules.
On February 7, 1977, the commission issued its second report, on proposed
changes in ethics rules. The House adopted the changes recommended in the report
(H.Doc. 95-73) when it passed H.Res. 287 by a vote of 402-22, on March 2.
The commission issued its final report in September 1977. But the
recommendations in that report (H.Doc. 95-232), were never considered by the
House because the House rejected the rule for debate on the administrative changes
resolution (H.Res. 766) on October 12 by a vote of 160-252.
House Scheduling. The commission found that the sometimes chaotic and
frequently ad hoc House schedule made it more difficult for Members to work
effectively. It recommended that House leaders create a “firm schedule” for the
entire year at the start of the session, setting out when Members would need to be in
Washington and when the House would be in recess. Such a schedule, the
commission said, should be worked out in advance with the leadership of the Senate
and the House schedule should reflect the realities of time demands during the budget
season. Before May 15, emphasis should be given to the need for committee time
and activities; after that date the emphasis should turn to the floor schedule.
The commission recommended that general debate time be cut back. The
commission recommended that when the House was dealing with a noncontroversial
bill, the House cluster votes so that Members would not have to return to the floor
every time a vote was requested. To reduce the number of roll-call votes Members
cast on the floor, the commission recommended that 33 Members be needed to ask
for a recorded vote during House action while in the Committee of the Whole, an
increase from the then-level of 20.
The commission recommended that committees be allowed to meet when the
House was debating a measure under the five-minute rule unless 10 Members
objected on the House floor; at that time it took unanimous consent of the House for
permission to sit. Finally, the commission recommended that all committee
scheduling information be entered into an electronic database to help keep scheduling
conflicts to a minimum and allow Members to get more information about committee
Ethics Rules. The Obey commission began operation at a time when several
Members of Congress had been accused of ethical misconduct. Testifying before the

commission, House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill (D-MA) said it was his desire
for the House to have “the strongest code of ethics of any legislative body in
America.”18 The commission, in its second report, detailed a new set of financial
requirements for Members and key staff to make information about Members more
readily available and to clarify for Members what the rules were governing subjects
such as outside income.
The commission recommended that Members of Congress, their principal
assistants, and professional committee staff be required to file annual financial
disclosure statements by April 30 of each year. Income, gifts, reimbursements, stock
holdings, debts, securities transactions, and real estate were to be included in the
disclosure statements. These financial disclosure statements would become public
information under the commission recommendations. The financial disclosure
statements would be filed with the clerk of the House, who would then transmit
copies to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and the appropriate office
that oversaw campaigns. They were to be publicly available 30 days after their
receipt. Candidates for the House would be subject to the same disclosure
requirements as Members. Punishment for “knowing and willful falsification” of the
disclosure statements was one year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.19
The commission also recommended that outside earned income for Members
of Congress be limited to 15% of their congressional salary; there was no limit on
outside income at the time. Honoraria would be limited to $750 per appearance. A
Member could not accept a gift worth more than $100 a year in the aggregate from
anyone who had a direct interest in the work before Congress, unless the gift came
from a personal friend or relative or each gift was worth less than $35.
The commission recommended that Members be prohibited from using funds
raised at testimonial dinners for personal use. In exchange for an increase in funds
provided to Members to run their offices, the commission recommended that the
House bar the practice of “unofficial” accounts, which some Members had used to
supplement their office expense funds. The commission also recommended barring
Members from converting their campaign funds to personal use, something retiring
Members had done.
The franking privilege also came under scrutiny. The commission recommended
that franking be used only for mass mailings prepared and printed at public expense,
be limited to six districtwide mailings a year, be banned 60 days prior to an election
in which the Member was a candidate, and prohibited Members who were running
a statewide campaign for office from using the frank to send mail outside of their
Finally, it recommended travel by “lame-duck” Members should be abolished.

18U.S. Congress, Commission on Administrative Review, Work of the Commission, 95th
Cong., 1st sess., H.Rept.. 95-272, vol. 1 (Washington: GPO, 1977), p. 47.
19Ibid., p. 53.

The commission recommended creation of a Select Committee on Ethics, which
was to exist until December 31, 1977, to draft appropriate implementing language.
Administrative Proposals. The third report of the Obey commission
recommended major changes in the way the House as an institution operated.
The commission recommended creation of a new officer, a House administrator,
who would be in charge of most of the House administrative functions, from payment
of House bills and preparation of financial reports to maintenance of furniture and
equipment, to personnel assistance for Members and operation of the telephone and
computer networks. The commission also recommended hiring an auditor to perform
regular reviews of House operations.
The commission recommended creation of a Select Committee on Committees
to consider committee changes, specifically to reexamine jurisdictional lines drawn
between committees. It called for a test period for making the Congressional Record
better reflect actual House action by marking those speeches not actually delivered
on the floor.
The commission included in its report a large section on personnel issues. It
echoed recommendations from the 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act when it
called for a central, professional office to help recruit staff for Members and
committees. It also called for the creation of a grievance panel to hear discrimination
complaints from administrative staffers and a fair employment practices panel to be
composed of sitting Members who would review staff grievances from Members’
offices and committee staff. The commission recommended that the House draw up
policies on maternity leave and short- and long-term disability policy.
Finally, the commission issued a series of recommendations on handling the
issue of office space, most of which were based on the work of the Brooks
commission, discussed earlier in this report.
House Select Committee on Committees (Patterson
Committee), 96th Congress (1979-1980)
Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. On March 20, 1979, the House adopted H.Res. 118 by a vote of

208-200, establishing the Select Committee on Committees.

The select committee was charged with studying committee structure,
jurisdiction, staffing, rules and procedures, and facilities and media coverage. Its
final report was due February 1, 1980, though it was later granted an extension until
April 1, 1980. Any recommendations made by the committee were to go to the
Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rather than to the House floor.
One reason for the creation of the committee was the proliferation of
subcommittees. For example, by the late 1970s, “the House found itself with the
astonishing total of more than 83 committees and subcommittees claiming some

jurisdiction over energy,” a topic that had become a high-profile issue with the oils
shocks of the 1970s and the advent of the Carter Administration’s energy plan.20
Membership. The select committee was chaired by Rep. Jerry Patterson (D-
CA), and the committee is popularly know as the Patterson committee. Other
members on the 15-member panel were: William Clay (D-MO); Mike McCormack
(D-WA); John B. Breaux (D-LA); Patricia Schroeder (D-CO); Bob Traxler (D-MI);
Butler Derrick (D-SC); Joseph L. Fisher (D-VA); Peter H. Kostmayer (D-PA);
Charles Whitley (D-NC); James C. Cleveland (R-NH); Frank Horton (R-NY); Bill
Frenzel (R-MN); James Leach (R-IA); and Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-NY).
Funding. The committee spent approximately $800,000.21
Commission Activity and Recommendations.
The select committee met for more than a year to develop a set of recommended
changes to House committee jurisdictions and other topics. Of the five
recommendations the committee made, only one was considered on the House floor.
The committee recommended that the House create a new Energy Committee,
which would take its jurisdiction from the Commerce, Interior, and Public Works
Committees. The House did not approve this plan. On March 25, 1979, it voted
274-134 to reaffirm the Commerce Committee’s central role in energy policy. The
House then agreed to change the name of the Commerce Committee to the Energy
and Commerce Committee and to designate the panel as the lead committee on
energy policy beginning in the 97th Congress.
The second of the select committee’s recommendations was a plan where
specific committees would have specific days of the week on which to do their work.
The plan was designed to reduce scheduling conflicts for Members. Although the
plan was approved by the Rules Committee, it was never considered by the House.
A third recommendation of the committee was that each House Member be
limited to service on five subcommittees. Fourth, it also recommended that each
committee (except for Appropriations) be limited to six subcommittees and called
for a 3-year phase out of some 28 subcommittees in excess of that limitation.
Although the plan won the endorsement of the Republican Conference, it was not
acted on by the Democratic Caucus.
Finally, the committee recommended a new way for the Speaker to refer bills
that might be within the jurisdiction of more than one committee. A primary
committee would be designated for all jointly referred bills. All secondary
committees would have a limited and specific time in which to consider the bill.
Sequential referrals would also be permitted when a committee added an amendment

20“Inside Congress,” in Congress and the Nation, vol. 4, (Washington: Congressional
Quarterly, 1981), p. 876.
21“Congress and Government,” Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1980, (Washington:
Congressional Quarterly), p. 562.

to a bill during markup that crossed into another committee’s jurisdiction. This
recommendation was not considered.
Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, 102nd and

103rd Congresses (1991-1994)

Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. The bipartisan and bicameral Joint Committee on the Organization
of Congress (JCOC) was created on August 6, 1992, with the passage of H.Con.Res.
192. The JCOC was modeled after the congressional reform committees of the same
name established in 1945 and 1965, and was intended to address growing concern
both inside and outside of Congress over the effectiveness and public perception of
the institution.
Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-IN), Rep. Bill Gradison (R-OH), Sen. David L. Boren
(D-OK), and Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) jointly introduced H.Con.Res. 192 and
S. Con. Res. 57 in their respective chambers on July 31, 1991, to create the Joint
Committee on the Organization of Congress.
There was a sense among some Members that the issues facing Congress had
changed considerably over a period of years, but the internal structures of the
institution had not kept pace. Many Members expressed increasing frustration with
the workings of Congress and a record number of Members chose to retire in the

102nd Congress, many citing this frustration as a contributing factor in their decision.

Additionally, Congress was beset by a string of high-profile scandals that hurt
Congress in the eyes of public opinion, beginning in 1989 with the resignation of
House Speaker Jim Wright, followed in 1990 and 1991 by allegations that several
Senators had improperly influenced federal regulators on behalf of campaign
contributor Charles Keating.
The legislation to create the JCOC received little response when it was
introduced in July 1991, but the proposal picked up steam as additional scandals
relating to management problems at the House bank and the House post office
received widespread media attention and led to the resignation of the House sergeant
at arms and the House postmaster. Against this backdrop, the public’s already
skeptical attitude about Congress deteriorated and public disapproval ratings of
Congress hit an all-time high of 77% in the summer of 1992.
H.Con.Res. 192 was approved on June 18, 1992, by a vote of 412-4 in the
House, and unanimously, after one amendment, by the Senate on July 30. The Senate
amendment barred the joint committee from conducting business prior to November
15, 1992, to keep the joint committee free from potential pressures of election-year
politics. The House concurred on August 6, in the Senate’s amendment.
H.Con.Res. 192 directed the joint committee, before December 31, 1993, to
“make a full and complete study of the organization and operation of the Congress
and to recommend improvements which would strengthen the effectiveness of the
Congress, simplify its operations, improve its relationships with and oversight of

other branches of the United States Government, and improve the orderly
consideration of legislation.” This broad mandate echoed that of the 1946 and 1965
reform committees.
The resolution specifically directed the joint committee to issue a study that
included an examination of, “...the organization and operation of each House of the
Congress, and the structure of, and the relationships between, the various standing,
special, and select committees of the Congress, the relationship between the two
Houses of Congress, the relationship between the Congress and the executive branch
of the Government, the resources and working tools available to the legislative
branch as compared to those available to the executive branch; and the
responsibilities of the leadership, their ability to fulfill those responsibilities, and how
that relates to the ability of the Senate and the House of Representatives to perform
their legislative functions.”
Membership. The JCOC consisted of 28 members, 14 from each chamber
equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. That number included the
majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate, who served as ex officio,
voting members of the joint committee. The joint committee was made up of two
subcommittees, one on the Senate and one on the House. Membership on the joint
committee was determined by each chamber’s party leaders.
Under its enabling legislation, no recommendation could be made by the joint
committee except upon a majority vote of the Members representing each house,
respectively. Any recommendation regarding the rules and procedures of one house
could only be made and voted on by the members of the committee from that body.
The committee did not have the authority to report legislation.
Sen. David Boren and Rep. Lee Hamilton were appointed co-chairs of the Joint
Committee on the Organization of Congress, and Sen. Domenici and Rep. Gradison
were named vice chairs. Committee member Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) was
appointed to assume the duties of House vice chair when Rep. Gradison resigned
from the House on January 31, 1993. Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) was then
appointed to fill the open seat.
Other House Members on the joint committee were: Sam Gejdenson (D-CT);
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); David Obey (D-WI); John M. Spratt, Jr. (D-SC) and
Al Swift (D-WA); Wayne Allard (R-CO); Bill Emerson (R-MO); Gerald B.H.
Solomon (R-NY); and Robert S. Walker (R-PA).
Other Senators on the committee were: Wendell H. Ford (D-KY); David Pryor
(D-AR); Harry Reid (D-NV); Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD); Jim Sasser (D-TN); William
S. Cohen (R-ME); Nancy L. Kassebaum (R-KS); Trent Lott (R-MS); Richard D.
Lugar (R-IN); and Ted Stevens (R-AK).
Funding. H.Con.Res. 192 authorized funding from the House for half of the
expenses of the joint commission, the other half to be paid by the Senate. H. Con.
Res 192 permitted the House to spend up to $250,000 in the 102nd Congress for thisrd
purpose. The committee funding resolution for the 103 Congress, H.Res. 107,
authorized additional funds from the House for the operations of the joint committee

in that Congress, stating, “there shall be paid out of the contingent fund of the House
not more than $495,000 for one-half of the expenses of investigations and studies by
the Joint Committee on the Organization of the Congress....” The legislation also
stipulated that not more than $50,000 of that amount could “ used for consultant
Committee Activity and Recommendations.
The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress conducted an extensive
information-gathering and policy-analysis process. It held 6 months of hearings
(from January to July 1993) and organized four symposiums on specific
organizational topics (the committee system, staffing, the budget process, and
legislative-executive relations) of interest to panel members.
The committee held 36 hearings, taking testimony from 243 witnesses – 133
House Members, 37 Senators, 14 former Members, 15 current and former staff
members, and 44 outside experts. In addition, the JCOC conducted a two-day retreat
in June 1993 at the U.S. Naval Academy to discuss reform options.
The joint committee organized the most extensive set of opinion surveys of
Members and congressional staff ever undertaken by a bicameral reorganization
committee. The committee's hearings were televised on C-SPAN and rebroadcast
frequently. In addition, the co-chairs and vice chairs sent a letter and op-ed piece to
1,600 daily newspaper editors asking them to let their readers know the joint
committee was interested in their views on congressional reform. The joint
committee subsequently received more than 1,000 letters from citizens written either
in response to the op-ed or to the televised hearings. The committee expired on
December 31, 1993, consistent with its enabling legislation, after issuing a report in
four parts making recommendations on ways to reform Congress.
House and Senate Members introduced separate legislation on February 3, 1994,
embodying the recommendations of the JCOC. These packages became known as
the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1994 (H.R. 3801 and S. 1824, respectively).
Attempts were made to pass this legislation, but failed. In the end, only one
recommendation of the JCOC, relating to the application of laws to Congress, was
adopted in a scaled-back form by the House.
While few of the recommendations of the JCOC were adopted at the time, its
list of suggested reforms reads like a description of the structure and workings of the
contemporary House of Representatives. Large portions of the JCOC
recommendations, including provisions relating to the application of laws, increased
reporting for purposes of oversight, committee jurisdictional consolidation,
scheduling change, recodification of the House Rules, and certain information
technology reforms were subsequently adopted by the Republican majority in the
House of Representatives in 1995.

Recommendations: House of Representatives.
Ethics Process. The House subcommittee of the joint committee
recommended that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct be allowed to
use a panel of four or six private citizens as fact finders in the place of Members.
The independent fact finders would be chosen by the Standards Committee chair and
ranking minority member from a pool of 20 private citizens. The pool itself would
be selected jointly by the Speaker and the minority leader at the beginning of every
Congress. These independent fact finders would investigate complaints against
Members and report to the full committee whether a formal charge should be made.
If a formal charge was filed, the full Standards Committee would act as an
“adjudicatory” panel to hear the evidence and determine if the charge had been
Application of Laws. The House subcommittee recommended creating a
joint office of compliance run by a director and an eight-member board appointed by
the Speaker, the Senate majority leader, and the minority leaders of both chambers.
The office director would review federal employee and workplace protection laws
and propose regulations to specify how these provisions could be applied to
congressional employees. Congress could then approve the regulations by concurrent
Under the JCOC recommendations, the laws that already applied to Congress
would continue to apply, but the institution’s enforcement mechanisms would be
improved to make them more like those used in the executive branch and the private
sector. The office of compliance would use a four-step procedure for considering
alleged violations, consisting of counseling, mediation, formal complaint and
administrative hearing, and federal appellate judicial review.
The Budget Process. The House subcommittee recommended moving to
a 2-year budget cycle. Under such a system, the budget resolution and appropriations
bills would be considered during the first year. Multi-year authorizations and
oversight activities would take place in the second year. By not having to pass a new
budget every year, the subcommittee argued, committees would have more time to
review how laws are working, and the executive branch would operate under a more
stable budget environment.
During the second year, the Budget Committee would focus on long-term
planning by holding hearings on problem areas identified by oversight activities and
issuing a report to the Speaker identifying the key budget issues facing Congress in
the next 2-year cycle.
The President's economic report would be required to include an analysis
describing broad policy objectives for the economy and language projecting how
those policies would affect the Gross National Product. The President also would be
required to submit separate policy reports laying out his long-term fiscal policy goals,
10-year budget projections, relevant comparisons between U.S. fiscal policies and
those of international competitors, and performance indicators to be used by
Congress to assess program effectiveness.

In addition, standing committees of the House would be required to prepare an
oversight agenda at the beginning of each Congress and a report at the conclusion of
that Congress specifying how the agenda was fulfilled. These reports would be
available to the Committee on House Administration for use when considering
committee funding.
The House subcommittee also suggested a number of additional reporting
requirements intended to provide more information about congressional actions:
!budget resolutions would be required to include a statement on the total tax
revenue uncollected due to special provisions in the tax code;
!reports accompanying appropriations bills would have to list provisions
earmarking funds below the appropriations account level;
!reports accompanying authorization bills would be required to list provisions
that earmark funds below the appropriations account level;
!reports accompanying bills that authorize tax expenditures would be required
to list all such tax expenditures;
!points of order against appropriations higher than the House-passed
authorization level would be allowed;
!the Congressional Budget Office would conduct a study of all federal user fees
and the effects of inflation on those fees since they were last adjusted;
!the Congressional Budget Office would also have to file quarterly reports
comparing revenues, expenditures, and the deficit for the current fiscal year
with the assumptions used in the concurrent budget resolution; and
!the President would have to establish targets for entitlement spending and
identify what actions he would recommend when such a target was exceeded.
The Committee System. The House subcommittee stressed the need to
reduce the number of committees and committee assignments. Specifically, it
suggested that Members of the House be limited to no more than two standing
committees and four subcommittees, with certain limited exceptions.
Any resolution from the party caucus or conference that violated this limit
would not be privileged under the rules of the House. To waive those limits, a
Member would first have to receive approval from his or her party caucus. If
approval was given, the Member would then have to notify the House of his or her
intent to seek a waiver. After a 48-hour layover, the waiver could be considered by
the full House. Such waivers would have to be considered individually by the House.
Subcommittee assignment limitations were to be enforced through a similar process.
If, because of these new assignment limits, membership on a committee fell
below half of its level during the 103d Congress, the Committee on Rules would
consider a resolution to abolish that committee and transfer its jurisdiction. The Rules
Committee could also recommend the creation of new committees in response to new
or emerging issues.
No exclusive or major committee, except the Committee on Appropriations,
would have more than five subcommittees. No non-major committee could have
more than four subcommittees. To reduce inter-committee jurisdictional disputes,
the Speaker would be encouraged to designate a “primary” committee of jurisdiction

when making multiple referrals of legislation and to impose time or subject-matter
restrictions on the other committees of referral after the committee of primary
jurisdiction reported the matter.
The Committee on Appropriations would be required to notify the appropriate
committees of jurisdiction whenever it reported a measure that contained funding for
unauthorized appropriations or legislative provisions. Likewise, authorizing
committees would be required to notify the Committee on Appropriations whenever
any reported measure contained appropriations.
Due to the complexity of the issues considered, the term of service permitted on
the Intelligence Committee would be extended to 8 years and the term of the chair
to 4 years.
Subcommittees would be prohibited from meeting when the full committee was
in session unless the subcommittee had the written authorization of the full
committee chair. In addition, one week's advance notice of all committee and
subcommittee meetings and hearings would be required unless such notice proved
to be impracticable.
Committee reports would be required to include all roll-call votes on motions
to report — or a record of those present in the event of a voice vote. Committees
would have to publish their attendance and voting records at least twice a year in the
Congressional Record.
Floor Procedure and Scheduling. The House subcommittee recommended
that the minority party, through the minority leader or a designee, be guaranteed the
right to propose an alternative to all bills considered on the floor of the House
through a motion to recommit with instructions.
The recommendations expressed the sense of the House that the chamber's
schedule should provide for:
!a four-day legislative week;
!specific and exclusive periods during which only floor proceedings or only
committee sessions could be held;
!minimization of scheduling conflicts between and among committees and
subcommittees; and
!encouragement of an enhanced use of a computerized scheduling system.
The JCOC argued that the institution's accountability and credibility would
improve if the Congressional Record were required to be a substantially verbatim
transcript of the proceedings of the House.
The parliamentarian of the House would be directed to prepare a recodification
of the rules of the House to eliminate inconsistencies and outdated language.
Debate in the House would permit references by Members to certain actions
taken by the Senate or by committees of the Senate, which were a matter of public

Staffing and Support Agencies. The House subcommittee recommended
that the Speaker appoint a task force to issue recommendations on achieving cost
savings in the legislative branch consistent with reductions implemented by the
executive branch under the National Performance Review.
Congressional support entities would also be periodically reviewed to improve
accountability and to identify ways to make these entities more effective, and to
eliminate duplication. Reauthorization of the Congressional Budget Office, the
Congressional Research Service, the General Accounting Office, the Office of
Technology Assessment (abolished in 1995), and the Government Printing Office
would be staggered every 8 years beginning in fiscal year 1997.
The Committee on House Administration was directed to review and evaluate
current staff training and orientation programs with the goal of creating programs
that enhance the professional development of congressional employees. The House
subcommittee recommended a sense of the House resolution that the appropriate
committees of the House and the Senate undertake a study of personal, committee,
and administrative staff salaries and take steps to achieve a greater degree of parity
between the chambers for staff who perform similar jobs.
Legislative — Executive Relations. The House subcommittee
recommended that all House standing committees be required to prepare an oversight
agenda at the beginning of each Congress that ensured the periodic review of all
significant laws, agencies, and programs under their jurisdiction. Committees were
to submit their oversight agendas to the Committee on House Administration for
consideration during the committee funding process. House Administration would
publish these agendas along with any recommendations it might have for assuring the
effective coordination of committees' oversight activities.
Additionally, committees would be required to conduct hearings each Congress
on reports relating to executive branch activities, such as reports of inspectors
general. The Speaker would also be granted explicit authority to appoint special ad
hoc oversight committees.
Under the House subcommittee's recommendations, the appropriate committees
of the House and the Senate would be directed to eliminate nonessential reporting
requirements by executive branch agencies and to sunset all such reports within 5
years unless a report was explicitly reauthorized.
Information Technology. The Joint Committee on the Library and the Joint
Committee on Printing would be abolished and most of their functions transferred
to a proposed Joint Committee on Information Management. This new entity would
coordinate information management for Congress, establish standards and policies
for information technology in Congress, and ensure public dissemination of executive
branch information.
The House subcommittee also recommended a sense of the House resolution
that legislative information be more readily available and more widely disseminated
to Members and the public. Committee and conference reports would be filed on

computer disk to make them more accessible. Specified legislative information
would be made available by computer to the public and federal depository libraries.
Bills, committee reports, conference reports, and amendments would be
available for review at least 24 hours before consideration.
Legislative documents would be accessible on computer to all congressional
offices and through public databases.
The in-house cable system would also be expanded to provide all committee
hearing rooms and party cloakrooms with summaries of pending legislation.
Public Understanding of Congress. The House subcommittee expressed
a sense of the House that Congress:
!should experiment with alternative debate forms on the floor, such as: Oxford
Union style debates;
!support ongoing initiatives to raise private funds to create a congressional
education center;
!develop a central telephone line for information on the congressional agenda;
!encourage civic education programs; and
!enhance orientation programs for journalists covering Congress.
Recommendations: Senate.
The Budget Process. The Senate subcommittee made the same
recommendations regarding a 2-year budget cycle as the House did. The Senate
subcommittee also included a provision similar to the House subcommittee’s
recommendation that would require the Congressional Budget Office to prepare
quarterly reports comparing revenues, spending, and the deficit for the current fiscal
year with assumptions in the budget resolution. The Senate went on to clarify that the
so-called Byrd rule would be permanent and would require a 3/5ths vote of all
Senators to waive.
The Committee System. Under the JCOC recommendations, four categories
of committees would be established under Senate Rules—“Super A,” “A,” “B,” and
“C.” Under the Senate subcommittee’s recommendations, each Senator would be
limited to two “A” committee assignments: either one “Super A” committee (Armed
Services, Appropriations, Finance, or Foreign Relations) and one “A” committee
(Agriculture, Banking, Commerce, Energy, Environment, Governmental Affairs,
Judiciary, or Labor); or two “A” Committees and one “B” committee (Aging, Budget,
Indian Affairs, Rules, Small Business, or Veterans Affairs). Assignments to the
Ethics and Intelligence Committees would not count against these committee
assignment limits.
In addition, “Super A” and “A” committees, except the Appropriations
Committee, could have only three subcommittees. “B” committees could only have
two subcommittees. Senators could belong to two subcommittees per “A” committee,
except Appropriations, and one subcommittee per “B” committee.

Similar to the House proposal, Senators could receive a waiver of these limits
only after obtaining the permission of their party caucus and after a recorded vote of
the full Senate. The subcommittee proposed that the majority leader and minority
leader should assign Senators of their respective parties to committees.
If restrictions on committee membership caused a committee to fall below half
its current size, the Senate would have to vote on whether the committee should be
The Senate subcommittee also recommended changes to Senate meeting days.
“Super A” committees could meet only on Tuesdays, “A” committees on
Wednesdays, and “B” committees on Thursdays. The Appropriations Committee,
Budget Committee, and “C” Committees were exempted from these meeting
Proxies could not be used in committee if they would affect the outcome of a
As in the House subcommittee’s recommendations, records of Senate committee
attendance and voting would be published twice yearly in the Congressional Record.
All Senate and House joint committees – Economic, Library, Organization of
Congress, Printing, and Taxation—would be abolished.
Floor Procedure and Scheduling. The Senate subcommittee
recommended that a motion to proceed to consider a bill could no longer be
filibustered. After cloture was invoked, it would take a three-fifths vote to overturn
a ruling of the chair, and time for a quorum call would count against the Member
who called for it.
The subcommittee suggested dispensing with the reading of conference reports
available one day prior to consideration. It also suggested that amendments
expressing the sense of the Congress or Senate require the cosponsorship of at least

10 Senators.

Staffing and Support Agencies. The Senate subcommittee proposed that
the Senate cut its staff levels in proportion to those proposed by the executive branch
in its National Performance Review – approximately 12% over 5 years.
In addition, Congress would have to reimburse the executive branch and other
agencies such as the General Accounting Office for expenses of staff detailed to the
Unused funds from office or committee accounts would not be available for
reprogramming. The secretary of the Senate would be directed to publish in the
Congressional Record an annual list of those offices using less than the amount their
office was budgeted for personnel.
Legislative — Executive Relations. The Senate subcommittee made
comparable suggestions to those made by the House. In addition, the Senate

subcommittee recommended that, during the second session of Congress, the GAO
give priority to congressional requests for audits and evaluations of executive branch
Information Technology. As noted above, all Senate and House joint
committees – Economic, Library, Organization of Congress, Printing, and
Taxation—would be abolished.
The Senate subcommittee also made numerous specific suggestions relating to
improving the efficiency of the printing of congressional and government documents.
Several items were deferred to leadership task forces.
House and Senate Action. House and Senate Members introduced separate
legislation on February 3, 1994, embodying the recommendations of the JCOC.
These packages became known as the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1994 (H.R.

3801 and S. 1824, respectively).

H.R. 3801 was referred to the House Committees on Rules, House
Administration, and Government Operations. The 103rd Congress adjourned without
considering H.R. 3801. However, the House did act on legislation embodying that
portion of H.R. 3801 that would apply several worker safety and employment laws
to Congress. On August 10, 1994, the House passed H.R. 4822, the Congressional
Accountability Act, by a vote of 427- 4. The Senate did not act on the legislation.
In the final days of the Congress, the House enacted H.Res. 578, legislation that
amended the House rules in a manner similar, but not identical, to H.R. 4822. The
main difference between H.R. 4822 and H.Res. 578 was that the resolution did not
allow for judicial review of employee complaints.
S. 1824 was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
After a series of hearings, the committee conducted a markup and reported out S.
1824, as amended, and two reform resolutions, one dealing with committees and one
dealing with floor procedure. The Senate sponsors of S. 1824 subsequently made an
unsuccessful attempt to attach an amendment embodying its provisions to the District
of Columbia appropriations bill; however, this effort was stopped by a point of order.
The 103rd Congress adjourned without further consideration of the Senate bills.
Republican Control, 104th Congress (1995-1996)
In 1995, Republicans gained the majority in both chambers for the first time in
40 years. In many respects, the reforms adopted by the 104th Congress grew out of
previous Republican and congressional efforts to enact committee system and other
changes. Many of the reform items had been included in substitute amendments
offered by the Republicans to successive new Congress’s rules packages drafted by
the Democrats.
House Committee System. Following the election, Speaker-designate
Newt Gingrich reportedly contacted Representative David Dreier, the vice-chair of
the JCOC and a leader on congressional reform, and told him and other members of

the Republican transition team to identify a reform agenda.22 Soon thereafter, four
prospective committee restructuring plans were submitted to the Republican
!Option 1 was the most incremental plan, abolishing the District of Columbia
Committee and Post Office and Civil Service Committee and merging them
with the Government Operations Committee to form a new Committee on
Reform and Government Oversight. In addition, the Merchant Marine and
Fisheries Committee would be abolished and its jurisdiction divided among
three committees, and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and
House Administration Committee would be merged into a new panel on
Ethics and Administration.
!Option 2 was a stronger version of Option 1. In addition to the committee
changes envisioned by Option 1, jurisdictional transfers dealing with railroads,
securities, nutrition, and welfare policy would be implemented.
!Option 3 was a more extensive plan than Option 4. In addition to abolishing
all the committees envisioned in Option 1, it also abolished the Small
Business Committee and envisioned extensive realignment of jurisdictions.
!Option 4, the plan preferred by Representative Dreier,23 envisioned extensive
changes to the committee system. Health issues would be consolidated in a
Committee on Commerce and Health, with jurisdiction over energy,
transportation, and the environment transferred out of the Committee on
Energy and Commerce. An Empowerment Committee would consolidate
jurisdiction over welfare. Environmental issues would be consolidated in a
panel with public lands and other natural resources issues. Financial services
issues would be consolidated in the Banking Committee.
The Republican leadership elected to go with a reorganization based on a
modification of Option 1. The plan included:
! elimination of the District of Columbia Committee and the Post Office and
Civil Service Committee, and transfer of their jurisdiction to the Government
Reform Committee (to be called Government Reform and Oversight);
!abolition of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee and redistribution
of its jurisdiction among the Armed Services Committee (renamed National
Security), which gained the merchant marine; the Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee which gained jurisdiction over the Coast Guard; and
the Resources Committee, which gained jurisdiction over fisheries and
endangered species; and
!reallocation of some issues from the Energy and Commerce Committee to
numerous other committees; specifically, primary jurisdiction over the Glass-
Steagall Act was given to the Financial Services Committee; jurisdiction over
railroads was transferred from the Energy and Commerce Committee to the

22Wolf, Richard and William Welch, “GOP Puts its House in Order,” USA Today, Nov. 17,

1994, p. 11A.

23Evans, C. Lawrence and Walter J. Oleszek, Congress Under Fire (Boston: Houghton-
Mifflin Co., 1997), p. 95.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and jurisdiction over the Trans-
Alaska pipeline to the Resources Committee.
In addition to jurisdictional changes, the House made several other
modifications affecting the committee system:
!House rules were amended to impose a three-term limit on committee and
subcommittee chairs and a four-term limit on the Speaker;24
!joint referrals were abolished; the Speaker was authorized to designate a
“primary” committee of referral;
!proxy voting was abolished;
!Members were limited to service on two standing committees and four
!committee reports were required to include the votes cast for and against, and
the names of members voting for and against, amendments in markup and the
motion to report;
!committees were limited in the number of subcommittees they could create;
!committee and subcommittee chairs could designate a vice chair without
consideration of a Member’s committee or subcommittee seniority;
!committees were required to prepare oversight agendas and an end-of-
Congress report summarizing actions taken; and
!committee staff was reduced by one-third.
In addition, Republican Conference rules were changed to:
!increase the influence of the leadership over committee assignments;
!limit Members to only one full or one subcommittee chair;
!allow full committee chairs to appoint subcommittee chairs;
!abolish independent subcommittee staff; and
!allow the Republican leader to appoint House Administration Committee
Administrative Proposals. A chief administrative officer (CAO) of the
House was established, taking over most of the duties previously performed by the
director of non-legislative and financial services. Under rules adopted late in the
102nd Congress, the director of non-legislative and financial services was a
nonpartisan appointee named by the Speaker upon the joint recommendation of the
majority and minority party leaders. The director was to assume responsibility for
administrative functions transferred to the director’s control by order of the former
Committee on House Administration, renamed in the 104th Congress the Committee25
on House Oversight. At the time the director's post was created, the House also
abolished the Office of House Postmaster and transferred all responsibility for
congressional mail service to the director.
The House abolished the separate office of doorkeeper and merged its functions
into those of the sergeant at arms. More than a dozen staff in the doorkeeper's office

24The Speaker’s term limit was abolished in the 108th Congress.
25House Oversight was again renamed House Administration in the 106th Congress.

were discharged after the sergeant at arms completed an evaluation of House security
needs in the consolidated office.
Pending appointment of a new House historian in the 104th Congress, the clerk
of the House and the Committee on House Oversight agreed to reorganize certain
information functions within the clerk's office. A new unit, the Legislative Resource
Center, was established, combining the historian's office, the House Document
Room, the House Library, and the Office of Registration and Records, in which
financial and lobbying disclosure reports were filed.
The first public law enacted by the 104th Congress ended long-standing
exemptions for Congress and its employees from standards applicable to workers and
businesses in the private sector. In all, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995
(P.L. 104-1) applied provisions of 11 major labor laws to Congress and its employees
for the first time. The House had agreed by resolution in the 103rd Congress to be
bound by such laws, but that action was not permanent and provided congressional
employees with only limited rights to pursue violations of workplace protections.
All House officers were required to report semiannually to the House Oversight
Committee on the financial operations of their offices, the performance of statutory
functions, and the development or implementation of new performance plans. The
Committee on House Oversight acquired jurisdiction over franking and congressional
mail regulations from the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, which was
New regulations issued by the Committee on House Oversight banned informal
Member groups from obtaining their own office space. All activities of an informal
group were to be conducted out of the personal office of a sponsoring Member.
Furthermore, Members were to defray group costs from their official funds by
employing group staff on their personal payrolls and paying group-related expenses
from their official expense allowances.
Until the 104th Congress, House Members were authorized three separate
accounts through which to defray their Washington and district offices' operating
expenses. The “clerk hire allowance” provided funds to employ up to 18 full-time
staff and up to four staff not employed on a permanent or full-time basis. The
"official expense allowance" was provided to Members to defray the cost of renting,
equipping, and operating offices in Washington and their districts and the cost of
their travel and that of their staffs on official business. Mail costs were covered by
an "official mail allowance." Members could transfer only a limited amount of
money from one allowance to another; for example, up to $75,000 could be
transferred from a Member's clerk hire account to the official expenses account, or
vice versa.
Effective with the beginning of FY1996, the three separate allowances were
consolidated into one account. Members were given more discretion in the allocation
of their personnel and expense funds, with the stipulation that no Member could
employ more than 18 full-time and four less-than-full-time staff. The total allocation
and expenditures for each Member, including official mail costs, were to be made
public quarterly. Necessary conforming changes in statute were made later by P.L.

104-186 (110 Stat. 1718, August 20, 1996), the House of Representatives
Administrative Reform Technical Corrections Act. The House Oversight Committee
issued a revised and simplified Members' Congressional Handbook explaining the
new allowance regulations.
Postal Operations. In the 102nd Congress, the House abolished the Office of
House Postmaster and transferred responsibility for House mail operations to the then
director of non-legislative and financial services. In the 104th Congress, all external
House mail operations were transferred under contract to the U.S. Postal Service,
with internal mail services provided under contract by Pitney-Bowes Corp.
Restaurant Operations. In the 104th Congress, all House food services,
including Member dining rooms, catering services, cafeterias, and snack bars, were
provided under contract to the House by Marriott Corp.
Personal Services. The barber and beauty shops had been operated on a
partially self-supporting basis. In the 104th Congress, the House converted the shops
into businesses operated by private contractors and expanded services by opening a
shoeshine stand in the Cannon Building basement, also operated by a private
Printing Services. For many years, the House appointed and paid from
appropriated funds majority and minority “printing clerks,” who supervised the
preparation of mass mailings, newsletters, and other specialized printing services for
Members, and the work of staff in the “folding rooms.” The House no longer
provides these services and Members must now pay private firms from Members'
official expense allowances any costs associated with the preparation of mass
mailings and newsletters.
Floor Procedures. In addition to committee and administrative changes, the
new majority modified floor procedures in the resolution adopting the rules for the

104th Congress, H.Res. 6.

Approving Tax Legislation. In Section 106, H.Res. 6 required a three-fifths
vote to approve certain changes in tax law. Specifically, a three-fifths vote (of the
Members voting, a quorum being present) was required to pass a bill or joint
resolution or agree to an amendment or conference report “carrying a Federal income
tax rate increase.”
Retroactive Tax Increases. The resolution prohibited any bill, joint resolution,
amendment, or conference report from including a “retroactive Federal income tax
rate increase.” The resolution defined an income tax rate increase as being
retroactive if it applied to any period of time “beginning prior to the enactment of the
District of Columbia Business. The resolution abolished the Committee on
the District of Columbia and transferred its jurisdiction to the newly renamed
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. In Section 202(d) of H. Res 6,
the resolution made a conforming change to make floor consideration of measures
relating to the District privileged on certain days if reported by the committee of

jurisdiction. The rules change replaced the reference in this clause to the District of
Columbia Committee with the name of its successor.
Motions to Recommit. Section 210 assured the right of the minority to offer
a motion to recommit a bill to committee, with instructions that the committee report
the bill back to the House immediately with an amendment incorporated in the
motion. The rule had provided for a recommittal motion, but it had not explicitly
stated that the motion could include instructions containing an amendment. Section
210 amended the clause to protect such a motion if it was offered by the minority
leader or a designee.
Delegate Voting in Committee of the Whole. Section 212 of the resolution
prohibited Delegates and the Resident Commissioner from voting in the Committee
of the Whole. The rules of the 103rd Congress had permitted them for the first time
to vote in the Committee of the Whole, subject to re-votes in the House in cases in
which their votes might have been decisive.
Automatic Roll-Call Votes. Section 214 required a roll-call vote on final
passage or adoption of any bill, joint resolution, or conference report "making general
appropriations or increasing Federal income tax rates," and on final approval of any
concurrent budget resolution or the conference report on a budget resolution.
Limitation Amendments to Appropriations Bills. An existing rule bestowed
precedence to a motion that the Committee of the Whole rise and report after
disposing of all amendments affecting the funding provisions of a general
appropriations bill. If adopted, such a motion precluded consideration of one or more
limitation amendments. Section 215(a) of H.Res. 6 gave such a motion precedence
only if offered by the majority leader or a designee.
Amendments Making Offsetting Appropriations Changes. In Section
215(c), Members were permitted to offer en bloc a pair of amendments to a general
appropriations bill if the only effect of the amendments was to transfer amounts of
money from one place in the bill to another "without increasing the levels of budget
authority or outlays in the bill." Without this provision, it often was not in order for
a Representative to offer amendments to move funds from one paragraph or title to
Reserving Points of Order. Also with regard to general appropriations bills,
Section 215(e) provided for all points of order to be considered as reserved when a
general appropriations bill was reported. Previously, it had been necessary for a
Member to rise on the floor and reserve all points of order against each general
appropriations bill at the time it was reported back to the House from the
Appropriations Committee.
Ban on Commemoratives. Section 216 banned the introduction and
consideration of commemoratives, defined as measures or amendments providing for
"any remembrance, celebration, or recognition for any purpose through the
designation of a specified period of time."

Numbering Printed Amendments. Section 217 provided for amendments to
be numbered when submitted for printing in the Congressional Record before being
offered on the floor. This amendment was intended to make it more convenient to
identify such amendments, for example, in a special rule that permitted only certain
identified amendments to be offered to a bill on the floor.
Pledge of Allegiance. Section 218 incorporated the Pledge of Allegiance into
the daily order of business, to follow the approval of the Journal of the House of
Representatives of the United States (The Journal). This amendment to the rules
codified a practice that the House had followed since 1988.
Signatures on Discharge Petitions. Section 219 provided for publication of,
and other means of public access to, the names of Members who signed discharge
petitions. Before the 103rd Congress, the names of signatories were not made public
unless and until the required 218 Members had signed a petition. During the 103rd
Congress, the House amended its rules to provide for public disclosure of discharge
petition signatures. The purpose of Section 219 was to clarify and specify how such
disclosure was to take place.
Previous Question Votes. Two provisions of Section 223 expanded the
authority of the Speaker to postpone votes on ordering the previous question and to
reduce to five minutes the time for votes that immediately followed votes on ordering
the previous question. Previously, the Speaker's authority under both clauses had
applied only to instances in which there was to be a roll-call vote on ordering the
previous question on a special rule that the Rules Committee had reported.
House Select Committee on Homeland Security, 108th
Congress (2003-2004)
Creation, Membership, and Funding.
Creation. On January 7, 2003, pursuant to H.Res. 5, the House created a
Select Committee on Homeland Security. One of its responsibilities was to conduct
a “thorough and complete study of the operation and implementation of the rules of
the House, including Rule X, with respect to the issue of homeland security.” The
select committee is required to submit its recommendations on possible changes to
the Committee on Rules not later than September 30, 2004.
The panel created five subcommittees, four of which reflect the structure of the
new Department on Homeland Security, the fifth responsible for the committee’s
mandate regarding possible rules changes in the House. The five subcommittees are:
Infrastructure and Border Security; Emergency Preparedness and Response;
Cybersecurity, Science, and Research and Development; Intelligence and
Counterterrorism; and Rules.
Membership. On February 12, 2003, the Speaker of the House announced the
appointment of 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats to the select committee.
Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) was named chair and Representative Jim
Turner (D-TX) was named ranking minority member.

Republican Members of the select committee, in addition to Chairman Cox, are
Jennifer Dunn (WA); C.W. “Bill” Young (FL); Don Young (AK), F. James
Sensenbrenner (WI); W.J. “Billy” Tauzin (LA); David Dreier (CA); Duncan Hunter
(CA); Harold Rogers (KY); Sherwood Boehlert (NY); Lamar Smith (TX); Curt
Weldon (PA); Christopher Shays (CT); Dave Camp (MI); Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL);
Bob Goodlatte (VA); Ernest Istook (OK); Peter King (NY); John Linder (GA); Porter
Goss (FL); John Shadegg (AZ); Mark Souder (IN); Mac Thornberry (TX); Jim
Gibbons (NV); Kay Granger (TX); Pete Sessions (TX); and John Sweeney (NY).
The Democratic Members, in addition to Ranking Member Turner, are Bennie
Thompson (MS), Loretta Sanchez (CA), Edward Markey (MA); Norman Dicks
(WA); Barney Frank (MA); Jane Harman (CA); Benjamin Cardin (MD); Louise
Slaughter (NY); Peter DeFazio (OR); Robert Andrews (D-NJ); Eleanor Holmes
Norton (DC); Nita Lowey (D-NY); Zoe Lofgren (D-CA); Karen McCarthy (MO);
Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX); Bill Pascrell (NJ); Donna Christensen (VI); Bob Etheridge
(NC); Charles Gonzalez (TX); Ken Lucas (KY); James Langevin (RI); and Kendrick
Meek (FL).
Funding. On February 13, 2003, the House passed H.Res. 77, which provided
$700,000 in “seed money” to the select committee. Additional funds are expected
to be requested through the traditional committee funding resolution process.

Table 2. Summary of Reform Entities
CongressionalCongress/YearChamberIssues StudiedDispositionComments
Joint Committee on79th CongressBicameralCommittee systemLegislative
the Organization of1945-1946generallyReorganization
CongressCommitteeAct of 1946 (P.L.
jurisdiction 79-601)
Joint Committee on89th CongressBicameralCommittee systemLegislative
the Organization of1965-1966Committee procedureReorganization
the CongressStaffingAct of 1970 (P.L.
iki/CRS-RL31835Budget process91-510)
g/w Administrative
s.or structure
nd CongressHouseCommitteeCaucus rules
://wikiDemocratic Caucus921971-1972assignments,changes adopted
93rd CongressCommitteeCaucus rules
1973-1974assignmentschanges adopted
Party organization and
94th CongressCommitteeCaucus rules
1975-1976assignmentschanges adopted
Republican92nd CongressHouseCommitteeConference rules
Conference1971-1972chairmanships/rankingchanges adopted


CongressionalCongress/YearChamberIssues StudiedDispositionComments
House Select93rd CongressHouseCommitteeProposalsCaucus
Committee on1973-1974jurisdictionreferred toalternative agreed
CommitteesCommittee procedureDemocraticto House rules
(BollingEarly organizationCaucus forand Democratic
Committee)meetingsmodificationCaucus rules
House Commission94th CongressHouseAdministrativeSpecial rule forMembers and
on Administrative1975-1976operationsconsideration ofpublic citizens on
Review (Obey95th CongressHouse schedulingrecommendationscommission
Commission)1977-1978Ethicsdefeated on floor
House Commission94th CongressHouseSupport agencies,
iki/CRS-RL31835on Information and1975-1976legislative counsel,
g/wFacilities (Brooksinformation services
s.orCommission) generally
leakComputer system
://wikiCongressional spaceneeds
House Select96th CongressHouseCommittee systemHouse rulesStudied selective
Committee on1979-1980generallychanges related tojurisdictional
CommitteesCommitteeenergyissues, rather than
(P atterson jurisdiction jurisdiction comprehensive
Committee)Bill referral procedurereview

CongressionalCongress/YearChamberIssues StudiedDispositionComments
Joint Committee on102rd CongressBicameralCommittee systemCongressional
the Organization of1991-1992generallyAccountability
CongressCommitteeAct passed no
103rd Congressjurisdictionaction on other
1993-1994 S t affing recommendations
Budget process
Legi sl at i v e-ex ecut i v e
Floor procedure.
iki/CRS-RL31835Republican Control,104th CongressHouseCommittee systemHouse rulesMany of the
g/w104th Congress1995-1996generallychanges adoptedrecommendations
s.orCommitteeand Republicanadopted stemmed
leakjurisdictionConference rulesfrom 1993 joint
://wikiCommitteeamended; twocommittee
httpassignmentspublic laws
Bill referral procedure
Floor procedure
Congressional staff
House Select108th CongressHouseCommittee
Committee on2003-2004jurisdiction over
Homeland Securityhomeland security