Committee Assignments 114th Congress

  • Agriculture

    The House Committee on Agriculture has legislative jurisdiction over agriculture, food, rural development, and forestry.

  • Appropriations

    The House Committee on Appropriations is responsible for legislation allocating federal funds prior to expenditure from the treasury. Appropriations are generally limited to the levels set by the ...

  • Armed Services

    The House Committee on Armed Services has legislative jurisdiction over military and defense.

  • Budget

    The House Committee on the Budget is responsible for drafting a concurrent resolution on the budget for congressional action on spending, revenue, and debt-limit legislation. The Budget Resolution ...

  • Education and the Workforce

    The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has legislative jurisdiction over matters related to higher and lower education, workforce development and protections, and health, employment, labor, and ...

  • Energy and Commerce

    The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has legislative jurisdiction on matters related to telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy policy, ...

  • Ethics

    The House Committee on Ethics has the jurisdiction to administer travel, gift, financial disclosure, outside income, and other regulations; advise members and staff; issue advisory opinions and investigate ...

  • Financial Services

    The House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the economy, the banking system, housing, insurance, and securities and exchanges. Additionally, the Committee also has jurisdiction ...

  • Foreign Affairs

    The House Committee on Foreign Affairs considers legislation that impacts the diplomatic community, which includes the Department of State, the Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, the ...

  • Homeland Security

    The House Committee on Homeland Security has jurisdiction over matters related to national defense. It has six subcommittees on border and maritime security; counterterrorism and intelligence; cybersecurity and ...

  • House Administration

    The Committee on House Administration has legislative jurisdiction over the federal elections and the day-to-day operations of the House. The Committee's jurisdiction over federal elections requires it to ...

  • Intelligence

    The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) is a committee of the United States House of Representatives, currently chaired by Congressman Devin Nunes (California). Created ...

  • Judiciary

    The Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction over matters relating to the administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies, and law enforcement agencies. Its role in impeachment ...

  • Natural Resources

    The House Committee on Natural Resources considers legislation about American energy production, mineral lands and mining, fisheries and wildlife, public lands, oceans, Native Americans, irrigation and reclamation.

  • Oversight and Government Reform

    The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform oversees the federal government and all of its agencies to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. The Committee oversees government operations, ...

  • Rules

    The House Committee on Rules is commonly known as “The Speaker’s Committee” because it is the mechanism that the Speaker uses to maintain control of the House Floor. ...

  • Science, Space, and Technology

    The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has a jurisdiction over a range of matters related to energy research and development, federally owned or operated non-military energy laboratories, ...

  • Small Business

    The House Small Business Committee was established to protect and assist small businesses. As such, the Committee has jurisdiction over matters related to small business financial aid, regulatory ...

  • Transportation and Infrastructure

    The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads. The Committee also has jurisdiction ...

  • Veterans' Affairs

    The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs is the authorizing committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The committee is responsible for recommending legislation expanding, curtailing, or fine-tuning ...

  • Ways and Means

    The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives. The Committee derives a large share of its jurisdiction from Article I, ...

  • The House Democrats undeniably remain the fourth and smallest wheel in the congressional machine. And they’re still struggling to apply enough internal political grease to get their pieces of the legislative engine out of neutral.  

    The party now has its smallest share of House seats in almost nine decades — just 188, or 43 percent. In reality, its disadvantage is even more pronounced. That’s because Republicans have stuck with the custom that the party in control claims more than its fair share of the seats on committees, where the bulk of the chamber’s policy battles are effectively won or lost . It's easy to see the difficulties as Democratic leadership fills all the shrunken number of slots available to them, a prerequisite for the panels to begin the year’s workaday business of conducting hearings and marking up bills.  

    Assignments for the 19 freshmen (one committee each) and upgrades for just 13 others were unveiled only last week. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi conceded it may take several more meetings to complete the final rounds of duck, duck, goose.  

    It has been the equivalent of figuring out how to stuff 99 pounds of sugar into a 100-pound sack without any spillage or the bag bursting. Dozens of returning members — urged on by their pent-up ambitions and parochial dictates — bucked for promotion to more influential assignments, while the freshmen pressed for an initial posting that’s a plausible match for their interests and sounds prestigious enough to their new constituents. Lobbyists inveighed for or against lawmakers with certain ideologies being given certain assignments. Governors and senators argued their delegations are underrepresented in the top committee suites.  

    And every decision has to be ratified by the 51 members — a demographically and regionally diverse assemblage of more than one-quarter of the Democratic Caucus — on the Steering and Policy Committee. (As a practical matter, much of the horse-trading is engineered by the chairwomen of that group, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, with Pelosi’s blessing.)  

    Since no magic formula of committee assignments will be able to outvote the GOP to produce a burst of progressive legislating, the process in a macro sense is reminiscent of the old adage about academic politics: The passions run so high because the stakes are so low.  

    But that’s not true for the individual members, because the assignments remain the main drivers for their legislative agendas, media reputations and fundraising focus . That explains why some lawmakers resort to signaling to the leadership, without ever quite threatening, that if their aspirations remain unmet for too long they’ll decide to leave rather than keep toiling in the weakest among the quartet of partisan camps. (At this stage, there’s no realistic expectation the Democrats can reclaim the House before the next post-redistricting election in 2022, nor is there any plausible chance one party in the Senate will fall below 40 seats and lose its significant minority clout.)  

    The clearest Democratic winners so far are the five given seats on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over an extraordinary swath of domestic industry, from telecommunications to trash hauling. Yvette D. Clarke will be the panel’s third New Yorker, but its only African-American woman; fellow fifth-termer Dave Loebsack will take the “Iowa seat”  left open by Bruce Braley’s unsuccessful Senate bid; Class of 2008 member Kurt Schrader of Oregon will fill the Blue Dog Coalition void created with the departures of Georgia’s John Barrow and Utah’s Jim Matheson; Tony Cárdenas is replacing Henry A. Waxman as the panel’s Los Angeles lawmaker; and his second-term colleague Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts becomes the only member from New England.  

    Of the handful of other veterans permitted to trade up so far, three stand out for having just survived some of the closest re-election scares of 2014. Ann Kirkpatrick will be able to stick up for Arizona’s farm economy on Agriculture, Scott Peters will be able to put his expertise in environmental regulatory law to work on Judiciary, and his fellow southern Californian Julia Brownley will now promote her suburban constituents’ interests on Transportation and Infrastructure.  

    There's no evidence that any of the four caucus members who voted for somebody other than Pelosi for speaker last week will be punished through the committee assignment process, a fate being confronted by some of the Republicans who opposed John A. Boehner.  

    The one consolation for Democrats is that the paucity of plum postings isn’t nearly as bad as four years ago. The 2010 elections swept away more than one quarter of all the committee slots they’d commanded, and several dozen lawmakers who survived in the GOP takeover tide were nonetheless kicked off panels where they’d planned to make their careers. Eighteen of them were bounced from the three premier legislative panels: Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce.  

    Because of the departures and defeats in the next election, all but a handful were able to get back on those exclusive panels in 2013, while the leadership arranged for a pair of Marylanders to hold ranking member jobs elsewhere: Chris Van Hollen on Budget and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger on Intelligence.  

    Van Hollen is staying where he is, while Ruppersberger is readying his return to Appropriations now that Pelosi has exercised her prerogative and chosen Adam B. Schiff of California to be the new top Democrat on Select Intelligence . Steve Israel of New York — who didn’t have any committee assignments while running the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — also is expected to pick up where he left off on the spending panel.  

    That leaves just one spot for a committee newcomer, and the safe bet is it will be Derek Kilmer of Washington. (The Pacific Northwest hasn’t had a Democratic appropriator since the 2012 retirement of his predecessor, Norm Dicks.)  

    Those musical chairs mean a single veteran lawmaker is without the prestigious policymaking post he once called home. Brian Higgins of Buffalo, N.Y., who got on Ways and Means in his third term in 2009, was forced off two years later and has been plotting his return ever since while trying to make the most of life on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs. And that’s where he’ll stay for at least the next two years. As Ways and Means prepares to take the lead on two of the year’s hottest issues, corporate taxes and trade liberalization, not a single Democratic spot is available.  

    Their one potential opening, created when Allyson Y. Schwartz had to leave the House after losing her bid for governor, was taken by the Republicans — yet another spoil of their enormous victory.  

    Related:The Opaque World of Committee AssignmentsQuirky Ceremonies, Curious Characters Mark Hill’s ‘First Day of School’Wave Would Mean a Diversity Boost for House GOP5 Things That Could Get Done in a Divided GovernmentThe 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New CongressGet breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

    Topics: congressional-cloutculture-of-congressdemocratshouseicnw

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