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Steering and Policy Committees of the United States House of Representatives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States House of Representatives, the two major political parties maintain policy and steering committees. Their primary purpose is to assign fellow party members to other House committees, and they also advise party leaders on policy.

The House Democratic Caucus has a combined single steering and policy committee, while the House Republican Conference divides the duties between two groups: a policy committee and a steering committee.[1]

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House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee is chaired by the party leader in the House, which has been Hakeem Jeffries since 2023, in his capacities as Minority Leader. The party leader also appoints three co-chairs to assist him on the committee. For the 117th Congress, the co-chairs were Reps. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Cheri Bustos (IL-17).[2]

The statutory members include the full caucus leadership and chief deputy whip team and the chairs or ranking members (depending on a majority or minority, respectively) of the exclusive committees: Appropriations, Budget, Energy, Financial Services, Rules, and Ways and Means. Additional members are either directly appointed by the caucus leader (Speaker in the majority or Minority Leader in the minority), elected as regional representatives, and an elected representative of the freshman class.

On November 28, 2018, Pelosi, the Speaker of the 116th Congress, announced that the Committee would now have three co-chairs instead of two.[3][4]

As of the 117th Congress, Democratic Representatives are grouped into the following 12 regions:

  • 1: Southern California (Districts 21–53)
  • 2: Alaska, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Northern California (Districts 1–20), Northern Mariana Islands
  • 3: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
  • 4: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma
  • 5: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
  • 6: Arizona, Texas, New Mexico
  • 7: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virgin Islands
  • 8: Georgia, Florida
  • 9: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia
  • 10: Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
  • 11: New York
  • 12: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont


117th Congress

The members of the committee for the 117th Congress (2021–2022) were:[5]

115th Congress

The members of the committee for the 115th Congress (2017–2018) were:[6][7]

House Republican Policy Committee

Gary Palmer currently chairs the Policy Committee. When the Republicans are in the majority, the chair of the House Republican Policy Committee ranks fifth, below the Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, Majority Whip, and the Republican Conference Chairman. When the Republicans are in the minority, the Policy Committee chair ranks fourth, behind the Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Conference Chairman.

Statutory members include the full conference leadership, the committee chairs or ranking members (depending on a majority or minority) of Appropriations, Budget, Energy, Rules, and Ways and Means, and the elected leaders of the sophomore and freshman classes. Appointed members include regional representatives, at-large members, members from the standing committees, and designated appointees by the sophomore (2) and freshman (1) class leaders.

Regional Representatives are restructured to reflect as closely as possible an equal number of Republican members from each region; the small state group is an additional region composed of states that have one or two Republican members.[7] As of the 116th Congress, the regions are:[8]

  • 1: Maryland (1), New Jersey (1), New York (6), West Virginia (3) – 11 members total
  • 2: Kentucky (5), Pennsylvania (9) – 14 members total
  • 3: North Carolina (10), Virginia (4) – 14 members total
  • 4: Georgia (9), South Carolina (5) – 14 members total
  • 5: Alabama (6), Tennessee (7) – 13 members total
  • 6: Illinois (5), Indiana (7) – 12 members total
  • 7: Michigan (7), Wisconsin (5) – 12 members total
  • 8: Arkansas (4), Louisiana (5), Mississippi (3), Puerto Rico (1) – 13 members total
  • 9: Kansas (3), Colorado (3), Nebraska (3), Oklahoma (4) – 13 members total
  • 10: American Samoa (1), Iowa (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (6), North Dakota (1), South Dakota (1) – 13 members total
  • 11: Alaska (1), Idaho (2), Montana (1), Nevada (1), Oregon (1), Utah (3), Washington (3), Wyoming (1) – 13 members total
  • 12: Arizona (4), California (7) – 11 members total
  • Small States: Alaska, America Samoa, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Wyoming – 14 members total
  • Florida Region: 14 members total
  • Ohio Region: 12 members total
  • Texas Regions I and II: 14 members total

The members of the committee for the 115th Congress were:[9]

Policy Committee Chairs:

Chair Term
Joseph William Martin Jr. 1949–1959
John W. Byrnes 1959–1965
John Jacob Rhodes 1965–1973
Barber Conable 1973–1977
Del M. Clawson 1977–1979
Bud Shuster 1979–1981
Dick Cheney 1981–1987
Jerry Lewis 1987–1989
Mickey Edwards 1989–1993
Henry Hyde 1993–1995
Christopher Cox 1995–2005
John Shadegg 2005–2006
Adam Putnam 2006–2007
Thaddeus McCotter 2007–2011
Tom Price 2011–2013
James Lankford 2013–2015
Luke Messer 2015–2019
Gary Palmer 2019–present

House Republican Steering Committee

For House Republicans, the steering committee is chaired by the party leader in the House, either the Speaker (if Republicans are in the majority) or the Minority (Floor) Leader (if Republicans are in the minority). Under rules adopted after the 1994 Republican Revolution, the House party leader (Speaker/Minority Leader) had five votes on the committee, the deputy leader (Majority Leader/Minority Whip) receives 2 votes, and all other members receive 1 vote for a total of 35 votes; a quorum requires 18 members. The current chairman of the Republican Steering Committee is Mike Johnson.

The Republican counterpart in the Senate is the Committee on Committees. Senate Republicans also operate a steering committee to discuss policy issues.[10]

The members of the committee for the 117th Congress (2021–2022) were:[8]

The House Republican Conference approved changes to the steering committee's structure on November 19, 2015. These changes include a reduction in the Speaker's weighted votes from five to four (while giving him the right to appoint a new at-large member) and phased membership adjustments. The six committee leaders that were all previously given standing membership (Appropriations, Budget, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Rules, and Ways and Means) were removed and immediately replaced by six at-large members. Additionally, any committee leader whose committee membership is under consideration by the Steering panel will sit on a rotating basis. The committee leaders' six vacant seats are to be elected by the whole Conference at-large by the end of 2015, and they will serve until the end of the 114th Congress (January 3, 2017). Following the 2016 general election for the next Congress, these at-large elected seats will be replaced by six additional regional representatives, with the new regions to be determined at that time.[11][12][13]

See also


  1. ^ "House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures" (PDF). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  2. ^ "Congresswoman Bustos Nominated to Co-Chair Steering and Policy Committee for 117th Congress". Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. November 12, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  3. ^ "Newsroom".
  4. ^ "Pelosi creates leadership position for Barbara Lee". Politico. November 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Strauss, Amelia (December 9, 2020). "Who Steers the Ship in the 117th Congress? An Examination of House Steering and Policy Committee Membership". Demand Progress. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  6. ^ "Newsroom".
  7. ^ a b "House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures" (PDF). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Steering Committee List for the 117th Congress".
  9. ^ "Leadership". Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  10. ^ Archived November 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Sherman, Jake (November 19, 2015). "House GOP Overhauls Steering Committee". Politico. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  12. ^ Dumain, Emma (November 19, 2015). "House Republicans OK Changes to Steering Panel". Roll Call. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  13. ^ Wong, Scott (November 19, 2015). "House GOP Approves Overhaul of Powerful Steering Panel". The Hill. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
This page was last edited on 9 December 2023, at 17:09
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