Senate and House Legislative Branch subcommittee members appointed

The Legislative Branch subcommittees of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees contain several newcomers in the 116th. Newly elected Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) will chair the subcommittee on the Senate side. She is joined by:

  • Richard Shelby (R-AL)
  • James Lankford (R-OK)
  • Chris Murphy (D-CT), ranking member
  • Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Like Hyde-Smith, James Lankford is  new to the subcommittee this Congress.

On the House side, the subcommittee will be chaired by Tim Ryan (D-OH). His Democratic colleagues, all new to the subcommittee, are:

  • Dutch Ruppersberger (MD) 
  • Katherine Clark (MA) 
  • Ed Case (HI)

House Republicans have not yet named their subcommittee members.

As LegBranch readers are well aware, the Legislative Branch subcommittees set federal funding levels for the House and Senate, and for congressional support organizations like the Library of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Capitol police, the Capitol Visitors Center, and more. For this reason, the subcommittees’ work is of great interest and importance to congressional reformers interested in strengthening the legislative branch. And given the number of subcommittee newcomers in the 116th, reformers have a lot of educating to do.

But as Matt Glassman explains, the subcommittee is not a sought-after post for most members. The subcommittee’s bill is small, there are no opportunities to serve constituents, and the subcommittee’s portfolio doesn’t provide “horse trading” opportunities with other members. For these reasons, most appropriators are not interested in serving on the subcommittee; those who do serve tend to be the least senior members of the full committee and are typically looking to rotate out to a more prestigious subcommittee.

The subcommittees are expected to start hearing testimony on the Legislative Branch appropriations bill in late March/early April. In addition to outside witnesses, members can testify before the subcommittee to advocate for (or against) specific items in the legislative branch spending bill.

Filed Under:
Topics: Budget & Appropriations
Marian Currinder
Marian Currinder is a permanent staffer of the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress as of December 2019. ...