DemDaily: Heading Up The House, The New Committee Chairs

November 29, 2018

With Democrats' takeover of the US House of Representative comes the shift to majority leadership, and control of the 22 Committees that oversee the business of the lower chamber of Congress.

The 116th Congress will will bring more than a party shift in the House, with an historic number of women and people of color poised to take the helm as Committee Chairs.

The Committees of the US House, in their present form, were established under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. 

Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC), Speaker Nancy Pelosi(CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD), above, as well as Assistant Leader Ben Ray Luján, and Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries are new senior leadership (pic: Bill Clark/RollCall)

All but three committees, the Budget Committee, the Ethics Committee, and the House Administration Committee, are subdivided into subcommittees of which there is a total of 95, each with its own leadership.

Traditionally, the incoming committee chairs in a new majority are those that served as the ranking, or most senior members, of the minority party in the previous Congress. 

In contrast to the predominantly all white, male chairmen under the Republicans, the new Democratic chairs are expected to include five African Americans, one Asian American, and two Hispanic members, five of which are women.

Most significantly, for those that wield the Chair's gavel comes the power to pursue new oversight over the Trump Administration

New Committee Chairs Maxine Waters (CA), Mark Takano (CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) & Bennie Thompson (MS)

With the power of the gavel also comes the ability for Democrats to initiate new investigations into the actions of President Donald Trump as we go into the 2020 presidential election cycle.
 
Among those already on the agenda: forced release of the President's tax returns, potential bribery between the Trump Organization and foreign governments, renewed House inquiries into Russian election interference and the Department of Homeland Security's family separation policy.

The 116th Congress will be sworn in January 3, 2019.

DemList will keep you informed.

HOUSE COMMITTEES, 116th CONGRESS
Committee
Incoming Chair (Democrat)
Outgoing Chair (Republican)
Administration Zoe Lofgren (CA) Gregg Harper (MS)
Agriculture Collin Peterson (MN) Mike Conaway (TX)
Appropriations Nita Lowey (NY) Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ)
Armed Services Adam Smith (WA) Mac Thornberry (TX)
Budget John Yarmuth (KY) Steve Womack (AR)
Education & The Workforce Bobby Scott (VA) Virginia Foxx (NC)
Energy & Commerce Frank Palone (NJ) Greg Walden (OR)
Ethics Ted Deutch (FL) Susan Brooks (IN)
Financial Services Maxine Waters (CA) Jeb Hensarling (TX)
Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel (D-NY) Ed Royce (CA)
Homeland Security Bennie Thompson (MS) Michael McCaul (TX)
Judiciary Jerrold Nadler (NY) Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Natural Resources Raúl Grijalva (AZ) Rob Bishop (UT)
Oversight & Government Reform Elijah Cummings (MD) Trey Gowdy (SC)
Rules Jim McGovern (MA) Pete Sessions (TX)
Science, Space & Technology Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) Lamar Smith (TX)
Small Business Nydia Velázquez (NY) Steve Chabot (OH)
Transportation & Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (OR) Bill Shuster (PA)
Veterans Affairs Mark Takano (CA) Phil Roe (R-TN)
Ways & Means Richard Neal (MA) Kevin Brady (TX)
Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff (CA) Devin Nunes (CA)
Commission on Human Rights Co-Chair Jim McGovern (MA) Co-Chair: TBD

Incoming House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (NY), the first woman to head the committee in its 153-year history (Getty)

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: Bloomberg, Business Insider, PBS, The Intercept, Politico
 

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