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House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-116th Congresses

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House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-114th Congresses December 7, 2015 (R40478) Jump to Main Text of Report

Contents

Tables

Summary

The party ratio in a House of Representatives standing committee refers to the proportional number of members of each party caucus assigned to each committee. Determining sizes, ratios, and committee assignments are among the first actions taken following a general election and at the beginning of a Congress.

The Standing Rules of the House of Representatives are silent regarding committee sizes and party ratios; the apportionment of committee seats is a decision of the majority leadership that may include discussions between majority and minority party leaderships. Historically, the number of majority seats on many committees has exceeded, in varying degrees, the strength of the majority party in the House chamber, regardless of which party has been in power. In instances of close party division in the House chamber, the majority party has generally ensured that it has a majority sufficient to control voting in committees. The exception has been the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, for which House Rules guarantee an equal share of the seats to the two parties. While individual committees' ratios may vary substantially from the proportional number of majority and minority Members of the House, the aggregate number of seats better reflects the proportion in the chamber itself, while still favoring the majority party.

This report shows House committee party ratios for 17 Congresses, covering the period from the 98th Congress (1983-1985) through December 2015, the middle of the 114th Congress (2015-2017).

Table 1 shows a comparison of majority party strength in the House chamber with total majority committee seats for the 98th Congress through the beginning of the 114th Congress. Unfilled seats on committees (if so noted in the Clerk's lists) are counted in individual and overall committee totals for consistency.

Tables 2-18 show for each of the 17 Congresses examined, by majority, minority, and Independents (where present):

  • House party breakdown and majority margin;
  • total committee seats, majority and minority committee seats, and majority margin;
  • the standing and select committees (with legislative jurisdiction) as established and named in each Congress;
  • committee seats allocated to the majority and minority parties, including Independents (where present), for each committee; and
  • majority-minority seat margin for each committee.

Committee ratios data for this report are from the earliest available editions of the official committee lists for each Congress issued by the Clerk of the House. Later versions of the Clerk's lists, or the use of alternate sources or methodologies, may yield different results. Independent Members are listed separately, consistent with the Clerk's committee lists. Tables for each Congress include the standing committees and a permanent select committee as established and named in each Congress.

House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-114th Congresses

Introduction

The party ratio in a House of Representatives standing committee refers to the proportional number of members of each party caucus assigned to each committee. Determining sizes, ratios, and committee assignments are among the first actions taken following a general election and at the beginning of a Congress.

The Standing Rules of the House of Representatives are silent regarding committee sizes and party ratios; the apportionment of committee seats is a decision of the majority leadership that may include discussions between majority and minority party leaderships occurring during early organization meetings.1 Historically, the number of majority seats on most committees has exceeded, in varying degrees, the strength of the majority party in the House chamber, regardless of which party has been in power. In instances of close party division in the House chamber, the majority party has ensured that it has a majority sufficient to guarantee party control in committees. The exception has been the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, for which House Rules guarantee an equal share of the seats to the two parties. While individual committees' ratios may vary substantially from the proportional number of majority and minority Members of the House, the aggregate number of seats better reflects the proportion in the chamber itself, while still favoring the majority party.

This report shows House committee party ratios for 17 Congresses from the 98th Congress (1983-1985) through the 114th Congress (2015-2017). Tables for each Congress include the standing committees and a permanent select committee as established and named in each Congress. An additional table (Table 1) provides a comparison of majority party strength in the House chamber and total committee seats. Sources and Method

The data presented in this report are drawn from the official lists of standing committees and a select committee published by the Clerk of the House early in each Congress.2 The data reflect the full number of seats assigned to each party, even in instances when some assignments made by a party left seats unfilled.3 Data on overall party strength in the House are taken from historical tables in the 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress, for the 98th through 111th Congresses.4 The data for the 112th-114th Congresses are from the Clerk of the House website.5

Independent Members are listed separately, consistent with the Clerk's committee lists. The Delegates representing American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, are included in the figures for total number of committee seats.6 They are not included in total House data; total House data and percentages are based on 435 Members. For most Congresses, the total party division numbers reflect party strength after the November elections; they do not reflect changes due to deaths or resignations followed by special elections, or changes in party affiliation after the beginning of the Congress.7

Table 1 shows a comparison of majority party strength in the House chamber with total majority committee seats for the 98th Congress through the 114th Congress. Unfilled seats on committees (if so noted in the Clerk's lists) are counted in individual and overall committee totals for consistency.

Tables 2-18 show for each of the 17 Congresses examined, by majority, minority, and Independents (where present):

  • House party breakdown and majority margin;
  • total committee seats, majority and minority committee seats, and majority margin;
  • the standing and select committees (with legislative jurisdiction) as established and named in each Congress;
  • committee seats allocated to the majority and minority parties, including Independents (where present), for each committee; and
  • majority-minority seat margin for each committee.
Table 1. Comparison of Majority Party Strength in House Chamber and Total Committee Seats: 98th-114th Congresses (1983-2017)

Congress

Majority Party

Majority% of House Chamber Majority % Total CommitteeSeats

% Difference of Majority Between House Chamber and Total Committees Seats

114th

Republican

56.7%

58.3%

1.6%

113th

Republican

53.8%

56.0%

2.2%

112th

Republican

55.6%

57.4%

1.8%

111th

Democratic

59.1%

60.4%

1.3%

110th

Democratic

53.6%

55.5%

1.9%

109th

Republican

53.3%

55.5%

2.2%

108th

Republican

52.6%

54.6%

2.0%

107th

Republican

50.8%

54.6%

3.8%

106th

Republican

51.3%

54.9%

3.6%

105th

Republican

52.0%

55.4%

3.4%

104th

Republican

52.9%

55.3%

2.4%

103rd

Democratic

59.3%

61.2%

1.9%

102nd

Democratic

61.4%

62.1%

0.7%

101st

Democratic

59.8%

61.2%

1.4%

100th

Democratic

59.3%

61.0%

1.7%

99th

Democratic

58.2%

60.4%

2.2%

98th

Democratic

61.8%

64.2%

2.4%

Source: Data are from the official committee lists issued by the Clerk of the House. The Clerk's lists used are the earliest available editions. Percentages are rounded. Data for the House chamber are based on a total of 435 Members, except for the 114th Congress, which had one vacancy at the time of this update in December 2015.

Table 2. House Committee Party Ratios 114th Congress (2015-2017)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

 

Total House Members

434a

246

188

58

Total Committee Seats

785

458

327

131

Committee

       

Agriculture

45

26

19

7

Appropriations

51

30

21

9

Armed Services

63

36

27

9

Budget

36

22

14

8

Education and the Workforce

38

22

16

6

Energy and Commerce

54

31

23

8

Ethics

10

5

5

0

Financial Services

60

34

26

8

Foreign Affairs

44

25

19

6

Homeland Security

30

18

12

6

House Administration

9

6

3

3

Judiciary

39

23

16

7

Natural Resources

44

26

18

8

Oversight and Government Reform

43

25

18

7

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science, Space, and Technology

39

22

17

5

Small Business

24

14

10

4

Transportation and Infrastructure

59

34

25

9

Veterans' Affairs

24

14

10

4

Ways and Means

39

24

15

9

Permanent Select on Intelligence

21

12

9

3

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States together with Joint Committees of the Congress with an Alphabetical List of the Members and their Committee Assignments, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Karen L. Haas, Clerk of the House of Representatives, November 5, 2015 (Washington: GPO, 2015).

a. At the time of this update, there is one vacancy in the House of Representatives, due to the resignation of Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, effective October 31, 2015. Although this affects the overall number of House Members and the majority-minority seat margin, it does not affect the other data related to committee seats, since Boehner did not serve on any committees at the time of his resignation. Table 3. House Committee Party Ratios 113th Congress (2013-2015)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

 

Total House Members

435

234

201

33

Total Committee Seats

802

449

353

96

Committee

       

Agriculture

46

25

21

4

Appropriations

51

29

22

7

Armed Services

62

34

28

6

Budget

39

22

17

5

Education and the Workforce

41

23

18

5

Energy and Commerce

54

30

24

6

Ethics

10

5

5

0

Financial Services

61

33

28

5

Foreign Affairs

46

25

21

4

Homeland Security

32

18

14

4

House Administration

9

6

3

3

Judiciary

40

23

17

6

Natural Resources

47

26

21

5

Oversight and Government Reform

41

23

18

5

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science, Space, and Technology

40

22

18

4

Small Business

25

14

11

3

Transportation and Infrastructure

60

33

27

6

Veterans' Affairs

25

14

11

3

Ways and Means

39

23

16

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

21

12

9

3

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States together with Joint Committees of the Congress with an Alphabetical List of the Members and their Committee Assignments, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Karen L. Haas, Clerk of the House of Representatives, April 16, 2013 (Washington: GPO, 2013).

Table 4. House Committee Party Ratios 112th Congress (2011-2013)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

 

Total House Members

435

242

193

49

Total Committee Seats

792

455

337

118

Committee

       

Agriculture

46

26

20

6

Appropriations

50

29

21

8

Armed Services

62

35

27

8

Budget

38

22

16

6

Education and the Workforce

40

23

17

6

Energy and Commerce

54

31

23

8

Ethics

6

3

3

0

Financial Services

61

34

27

7

Foreign Affairs

46

26

20

6

Homeland Security

33

19

14

5

House Administration

9

6

3

3

Judiciary

39

23

16

7

Natural Resources

48

27

21

6

Oversight and Government Reform

40

23

17

6

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science and Technology

40

23

17

6

Small Business

26

15

11

4

Transportation and Infrastructure

59

33

26

7

Veterans' Affairs

26

15

11

4

Ways and Means

37

22

15

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

19

11

8

3

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States with an Alphabetical List of the Members and their Committee Assignments, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Karen L. Haas, Clerk of the House of Representatives, February 28, 2011 (Washington: GPO, 2011).

Table 5. House Committee Party Ratios 111th Congress (2009-2011)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

256

178

 

79

Total Committee Seats

869

525

342

2

183

Committee

         

Agriculture

46

28

18

 

10

Appropriations

60

37

23

 

14

Armed Services

62

37

25

 

12

Budget

39

24

15

 

9

Education and Labor

49

29

19

1

10

Energy and Commerce

59

36

23

 

13

Financial Services

71

42

29

 

13

Homeland Security

34

21

13

 

8

House Administration

9

6

3

 

3

Foreign Affairs

47

28

19

 

9

Judiciary

40

24

16

 

8

Natural Resources

49

28

20

1

8

Oversight and Government Reform

41

25

16

 

9

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science and Technology

44

27

17

 

10

Small Business

29

17

12

 

5

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

75

45

30

 

15

Veterans' Affairs

29

18

11

 

7

Ways and Means

41

26

15

 

11

Permanent Select on Intelligence

22

13

9

 

4

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States with
House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Lorraine H. Tong Analyst in American National Government November 4, 2010 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R40478 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Summary The ratio of the majority and minority parties in the House standing committees is the number of members of each party caucus assigned to each committee. Determining committee assignments and ratios are among the first actions taken at the beginning of a Congress. The apportionment of committee seats results from discussions between majority and minority party leadership. Historically, the number of majority seats on most committees have exceeded, in varying degrees, the strength of the majority party in the House chamber, regardless of which party is in power. In instances of close party division in the House chamber, the majority party has acted to ensure that it has a working majority in committees. The exception has been the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, for which House Rules guarantee an equal share of the seats to the two parties. The standing rules of the House of Representatives are silent regarding committee party ratios. On occasion, party rules have stated a party’s position on the matter. This report provides statistical information on and selected analyses of the House committee party ratios for 14 Congresses, covering the period from the 98th through the 111th Congresses (1983-2011). Committee ratios data for this report are from the earliest available editions of the official committee lists for each Congress issued by the Clerk of the House. Later versions of the Clerk’s lists or the use of alternate sources or methodologies may yield different results. Independent Members are listed separately, consistent with the Clerk’s committee lists. For each Congress, the total party division numbers reflect party strength after the November elections; however, they do not reflect changes due to deaths or resignations followed by special elections, or changes in party affiliation after the beginning of the Congress. Tables for each Congress include the standing committees and a permanent select committee as established and titled in each Congress. For each Congress, a table presents the party divisions in the House chamber and the total number of seats (1) in the chamber, (2) in committee seats, (3) on each committee, (4) assigned to the majority and minority parties and to Independents (where present), and (5) majority and minority party seats on each committee. Data is also provided for the majorityminority seat margin in the chamber, on each committee, as well as the total seat margin for all standing committees and the select committee. A separate table compares majority party strength in the House chamber with total majority committee seats in the 14 Congresses. This report also discusses trends and compares party ratios in selected Congresses. Possible reforms to the apportionment of committee seats are also examined. This report will be updated to reflect the House committee party ratios in the 112th Congress. Congressional Research Service House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Contents Sources and Method....................................................................................................................1 Comparative Analysis of Ratios in Selected Congresses .............................................................2 110th and 111th Congresses Comparisons ...............................................................................3 109th and 110th Congresses Comparisons ...............................................................................3 103rd and 104th Congresses Comparisons ...............................................................................4 98th and 102nd Congresses Comparisons ................................................................................4 Controversy and Possible Reforms ..............................................................................................5 Disputes over Committee Ratios ...........................................................................................5 Committee Size.....................................................................................................................5 Concluding Observations ............................................................................................................6 Tables Table 1. Comparison of Majority Party Strength in House Chamber and Total Committee Seats 98th-111th Congresses (1983-2011)...................................................................................7 Table 2. House Committee Party Ratios 111th Congress (2009-2011) ...........................................8 Table 3. House Committee Party Ratios 110th Congress (2007-2009)...........................................9 Table 4. House Committee Party Ratios 109th Congress (2005-2007)......................................... 10 Table 5. House Committee Party Ratios 108th Congress (2003-2005)......................................... 11 Table 6. House Committee Party Ratios 107th Congress (2001-2003)......................................... 12 Table 7. House Committee Party Ratios 106th Congress (1999-2001)......................................... 13 Table 8. House Committee Party Ratios 105th Congress (1997-1999)......................................... 14 Table 9. House Committee Party Ratios 104th Congress (1995-1997)......................................... 15 Table 10. House Committee Party Ratios 103rd Congress (1993-1995)....................................... 16 Table 11. House Committee Party Ratios 102nd Congress (1991-1993) ...................................... 17 Table 12. House Committee Party Ratios 101st Congress (1989-1991) ....................................... 18 Table 13. House Committee Party Ratios 100th Congress (1987-1989)....................................... 19 Table 14. House Committee Party Ratios 99th Congress (1985-1987)......................................... 20 Table 15. House Committee Party Ratios 98th Congress (1983-1985)......................................... 21 Contacts Author Contact Information ...................................................................................................... 22 Acknowledgments .................................................................................................................... 22 Congressional Research Service House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses T he ratio of the majority and minority parties in the House standing committees is the number of members of each party caucus assigned to each committee. Determining committee assignments and ratios are among the first actions taken at the beginning of a Congress. The apportionment of committee seats results from discussions between majority and minority party leaderships. This report provides statistical information on and selected analyses of House committee party ratios for 14 Congresses from the 98th through the 111th Congresses (1983-2011). Tables for each Congress include the standing committees and a permanent select committee as established and titled in each Congress. An additional table provides a comparison of majority party strength in the House chamber and total committee seats. The standing rules of the House of Representatives are silent regarding committee party ratios. On occasion, party rules have stated a party’s position on the matter.1 An analysis of some trends, party ratios in selected Congresses, and possible reforms to the apportionment of committee seats is provided. Sources and Method The sources for the data covered in this report are the official lists of standing committees and a select committee published by the Clerk of the House early in each Congress. The Clerk’s lists used in this study are the earliest available editions. At the end of each table are the sources and their issuance dates. Assignment data for each committee from the 98th through the 111th Congresses are provided. The data reflect the full number of seats assigned to each party, even in instances when some assignments made by a party left seats vacant. Independent Members are listed separately, consistent with the Clerk’s committee lists. Data on overall party strength in the House are taken from historical tables in the 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress, for the 98th through 110th Congresses.2 The data for the 111th Congress is from the Clerk of the House website.3 For each Congress, the total party division numbers reflect party strength after the November elections; however, they do not reflect changes due to deaths or resignations followed by special elections, or changes in party affiliation after the beginning of the Congress.4 The Delegates representing American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico,5 are included in the figures for total number of committee seats. Under House Rule III, the Delegates and Resident Commissioner have the same powers and privileges in committees on 1 For example, Rules of the Democratic Caucus for the One Hundred Tenth Congress, adopted November 16, 2006, included Rule 12: The Democratic Leadership shall work to ensure that committee ratios are at least as representative of the number of Democrats in the House and that each panel include the greatest number of Democrats possible. Identical language for Rule 12 is contained in Rules of the Democratic Caucus, Adopted temporarily for the 111th Congress on November 18, 2008. 2 S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory,110th Congress, (Washington: 2007), p. 553. 3 The Clerk of the House website is available at http://clerk.house.gov. 4 Reported numbers reflect initial figures in the Clerk’s committee lists cited at the end of each table, and will only be updated to reflect corrected clerical anomalies. 5 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner represent the constituencies of territories and possessions owned or administered by the United States but not admitted to statehood. In accordance with P.L. 110-229, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan became the first delegate from the Northern Mariana Islands on January 6, 2009. Congressional Research Service 1 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses which they serve as do Members of the House. They have the right to vote in committees on which they serve, accrue seniority, and be appointed to select and conference committees. They are not included in the figures for total House Members because they do not have the right to vote in the full House except in the Committee of the Whole.6 Total House data and percentages are based on 435 Members. Tables for each Congress reflect the standing and a permanent select committee as established and titled in each Congress. For each Congress, a table presents the party divisions in the House chamber and the total number of seats (1) in the chamber, (2) in committees seats, (3) on each committee, (4) assigned to the majority and minority parties and to Independents (where present), and (5) majority and minority party seats on each committee. Data is also provided for the majority-minority seat margin in the chamber, on each committee, as well as the total seat margin for all standing committees and the select committee. A separate table compares majority party strength in the House chamber with total majority committee seats. For consistency, vacancies on committees are counted in individual and overall committee totals.7 Comparative Analysis of Ratios in Selected Congresses In the 14 Congresses covered in this report, the 98th Congress witnessed the widest majorityminority seat margin at 103 seats in the House chamber, with 269 seats for the majority (Democrat) and 166 seats for the minority (Republican). The Congress with the next widest majority-minority seat margin was the 102nd Congress, which had a majority-minority seat margin of 100 with 267 majority (Democrat) seats, 167 minority (Republican) seats. The 107th Congress had the narrowest majority-minority seat margin with nine seats. The party division in this Congress was 221 seats for the majority (Republican) to 212 (Democrat). There were also 2 Independents. Of the 859 total committee seats in this Congress, there were 469 committee seats for the majority (Republican), 387 seats for the minority (Democrat), and 3 seats for 2 Independents. The total number of committee seats was the lowest (779 seats) in the 98th Congress when the majority (Democrat) held 500 committee seats compared to the minority’s 279 seats. The highest number of committee seats totaled 889 in the 103rd Congress with a majority-minority division in the chamber at 258 (Democrat) to 176 (Republican), and 1 Independent. The majority (Democrat) held 544 committee seats to the 343 minority (Republican) seats with a seat margin of 201, and the Independent held 2 committee seats. During the period covered by the report, the total number of committee seats has increased incrementally from 779 seats in the 98th Congress to a high of 889 seats in the 103rd Congress. In 6 Under House rules (H.Res. 5) adopted in the 103rd Congress, Delegates and the Resident Commissioner had the same powers and privileges as Members when the House was sitting in Committee of the Whole. However, House rules (H.Res. 6) adopted in the 104th Congress rescinded this right. In the 110th Congress, this power was reinstated (H.Res. 78); Rule III, clause 3(a). 7 It should be noted that these are not the only sources and methodologies available and that the use of alternate sources and methodologies will yield different data and findings. For example, data in publications issued later in a Congress may yield different results. Congressional Research Service 2 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses the 104th Congress, the new majority (Republican) reduced total committee seats by 103 from the previous Congress to a total of 786 seats. The incremental increases since the initial reduction in the 104th Congress included the creation of the Homeland Security Committee which became a standing committee in the 109th Congress.8 Historically, majority seats on most committees have exceeded, in varying degrees, the strength of the majority party in the House chamber. The exception has been the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, for which House Rules guarantee an equal share of the seats to the two parties. In instances of close party divisions in the House chamber, the majority party has acted to ensure that it has a working majority in committees. This trend is reflected in the Congresses covered during which party control changed from the 103rd to the 104th Congresses, and again from the 109th to the 110th Congresses. The data indicate that regardless of which party is in the majority, the majority party’s representation in committee exceeds its party strength in the chamber (see Table 1). 110th and 111th Congresses Comparisons In the 110th Congress, the majority (Democrats) held 233 seats compared to the 202 seats for the minority (Republicans) in the House of Representatives. The majority-minority seat margin in the chamber was 31. Of the total 878 standing and the permanent select committee seats, the majority held 487 seats compared to 391 seats for the minority. ). Three committees with the widest seat margins were Appropriations (8); and Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means (each 7). The majority (Democrats) maintained its status in the 111th Congress and increased its numbers to 257 seats in the House chamber with the minority (Republican) holding 178 seats with a majority-minority seat margin of 79. Total committee seats decreased from 878 to 869, with 525 total seats for the majority (Democrat) and 342 seats for the minority (Republican).9 The majority-minority committee seat margin was 183. Excluding the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, the majority-minority seat margin ranged from 4 to 15. The 4 committees with the highest majority seat advantage were Transportation and Infrastructure (15), Appropriations (14); and Energy and Commerce, and Financial Services (each 13). A comparison of the 110th and 111th Congresses indicate that the majority-minority seat margin increased from 31 to 79 in the House chamber while the overall total of committee seats decreased by 9. 109th and 110th Congresses Comparisons In the 109th Congress, the majority (Republican) held 232 seats compared to the minority’s (Democrat) 202 seats (and 1 Independent) in the House chamber. The majority-minority seat margin in the chamber was 30. Of the total 878 committee seats, the majority (Democrat) held 487 seats compared to 389 seats for the minority (Republican); and 1 Independent held 2 seats. 8 In 2002, the Committee on Homeland Security was created in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 as a Select, nonpermanent committee to provide oversight over the development of the Department of Homeland Security. At the beginning of the 109th Congress, the Committee was made permanent and was designated a standing committee. 9 Two seats held by a delegate, an Independent, are included in the 868 total committee seats. Congressional Research Service 3 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Excluding the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, the majority-minority committee seat margins ranged from three to eight seats. The committees with the widest seat margins were Appropriations (8); Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means (each 7). In the 110th Congress when the majority changed, the party division strength in the chamber flipped almost exactly from the 109th Congress. The new majority (Democrat) held 233 seats compared to 202 seats held by the minority (Republican), resulting in a majority-minority seat margin of 31. Total committee seats remained at 487 for the majority 391 seats for a total of 878 committee seats. Excluding the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, the majorityminority seat margin ranged from two to eight seats. As in the previous Congress, the 3 committees with the widest seat margins were Appropriations (8); Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means (each 7). 103rd and 104th Congresses Comparisons In the 103rd Congress, the majority (Democrat) held 258 seats compared to 176 seats for the minority (Republican) and 1 Independent in the House chamber with a majority-minority seat margin of 82. Of the total 889 committee seats, the majority (Democrat) had 544 committee seats, the minority (Republican) had 343 seats, and 1Independent had 2 seats. The majority-minority total committee seat margin was 201. In the 104th Congress, the majority party in the House changed for the first time in 40 years and the new majority (Republican) had 230 seats compared to 204 seats for the minority (Democrat), and 1 Independent in the House chamber. The majority-minority seat margin narrowed from 82 seats in the previous Congress to 26 seats. Of the total 786 committee seats, the majority (Republican) held 435 seats, the minority (Democrat) held 348 seats, and 1 Independent held 3 seats. The majority-minority committee seat margin was 87. Total committee seats decreased by 103 from the 103rd Congress to the 104th Congress. 98th and 102nd Congresses Comparisons The 98th Congress had a party division of 269 majority (Democrat) seats and 166 minority (Republican) seats in the House chamber, with a 103 majority-minority seat margin. Total committee seat margin was 221 with widest majority-minority committee seat margin on Appropriations (15); and Interior and Insular Affairs, and Public Works and Transportation (each 14). Excluding the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, majority-minority committee seat margins ranged from 4 to 15. The 102nd Congress witnessed the next widest majority-minority seat margin. The House composition of 267 majority (Democrat) seats and 167 minority (Republican) seats (with 1 Independent) gave the majority a seat advantage of 100 in the chamber, 3 less seats than the 103 seats in the 98th Congress. There were a total of 870 committee seats in the 102nd Congress, with the widest majority-minority committee seat margins on Appropriations, and Public Works and Transportation (each 15). Congressional Research Service 4 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Controversy and Possible Reforms Disputes over Committee Ratios Party ratios on committees have been controversial regardless of which party has controlled the House of Representatives. Consideration of House rules packages at the outset of each Congress has evoked contentious debate on these ratios. Supporters of the majority party have often considered ratios affording it a “working majority” on committees as a vital element in securing its prerogative to advance its legislative agenda. Especially when its margin of control in the House is narrow, and especially on certain key committees, the majority party may consider the maintenance of a disproportionate majority as crucial to the advancement of its program. These considerations would likely lead the majority to continue to insist on maintaining representation in committees that exceeds the majority party’s ratio in the full chamber. Others argue that under-representation of the minority party on committees is inappropriate, particularly because the potential for influencing legislation is often greatest at the committee stage. They contend that under-representation of the minority at this stage not only tends to diminish the legislative role of its members, but also thereby deprives the electorate of the representation it sought in electing those Members. In addition, dissatisfaction among minority party Members arising from disproportionate committee ratios could have an adverse impact on comity and bipartisanship. These effects may make the legislative process more difficult. Supporters of this view urge that, especially under contemporary conditions of close partisan divisions in the House, it may be in the interest of the institution to reduce internal tensions over committee ratios. Since assignments and ratios are among the first organizing actions that are taken at the beginning of a Congress, such determinations could set the tone for the duration of the Congress. Committee Size Changes in national and legislative priorities may have an impact on the sizes and ratios of certain committees that have jurisdiction over particular issues. Committee sizes may also increase or decrease depending on the interests of individual Members and the party leaders. If there is agreement to increase minority representation on committees, the parties first must consider how to accommodate the increased proportion of minority seats—that is, whether it is desirable to increase the overall size of the committees or whether it is feasible to maintain the sizes of committees. If the sizes are maintained, reducing majority seats on the committee would require some committee Members to give up their seats. The alternative would be to create additional seats for minority party members, which would increase overall committee sizes. Some believe that committees are already too large, and that increasing the sizes of certain committees could make them unwieldy and less efficient. Time for questioning at larger committee hearings may affect time allotted to Members with less seniority. Congressional Research Service 5 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Concluding Observations As the data indicate, regardless of which party is the majority, the majority party’s committee ratios have exceeded its strength in the House chamber. In the absence of a House rule or an established formula to apportion committee party ratios, the data and practices of both parties when in the majority suggest that the subject will likely continue as a controversial issue for debate. Congressional Research Service 6 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 1. Comparison of Majority Party Strength in House Chamber and Total Committee Seats 98th-111th Congresses (1983-2011) Majority % Total Committee Seats % Difference of Majority Between House Chamber and Total Committees Seats Congress Majority Party Majority % of House Chamber 111th Democrat 59.1% 60.4% 1.3% 110th Democrat 53.6% 55.5% 1.9% 109th Republican 53.3% 55.5% 2.2% 108th Republican 52.6% 54.6% 2.0% 107th Republican 50.8% 54.6% 3.8% 106th Republican 51.3% 54.9% 3.6% 105th Republican 52.0% 55.4% 3.4% 104th Republican 52.9% 55.3% 2.4% 103rd Democrat 59.3% 61.2% 1.9% 102nd Democrat 61.4% 62.1% 0.7% 101st Democrat 59.8% 61.2% 1.4% 100th Democrat 59.3% 61.0% 1.7% 99th Democrat 58.2% 60.4% 2.2% 98th Democrat 61.8% 64.2% 2.4% Source: Data are from the official committee lists issued by the Clerk of the House. The Clerk’s lists used are the earliest available editions. Percentages are rounded. Data for the House chamber are based on a total of 435 Members. Note: The use of alternate sources and methodologies may yield different data. Congressional Research Service 7 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 2. House Committee Party Ratios 111th Congress (2009-2011) Distribution of Seats Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Total House Members 435 257 178 Total Committee Seats 869 525 342 Agriculture 46 28 18 10 Appropriations 60 37 23 14 Armed Services 62 37 25 12 Budget 39 24 15 9 Education and Labor 49 29 19 Energy and Commerce 59 36 23 13 Financial Services 71 42 29 13 Homeland Security 34 21 13 8 House Administration 9 6 3 3 Foreign Affairs 47 28 19 9 Judiciary 40 24 16 8 Natural Resources 49 28 20 Oversight and Government Reform 41 25 16 9 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science and Technology 44 27 17 10 Small Business 29 17 12 5 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 75 45 30 15 Veterans’ Affairs 29 18 11 7 Ways and Means 41 26 15 11 Permanent Select on Intelligence 22 13 9 4 79 2 183 Committee 1 1 10 8 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States with an Alphabetical List of the Members and their Committee Assignments, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, Prepared under the direction of Lorraine C. Miller, Clerk of the House of Representatives, February 11, 2009, (Washington: GPO, 2009). Data for total House Member numbers are from http://clerk.house.gov. Note: Note: If Independent Members caucus with the majority or the minority party, they are not so noted in the Clerk’s lists. One delegate, an Independent, is not included in the data for Total House Members. Congressional Research Service 8 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 3. House Committee Party Ratios 110th Congress (2007-2009) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 233 202 31 Total Committee Seats 878 487 391 96 Agriculture 46 25 21 4 Appropriations 66 37 29 8 Armed Services 62 34 28 6 Budget 39 22 17 5 Education and Labor 49 27 22 5 Energy and Commerce 57 31 26 5 Financial Services 70 37 33 4 Homeland Security 34 19 15 4 House Administration 9 6 3 3 Foreign Affairs 50 27 23 4 Judiciary 40 23 17 6 Natural Resources 49 27 22 5 Oversight and Government Reform 41 23 18 5 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science and Technology 44 24 20 4 Small Business 33 18 15 3 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 75 41 34 7 Veterans’ Affairs 29 16 13 3 Ways and Means 41 24 17 7 Permanent Select on Intelligence 21 12 9 3 Committee Source: List of Standing Committees Together with an Alphabetical List of the Members and their Committee S. Pub. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563. Table 6. House Committee Party Ratios 110th Congress (2007-2009)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

 

Total House Members

435

233

202

31

Total Committee Seats

878

487

391

96

Committee

       

Agriculture

46

25

21

4

Appropriations

66

37

29

8

Armed Services

62

34

28

6

Budget

39

22

17

5

Education and Labor

49

27

22

5

Energy and Commerce

57

31

26

5

Financial Services

70

37

33

4

Homeland Security

34

19

15

4

House Administration

9

6

3

3

Foreign Affairs

50

27

23

4

Judiciary

40

23

17

6

Natural Resources

49

27

22

5

Oversight and Government Reform

41

23

18

5

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science and Technology

44

24

20

4

Small Business

33

18

15

3

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

75

41

34

7

Veterans' Affairs

29

16

13

3

Ways and Means

41

24

17

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

21

12

9

3

Source: List of Standing Committees Together with an Alphabetical List of the Members and their Committee
Assignments of the House of Representatives of the United States, the One Hundred Tenth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Lorraine C. Miller, Clerk of the House of Representatives, March 6, 2007, (Washington: GPO, 2007). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress,111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 9 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 42009), p. 563. Table 7. House Committee Party Ratios 109th Congress (2005-2007) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (R) Minority (D) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 232 202 1 30 Total Committee Seats 878 487 389 2 98 Agriculture 46 25 21 4 Appropriations 66 37 29 8 Armed Services 62 34 28 6 Budget 39 22 17 5 Education and the Workforce 49 27 22 5 Energy and Commerce 57 31 26 5 Financial Services 70 37 32 1 5 Government Reform 41 23 17 1 6 Homeland Security 34 19 15 4 House Administration 9 6 3 3 International Relations 50 27 23 4 Judiciary 40 23 17 6 Resources 49 27 22 5 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science 44 24 20 4 Small Business 33 18 15 3 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 75 41 34 7 Veterans’ Affairs 29 16 13 3 Ways and Means 41 24 17 7 Permanent Select on Intelligence 21 12 9 3 Committee Source: Standing Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House of Representatives, March 16, 2005, (Washington: GPO, 2005). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 10 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 5. House Committee Party Ratios 108th Congress (2003-2005) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (R) Minority (D) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 229 204 1 25 Total Committee Seats 862 471 389 2 82 Agriculture 51 27 24 3 Appropriations 65 36 29 7 Armed Services 62 33 29 4 Budget 43 24 19 5 Education and the Workforce 49 27 22 5 Energy and Commerce 57 31 26 5 Financial Services 70 37 32 1 5 Government Reform 44 24 19 1 5 House Administration 9 6 3 3 International Relations 49 26 23 3 Judiciary 37 21 16 5 Resources 52 28 24 4 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science 47 25 22 3 Small Business 37 19 18 1 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 75 41 34 7 Veterans’ Affairs 31 17 14 3 Ways and Means 41 24 17 7 Permanent Select on Intelligence 20 11 9 2 Committee Source: Standing Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Compiled by Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Corrected to March 5, 2003, (Washington: GPO, 2003). Data on the Select Committee on Homeland Security are excluded because the panel was temporary in the 107th and 108th Congresses. Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 11 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 6. House Committee Party Ratios 107th Congress (2001-2003) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (R) Minority (D) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 221 212 2 9 Total Committee Seats 859 469 387 3 82 Agriculture 51 27 24 Appropriations 65 35 29 Armed Services 60 32 28 4 Budget 43 24 19 5 Education and the Workforce 49 27 22 5 Energy and Commerce 57 31 26 5 Financial Services 70 37 32 1 5 Government Reform 44 24 19 1 5 House Administration 9 6 3 3 International Relations 49 26 23 3 Judiciary 37 21 16 5 Resources 52 28 24 4 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science 47 25 22 3 Small Business 36 19 17 2 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 75 41 34 7 Veterans’ Affairs 31 17 14 3 Ways and Means 41 24 17 7 Permanent Select on Intelligence 20 11 9 2 Committee 3 1 6 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress with An Alphabetical List of the Members and Their 109th Congress (2005-2007)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

232

202

1

30

Total Committee Seats

878

487

389

2

98

Committee

         

Agriculture

46

25

21

 

4

Appropriations

66

37

29

 

8

Armed Services

62

34

28

 

6

Budget

39

22

17

 

5

Education and the Workforce

49

27

22

 

5

Energy and Commerce

57

31

26

 

5

Financial Services

70

37

32

1

5

Government Reform

41

23

17

1

6

Homeland Security

34

19

15

 

4

House Administration

9

6

3

 

3

International Relations

50

27

23

 

4

Judiciary

40

23

17

 

6

Resources

49

27

22

 

5

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science

44

24

20

 

4

Small Business

33

18

15

 

3

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

75

41

34

 

7

Veterans' Affairs

29

16

13

 

3

Ways and Means

41

24

17

 

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

21

12

9

 

3

Source: Standing Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House of Representatives, March 16, 2005 (Washington: GPO, 2005). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Note: The Committee on Homeland Security was added as a permanent standing committee in organizing the 109th Congress. See H.Res. 5, agreed to in the House Jan. 4, 2005.

Table 8. House Committee Party Ratios 108th Congress (2003-2005)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

229

204

1

25

Total Committee Seats

862

471

389

2

82

Committee

         

Agriculture

51

27

24

 

3

Appropriations

65

36

29

 

7

Armed Services

62

33

29

 

4

Budget

43

24

19

 

5

Education and the Workforce

49

27

22

 

5

Energy and Commerce

57

31

26

 

5

Financial Services

70

37

32

1

5

Government Reform

44

24

19

1

5

House Administration

9

6

3

 

3

International Relations

49

26

23

 

3

Judiciary

37

21

16

 

5

Resources

52

28

24

 

4

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science

47

25

22

 

3

Small Business

37

19

18

 

1

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

75

41

34

 

7

Veterans' Affairs

31

17

14

 

3

Ways and Means

41

24

17

 

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

20

11

9

 

2

Source: Standing Committees of the House of Representatives of the United States, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Compiled by Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Corrected to March 5, 2003 (Washington: GPO, 2003). Data on the Select Committee on Homeland Security are excluded because the panel was temporary in the 108th Congress. Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 9. House Committee Party Ratios 107th Congress (2001-2003)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

221

212

2

9

Total Committee Seats

859

469

387

3

82

Committee

         

Agriculture

51

27

24

 

3

Appropriations

65

35

29

1

6

Armed Services

60

32

28

 

4

Budget

43

24

19

 

5

Education and the Workforce

49

27

22

 

5

Energy and Commerce

57

31

26

 

5

Financial Services

70

37

32

1

5

Government Reform

44

24

19

1

5

House Administration

9

6

3

 

3

International Relations

49

26

23

 

3

Judiciary

37

21

16

 

5

Resources

52

28

24

 

4

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science

47

25

22

 

3

Small Business

36

19

17

 

2

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

75

41

34

 

7

Veterans' Affairs

31

17

14

 

3

Ways and Means

41

24

17

 

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

20

11

9

 

2

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress with An Alphabetical List of the Members and Their
Committee Assignments, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Prepared under the direction of Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House of Representatives, June 28, 2001, (Washington: GPO, 2001). Data on the Select Committee on Homeland Security are excluded because the panel was temporary in the 107th107th Congress. Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 12 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 7111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563. Table 10. House Committee Party Ratios 106th Congress (1999-2001) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (R) Minority (D) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 223 211 1 12 Total Committee Seats 835 458 375 2 83 Agriculture 51 27 24 3 Appropriations 61 34 27 7 Armed Services 60 32 28 4 Banking and Financial Services 60 32 27 Budget 43 24 19 5 Commerce 53 29 24 5 Education and the Workforce 49 27 22 5 Government Reform 44 24 19 House Administration 9 6 3 3 International Relations 49 26 23 3 Judiciary 37 21 16 5 Resources 52 28 24 4 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science 47 25 22 3 Small Business 36 19 17 2 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 75 41 34 7 Veterans’ Affairs 31 17 14 3 Ways and Means 39 23 16 7 Permanent Select on Intelligence 16 9 7 2 Committee 1 1 5 5 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress with An Alphabetical List of the Members and Their 106th Congress (1999-2001)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

223

211

1

12

Total Committee Seats

835

458

375

2

83

Committee

         

Agriculture

51

27

24

 

3

Appropriations

61

34

27

 

7

Armed Services

60

32

28

 

4

Banking and Financial Services

60

32

27

1

5

Budget

43

24

19

 

5

Commerce

53

29

24

 

5

Education and the Workforce

49

27

22

 

5

Government Reform

44

24

19

1

5

House Administration

9

6

3

 

3

International Relations

49

26

23

 

3

Judiciary

37

21

16

 

5

Resources

52

28

24

 

4

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science

47

25

22

 

3

Small Business

36

19

17

 

2

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

75

41

34

 

7

Veterans' Affairs

31

17

14

 

3

Ways and Means

39

23

16

 

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

16

9

7

 

2

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress with An Alphabetical List of the Members and Their
Committee Assignments, One Hundred Sixth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House of Representatives, March 4, 1999, (Washington: GPO, 1999). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 110th111th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 13 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 82009), p. 563. Table 11. House Committee Party Ratios 105th Congress (1997-1999) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (R) Minority (D) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 226 207 2 19 Total Committee Seats 816 452 362 2 90 Agriculture 50 27 23 4 Appropriations 60 34 26 8 Banking and Financial Services 58 31 26 Budget 43 24 19 5 Commerce 51 28 23 5 Education and the Workforce 45 25 20 5 Government Reform and Oversight 44 24 19 House Oversight 9 6 3 3 International Relations 48 26 22 5 Judiciary 35 20 15 5 National Security 57 31 26 5 Resources 50 27 23 4 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science 46 25 21 4 Small Business 35 19 16 3 Standards of Official Conduct 14 7 7 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 73 40 33 7 Veterans’ Affairs 30 17 13 4 Ways and Means 39 23 16 7 Permanent Select on Intelligence 16 9 7 2 Committee 1 1 5 5 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives 105th Congress (1997-1999)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

226

207

2

19

Total Committee Seats

816

452

362

2

90

Committee

         

Agriculture

50

27

23

 

4

Appropriations

60

34

26

 

8

Banking and Financial Services

58

31

26

1

5

Budget

43

24

19

 

5

Commerce

51

28

23

 

5

Education and the Workforce

45

25

20

 

5

Government Reform and Oversight

44

24

19

1

5

House Oversight

9

6

3

 

3

International Relations

48

26

22

 

5

Judiciary

35

20

15

 

5

National Security

57

31

26

 

5

Resources

50

27

23

 

4

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science

46

25

21

 

4

Small Business

35

19

16

 

3

Standards of Official Conduct

14

7

7

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

73

40

33

 

7

Veterans' Affairs

30

17

13

 

4

Ways and Means

39

23

16

 

7

Permanent Select on Intelligence

16

9

7

 

2

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives
of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, One Hundred Fifth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Robin H. Carle, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Aug. 4, 1997, (Washington: GPO, 1997). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress,111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 14 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 92009), p. 563. Table 12. House Committee Party Ratios 104th Congress (1995-1997) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (R) Minority (D) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 230 204 1 26 Total Committee Seats 786 435 348 3 87 Agriculture 49 27 22 5 Appropriations 56 32 24 8 Banking and Financial Services 50 27 22 Budget 42 24 18 6 Commerce 46 25 21 4 Economic and Educational Opportunities 43 24 19 5 Government Reform and Oversight 50 27 22 House Oversight 12 7 5 International Relations 43 23 19 Judiciary 35 20 15 5 National Security 55 30 25 5 Resources 45 25 20 5 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science 50 27 23 4 Small Business 41 22 19 3 Standards of Official Conduct 10 5 5 0 Transportation and Infrastructure 61 33 28 5 Veterans’ Affairs 33 18 15 3 Ways and Means 36 21 15 6 Permanent Select on Intelligence 16 9 7 2 Committee 1 1 5 5 2 1 4 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives 104th Congress (1995-1997)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (R)

Minority (D)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

230

204

1

26

Total Committee Seats

786

435

348

3

87

Committee

         

Agriculture

49

27

22

 

5

Appropriations

56

32

24

 

8

Banking and Financial Services

50

27

22

1

5

Budget

42

24

18

 

6

Commerce

46

25

21

 

4

Economic and Educational Opportunities

43

24

19

 

5

Government Reform and Oversight

50

27

22

1

5

House Oversight

12

7

5

 

2

International Relations

43

23

19

1

4

Judiciary

35

20

15

 

5

National Security

55

30

25

 

5

Resources

45

25

20

 

5

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science

50

27

23

 

4

Small Business

41

22

19

 

3

Standards of Official Conduct

10

5

5

 

0

Transportation and Infrastructure

61

33

28

 

5

Veterans' Affairs

33

18

15

 

3

Ways and Means

36

21

15

 

6

Permanent Select on Intelligence

16

9

7

 

2

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives
of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, One Hundred Fourth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Robin H. Carle, Clerk of the House of Representatives, March 22, 1995, (Washington: GPO, 1995). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress,111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 15 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 10. House Committee Party Ratios 103rd Congress (1993-1995) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 258 176 1 82 Total Committee Seats 889 544 343 2 201 Agriculture 45 27 18 9 Appropriations 60 37 23 14 Armed Services 56 34 22 12 Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 51 30 20 Budget 43 26 17 9 District of Columbia 12 8 4 4 Education and Labor 42 27 15 12 Energy and Commerce 44 27 17 10 Foreign Affairs 45 27 18 9 Government Operations 42 25 16 House Administration 19 12 7 5 Judiciary 35 21 14 7 Merchant Marine and Fisheries 46 28 18 10 Natural Resources 43 28 15 13 Post Office and Civil Service 24 15 9 6 Public Works and Transportation 63 39 24 15 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science, Space and Technology 55 33 22 11 Small Business 45 27 18 9 Standards of Official Conduct 14 7 7 0 Veterans’ Affairs 35 21 14 7 Ways and Means 38 24 14 10 Permanent Select on Intelligence 19 12 7 5 Committee 1 1 10 9 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives 2009), p. 563.

Note: In adopting the rules for the 104th Congress, the House eliminated three standing committees: District of Columbia, Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and Post Office and Civil Service. See H.Res. 6, agreed to in the House Jan. 4, 1995.

Table 13. House Committee Party Ratios 103rd Congress (1993-1995)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin  

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

258

176

1

82

Total Committee Seats

889

544

343

2

201

Committee

         

Agriculture

45

27

18

 

9

Appropriations

60

37

23

 

14

Armed Services

56

34

22

 

12

Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

51

30

20

1

10

Budget

43

26

17

 

9

District of Columbia

12

8

4

 

4

Education and Labor

42

27

15

 

12

Energy and Commerce

44

27

17

 

10

Foreign Affairs

45

27

18

 

9

Government Operations

42

25

16

1

9

House Administration

19

12

7

 

5

Judiciary

35

21

14

 

7

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

46

28

18

 

10

Natural Resources

43

28

15

 

13

Post Office and Civil Service

24

15

9

 

6

Public Works and Transportation

63

39

24

 

15

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science, Space and Technology

55

33

22

 

11

Small Business

45

27

18

 

9

Standards of Official Conduct

14

7

7

 

0

Veterans' Affairs

35

21

14

 

7

Ways and Means

38

24

14

 

10

Permanent Select on Intelligence

19

12

7

 

5

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives
of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, One Hundred Third Congress, Prepared under the direction of Donnald K. Anderson, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Feb. 25, 1993, (Washington: GPO, 1993). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress,111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 16 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 112009), p. 563. Table 14. House Committee Party Ratios 102nd Congress (1991-1993) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Indp. Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 267 167 1 100 Total Committee Seats 870 540 328 2 212 Agriculture 45 27 18 9 Appropriations 59 37 22 15 Armed Services 55 33 22 11 Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 52 31 20 Budget 37 23 14 9 District of Columbia 12 8 4 4 Education and Labor 39 25 14 11 Energy and Commerce 43 27 16 11 Foreign Affairs 46 28 18 10 Government Operations 41 25 15 House Administration 24 15 9 6 Interior and Insular Affairs 46 29 17 12 Judiciary 34 21 13 8 Merchant Marine and Fisheries 46 29 17 12 Post Office and Civil Service 23 15 8 7 Public Works and Transportation 57 36 21 15 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science, Space and Technology 51 32 19 13 Small Business 44 27 17 10 Standards of Official Conduct 14 7 7 0 Veterans’ Affairs 34 21 13 8 Ways and Means 36 23 13 10 Permanent Select on Intelligence 19 12 7 5 Committee 1 1 11 10 Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives 102nd Congress (1991-1993)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

Indp.

 

Total House Members

435

267

167

1

100

Total Committee Seats

870

540

328

2

212

Committee

         

Agriculture

45

27

18

 

9

Appropriations

59

37

22

 

15

Armed Services

55

33

22

 

11

Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

52

31

20

1

11

Budget

37

23

14

 

9

District of Columbia

12

8

4

 

4

Education and Labor

39

25

14

 

11

Energy and Commerce

43

27

16

 

11

Foreign Affairs

46

28

18

 

10

Government Operations

41

25

15

1

10

House Administration

24

15

9

 

6

Interior and Insular Affairs

46

29

17

 

12

Judiciary

34

21

13

 

8

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

46

29

17

 

12

Post Office and Civil Service

23

15

8

 

7

Public Works and Transportation

57

36

21

 

15

Rules

13

9

4

 

5

Science, Space and Technology

51

32

19

 

13

Small Business

44

27

17

 

10

Standards of Official Conduct

14

7

7

 

0

Veterans' Affairs

34

21

13

 

8

Ways and Means

36

23

13

 

10

Permanent Select on Intelligence

19

12

7

 

5

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives
of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, One Hundred Second Congress, Prepared under the direction of Donnald K. Anderson, Clerk of the House of Representatives, March 25, 1991, (Washington: GPO, 1991). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 110th111th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 17 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 122009), p. 563. Table 15. House Committee Party Ratios 101st Congress (1989-1991) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 260 175 85 Total Committee Seats 842 515 327 188 Agriculture 45 27 18 9 Appropriations 57 35 22 13 Armed Services 54 32 22 10 Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 51 31 20 11 Budget 35 21 14 7 District of Columbia 12 8 4 4 Education and Labor 35 22 13 9 Energy and Commerce 43 26 17 9 Foreign Affairs 47 28 19 9 Government Operations 39 24 15 9 House Administration 21 13 8 5 Interior and Insular Affairs 41 26 15 11 Judiciary 35 21 14 7 Merchant Marine and Fisheries 45 27 18 9 Post Office and Civil Service 24 15 9 6 Public Works and Transportation 51 31 20 11 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science, Space and Technology 49 30 19 11 Small Business 44 27 17 10 Standards of Official Conduct 12 6 6 0 Veterans’ Affairs 34 21 13 8 Ways and Means 36 23 13 10 Permanent Select on Intelligence 19 12 7 5 Committee Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives 101st Congress (1989-1991)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

 

Total House Members

435

260

175

85

Total Committee Seats

842

515

327

188

Committee

       

Agriculture

45

27

18

9

Appropriations

57

35

22

13

Armed Services

54

32

22

10

Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

51

31

20

11

Budget

35

21

14

7

District of Columbia

12

8

4

4

Education and Labor

35

22

13

9

Energy and Commerce

43

26

17

9

Foreign Affairs

47

28

19

9

Government Operations

39

24

15

9

House Administration

21

13

8

5

Interior and Insular Affairs

41

26

15

11

Judiciary

35

21

14

7

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

45

27

18

9

Post Office and Civil Service

24

15

9

6

Public Works and Transportation

51

31

20

11

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science, Space and Technology

49

30

19

11

Small Business

44

27

17

10

Standards of Official Conduct

12

6

6

0

Veterans' Affairs

34

21

13

8

Ways and Means

36

23

13

10

Permanent Select on Intelligence

19

12

7

5

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives
of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, One Hundred First Congress, Prepared under the direction of Donnald K. Anderson, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Jan. 23, 1989, (Washington: GPO, 1989). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress,111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 18 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 132009), p. 563. Table 16. House Committee Party Ratios 100th Congress (1987-1989) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 258 177 81 Total Committee Seats 824 503 321 182 Agriculture 43 26 17 9 Appropriations 57 35 22 13 Armed Services 52 31 21 10 Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 51 31 20 11 Budget 35 21 14 7 District of Columbia 12 8 4 4 Education and Labor 34 21 13 8 Energy and Commerce 42 25 17 8 Foreign Affairs 45 27 18 9 Government Operations 41 24 17 7 House Administration 19 12 7 5 Interior and Insular Affairs 41 26 15 11 Judiciary 35 21 14 7 Merchant Marine and Fisheries 42 25 17 8 Post Office and Civil Service 22 14 8 6 Public Works and Transportation 52 32 20 12 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science, Space and Technology 45 27 18 9 Small Business 44 27 17 10 Standards of Official Conduct 12 6 6 0 Veterans’ Affairs 34 21 13 8 Ways and Means 36 23 13 10 Permanent Select on Intelligence 17 11 6 5 Committee Source: Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the 100th Congress (1987-1989)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

 

Total House Members

435

258

177

81

Total Committee Seats

824

503

321

182

Committee

       

Agriculture

43

26

17

9

Appropriations

57

35

22

13

Armed Services

52

31

21

10

Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

51

31

20

11

Budget

35

21

14

7

District of Columbia

12

8

4

4

Education and Labor

34

21

13

8

Energy and Commerce

42

25

17

8

Foreign Affairs

45

27

18

9

Government Operations

41

24

17

7

House Administration

19

12

7

5

Interior and Insular Affairs

41

26

15

11

Judiciary

35

21

14

7

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

42

25

17

8

Post Office and Civil Service

22

14

8

6

Public Works and Transportation

52

32

20

12

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science, Space and Technology

45

27

18

9

Small Business

44

27

17

10

Standards of Official Conduct

12

6

6

0

Veterans' Affairs

34

21

13

8

Ways and Means

36

23

13

10

Permanent Select on Intelligence

17

11

6

5

Source: Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the
United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, One Hundredth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Donnald K. Anderson, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Corrected to Feb. 19, 1987, (Washington: GPO, 1987). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 110th111th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 19 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 142009), p. 563. Table 17. House Committee Party Ratios 99th Congress (1985-1987) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 253 182 71 Total Committee Seats 797 481 316 165 Agriculture 43 26 17 9 Appropriations 57 35 22 13 Armed Services 47 27 20 7 Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 49 30 19 11 Budget 33 20 13 7 District of Columbia 12 8 4 4 Education and Labor 32 19 13 6 Energy and Commerce 42 25 17 8 Foreign Affairs 42 25 17 8 Government Operations 39 23 16 7 House Administration 19 12 7 5 Interior and Insular Affairs 41 25 16 9 Judiciary 35 21 14 7 Merchant Marine and Fisheries 42 25 17 8 Post Office and Civil Service 22 14 8 6 Public Works and Transportation 48 29 19 10 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science and Technology 41 24 17 7 Small Business 42 25 17 8 Standards of Official Conduct 12 6 6 0 Veterans’ Affairs 34 20 14 6 Ways and Means 36 23 13 10 Permanent Select on Intelligence 16 10 6 4 Committee Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives 99th Congress (1985-1987)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

 

Total House Members

435

253

182

71

Total Committee Seats

797

481

316

165

Committee

       

Agriculture

43

26

17

9

Appropriations

57

35

22

13

Armed Services

47

27

20

7

Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

49

30

19

11

Budget

33

20

13

7

District of Columbia

12

8

4

4

Education and Labor

32

19

13

6

Energy and Commerce

42

25

17

8

Foreign Affairs

42

25

17

8

Government Operations

39

23

16

7

House Administration

19

12

7

5

Interior and Insular Affairs

41

25

16

9

Judiciary

35

21

14

7

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

42

25

17

8

Post Office and Civil Service

22

14

8

6

Public Works and Transportation

48

29

19

10

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science and Technology

41

24

17

7

Small Business

42

25

17

8

Standards of Official Conduct

12

6

6

0

Veterans' Affairs

34

20

14

6

Ways and Means

36

23

13

10

Permanent Select on Intelligence

16

10

6

4

Source: List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives
of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, Ninety-Ninth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Benjamin J. Guthrie, Clerk of the House of Representatives, April 25, 1985, (Washington: GPO, 1985). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress,111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 20 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Table 152009), p. 563. Table 18. House Committee Party Ratios 98th Congress (1983-1985) Distribution of Seats Total Majority (D) Minority (R) Majority-Minority Seat Margin Total House Members 435 269 166 103 Total Committee Seats 779 500 279 221 Agriculture 41 26 15 11 Appropriations 57 36 21 15 Armed Services 45 29 16 13 Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs 47 30 17 13 Budget 31 20 11 9 District of Columbia 12 8 4 4 Education and Labor 32 21 11 10 Energy and Commerce 42 27 15 12 Foreign Affairs 37 24 13 11 Government Operations 39 25 14 11 House Administration 19 12 7 5 Interior and Insular Affairs 42 28 14 14 Judiciary 31 20 11 9 Merchant Marine and Fisheries 40 26 14 12 Post Office and Civil Service 25 16 9 7 Public Works and Transportation 50 32 18 14 Rules 13 9 4 5 Science and Technology 41 26 15 11 Small Business 41 26 15 11 Standards of Official Conduct 12 6 6 0 Veterans’ Affairs 33 21 12 9 Ways and Means 35 23 12 11 Permanent Select on Intelligence 14 9 5 4 Committee Source: Source for data is List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, Ninety-Eighth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Benjamin J. Guthrie, Clerk of the House of Representatives, May 2, 1983, (Washington: GPO, 1983). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 110-13, 2007-2008 Official Congressional Directory, 110th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2007), p. 553. Congressional Research Service 21 House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-111th Congresses Author Contact Information Lorraine H. Tong Analyst in American National Government ltong@crs.loc.gov, 7-5846 Acknowledgments The author wishes to thank Julius C. Jefferson Jr. for his assistance. Congressional Research Service 22 98th Congress (1983-1985)  

Distribution of Seats

Majority-Minority Seat Margin

 

Total

Majority (D)

Minority (R)

 

Total House Members

435

269

166

103

Total Committee Seats

779

500

279

221

Committee

       

Agriculture

41

26

15

11

Appropriations

57

36

21

15

Armed Services

45

29

16

13

Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

47

30

17

13

Budget

31

20

11

9

District of Columbia

12

8

4

4

Education and Labor

32

21

11

10

Energy and Commerce

42

27

15

12

Foreign Affairs

37

24

13

11

Government Operations

39

25

14

11

House Administration

19

12

7

5

Interior and Insular Affairs

42

28

14

14

Judiciary

31

20

11

9

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

40

26

14

12

Post Office and Civil Service

25

16

9

7

Public Works and Transportation

50

32

18

14

Rules

13

9

4

5

Science and Technology

41

26

15

11

Small Business

41

26

15

11

Standards of Official Conduct

12

6

6

0

Veterans' Affairs

33

21

12

9

Ways and Means

35

23

12

11

Permanent Select on Intelligence

14

9

5

4

Source: Source for data is List of Standing Committees and Select Committees and Their Subcommittees of the House of Representatives of the United States Together with Joint Committees of the Congress, Ninety-Eighth Congress, Prepared under the direction of Benjamin J. Guthrie, Clerk of the House of Representatives, May 2, 1983 (Washington: GPO, 1983). Data for total House Member numbers are from S. Pub. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Author Contact Information

Matthew Eric Glassman, Analyst on the Congress ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
[author name scrubbed], Analyst in American National Government ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

Lorraine Tong was the original author of this report. The listed authors have updated the report and are available to respond to questions related to House/Senate committee party ratios.

The authors wish to thank Julius C. Jefferson Jr., Knowledge Services Group, for his assistance.

Footnotes

1.

Party rules might state a party's position on the matter. For example, Rules of the Democratic Caucus for the One Hundred Twelfth Congress, adopted November 18, 2010, retained a long-standing provision in Rule 12: "The Democratic Leadership shall work to ensure that committee ratios are at least as representative of the number of Democrats in the House and that each panel include the greatest number of Democrats possible."

2.

The Clerk's lists used in this study are the earliest available editions. Sources and their issuance dates are shown for each table.

3.

Independent Members are listed separately, consistent with the Clerk's committee lists.

4.

S. Pub. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress, (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563. For each Congress, the total party division numbers reflect party strength after the November elections; however, they do not reflect changes after the beginning of the Congress. Reported numbers reflect initial figures in the Clerk's committee lists cited at the end of each table, and will only be updated to reflect corrected clerical anomalies.

5.

The Clerk of the House website is available at http://clerk.house.gov.

6.

Under House Rule III, the Delegates and Resident Commissioner have the same powers and privileges in committees on which they serve as do Members of the House. They have the right to vote in committees on which they serve, accrue seniority, and be appointed to select and conference committees.

7.

For the 114th Congress, data were not available immediately following the November 2014 elections. The data used for the 114th Congress were from the Clerk's committee list made available November 5, 2015.