House Committee Party Ratios: 98th-114th Congresses

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

December 7, 2015 (R40478)
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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 Committee
Seats

% 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 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 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 7. House Committee Party Ratios 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 107th 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 10. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 11. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 12. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 14. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 15. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 16. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 17. House Committee Party Ratios 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. 111-14, 2009-2010 Official Congressional Directory, 111th Congress (Washington: GPO, 2009), p. 563.

Table 18. House Committee Party Ratios 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.