House of Representatives Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2016

The manner in which staff are deployed within an organization may reflect the mission and priorities of that organization. This report provides staffing levels in House Member, committee, leadership, and other offices since 1977. Between 1977 and 2016, the number of House staff grew from 8,831 to 9,420, or 6.67%. Since 2008, however, the number of staff working for the House of Representatives has decreased 5.84%. These changes were characterized in part by increases in the number of staff working in chamber leadership offices, and larger increases in the staffing of chamber officers and officials. House staff working for Members have shifted from committee settings to the personal offices of Members. Some of these changes may be indicative of the growth of the House as an institution.

This report is one of several CRS products focusing on congressional staff. Others include CRS Report RL34545, Congressional Staff: Duties and Functions of Selected Positions; CRS Report R43946, Senate Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2016; CRS Report R43774, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices, FY2009-FY2013; CRS Report R43775, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2009-2013; CRS Report R44322, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2014; CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014.

House of Representatives Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2016

September 13, 2016 (R43947)
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Summary

The manner in which staff are deployed within an organization may reflect the mission and priorities of that organization. This report provides staffing levels in House Member, committee, leadership, and other offices since 1977. Between 1977 and 2016, the number of House staff grew from 8,831 to 9,420, or 6.67%. Since 2008, however, the number of staff working for the House of Representatives has decreased 5.84%. These changes were characterized in part by increases in the number of staff working in chamber leadership offices, and larger increases in the staffing of chamber officers and officials. House staff working for Members have shifted from committee settings to the personal offices of Members. Some of these changes may be indicative of the growth of the House as an institution.

This report is one of several CRS products focusing on congressional staff. Others include CRS Report RL34545, Congressional Staff: Duties and Functions of Selected Positions; CRS Report R43946, Senate Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2016; CRS Report R43774, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators' Offices, FY2009-FY2013; CRS Report R43775, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Member Offices, 2009-2013; CRS Report R44322, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in House Committees, 2001-2014; CRS Report R44325, Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senate Committees, FY2001-FY2014.


House of Representatives Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2016

The manner in which staff are deployed within an organization may reflect the mission and priorities of that organization.

In the House of Representatives, employing authorities hire staff to carry out duties in Member-office, committee, leadership, and other settings. The extent to which staff in those settings change may lend insight into the work of the House over time. Some of the insights that might be taken from staff levels include

  • an understanding of the division of congressional work between Members working individually through their personal offices, or collectively, through committee activities;
  • the relationship between committee leaders and chamber leaders, which could have implications for the development and consideration of legislation, the use of congressional oversight, or deployment of staff; and the extent to which specialized chamber administrative operations have grown over time.

This report provides staffing levels in House Member,1 committee, leadership, and other offices since 1977. No House publication appears to officially and authoritatively track the actual number of staff working in the chambers by office or entity. Data presented here are based on staff listed by chamber entity (offices of Members, committees, leaders, officers, officials, and other entities) in telephone directories published by the House.

Table 1 in the "Data Tables" section below provides data for staff listed in House directories through 2016. Data for House staff listed as joint committee employees on panels that met in the 114th Congress (2015-2016) are provided in Table 7.2

This report provides data based on a count of staff listed in House telephone directories published since 1977. Like most sources of data, telephone directory listings have potential benefits and potential drawbacks. Telephone directories were chosen for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • telephone directories published by the House are an official source of information about that institution, and are widely available;
  • presumably, the number of directory listings closely approximates the number of staff working for the House;3
  • while arguably not their intended purpose, the directories provide a consistent breakdown of House staff by internal organization at a particular moment in time; and
  • the directories afford the opportunity to compare staff levels at similar moments across a period of decades.4

At the same time, however, data presented below should be interpreted with care for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • There is no way to determine whether all staff working for the House are listed in the chamber's telephone directories. If some staff are not listed, relying on telephone directories is likely to lead to an undercount of staff.
  • It is not possible to determine if those staff who are listed were actually employed by the House at the time the directories were published. If the directories list individuals who are no longer employed by the House, then relying on them is likely to lead to an overcount of staff.
  • The extent to which the criteria for inclusion in the directories for the House have changed over time cannot be fully determined. Some editions of the House's directories do not always list staff in various entities the same way.5 This may raise questions regarding the reliability of telephone directory data as a means for identifying congressional staff levels within the House over time.
  • Some House staff may have more than one telephone number, or be listed in the directory under more than one entity.6 As a consequence, they might be counted more than once. This could lead to a more accurate count of staff in specific entities within the House, but multiple listings may also lead to an overcount of staff working in the chamber.
  • Chamber directories may reflect different organizational arrangements over time for some entities. This could lead to counting staff doing similar work in both years in different categories,7 or in different offices.8
  • A random sample of House Member offices used to develop an estimate of Member office staff working in Washington, DC, and discussed in greater detail below, may or may not be representative of the entire population of House Member offices. The extent to which the sample is representative of the population from which it is drawn will determine the accuracy of the estimated data for House Member offices. While it is unlikely that a full count would yield significantly different results, it is a possibility.

House Staffing

House Data Collection

House staff data were developed based on an estimate of staff working in Member offices, and a full count of staff listed in all non-Member congressional offices listed in each House telephone directory.9 In some years, the House published two directories. When that happened, data were taken from the earlier publication.

A full count of House Member office would have exceeded available resources, and unlikely to yield a significantly different result than that which would result from a count of staff working in a random sampling of Members' offices. Since 1975, the House has limited the number of full-time staff working in a Member's office to 18 permanent employees; in 1979 up to four FTEs who may work part time were authorized.10 As a consequence, among all congressional entities, House Member office staffing is the least likely to show a high degree of variability. For each year, a random sample of 45 Member offices was drawn in proportion to the distribution of Member offices in the Cannon, Longworth, and Rayburn House office buildings in 2014. Staff telephone data from those offices were counted and assumed to be in Washington, DC, if they were listed as working in the Cannon, Longworth, or Rayburn buildings, and outside of Washington, DC, if they were not.11 The average number of staff working in Washington, DC, and in district offices was computed. Those data were multiplied by the number of Member offices12 to derive an estimate of the number of staff employed in personal offices who work in House Member offices. Table 2 in the "Data Tables" section below provides the computed averages from the sample data and the estimated House Member staff working in Washington, DC, and district offices.

Committee data are based on a full count of all telephone directory listings for House standing, special, and select committees as described in individual directory listings. The data also include associate staff of the Committees on the Budget, Rules, and Ways and Means, and joint committee staff housed in House facilities. In the "Data Tables" section below, four tables provide staff levels in various House committees. Joint committee staff data from the House for panels that met in the 114th Congress (2015-2016) are available in Table 7.

Data for leadership offices include a full count of staff working for Members in leadership positions. In 2016, these listings included the following: Speaker, Majority Leader, Majority Whip, Chief Deputy Majority Whip, Minority Leader, Minority Whip, Assistant Minority Leader, Senior Chief Deputy Minority Whip, and Democratic and Republican Cloakrooms. Other leadership positions included House Republican Conference, House Republican Policy Committee, House Republican Study Committee, House Democratic Caucus, and House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

Data for chamber officers and other House officials include a full count of staff working for House officers and officials. In 2016, House officers included the Clerk, Sergeant at Arms, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chaplain. Officials included staff in the offices of Parliamentarian, Interparliamentary Affairs, Law Revision Counsel, Legislative Counsel, General Counsel, Inspector General, Emergency Preparedness and Planning Operations, and House Historian.

Commissions data comprise the smallest category of House data, and are based on a full count of those entities. In 2016, commissions data included staff working for the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards (commonly known as the Franking Commission); the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (typically referred to as the Helsinki Commission); the Congressional-Executive Commission on the People's Republic of China; and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (successor to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus).

House Staff Data

Between 1977 and 2016, the number of House staff grew from 8,831 to 9,420 or 6.67%. Staffing levels have ranged from a low of 8,831 in 1977 to a peak of 10,004 in 2008. The number of House staff has grown by an average of 15 individuals annually,13 or 0.22%. Change in House staff has been characterized by slight, but steady growth in two periods (1977-1994, 12.01%; and 1996-2011, 14.89%), separated by a brief period of sharp decline (1994-1996, -12.13%), and ending with another decrease (2011-2016, -5.67%).

Figure 1 displays staff levels in five categories since 1977. These categories include staff working in the offices of

  • Members,
  • committees,
  • leadership,
  • officers and officials, and
  • commissions.

Figure 3 displays change in the distribution of staff among the categories over the same time period. Table 1, in the "Data Tables" section below, provides detailed staff levels in those categories.

Figure 1. House Staff Levels by Category, 1977-2016

Source: House telephone directories, CRS estimates and calculations.

Notes: House Member office data is an estimate developed from a sample of 45 Member offices for each year, multiplied by the number of Member offices. All other categories are based on a full count of directory listings.

House Member Offices

Staff levels in House Member offices have grown from 6,556 in 1977 to 6,880 in 2016, or 4.94%. The level of staffing grew steadily from 1977 until peaking at 7,284 in 1994, and falling 10.74%, to 6,502, in 1995. Member staff increased between 1997 and 2011 in an uneven, but generally upward pattern before reaching its highest level, 7,360, in 2009. Since 2009, Member staff have decreased to 6,880, an 6.52% decline.

Figure 2 displays the distribution of House Member staff between Washington, DC, and district offices since 1977, and the average number of staff working in a Member office at various times. From 1977 until 1994, more staff worked in Washington, DC, than in field offices. Throughout that period, however, the number of staff assigned to district offices steadily grew while Washington, DC-based staff declined in an uneven, but generally downward pattern. Since 1994, staff have been relatively evenly distributed between Washington, DC, facilities and district offices. The number of staff working in Members' offices reflects both the relatively modest overall growth of Member staff since 1977, and the changing distribution of staff from Washington, DC, to district office settings. Table 2 in the "Data Tables" section below provides the estimated House Member staff working in Washington, DC, and district offices since 1977.

Figure 2. Distribution of House Member Office Staff Since 1977

Source: House telephone directories, various years, CRS calculations.

Notes: House Member office data is an estimate developed from a sample of 45 Member offices for each year, multiplied by the number of Member offices.

House Member staff comprise approximately three-quarters of all House staff. This proportion of overall staffing has been relatively steady since 1977. Figure 3 provides staff levels and distributions among categories of offices from 1977 to 2016.

Committees

Committee staff levels have shown the greatest decline among House staff categories, decreasing 31.36% since 1977. Change among House committee staff was characterized by a moderate decline in 1977-1981 (-9.04%), steady growth from 1981 until 1992 (29.83%), a period of sharp decline in 1992-1997 (-42.81%), a period of slow, unsteady growth from 1997 to 2010 (18.09%), and another sharp decline from 2010 to present (13.93%). The 2016 level of 1,298 is 593 (-31.36%) fewer than 1977 levels, and 935 (-41.87%) fewer than the 1992 peak of 2,233 staff.

Since 1977, committee staff have comprised a decreasing proportion of House staff, falling from 21.41% of House staff in 1977 to 13.78% in 2016.

In the "Data Tables" section below, four tables provide staff levels in various House committees. Table 3 provides House committee data for 2007-2016; data for 1997-2006 are available in Table 4. Table 5 provides data for 1987-1996; and data for 1977-1986 are available in Table 6. Totals for each year, which include joint committee staff listed in the House directory found in Table 7, are presented in Table 1.

Leadership Offices

The actual number of staff in House leadership offices grew from 62 in 1977 to 239 in 2016, peaking in 2011 at 241. This growth was relatively steady over time. As a proportion of House staff, leadership employees comprised 0.70% in 1977, and 2.54% in 2016.

Officers and Officials

Staff working in the offices of House officers and officials has grown 254.98% since 1977. Staff levels grew steadily from 1977 to 1991, and then showed a one-year drop of 33.15%, from 537 in 1992 to 359 in 1993. In 1994, staff levels returned to a level similar to 1992, and increased again in 1995 to 818, a one-year increase of 57.01%. After dropping to 704 in 1996, levels began a steady increase to a peak of 1,056 in 2008, an increase of 50.00%, before falling 8.90% to 962 by 2016.

As a proportion of House staff, officers and officials staff grew from 3.07% in 1977 to 10.21% in 2016.

Commissions

Congressional commission staff levels are essentially flat, and have ranged from a high of 51 in 1977 to a low of 19 in a number of years, most recently in 2001. In 2016, 41 staff worked for congressional commissions.14

Congressional commissions have consistently comprised less than one-half of one percent of all House staff.

Figure 3. Percentage of House Staff in Each Category Since 1977

Source: House telephone directories, CRS estimates and calculations.

Notes: House Member office data is an estimate developed from a sample of 45 Member offices for each year, multiplied by the number of Member offices. All other categories are based on a full count of directory listings.

Discussion

Since 1977, the number of staff working for the House has grown, though there has been a decrease in recent years. Overall, there have been increases in the number of staff working in chamber leadership offices, and larger increases in the staffing of chamber officers and officials. Staff have shifted from committee settings to leadership settings or the personal offices of Members. Some of these changes may be indicative of the growth of the House as an institution, or the value the chamber places on its various activities.

One example that may be an indication of institutional development arguably is found in the growth of the number and percentage of staff working in leadership and officers and officials offices, even though that growth has slowed recently. A potential explanation for these changes may be found in what some might characterize as an ongoing professionalization and institutionalization of congressional management and administration. Some note that as organizations such as governing institutions develop, they identify needs for expertise and develop specialized practices and processes.15 In Congress, some of those areas of specialization arguably include supporting the legislative process through the drafting of measures, oversight and support of floor activities, and the management of legislation in a bicameral, partisan environment.

Another potential explanation related to a more institutionalized, professionalized Congress could be the demands for professional management and support. This could arise as a result of congressional use of communications technologies, and the deployment of systematic, professionalized human resources processes, business operations, and financial management. Consequently, increased specialized support of congressional legislative and administrative activities may explain increases among staff working for chamber leaders, and officers and officials.16

In another example, the distribution of staff working directly for Members has shifted from committee settings to personal office settings. House committee staff has decreased. This may represent a shift from collective congressional activities typically carried out in committees (including legislative, oversight, and investigative work) to individualized activities typically carried out in Members' personal offices (including direct representational activities, constituent service and education, and political activity).17

Data Tables

Table 1. House of Representatives Staff Levels by Category, 1997-2016

Year

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

House Member Office

6,556

6,614

6,737

6,913

6,844

6,884

6,786

7,050

6,737

6,942

Committee

1,891

2,067

1,861

1,991

1,720

1,851

1,867

1,974

1,997

1,980

Leadership

62

69

65

79

58

71

64

65

66

63

Officers and Officials

271

329

357

337

434

437

436

444

445

424

Commissions

51

23

25

21

19

22

23

23

22

19

Totals

8,831

9,102

9,045

9,341

9,075

9,265

9,176

9,556

9,267

9,428

Year

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

House Member Office

6,512

6,864

6,786

6,717

6,825

6,932

7,040

7,284

6,502

6,532

Committee

2,025

2,062

2,062

2,088

2,098

2,233

1,950

1,947

1,258

1,306

Leadership

93

95

88

101

107

106

107

112

125

128

Officers and Officials

434

457

475

495

501

537

359

521

818

704

Commissions

19

22

36

35

29

28

28

27

21

22

Totals

9,083

9,500

9,447

9,436

9,560

9,836

9,484

9,891

8,724

8,692

Year

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

House Member Office

6,893

6,972

6,835

6,737

7,108

7,079

6,737

7,060

7,020

7,089

Committee

1,277

1,361

1,311

1,334

1,295

1,321

1,328

1,399

1,379

1,370

Leadership

132

160

159

165

177

173

179

203

192

190

Officers and Officials

733

737

723

738

750

787

832

861

896

884

Commissions

21

21

22

20

19

29

36

33

34

35

Totals

9,056

9,251

9,050

8,994

9,349

9,389

9,112

9,556

9,521

9,568

Year

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

House Member Office

7,011

7,226

7,360

7,213

7,330

7,272

6,782

6,713

6,674

6,880

Committee

1,426

1,472

1,362

1,508

1,380

1,381

1,309

1,262

1,255

1,298

Leadership

207

214

219

228

241

236

205

214

212

239

Officers and Officials

1,040

1,056

828

878

993

1,002

1,052

949

946

962

Commissions

34

36

39

40

41

41

38

37

40

41

Totals

9,718

10,004

9,808

9,867

9,985

9,932

9,386

9,175

9,127

9,420

Source: House telephone directories, CRS estimates and calculations.

Notes: House Member office data based on an estimate developed from a sample of 45 Member offices for each year, multiplied by the number of Member offices. All other categories are based on a full count of directory listings.

Table 2. Estimated Staff Working in House Member Offices Since 1977

 

Sample Averages

 

Member Staff Estimates

Year

DC Staff

District Staff

Member Staff

Member Offices

DC Staff

District Staff

Member Staff

1977

9.49

5.44

14.93

439

4,166

2,390

6,556

1978

9.80

5.27

15.07

439

4,302

2,312

6,614

1979

9.18

6.13

15.31

440

4,038

2,699

6,737

1980

9.42

6.29

15.71

440

4,146

2,767

6,913

1981

8.76

6.80

15.56

440

3,852

2,992

6,844

1982

9.02

6.62

15.64

440

3,970

2,914

6,884

1983

9.09

6.33

15.42

440

3,999

2,787

6,786

1984

9.36

6.67

16.02

440

4,116

2,933

7,050

1985

8.40

6.91

15.31

440

3,696

3,041

6,737

1986

8.87

6.91

15.78

440

3,901

3,041

6,942

1987

7.98

6.82

14.80

440

3,510

3,002

6,512

1988

8.73

6.87

15.60

440

3,843

3,021

6,864

1989

8.40

7.02

15.42

440

3,696

3,090

6,786

1990

7.96

7.31

15.27

440

3,500

3,217

6,717

1991

8.16

7.36

15.51

440

3,588

3,236

6,825

1992

8.51

7.24

15.76

440

3,745

3,188

6,932

1993

8.40

7.60

16.00

440

3,696

3,344

7,040

1994

8.24

8.31

16.56

440

3,628

3,657

7,284

1995

7.60

7.18

14.78

440

3,344

3,158

6,502

1996

7.82

7.02

14.84

440

3,442

3,090

6,532

1997

8.51

7.16

15.67

440

3,745

3,148

6,893

1998

7.84

8.00

15.84

440

3,452

3,520

6,972

1999

7.82

7.71

15.53

440

3,442

3,393

6,835

2000

7.93

7.38

15.31

440

3,491

3,246

6,737

2001

7.98

8.18

16.16

440

3,510

3,598

7,108

2002

8.11

7.98

16.09

440

3,569

3,510

7,079

2003

7.98

7.33

15.31

440

3,510

3,227

6,737

2004

7.93

8.11

16.04

440

3,491

3,569

7,060

2005

8.09

7.87

15.96

440

3,559

3,461

7,020

2006

8.42

7.69

16.11

440

3,706

3,383

7,089

2007

8.33

7.60

15.93

440

3,667

3,344

7,011

2008

8.20

8.22

16.42

440

3,608

3,618

7,226

2009

8.44

8.24

16.69

441

3,724

3,636

7,360

2010

8.22

8.13

16.36

441

3,626

3,587

7,213

2011

8.33

8.29

16.62

441

3,675

3,655

7,330

2012

8.31

8.18

16.49

441

3,655

3,606

7,272

2013

8.29

7.09

15.38

441

3,655

3,126

6,782

2014

8.38

6.84

15.22

441

3,695

3,018

6,713

2015

8.18

6.96

15.13

441

3,606

3,067

6,674

2016

8.38

7.22

15.60

441

3,695

3,185

6,880

Source: House telephone directories, various years, CRS calculations.

Notes: Based on a random sample of 45 Member offices drawn in proportion to the distribution of Member offices in the Cannon, Longworth, and Rayburn House Office Buildings. Staff telephone data from those offices were counted and assumed to be in Washington, DC if they were listed as working in the Cannon, Longworth, or Rayburn Buildings, and outside of Washington, DC if they were not. Averages data were multiplied by the number of Member offices to derive an estimate of the number of staff employed in personal offices. Due to rounding, rows might not sum.

Table 3. House Committee Staff, 2007-2016

Committee

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Agriculture

45

45

45

46

43

43

22

34

37

37

Appropriations

158

154

130

157

117

117

114

118

125

119

Armed Services

67

65

67

65

64

64

62

58

61

59

Budget

72

73

73

73

81

81

75

43

36

44

Education and Labor

72

78

76

74

55

55

61

58

58

63

Energy and Commerce

79

104

96

111

104

103

97

96

92

109

Ethics

16

16

14

20

16

16

24

24

25

27

Financial Services

62

63

62

74

64

64

59

55

54

57

Foreign Affairs

81

78

80

83

80

80

75

67

72

72

Homeland Security

63

62

62

67

64

64

63

62

56

59

House Administration

38

43

41

41

44

44

34

32

37

37

Judiciary

70

75

70

71

70

70

63

65

65

59

Natural Resources

67

71

61

57

53

53

58

57

60

60

Oversight and Government Reform

106

100

71

100

110

113

93

98

83

88

Rules

34

35

37

39

33

33

33

32

34

22

Science and Technology

50

50

54

52

50

50

55

48

52

51

Small Business

28

25

26

30

26

26

24

24

21

21

Transportation and Infrastructure

76

77

82

85

67

67

67

64

69

71

Veterans' Affairs

33

32

32

30

26

26

25

26

27

33

Ways and Means

64

71

69

71

77

76

70

69

68

60

Intelligence

39

36

32

35

27

27

30

31

24

26

Select Energy Independence & Global Warming

13

20

23

20

-

-

-

-

-

-

Select Benghazi

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

18

Source: House telephone directories.

Notes: Committees are listed by names used in the 114th Congress, or most recent year in which the committee existed. "-" indicates that no staff were listed for that year. In some instances this was because the committee did not exist. In other instances, a directory listing for a panel was identified, but did not list any staff.

Table 4. House Committee Staff, 1997-2006

Committee

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Agriculture

55

54

53

51

56

56

53

55

50

53

Appropriations

151

151

138

150

152

161

122

133

133

134

Armed Services

53

53

55

52

48

49

55

52

56

60

Budget

68

78

87

86

79

84

91

87

87

80

Education and Labor

72

92

76

70

67

66

69

72

75

64

Energy and Commerce

82

86

83

84

86

93

92

90

89

82

Ethics

8

11

12

11

13

13

11

11

9

13

Financial Services

51

54

51

49

58

60

63

63

62

59

Foreign Affairs

63

65

64

63

67

67

69

73

76

80

Homeland Security

-

-

-

-

-

-

17

44

38

51

House Administration

29

27

28

32

37

35

38

41

38

38

Judiciary

54

62

61

70

68

70

77

73

73

73

Natural Resources

57

62

56

62

60

64

64

64

63

62

Oversight and Government Reform

94

132

116

105

107

101

94

110

100

96

Rules

36

41

34

36

31

33

36

36

36

37

Science and Technology

55

53

52

52

50

53

47

53

53

47

Small Business

27

25

27

28

23

23

29

30

33

30

Transportation and Infrastructure

116

121

119

124

73

73

73

75

76

78

Veterans' Affairs

28

15

20

28

28

26

30

29

27

28

Ways and Means

64

60

66

64

69

70

69

71

74

72

Intelligence

23

24

24

22

28

31

26

32

29

36

Military and Commercial Concerns with China

-

-

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Organization of Congress

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Source: House telephone directories.

Notes: Committees are listed by names used in the 114th Congress, or most recent year in which the committee existed. "-" indicates that no staff were listed for that year. In some instances this was because the committee did not exist. In other instances, a directory listing for a panel was identified, but did not list any staff.

Table 5. House Committee Staff, 1987-1996

Committee

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Agriculture

55

59

54

63

59

61

55

55

57

58

Appropriations

205

207

206

205

217

223

219

215

148

149

Armed Services

62

62

64

70

73

87

66

75

46

50

Budget

104

103

106

97

92

97

90

93

72

72

Education and Labor

110

113

111

110

100

112

97

100

67

70

Energy and Commerce

135

147

142

135

139

162

143

140

69

67

Ethics

10

10

9

8

11

8

8

8

7

9

Financial Services

85

85

93

98

101

107

88

94

51

55

Foreign Affairs

93

97

99

98

102

102

104

100

60

64

House Administration

46

44

49

54

59

58

49

53

-

-

Judiciary

76

81

80

73

67

73

74

70

25

27

Natural Resources

103

100

100

100

107

121

101

89

50

56

Oversight and Government Reform

75

75

71

85

88

99

83

83

75

84

Rules

39

38

40

39

41

42

41

41

77

94

Science and Technology

76

79

77

92

93

102

93

92

36

36

Small Business

56

52

47

49

41

45

32

36

51

54

Transportation and Infrastructure

109

126

139

132

142

150

144

137

27

27

Veterans' Affairs

36

39

33

34

37

39

44

40

119

119

Ways and Means

79

86

85

87

94

96

92

92

25

28

Intelligence

29

31

34

36

21

25

24

25

61

65

Aging

33

35

36

34

36

38

-

-

20

24

Children, Youth and Families

17

17

15

18

16

15

-

-

-

-

District of Columbia

39

38

38

39

38

34

23

34

13

-

Hunger

14

15

15

14

15

16

-

-

-

-

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

78

81

84

83

86

81

75

73

-

-

Narcotics

16

17

18

16

17

15

-

-

-

-

Organization of Congress

-

-

-

-

-

-

13

-

-

-

Post Office and Civil Service

92

97

92

92

85

92

68

80

-

-

Source: House telephone directories.

Notes: Committees are listed by names used in the 114th Congress, or most recent year in which the committee existed. "-" indicates that no staff were listed for that year. In some instances this was because the committee did not exist. In other instances, a directory listing for a panel was identified, but did not list any staff.

Table 6. House Committee Staff, 1977-1986

Committee

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

Agriculture

50

55

58

69

62

56

60

55

58

56

Appropriations

76

134

129

133

122

142

143

166

183

204

Armed Services

48

49

48

46

49

48

51

54

58

59

Budget

111

78

82

96

80

97

95

94

100

100

Education and Labor

103

106

102

119

105

112

109

113

102

106

Energy and Commerce

136

143

135

156

122

147

147

152

144

138

Ethics

35

35

11

17

9

9

7

10

9

9

Financial Services

102

106

102

94

77

81

92

88

89

84

Foreign Affairs

85

99

84

81

81

85

84

85

91

93

House Administration

41

47

50

60

44

46

48

50

47

49

Judiciary

86

83

83

80

76

72

78

84

85

81

Natural Resources

103

107

103

105

91

103

110

107

95

98

Oversight and Government Reform

125

80

73

82

78

80

79

85

87

84

Rules

24

25

34

47

48

43

44

44

41

37

Science and Technology

77

85

86

87

58

73

77

73

84

76

Small Business

40

43

40

54

46

56

53

49

51

49

Transportation and Infrastructure

85

86

80

78

82

98

99

102

100

100

Veterans' Affairs

33

37

33

33

32

34

30

32

31

32

Ways and Means

87

90

90

89

82

84

84

85

91

85

Intelligence

3

38

35

40

36

32

30

27

32

27

Aging

35

36

36

38

35

38

33

37

35

37

Assassinations

96

118

-

-

-

-

-

-

18

16

Children, Youth and Families

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

17

42

39

Committees

-

-

3

-

-

-

-

-

14

15

Congressional Operations

34

33

-

-

-

-

-

-

84

75

Covert Arms Sales to Iran

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

14

17

District of Columbia

44

45

33

50

38

38

39

42

-

-

Ethics

9

6

-

-

-

-

-

-

89

92

Hunger

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Merchant Marine and Fisheries

64

69

86

91

80

84

78

89

-

-

Narcotics

26

27

25

22

-

15

17

21

-

-

Outer Continental Shelf

20

-

17

17

-

-

-

-

-

-

Post Office and Civil Service

55

70

66

65

67

57

55

89

-

-

Source: House telephone directories.

Notes: Committees are listed by names used in the 114th Congress, or most recent year in which the committee existed. "-" indicates that no staff were listed for that year. In some instances this was because the committee did not exist. In other instances, a directory listing for a panel was identified, but did not list any staff.

Table 7. Staff of Active Joint Committees Listed in House Directories, 1977-2016

Joint Committee

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

Economic

4

50

55

62

44

44

42

44

40

36

Library of Congress

1

2

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

Printing

3

16

17

16

14

15

16

17

17

17

Taxation

28

65

63

62

60

60

60

60

66

66

Joint Committee

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

Economic

34

44

46

42

38

40

32

33

33

30

Library of Congress

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

2

Printing

18

18

14

16

15

18

18

16

7

7

Taxation

60

64

63

67

66

73

72

71

61

59

Joint Committee

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Economic

24

25

22

31

34

29

34

36

31

33

Library of Congress

59

3

2

2

1

1

4

2

2

2

Printing

8

8

2

2

1

1

4

4

4

4

Taxation

-

59

61

60

59

62

61

63

65

58

Joint Committee

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Economic

29

32

7

35

34

34

29

32

30

33

Library of Congress

2

2

-

2

6

6

5

5

2

5

Printing

4

4

-

5

6

6

6

5

3

5

Taxation

58

61

52

65

63

63

65

69

64

63

Source: House telephone directories.

Notes: Individual staff members for the joint committees may appear in both the House and the Senate directories, as they are considered neither solely House nor solely Senate staff. They are included where they appear in the directory. Excludes staff listed at various times since 1977 for the Joint Committees on Inaugural Ceremonies, Atomic Energy, Defense Production, Internal Revenue Service, and Organization of Congress. Staff data for those panels are available from the authors upon request. "-" indicates that no staff were listed in the relevant chamber for that year. In some instances, a directory listing for a panel was identified, but did not list any staff.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Research Assistant ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
[author name scrubbed], Specialist in American National Government ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
[author name scrubbed], Visual Information Specialist ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

Throughout this report, the terms "Member office," "personal office," and "House Member's office" refer to the office held by a Member of the House upon election to Congress. They do not refer to the number of facilities in which that work is carried out. Discussions of how many staff are based in Washington, DC, and district facilities distinguishes only between locations in Washington, DC, or in the district. It does not provide an office-by-office accounting of staff working in multiple district facilities.

2.

Joint committees that met in the 114th Congress include the Joint Committees on Taxation, Printing, Library of Congress, and the Joint Economic Committee. The table excludes staff listed at various times since 1977 for the Joint Committees on Inaugural Ceremonies, Atomic Energy, Defense Production, Internal Revenue Service, and Organization of Congress. Staff data for those panels are available from the authors upon request.

3.

The actual moment is the deadline that was set for the final collection of listings prior to publication. The exact date for each year is not known, but publication dates for the House directories were generally in the spring of each year.

4.

Other congressional documents list staff by organizational unit, most notably the quarterly Statement of Disbursements issued by the House. At the same time, because they capture all paid staff activity for a three-month period, those documents do not provide as clear a picture of staffing at one point in time as the telephone directories do.

5.

In some instances, a listing for a House entity would not list staff. In other instances, there were significant changes in the number of staff from year-to-year, and it could not be determined whether that was a consequence of changing organizational practices, or differences in the manner in which staff were included in the directory.

6.

For example, some staff may work on a part-time basis for more than one Member, or for a Member and a committee.

7.

For example, in 1977, House Information Systems (HIS) staff were listed with staff from the Committee on House Administration (CHA). In 2009, House Information Resources, the successor entity to HIS, was listed as a component of Office of the Chief Administrative Officer. In this instance, HIS staff listed under CHA are counted as Officer and Officials staff regardless of their initial listing.

8.

For example, a number of administrative activities now carried out by staff of the Chief Administrative Officer were previously overseen by the Committee on House Administration, House Clerk, or Sergeant at Arms.

9.

Entities and staff that are not a part of the House, but were listed in the directory (including the Senate, other legislative branch entities, executive branch agencies, and vendors) are excluded from these data.

10.

See CRS Report RL30064, Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief, by [author name scrubbed] for details.

11.

The House telephone directory provides consistent five-digit listings for all House staff who work in Washington, DC.

12.

House Member offices includes Representatives, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner. The number of House Member offices was 439 in 1977-1978, 440, 1979-2008, and 441, 2009-present.

13.

Rounded to reflect a whole number.

14.

For more information on congressional commissions, see CRS Report R40076, Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed] and CRS Report RL33313, Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups, by [author name scrubbed].

15.

See, for example, Nelson W. Polsby, "The Institutionalization of the U.S. House of Representatives," The American Political Science Review, vol. 62, no. 1 (March 1968), pp. 144-168.

16.

For background on leadership offices, see CRS Report RS20881, Party Leaders in the House: Election, Duties, and Responsibilities, by [author name scrubbed] and CRS Report 97-780, The Speaker of the House: House Officer, Party Leader, and Representative, by [author name scrubbed]; for background on support offices, see CRS Report RL33220, Support Offices in the House of Representatives: Roles and Authorities, by [author name scrubbed].

17.

See CRS Report RL33686, Roles and Duties of a Member of Congress: Brief Overview, by [author name scrubbed]; CRS Report RL34035, Grants Work in a Congressional Office, by Merete F. Gerli; and CRS Report RL33209, Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources, by [author name scrubbed].