Committees, Most Subcommittees Set for 118th Congress

Slowly but surely, the new 118th Congress is organizing, with the Senate finally naming members to committees yesterday afternoon. House committees have already established and populated their subcommittees as well, but not all Senate panels are that far along.

House Transportation and Infrastructure

The committee has shrunk by four members (two per side). New members are in bold italic type.

The committee has maintained the same subcommittee structure as in the last several Congresses. On the GOP side, the leadership of four of the six subcommittees changes due to retirements, but on the Democratic side, the only change is Aviation, with Steve Cohen (D-TN) swooping in and exerting his seniority just in time for FAA reauthorization (Cohen is a longtime vocal passenger rights advocate and also represents FedEx headquarters and hub).

Head Republican Head Democrat
Was Is Now Was Is Now
Aviation Graves (LA) Graves (LA) Larsen (WA) Cohen (TN)
Coast Guard & Maritime Gibbs (OH) Webster (FL) Carbajal (CA) Carbajal (CA)
ED, PB & EM Webster (FL) Perry (PA) Titus (NV) Titus (NV)
Highways & Transit Davis (IL) Crawford (AR) Norton (DC) Norton (DC)
Railroads, Pipelines & Hazmat Crawford (AR) Nehls (TX) Payne (NJ) Payne (NJ)
Water Resources & Environment Rouzer (NC) Rouzer (NC) Napolitano (CA) Napolitano (CA)

The full membership of the subcommittees for the new Congress can be found here.

Senate committees

In the last Congress, when the total membership of the chamber was 50-50, each committee had an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Now that the Senate is 51 to 49, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader decided that all committees would keep the same number of Democratic members as last Congress, but would drop one Republican per panel, so all committees except Ethics now have a D+1 ratio.

The six committees that deal with transportation policy and funding are shown below with new members in bold italic type. 

Some of the changes make sense, especially when Senators retired (Richard Shelby (R-AL) retired but made sure that his place on Appropriations was taken by his chosen replacement, Katie Britt (R-AL), for example). Others are less transparent (why did Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) leave Commerce, Science and Transportation for the junior slot on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, unless he was taking one for the team so there would be a vacancy for a freshman). And at least one Republican (Rick Scott (R-FL)) has publicly alleged that Republican Leader McConnell threw him off the Commerce panel as payback for running against McConnell for party leader.

We don’t have much news on Senate subcommittees yet, but we do know that the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which has jurisdiction over the highway bill and the water resources bill, is changing hands. Ben Cardin (D-MD) will no longer chair the panel and has been replaced with Mark Kelly (D-AZ).

House Appropriations Subcommittees

The chairmanships and ranking members slots on the twelve subcommittees of House Appropriations, each of which produces one of the twelve annual appropriations bills, are now set. On the GOP side, members are given a chance to choose a subcommittee gavel in order of seniority on the full committee (subject to availability and the six-year term limit), and the full committee chairman is not eligible to chair a subcommittee. Because of the term limits, the Transportation-HUD Subcommittee goes from Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) to Tom Cole (R-OK).

Senior House Republican Appropriations Members (in Seniority Order)
GOP Member Was Ranking On (117th) Will Now Chair (118th)
Kay Granger (TX) Full Committee Full Committee
Hal Rogers (KY) State/Foreign Ops Commerce-Justice-Science
Bob Aderholt (AL) Commerce-Justice-Science Labor-HHS-Education
Mike Simpson (ID) Energy and Water Interior/Environment
John Carter (TX) Military Construction/VA Military Construction/VA
Ken Calvert (CA) Defense Defense
Tom Cole (OK) Labor-HHS-Education Transportation-HUD
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL) Transportation-HUD State/Foreign Ops
Steve Womack (AR) Financial Services Financial Services
Chuck Fleischmann (TN) Homeland Security Energy and Water
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA) Legislative Branch no longer in Congress
David Joyce (OH) Interior/Environment Homeland Security
Andy Harris (MD) Agriculture Agriculture
Mark Amodei (NV) none Legislative Branch

Things work differently with House Democrats. On Appropriations (and nowhere else), they don’s use full committee seniority for the selection order. Instead, they use a bidding process to choose subcommittees when a member first joins Appropriations, and then seniority on the subcommittee determines the chairmanship or ranking member post.

Democrats allow the full committee chairman or ranking member to chair a subcommittee. And Steny Hoyer (D-MD) returns to the panel after a two-decade absence to take the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee (which controls the federal pay raise and the selection of the new FBI Headquarters Building, both of which are huge concerns in Hoyer’s district).

Subcommittee seniority is why Mike Quigley (D-IL) will take the ranking slot on Transportation-HUD while a more senior member has no ranking slot. And the bidding process explains why they had to skip down nine members to find one (Adriano Espaillat, D-NY) willing to take the thankless Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

Senior House Democratic Appropriations Members (in Seniority Order)
Dem Member Was Chair Of (117th) Now Ranking On (118th)
Rosa DeLauro (CT) Labor-HHS-Education Labor-HHS-Education
Steny Hoyer (MD) none Financial Services
Marcy Kaptur (OH) Energy and Water Energy and Water
David Price (NC) Transportation-HUD no longer in Congress
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA) Homeland Security no longer in Congress
Sanford Bishop (GA) Agriculture Agriculture
Barbara Lee (CA) State/Foreign Ops State/Foreign Ops
Betty McCollum (MN) Defense Defense
Tim Ryan (OH) Legislative Branch no longer in Congress
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD) none none
Debbie W. Schultz (FL) Military Construction/VA Military Construction/VA
Henry Cuellar (TX) none Homeland Security
Chellie Pingree (ME) Interior/Environment Interior/Environment
Mike Quigley (IL) Financial Services Transportation-HUD
Derek Kilmer (WA) none none
Matt Cartwright (PA) Commerce-Justice-Science Commerce-Justice-Science
[9 more Democratic members] none none
Adriano Espaillat (NY) none Legislative Branch

The full membership of the House Transportation-HUD Subcommittee is below.

Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee (118th)
Republicans Democrats
Tom Cole (OK) Mike Quigley (IL)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL) Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ)
Steve Womack (AR) Norma Torres (CA)
John Rutherford (FL) Oete Agyukar *CA(
Tony Gonzales (TX) Adriano Espaillat (NY)
David Valadao (CA) Jennifer Wexton (VA)
Ben Cline (VA)
Ryan Zinke (MT)
Juan Ciscomani (AZ)

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