- United States House Committee on Ways and Means
The Committee of Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are not allowed to serve on any other House Committees unless they apply for a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:
- Social Security
- Unemployment benefits
- Enforcement of child support laws
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal welfare program
- Foster care and adoption programs
The U.S. Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the House of Representatives. Since House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee, the committee is very influential, as is its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.
The Ways and Means Committee in the 111th Congress was chaired by Charlie Rangel, who had taken a leave of absence as chairman until House ethics violations were resolved. However, his leave of absence as chairman was ruled to be a resignation. Pete Stark resigned as acting chairman, so Sander Levin held that position until the start of the 112th Congress. Dave Camp became the committee chair for the 112th Congress, after the Republicans won control of the House in the 2010 election.
The idea of a "Committee of Ways and Means" to handle the financial matters of a legislature is an old one, having been used in the English Parliament and the colonial and state legislatures in America.
The Committee was first established during the first Congress, in 1789. However, this initial version was disbanded after only 8 weeks; for the next several years, only ad hoc committees were formed, to write up laws on notions already debated in the whole House. It was first established as a standing committee by resolution adopted December 21, 1795, and first appeared among the list of regular standing committees on January 7, 1802. Upon its original creation, it held power over both taxes and spending, until the spending power was given to the new Appropriations Committee in 1865.
Three future presidents - James Polk, Millard Fillmore, and William McKinley - served as Committee Chairman. Before the official roles of floor leader came about in the late 19th century, the Chairman of Ways and Means was considered the Majority Leader. The Chairman is one of very few Representatives to have office space within the Capitol building itself.
Ways and Means has always been one of the most important committees in a policy sense, due to its wide jurisdiction. While it lacks the prospects for re-election help that comes with the Appropriations Committee, it is seen as a valuable post for two reasons. First, since its range is so broad, members with a wide array of policy concerns often seek positions, simply to be able to influence policy decisions. Some recent major issues that have gone through this committee include welfare reform, a Medicare prescription drug benefit, Social Security reform, George W. Bush's tax cuts, and trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Second, given the wide array of interests that are affected by the committee, a seat makes it very easy to collect campaign contributions.
Until 1974, the Ways and Means Committee decided which chairmanships newly elected members of Congress would have, along with its regular financial duties. When Ways and Means chair Wilbur Mills' career ended in scandal, Congressman Phillip Burton transferred the committee's selection powers to a separate, newly created committee.
Members, 112th Congress
- Dave Camp, Michigan, Chairman
- Wally Herger, California
- Sam Johnson, Texas
- Kevin Brady, Texas
- Paul Ryan, Wisconsin
- Devin Nunes, California
- Pat Tiberi, Ohio
- Geoff Davis, Kentucky
- Dave Reichert, Washington
- Charles W. Boustany, Jr., Louisiana
- Peter Roskam, Illinois
- Jim Gerlach, Pennsylvania
- Tom Price, Georgia
- Vern Buchanan, Florida
- Adrian M. Smith, Nebraska
- Aaron Schock, Illinois
- Lynn Jenkins, Kansas
- Erik Paulsen, Minnesota
- Kenny Marchant, Texas
- Rick Berg, North Dakota
- Diane Black, Tennessee
- Tom Reed, New York
- Sander M. Levin, Michigan, Ranking Member
- Charles B. Rangel¹, New York
- Pete Stark, California
- Jim McDermott, Washington
- John Lewis, Georgia
- Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts
- Xavier Becerra, California
- Lloyd Doggett, Texas
- Mike Thompson, California
- John B. Larson, Connecticut
- Earl Blumenauer, Oregon
- Ron Kind, Wisconsin
- Bill Pascrell, New Jersey
- Shelley Berkley, Nevada
- Joseph Crowley, New York
¹ Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) will serve as an ex officio member sitting on all of the subcommittees without voting rights in the 112th Congress.
- Resolutions electing Republican members (H.Res. 6)
- Resolutions electing Democratic members (H.Res. 7, H.Res. 31)
There are six subcommittees in the 112th Congress. The Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support was renamed the Subcommittee on Human Resources, returning to the name it held prior to the 110th Congress.
Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member Trade Kevin Brady (R-TX) Jim McDermott (D-WA) Social Security Sam Johnson (R-TX) Xavier Becerra (D-CA) Oversight Charles Boustany (R-LA) John Lewis (D-GA) Health Wally Herger (R-CA) Pete Stark (D-CA) Human Resources Geoff Davis (R-KY) Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) Select Revenue Measures Pat Tiberi (R-OH) Richard Neal (D-MA)
# Chair Party State Start of Service End of Service 1 Thomas Fitzsimons Federalist PA 1789 1789 2 William L. Smith Federalist SC 1794 1797 3 Robert G. Harper Federalist SC 1797 1800 4 Roger Griswold Federalist CT 1800 1801 5 John Randolph Democratic-Republican VA 1801 1805 6 Joseph Clay Democratic-Republican PA 1805 1807 7 George W. Campbell Democratic-Republican TN 1807 1809 8 John W. Eppes Democratic-Republican VA 1809 1811 9 Ezekiel Bacon Democratic-Republican SC 1811 1812 10 Langdon Cheves Democratic-Republican SC 1812 1813 11 John W. Eppes Democratic-Republican VA 1813 1815 12 William Lowndes Democratic-Republican SC 1815 1818 13 Samuel Smith Democratic-Republican MD 1818 1822 14 Louis McLane Democratic-Republican DE 1822 1827 15 John Randolph Democratic VA 1827 1827 16 George McDuffie Democratic SC 1827 1832 17 Gulian C. Verplanck Democratic NY 1832 1833 18 James K. Polk Democratic TN 1833 1835 19 Churchill C. Cambreleng Democratic NY 1835 1839 20 John W. Jones Democratic VA 1839 1841 21 Millard Fillmore Whig NY 1841 1843 22 James I. McKay Democratic NC 1843 1847 23 Samuel F. Vinton Whig OH 1847 1849 24 Thomas H. Bayly Democratic VA 1849 1851 25 George S. Houston Democratic AL 1851 1855 26 Lewis D. Campbell Republican OH 1856 1857 27 J. Glancy Jones Democratic PA 1857 1858 28 John S. Phelps Democratic MO 1858 1859 29 John Sherman Republican OH 1860 1861 30 Thaddeus Stevens Republican PA 1861 1865 31 Justin Morrill Republican VT 1865 1867 32 Robert C. Schenck Republican OH 1867 1871 33 Samuel Hooper Republican MA 1871 1871 34 Henry L. Dawes Republican MA 1871 1875 35 William R. Morrison Democratic IL 1875 1877 36 Fernando Wood Democratic NY 1877 1881 37 John R. Tucker Democratic VA 1881 1881 38 William D. Kelley Republican PA 1881 1883 39 William R. Morrison Democratic IL 1883 1887 40 Roger Q. Mills Democratic TX 1887 1889 41 William McKinley Republican OH 1889 1891 42 William M. Springer Democratic IL 1891 1893 43 William L. Wilson Democratic WV 1893 1895 44 Nelson Dingley, Jr. Republican ME 1895 1899 45 Sereno E. Payne Republican NY 1899 1911 46 Oscar W. Underwood Democratic AL 1911 1915 47 Claude Kitchin Democratic NC 1915 1919 48 Joseph Fordney Republican MI 1919 1923 49 William R. Green Republican IA 1923 1928 50 Willis C. Hawley Republican OR 1928 1931 51 James W. Collier Democratic MS 1931 1933 52 Robert L. Doughton Democratic NC 1933 1947 53 Harold Knutson Republican MN 1947 1949 54 Robert L. Doughton Democratic NC 1949 1953 55 Daniel A. Reed Republican NY 1953 1955 56 Jere Cooper Democratic TN 1955 1957 57 Wilbur Mills Democratic AR 1957 1975 Al Ullman (acting) Democratic OR 1973 1975 58 Al Ullman Democratic OR 1975 1981 59 Dan Rostenkowski Democratic IL 1981 1994 Sam Gibbons (acting) Democratic FL 1994 1995 60 Bill Archer Republican TX 1995 2001 61 Bill Thomas Republican CA 2001 2007 62 Charles Rangel Democratic NY 2007 2010 Sander Levin (acting) Democratic MI 2010 2011 63 Dave Camp Republican MI 2011 present
- ^ http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/03/0032.rangel.pdf
- ^ "Rangel temporarily steps down as House Ways and Means chair - CNN.com". CNN. 2010-03-03. http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/03/charlie.rangel/index.html?hpt=T2. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (2010-03-03). "Rangel's Leave May Not Be Temporary". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/rangels-leave-may-not-be-temporary/. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100304/ap_on_go_co/us_tax_committee_chairman
- ^ Ways and Means Bicentennial History, Page 38
- ^ Ways and Means Bicentennial History, Page 58
- ^ Grier, Kevin; Munger, Michael (1991). "Committee Assignments, Constituent Preferences and Campaign Contributions". Economic Inquiry 29 (1): 24–43. doi:10.1111/j.1465-7295.1991.tb01250.x.
- ^ a b Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. pp. 276–279. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
- ^ Notation from the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Committee Members page.
- ^ "Chairman Camp Announces Republican Membership on Ways & Means Subcommittees for 112th Congress". January 6, 2011. http://waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=219142. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
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