DemDaily: Committees of the 118th Congress. The Senate

 January 23, 2023

Unlike the US House, which is still facing a few battles over committee assignments, the Democratic-controlled Senate has made a peaceful transition to its new leadership and committee members for the 118th Congress.

Although Senators serve six-year terms, committee assignments are made every two years, concurrent with a new Congress.

See Committees of the 118th Congress. The House 1/20/23

As in the US House, there are two main types of congressional committees in the US Senate: standing committees, which have legislative and oversight jurisdiction over specific subject areas, and non-standing committees.

The latter includes special, select, and joint committees, which may be created by resolution or law, often to investigate certain issues or events, and may be temporary in nature.

Committee chairs are selected by the majority party, and the "ranking" member by the minority party. Committee assignments are decided within each party's conference and adopted by a vote of the full Senate.

The Committees of the 118th Congress
Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
Chair: Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking: John Boozman (R-AR)
Chair: Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking: Susan Collins (R-ME)
Armed Services
Chair: Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking: Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Chair: Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ranking: Tim Scott (R-SC)
Chair: Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ranking: Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Commerce, Science and Transportation
Chair: Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking: Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Energy and Natural Resources
Chair: Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking: John Barrasso (R-WY)
Environment and Public Works
Chair: Tom Carper (D-DE), Ranking: Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

The 16 standing committees are subdivided into what is usually five to eight subcommittees, each with its own leadership selected according to the full committee's rules.

Chair: Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking: Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Foreign Relations
Chair: Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking: Jim Risch (R-ID)
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Chair: Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ranking: Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Chair: Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking: Rand Paul (R-KY)
Chair: Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking: Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Rules and Administration
Chair: Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking: Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Chair: Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking: Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Veterans’ Affairs
Chair: Jon Tester (D-MT), Ranking: Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Non-Standing: Select and Special Committees
Aging (Special)
Chair: Bob Casey Jr (D-PA), Ranking: Mike Braun (R-IN)
Ethics (Select)
Chair: Chris Coons (D-DE), Ranking: James Lankford (R-OK)
Indian Affairs (Permanent Select)
Chair: Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ranking: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Intelligence (Select)
Chair: Mark Warner (D-VA), Ranking: Marco Rubio (R-FL)
International Narcotics Control (Permanent Caucus)
Chair: TBD, Ranking John Cornyn (R-TX)

Joint Committees, which are established by law, are composed of an equal number of members from the House and the Senate which provide administrative coordination between the chambers and conduct studies for the benefit of both houses. They include the Joint Committee on Taxation, Joint Committee on Printing, Joint Committee on the Library and Joint Economic Committee.

Update on House Committees
Speaker Kevin McCarthy is still vowing to oust Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the Select Committee on Intelligence.

Although deference is usually given to the minority party in deciding their members, McCarthy, as Speaker, can make unilateral decisions on appointments to select committees. His actions are in open retribution against Democrats for stripping Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) during the last Congress of their committees for incendiary remarks.

McCarthy is also threatening to kick Congresswoman Ilan Omar (D-MN) off of the Foreign Affairs Committee. As that is a standing committee, however, it would require approval by a majority vote in the full House.

DemList will keep you informed.

DemDaily: Committees of the 118th Congress. The House 1/20/23
DemDaily: The Debt Ceiling Showdown 1/19/23
DemDaily: In Memoriam: The Lawmakers We Have Lost 1/18/23
DemDaily: The 2024 Senate Landscape 1/17/83
DemDaily: The Dream Lives On 1/16/23
DemDaily: A Little Humor. Our Monthly Roundup! 1/13/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: US House, CRS, Roll Call, Ballotpedia

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