CapitolcongressfeatureIn addition to the major changes that are expected to occur as the Senate moves into the 118th Congress, which Leadership Connect previously analyzed, significant committee shifts will also be seen in the House of Representatives.. There are 47 members of the House who announced they will not run for reelection in 2022, though only six of those members hold committee leadership positions. Succession to House committee leadership positions is not always determined by seniority and often consists of mini-internal campaigns. Selections are made by the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the House Republican Steering Committee.

This process means that any member can run for a vacant committee leadership position, rather than solely relying on the seniority system. The following analysis considers potential future committee leaders based on both seniority and public announcements through sponsored and cosponsored legislation in each committee’s jurisdiction, operating as if the House maintains a Democratic majority.

House Budget Committee – 117th Congress
 Chair, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) Ranking Member, Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)

The Battle for the Budget?

Yarmuth will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Next in line of seniority is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Jeffries has been a member of the House Budget Committee since 2017 and currently serves as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, which includes holding a position on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. It remains unclear if Jeffries would assume a committee leadership position, especially given his interest in filling a House Democratic leadership role if Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were to step down. If Jeffries did not take the House Budget Committee position, the next likely successor would be Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY). Higgins has been a member of the House Budget Committee since 2017. The House Budget Committee has the power to issue budget reconciliation instructions , which may remain essential for major pieces of legislation if Democrats maintain their majorities in both chambers of Congress.

Potential Leadership and Past Legislation

Economics117th Congress Sponsored117th Congress Total (Co and Sponsored)Since 2013 SponsoredSince 2013 Total (Co and Sponsored)
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)01110
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY)01014

 

House Homeland Security Committee – 117th Congress
Chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS)Ranking Member, Rep. John Katko (R-NY)

Hacking Homeland Security

Rep. Katko will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Next in line of seniority is Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). McCaul is currently Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which makes it unlikely that he would take a leadership position on the House Homeland Security Committee. The third most senior Republican member of the committee is Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA). Higgins has served as Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations since 2019.

Other members who have publicly announced that they will seek the open position include Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA), Dan Bishop (R-NC), and Michael Guest (R-MS). Perry was previously a member of the House Homeland Security Committee for six years, including holding a subcommittee leadership position for four years. Bishop has been a member of the House Homeland Security Committee since 2019. Guest has also been a member of the House Homeland Security Committee since 2019. As the urgency of cybersecurity and infrastructure protection grows, considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine, the role of the House Homeland Security Committee becomes more important than ever.

Potential Leadership and Past Legislation

117th Congress Sponsored117th Congress Total (Co and Sponsored)Since 2013 SponsoredSince 2013 Total (Co and Sponsored)
Homeland Security
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA)111226
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)12814
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC)1718
Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS)211315
Emergency Services
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA)1315
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)0000
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC)0000
Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS)0102

 

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee – 117th Congress
Chair, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)Ranking Member, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)

Science Committee Throne: Place Your Bets on Lofgren or Bonamici

Johnson will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Next in line of seniority is Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who is currently Chair of the Committee on House Administration. Lofgren has been a member of the House Science Committee since 2011. If Lofgren were to take a leadership position on the House Science Committee, the Committee on House Administration would likely go to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). Otherwise, next in line for the House Science Committee is Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). The loss of Lofgren could have a significant impact on the Committee on House Administration, which has grown in prominence with the consideration of Capitol Police regulations, restrictions on stock trading by members of Congress, and Congressional staffers’ right to unionize. As the new leader of the House Science Committee, Lofgren or Bonamici will determine if science and technology policy will continue to be shaped by competition with China and climate change.

Potential Leadership and Past Legislation

Science117th Congress Sponsored117th Congress Total (Co and SponsoredSince 2013 SponsoredSince 2013 Total (Co and Sponsored)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)04350
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)09351

 

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – 117th Congress
Chair, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)Ranking Member, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)

Talk of the Town: Transportation & Infrastructure 

DeFazio will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Next in line of seniority is Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who announced her intention to run for the position. Holmes Norton has served as the Democratic leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit since 2013. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) also announced his intention to run for the position.

Larsen has served as the Democratic leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation since 2013. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has always been an essential institution within the House, growing as policy has shifted towards cleaner transportation and more resilient . With the loss of DeFazio’s years of experience, new leadership can significantly shape the committee as it is tasked with overseeing the distribution of billions of dollars through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Potential Leadership and Past Legislation

117th Congress Sponsored117th Congress Total (Co and Sponsored)Since 2013 SponsoredSince 2013 Total (Co and Sponsored)
Transportation
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)33617208
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)5221592
Public Works
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)18122
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)0018
Water Resources
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)110121
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)0102

 

House Ways and Means Committee – 117th Congress
Chair, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)Ranking Member, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)

A Spot On the Most powerful Powerful House Committee

Brady will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was widely expected to take over the position before he resigned from Congress at the end of 2021. Currently, next in the line of seniority is Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL). Buchanan has held a subcommittee leadership position on the House Ways and Means Committee since 2015.

Other potential candidates for the vacant position include Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Jason Smith (R-MO). Adrian Smith has held a subcommittee leadership position on the House Ways and Means Committee since 2017. Kelly has held a subcommittee leadership position on the House Ways and Means Committee since 2019. Jason Smith has been a member of the House Ways and Means Committee since 2015. The House Ways and Means Committee has the sole power to craft all taxation-related legislation, and the serious positioning that is already occurring to replace Brady shows that the next leader plans to wield that power.

Potential Leadership and Past Legislation

117th Congress Sponsored117th Congress Total (Co and Sponsored)Since 2013 SponsoredSince 2013 Total (Co and Sponsored)
Taxes
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)01514

 

98
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)1196109
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)13139290
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)72630205
Social Services
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)04418
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)24536
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)15550
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)13327
Trade
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)13415
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)03222
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)02025
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)02013

 

House Ethics Committee – 117th Congress
Chair, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)Ranking Member, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN)

Keeping Everyone In Line

Deutch will retire at the end of the 117th Congress. Next in line of seniority is Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA). Wild has served on the House Ethics Committee since 2019. The House Ethics Committee has the potential to be a powerful force in investigating sitting members of Congress, which Republicans have indicated that they may utilize if they gain a majority.

Potential Leadership and Past Legislation

Congressional117th Congress Sponsored117th Congress Total (Co and Sponsored)Since 2013 SponsoredSince 2013 Total (Co and Sponsored)
Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA)012017
Emma Somers

Emma Somers

Research Analyst