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JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE ORGANIZATION OF CONGRESS
[Authorized by H. Con. Res. 192, 102d Congress]
DAVID L. BOREN, Oklahoma, Co-Chairman
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico, Co Vice Chairman JIM SASSER, Tennessee
NANCY L. KASSEBAUM, Kansas WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi HARRY REID, Nevada
TED STEVENS, Alaska PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
ROBERT DOLE, Kansas, Ex Officio
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana, Co-Chairman
DAVID DREIER, California, Co-Vice Chairman DAVID OBEY, Wisconsin
ROBERT S. WALKER, Pennsylvania AL SWIFT, Washington
GERALD B.H. SOLOMON, New York SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
BILL EMERSON, Missouri
JENNIFER DUNN, Washington
ROBERT H. MICHEL, Illinois, Ex Officio
G. KIM WINCUP, Staff Director
KELLY L. CORDES, Chief Clerk
PHILIP W. GRONE, Professional Staff Member
MAUREEN GROPPE, APSA Fellow
JAMES SATURNO, CRS Policy Analyst
SHELLEY GOUGH, Staff Assistant
Page Hon. John A. Boehner, a U.S. Representative from the State of Ohio.
59 Prepared statement
169 Hon. Charles H. Taylor, a U.S. Representative from the State of North Carolina....
61 Prepared statement
171 Hon. John T. Doolittle, a U.S. Representative from the State of California........ 62 Prepared statement
174 Hon. Jim Nussle, a U.S. Representative from the State of Iowa.
64 Prepared statement
176 Hon. Rick Santorum, a U.S. Representative from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ...
67 Prepared statement
180 Hon. Karen Shepherd, a U.S. Representative from the State of Utah
73 Prepared statement
181 Hon. Èric Fingerhut, a U.S. Representative from the State of Ohio.....
73 Prepared statement
181 Hon. Ronald K. Machtley, a U.S. Representative from the State of Rhode Island
75 Hon. Jack Quinn, a U.S. Representative from the State of New York. Prepared statement
186 Hon. Martin T. Meehan, a U.S. Representative from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
78 Prepared statement.
190 Hon. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a U.S. Representative from the State of Maryland...... 79 Hon. Michael D. Crapo, a U.S. Representative from the State of Idaho.......
80 Prepared statement
197 Hon. Paul McHale, a U.S. Representative from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania .....
82 Prepared statement
201 Hon. William Zeliff, a U.S. Representative from the State of New Hampshire.. 88 Prepared statement.
204 Hon. Tillie Fowler, a U.S. Representative from the State of Florida..
89 Prepared statement .....
209 Hon. Charles T. Canady, a U.S. Representative from the State of Florida.
90 Prepared statement
211 Hon. John Linder, a U.S. Representative from the State of Georgia
91 Prepared statement
216 Hon. Jay Kim, a U.S. Representative from the State of California.
Hon. Gerald Solomon, a U.S. Representative from the State of New York .....
220 223 225 239
OPERATIONS OF THE CONGRESS: TESTIMONY OF CURRENT REPRESENTATIVES ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1993
UNITED STATES CONGRESS,
Washington, DC. The Joint Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:00 a.m., in room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lee H. Hamilton (co-chairman of the committee) presiding. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. LEE H. HAMILTON, A U.S.
REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF INDIANA Chairman HAMILTON. The meeting of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress will come to order. Today we will be hearing from 44 Members of the House. We have asked the Members to appear in response to an open invitation from the Joint Committee to all of the Members, asking for their testimony; and we are asking them today to appear roughly in the order of seniority, although, clearly, we will have to make some adjustments as we go through the day's schedule to try to accommodate activity on the Floor and the schedule of Members.
We did want to hear first from David Price, however. He is a nationally recognized scholar of the Congress, has written a book about it, taught congressional politics at Duke for two decades, and I guess has written not just one, but several books on the subject of congressional operations. So as a Member and as a scholar, he has an extraordinary view of this institution, and we welcome him here today to begin the testimony of the Members.
In several cases as we move along, Members have indicated to us that they would be testifying on the same topic, so we have tried to group some of these Members together in order to give coherence to the testimony.
Mr. Dreier, do you have any opening comments?
Mr. DREIER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me first congratulate Mr. Price for not only being here, but for Duke's great victory, and also to say that I would like to extend apologies from my colleague from Missouri, Mr. Emerson, who very much wanted to be here, but unfortunately, due to the fact that he was one of the co-chairmen of the prayer breakfast, he is meeting with
a number of delegates from around the world here in town, and he is unable to be here this morning, but is hoping to be here later.
I also, Mr. Chairman, would like to enter into the record at this point an opening statement from my colleague, the distinguished Ranking Republican on the Rules Committee, Mr. Solomon.
Chairman HAMILTON. Without objection, that will be entered into the record.
[The statement of Mr. Solomon is printed in the Appendix.] Chairman HAMILTON. Mr. Price, welcome, and you may begin.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. DAVID E. PRICE, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA Mr. PRICE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Dreier. I appreciate your warm welcome and also
the congratulations, although I would have to say that whenever Carolina plays Duke in central North Carolina, we win either way. And I particularly feel that way as a Representative from that area.
I am glad for the chance to appear before you today and to discuss with you the way Congress might be more effectively organized. Your committee is taking on a critical task at a critical time. The American people are experiencing great frustration with governmental ineffectiveness and paralysis. We know we can do better, and an important part of doing better is to improve the performance of this institution.
This morning I have one main purpose in mind, and that is to urge you, as you begin your work, to take care to distinguish genuine congressional reform for much of what is being peddled these days under that label.
I also will highlight a few areas of needed change, mainly pertaining to the House of Representatives, the chamber in which I serve.
Prior to my first election to the House, I worked as an aide to the late Senator Bob Bartlett of Alaska, I wrote a lateral dissertation, and then spent some 17 years as a political scientist writing and teaching about Congress. These were the years, early on, that produced books with titles like Obstacle Course on Capitol Hill and House Out of Order by our own champion of reform in the House, Richard Bolling. The policy frustrations and failings of the early 1960s in particular suggested the need for a performance-based critique and reform agenda, a need that was lessened, but not totally removed by the post-1964 spate of congressional productivity.
This strain of reform, which was kept alive by such Members as Bolling and Morris Udall, helped produce positive changes, particularly after the arrival of the post-Watergate class of 1974; the reining in, for example, of the House Rules Committee and its establishment as an arm of the leadership; strengthened leadership control over committee assignments on both sides of the aisle; strengthened leadership control over bill reversals, Floor operations, and a measure of accountability by committee chairs to the party caucus.
The reforms of the 1970s were not driven solely by a desire for efficient and responsive policymaking, but there were other goals: a desire to democratize the chamber, a desire to distribute authority