110th United States Congress

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For a full directory of the Congresspedia articles on the 110th Congress, visit Portal:110th United States Congress

The 110th United States Congress was sworn in on January 4, 2007. It will be in session through noon, January 4, 2009.

Caucus totals are 233 Democrats and 202 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives and 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 2 Independents (who plan to caucus with Democrats) in the U.S. Senate.

Leadership & Committees

U.S. House leadership

Democratic Leadership

The following members were selected by House Democrats to serve in the leadership during the 110th Congress:

Position Member
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Calif.)
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.)
Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.)
Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel (Ill.)
Caucus Vice-chair John Larson (Ct.)
DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md)

Republican Leadership

The following members were selected by House Republicans to serve in the leadership during the 110th Congress:

Position Member
Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio)
Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.)
Conference Chair Adam Putnam (Fla.)
Policy Committee Chairman Thad McCotter (Mich)
Conference Vice-chair Kay Granger (Texas)
Conference Secretary John Carter (Texas)
Chairman of NRCC Tom Cole (Okla.)

Committee chairmanships

The following members were selected to serve as committee chairs during the 110th Congress. Also listed are the members who previously headed the respective committees during the 109th Congress.

Committee Former Chairperson Incoming Chairperson
Agriculture Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) Rep. Collin Peterson, (D-Minn.)
Appropriations Rep. Jerry Lewis, (R-Calif.) Rep. David Obey, (D-Wis.)
Armed Services Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-Calif.) Rep. Ike Skelton, (D-Mo.)
Budget Rep. Jim Nussle, (R-Iowa) Rep. John Spratt, (D-S.C.)
Education and Labor (formerly "Education and the Workforce")* Rep. Howard McKeon, (R-Calif.) Rep. George Miller, (D-Calif.)
Energy and Commerce Rep. Joe Barton, (R-Texas) Rep. John Dingell, (D-Mich.)
Ethics Rep. Doc Hastings, (R-Wash.) Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, (D-Ohio)
Financial Services Rep. Michael Oxley, (R-Ohio) Rep. Barney Frank, (D-Mass.)
Foreign Affairs (formerly "International Relations")* Rep. Henry Hyde, (R-Ill.) Rep. Tom Lantos, (D-Calif.)
Homeland Security Rep. Peter King, (R-N.Y.) Rep. Bennie Thompson, (D-Miss.)
House Administration Rep. Vernon Ehlers, (R-Mich.) Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, (D-Calif.)
Intelligence Rep. Peter Hoekstra, (R. Mich.) Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas)
Judiciary Rep. James Sensenbrenner, (R-Wis.) Rep. John Conyers, (D-Mich.)
Natural Resources (formerly "Resources")* Rep. Richard Pombo, (R-Calif.) Rep. Nick Rahall, (D-W.Va.)
Oversight and Government Reform (formerly "Government Reform")* Rep. Tom Davis, (R-Va.) Rep. Henry A. Waxman, (D-Calif.)
Rules Rep. David Dreier, (R-Calif.) Rep. Louise Slaughter, (D-N.Y.)
Science and Technology (formerly "Science")* Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, (R-N.Y.) Rep. Bart Gordon, (D-Tenn.)
Small Business Rep. Donald Manzullo, (R-Ill.) Rep. Nydia Velazquez, (D-N.Y.)
Transportation and Infrastructure Rep. Don Young, (R-Alaska) Rep. James Oberstar, (D-Minn.)
Veterans' Affairs Rep. Steve Buyer, (R-Ind.) Rep. Bob Filner, (D-Calif.)
Ways and Means Rep. Bill Thomas, (R-Calif.) Rep. Charles Rangel, (D-N.Y.)

* Committee names changed at the beginning of the 110th Congress.

Main article: U.S. House of Representatives Committees

U.S. Senate leadership

Democratic Leadership

On November 14, 2006, the Democratic caucus met in the Old Senate Chamber to decide on party leaders. The following members were selected to serve in the leadership:

Position Member
Majority Leader
Chairman of Democratic Caucus
Harry Reid (Nev.)
Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.)
Chairman of DSCC
Vice-chair of Democratic Caucus
Charles Schumer (N.Y)
Conference secretary Patty Murray (Wash.)
Chair of the steering committee Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

Republican Leadership

On November 15, 2006, the Senate Republican caucus met to determine Senate Minority leadership. The following members were selected:

Position Member
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
Minority Whip Trent Lott (Miss.)
Conference Chair Jon Kyl (Ariz.)
Conference Vice-Chair John Cornyn (Texas)
Policy Committee Chairman Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas)
Chairman of the NRSC John Ensign (Nev.)

Committee Assignments

The following members were selected to serve as committee chairs during the 110th Congress. Also listed are the members who previously headed the respective committees during the 109th Congress.

Committee Former Chairperson Incoming Chairperson
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R-Ga.) Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Appropriations Sen. Thad Cochran, (R-Miss.) Sen. Robert Byrd, (D-W.Va.)
Armed Services Committee Sen. John Warner, (R-Va.) Sen. Carl Levin, (D-Mich.)
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-Ala.) Sen. Christopher Dodd, (D-Conn.)
Budget Sen. Judd Gregg, (R-N.H.) Sen. Kent Conrad, (D-N.D.)
Commerce, Science, and Transportation Sen. Ted Stevens, (R-Alaska) Sen. Daniel Inouye, (D-Hawaii)
Energy and Natural Resources Sen. Pete Domenici, (R-N.M.) Sen. Jeff Bingaman, (D-N.M.)
Environment and Public Works Sen. James Inhofe, (R-Okla.) Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-Calif.)
Ethics Sen. Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa) Sen. Tim Johnson, (D-S.D.)*
Finance Sen. Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa) Sen. Max Baucus, (D-Mont.)
Foreign Relations Sen. Pete Domenici, (R-N.M.) Sen. Joe Biden, (D-Del.)
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Sen. Mike Enzi, (R-Wyo.) Sen. Ted Kennedy, (D-Mass.)
Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Sen. Susan Collins, (R-Maine) Sen. Joe Lieberman, (I/D-Conn.)
Indian Affairs Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.) Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D-N.D.)
Intelligence Sen. Pat Roberts, (R-Kan.) Sen. Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.)
Judiciary Sen. Arlen Specter, (R-Pa.) Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.)
Rules and Administration Sen. Trent Lott, (R-Miss.) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.)
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Sen. Olympia Snowe, (R-Maine) Sen. John Kerry, (D-Mass.)
Special Committee on Aging Sen. Gordon Smith, (R-Ore.) Sen. Herb Kohl, (D-Wis.)
Veterans' Affairs Sen. Larry Craig, (R-Idaho) Sen. Daniel Akaka, (D-Hawaii)

* At the beginning of the 110th Congress, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) was in the hospital recovering from brain surgery. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was named interim chair until his return. (Monterey Herald Story)


The House and Senate are generally in session in 2008 with the exception of these dates:

  • Jan 1-14 (House): Christmas recess
  • Jan 1-21 (Senate): Christmas recess
  • Jan 21: (Both) Martin Luther King Day

Source: Congress Daily calendar (pdf)


Rule changes

The Democratic-led House enacted several rule changes at the beginning of the 110th Congress. These included the following:

  • Rule XXI - Restrictions on certain bills: New so-called "pay/go" provisions state that all spending increases must be offset by spending reductions or revenue increases. The rule change also institutes restrictions on earmarking by mandating that no bill can be considered that is not presented with a list of earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits attached and included in the Congressional Record. This applies to all bills coming from committee, conference committee, joint committee, or bills that forgo the committee process.

New rules

The Democrats also created several new rules upon taking control in the 110th Congress:

  • Rule XXII - House and Senate relations: This new rule bans the practice of changing a conference report after it has been agreed upon and signed by conferees, a not-uncommon tactic used by the House Republican leadership in previous congresses.
  • Rule XXIII - Code of Official Conduct: This new rule aims to end the "K Street Project" by prohibiting members from threatening to retaliate against firms that hire employees who do not have similar partisan affiliations, prohibiting members from using funds (official, personal, or campaign) to pay for the use of privately-owned airplanes and requiring members to disclose all earmark requests and confirm that neither they nor their spouses have a financial stake in those requests.

Rules carried over from the 109th Congress

Democrats chose to preserve a Republican-initiated rule from the 109th Congress limiting members from serving as committee chairs on the same committee for more than three consecutvie Congresses (six years). The rule was originally put into place by a newly-elected Republican Congress in 1995 led by former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

John Santore, a spokesman for Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), said that the term limits issue was not, "an area of contention" for most Democrats. He did add, however, that some Democrats disagreed with the continuation of the rule and that the issue could be revisited in the future. [1]

Main article: U.S. House of Representatives Committees



The following legislative issues were addressed by the House during the 110th Congress:

Public opinion


In a poll released by The Washington Post on February 26, 2007, 54% of Americans trusted Congress to solve the situation in Iraq compared to 34% who trusted President George W. Bush. [2]

In balance and dispute of the currency of the above as a more current reflection of the entirety of the American public as polled on the issue. The following is a more Current reflection of opinion that comes from a September 2007 NY Times/CBS poll.

Military Holds Most Trust in Iraq Debate, New Poll Finds;

Only "5 percent" of Americans — a strikingly low number for a sitting president’s handling of such a dominant issue — said they most trust the Bush administration to resolve the war, the poll found. Asked to choose between the administration, Congress and military commanders, "21 percent" said they would most trust Congress and "68 percent" expressed the most trust in military commanders.



The following are among suggested items to be included on the agenda by the 110th Congress:


The following are among suggested topics for investigation by the 110th Congress:

On August 3, 2007, the House created a select committee, with subpoena power, to investigate a voting controversy surrounding an August 2 vote on the FY2008 agriculture appropriations bill.

Main article: August 2007 House voting controversy

Related SourceWatch/Congresspedia Resources



Articles & Commentary

Note: This page created November 10, 2006.