House Republican Study Committee

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The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) in the U.S. House of Representatives, a legislative service organization formerly known as the Conservative Action Team (CATs), is a "group of over 100 House Republicans organized for the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives. ... The Republican Study Committee is an independent research arm for Republicans. [1]

RSC "Whip"

In early 2005, the RSC "established its own whip operation, with Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) taking the lead. Because it was able to keep its members in line, the group last month gained concessions from GOP leadership after initially refusing to vote for the budget resolution." The Hill, April 6, 2005.

110th Congress: Katrina Housing

In 2007, the RSC expressed concern about the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act (H.R. 1427). The Act would create "an affordable housing fund to help rebuild storm-ravaged communities," according to the blog "Facing South." For the first year of the fund's five-year life span, all funds would be directed to communities in Louisiana and Mississippi devastated by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. [2]

RSC is upset that the organizations most active on affordable housing in these areas -- ACORN, the National Council of La Raza and Housing Works -- engage in "partisan, liberal political activities." RSC's Q&A on the legislation states: [3]

While the bill does prohibit the use of these grant funds for political activities, advocacy, lobbying, etc., many conservatives in the past have expressed concerns that the Fund could still be used by liberal entities to displace other funds. Money is fungible, so that if a group cannot use Fund grants for political activities, it could certainly have more money freed up for political activities because of the injection of Fund grants.

Strategy: 109th Congress PAC

"The members of the House Republican Study Committee, who like to brag that they represent the majority of the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, are taking steps to increase their number. The RSC members have re-launched an existing political action committee as the House Conservatives Fund, led by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., to help conservative candidates prevail over their moderate-to-liberal opponents in party primaries. Unlike some of the other groups around town with similar mission statements, those behind the HCF say they will not get involved in races where Republican incumbents are being challenged from the right." UPI, April 29, 2005.

108th Congress

"With the conservative gains in the November 2004 elections, there is great hope for more pro-family successes in the next session. The pro-family and limited government Members are becoming well-organized and a force that leadership cannot ignore. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) will be the new chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, which is one of the largest Congressional caucuses. Furthermore, Sens.-elect Tom Coburn, David Vitter, Mel Martinez, Jim DeMint, and John Thune will bring new conservative muscle (and hope) to the Senate. Encourage your conservative Members to join the Values Action Team, the Immigration Reform Caucus, the Senate Steering Committee, and the House Republican Study Committee (RSC). By increasing these caucuses, the conservative voice within Congress grows louder and more effective." --Eagle Forum News, January 2005.

Mission

"The Republican Study Committee is dedicated to: [4]

  • a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government,
  • a strong national defense,
  • the protection of individual and property rights,
  • and the preservation of traditional family values.

"The group has played a major role in key policy areas including budget, appropriations, taxes, education, Social Security reform, defense, deregulation, and general government reform."

Partial List of Members

History

The RSC "was formed in the 1970s only to have its funding cut off when the House Republicans gained the majority in 1994 and suspended funding for all legislative service organizations. Soon the House conservatives formed a Conservative Action Team (CATs) and members paid for it out of their budgets. CATs led the battles on behalf of conservative principles on a number of issues. The name was changed in 2000 to the Republican Study Committee. The organization's mission remains the same as that of its predecessor." [5]

Leadership

After former Executive Director Neil Bradley assumed leadership of the Committee in December 1999, the group's membership and staff resources doubled. Bradley "supervised the development of a number of new RSC programs including: a daily Legislative Bulletin, which provides a conservative analysis of legislation pending before the House; a tracking system that monitors how much money Congress authorizes to spend each week; regular conservative background papers and talking points on major issues; and a weekly e-mail update for concerned citizens and conservative activists.

"While working on almost every matter pending before the House, the Republican Study Committee has developed task forces focusing on National Security, Health Care, Education, Budget / Appropriations / Taxes, Family Values, and Communications. As Executive Director, Mr. Bradley is responsible for coordinating the work of the RSC staff and Task Forces.

Bradley served "as a liaison between conservatives and Committees, House Leadership, the Executive Branch, the media and outside organizations.

"Mr. Bradley [was] frequently consulted as an expert on Congressional budget and appropriations issues and [was] responsible for developing the conservative alternative budgets offered by the Republican Study Committee, including [2004]’s proposal to provide a 'Bush-plus' Economic Growth Package and balance the budget within four years." [6]

Leadership and Staff

Legislative Bulletins

RSC analyses of legislation pending before the House

Values Action Team

According to the RSC document describing its Values Action Team, "The goal of this group was to unite conservative Members with pro-family coalitions by establishing legislative goals, identifying key tasks for Members and coalitions to perform, and executing action items that would lead to conservative victories." [9] (Word file)

The Team was established in 1998, following a "Values Summit." The RSC document explains, "As a result of this summit, Majority Whip Tom DeLay identified the lack of coordination between the outside pro-life/pro-family coalitions and similar-minded Members of Congress. In turn, the Whip tapped then-freshman Representative Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) to spearhead this new inside/outside coalition, which would come to be known as the Values Action Team."

"VAT Members’ staffs meet weekly for a strategy lunch courtesy of the Family Research Council. The goal of these meetings is to strategize, educate, and assign action items for VAT Members and staff to complete," continues the RSC document.

The RSC document lists as the Team's key issues the following:

  • "Pro-family tax bills (marriage tax penalty relief, death tax elimination, education savings accounts, adoption tax credit, parent tax credit)
  • "Life (abortion, assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research)
  • "Education (school choice, local control, no national testing, dollars and decisions to the classroom)
  • "Parental Rights (notification for Title X, parental freedom of information in schools)
  • "Pornography (internet pornography, urging the prosecution of obscenity by DOJ)
  • "Religious Liberty (Ten Commandments Defense Act, religious freedom amendment)"

Members of the Team must be "strongly pro-life," must assign "one legislative staff member to attend weekly strategy luncheons," must "follow-through with action items such as lobbying Members, signing letters, sending dear colleagues, etc.," and must "address the Thursday VAT coalition meeting at least one time each year."

Contact Details

426 House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202 226-9717
Fax 202 226-1833
Email: RSC AT mail.house.gov Website: http://johnshadegg.house.gov/rsc/ (located on website of Rep. John Shadegg).

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External links