A Preservationist’s Guide to Congressional Committees

Committee membership is one of the most important pieces of information to keep in mind before approaching your Congressman.

Every legislator serves on Congressional committees. All federal law falls within the jurisdiction of a committee in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate. A number of committees consider different aspects of the federal government’s responsibility for stewardship of historic properties. Each committee has staff that spends a great deal of time and effort assisting their bosses in understanding the benefits and drawbacks of potential or existing legislation. These staff members often understand that preservation is an important issue, but generally need help from the grassroots to comprehend the breath of impact in some cases.

Each committee has majority and minority party staff. While the majority party takes the lead on many issues, minority party support is also important, as is understanding the differences between the majority and minority position within a committee. Sometimes there is no party division on a preservation issue – thankfully, preservation is a nonpartisan issue. Disagreements generally arise around the degree to which the federal government regulates historic resources or how preservation is supported through tax law – not whether or not there should be regulations or incentives, or whether or not historic resources are important. Minority heads on Committees and Subcommittees are called “Ranking Members.”

Even if your legislator is not on one of the following committees supporting preservation work, grassroots advocacy is still essential. Congressmen are human – they have friends among other Congressmen and can be persuaded by their peers.

Jump to Member Lists of Congressional Committees

Explaining the Roles of Key Committees

House Committee on Appropriations and the Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies & Senate Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies

Appropriations subcommittees in both the House and the Senate consider how much the federal government will spend on authorized programs. Generally, the overarching appropriations committee takes its cues from the Subcommittees focused on specific areas of spending. Preservationists should develop relationships with members of both the Interior and Related Agencies subcommittees and the subcommittee focused on spending for Transportation, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies given the latter has jurisdiction over Community Development Block Grants. The Agriculture Subcommittee has jurisdiction over funds that might be appropriated for barn preservation activity, authorized in the past, but never funded.

The Interior and Related Agencies Subcommittee has jurisdiction over Historic Preservation Fund programs including funding for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Save America’s Treasures funds, Preserve America funds, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities preservation funds. National Heritage Areas are also funded through the Interior appropriations subcommittee. The same committees consider funding for National Parks, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and similar natural resource programs.

House Natural Resources Committee and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests & Public Lands & Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Subcommittee on Parks

Subcommittees within the Resources committees have purview over the National Historic Preservation Act and related programs. Subcommittees work through the details of legislative issues prior to advancing issues to the full committee. House and Senate Resources committees have authorizing power, that is, they do not make decisions about how much money goes to preservation programs, but rather, how much the federal government is authorized to spend on a given program. Hot topics currently in play in this committee area include potential changes to Section 106, changes in the management of National Parks, and potential changes to the Organic Act of 1916 that established the National Park Service.

House Committee on Ways and Means and the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures (Tax) & Senate Finance Committee

The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, along with the Senate Finance committee consider changes or “reforms” to tax law. They are considered to be among the most prestigious committees within Congress. A Joint Committee on Taxation, that is, delegates from both House and Senate committees, helps facilitate bicameral discussions of tax law, often in the form of reports seeking to explain how a given problem might be solved. Hot preservation related topics considered by these committees this session include potential reform of the preservation easement program (S. 2020, H.R. 4534), improvements to the rehabilitation tax credit (HR 3159), and how preservation activity might be incentivized within the tax element of the hurricane relief packages.

House Transportation Committee & Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

One of the most substantial federal funding streams for historic preservation projects is Transportation Enhancements – a component of our national surface transportation program.  Every few years, Congress must pass a new transportation bill.  These committees in both the House and the Senate are key to this process.

Committees in the House of Representatives

House Natural Resources Committee

Chair, Doc Hastings (R-WA)
Ranking, Edward Markey (D-MA)

Republicans
Don Young (AK)
John Duncan (TN)
Louie Gohmert (TX)
Rob Bishop (UT)
Doug Lamborn (CO)
Robert Wittman (VA)
Paul Broun (GA)
John Fleming (LA)
Mike Coffman (CO)
Tom McClintock (CA)
Glenn Thompson (PA)
Jeff Denham (CA)
Dan Benishek (MI)
David Rivera (FL)
Jeff Duncan (SC)
Scott Tipton (CO)
Paul Gosar (AZ)
Raul LaBrador (ID)
Kristi Noem (SD)
Steve Southerland (FL)
Bill Flores (TX)
Andy Harris (MD)
Jeff Landry (LA)
Chuck Fleischmann (TN)
John Runyan (NJ)
Bill Johnson (OH)
Democrats
Dale Kildee (MI)
Peter DeFazio (OR)
Eni Faleomavaega (AS)
Frank Pallone (NJ)
Grace Napolitano (CA)
Rush Holt (NJ)
Raul Grijalva (AZ)
Madeline Bordallo (GU)
Jim Costa (CA)
Dan Boren (OK)
Gregorio Sablan (NMI)
Martin Heinrich (MN)
Ben Lujan (NM)
Donna Christensen (VI)
John Sarbanes (MD)
Betty Sutton (OH)
Niki Tsongas (MA)
Piedro Pierluisi (PR)
John Garamendi (CA)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI)


Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
House Natural Resources Committee

Chair, Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Ranking, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

Republicans
Don Young (AK)
John J. Duncan, Jr (TN)Doug Lamborn (CO)
Paul C. Broun (GA)
Mike Coffman (CO)
Tom McClintock (CA)
Scott R. Tipton (CO)
Raul Labrador (ID)
Kristi Noem (SD)
Bill Johnson (OH)
Democrats
Peter DeFazio (OR)Martin Heinrich (NM)
John Sarbanes (MD)
Betty Sutton (OH)
Niki Tsongas (MA)
John Garamendi (CA)
Dale Kildee (MI)
Edward Markey (MA)

House Committee on Appropriations

Chair, Harold Rogers (R-KY)
Ranking, Norm Dicks (D-WA)

Republicans
Harold Rogers (KY)
Jerry Lewis (CA)
C. W. Bill Young (FL)
Frank R. Wolf (VA)
Jack Kingston (GA)
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ)
Tom Latham (IA)
Robert B. Aderholt (AL)
Jo Ann Emerson (MO)
Kay Granger (TX)
Michael K. Simpson (ID)
John Abney Culberson (TX)
Ander Crenshaw (FL)
Denny Rehberg (MT)
John R. Carter (TX)
Rodney Alexander (LA)
Ken Calvert (CA)
Jo Bonner (AL)
Steve Latourette (OH)
Tom Cole (OK)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Charles Dent (PA)
Steve Austria (OH)
Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Tom Graves (GA)
Kevin Yoder (KS)
Steve Womack (AR)
Alan Nunnelee (MS)
Democrats
Marcy Kaptur (OH)
Pete Visclosky (IN)
Nita Lowey  (NY)
Jose Serrano (NY)
Ronsa DeLauro (CT)
Jim Moran (VA)
John Olver (MA)
Ed Pastor (AZ)
David Price (NC)
Maurice Hinchey (NY)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)
Sam Farr (CA)
Jesse Jackson, Jr (IL)
Chaka Fattah (PA)
Steve Rothman (NJ)
Sanford Bishop (GA)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Adam Schiff (CA)
Mike Honda (CA)
Betty McCollum (MN)


Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations

Chair, Michael Simpson (R-ID)
Ranking, Jim Moran (D-VA)

Republicans
Jerry Lewis (CA)
Ken Calvert (CA)
Steve Latourette (OH)
Tom Cole (OK)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Democrats
Betty McCollum (MN)
Maurice Hinshey (NY)
Jose Serrano (NY)

House Transportation Committee

Chair, John Mica (R-FL)
Ranking, Nick Rahall (D-WV)

Republicans
Don Young (AK)
Tom Petri (WI)
Howard Coble (NC)
John Duncan (TN)
Frank Lobiondo (NJ)
Gary Miller (CA)
Timothy V. Johnson (IL)
Sam Graves (MO)
Bill Shuster (PA)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
Jean Schmidt (OH)
Candice Miller (MI)
Duncan D. Hunter (CA)
Tom Reed (NY)
Andrew P. Harris (MD)
Rich Crawford (AS)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)
Frank Guinta (NH)
Randy Hultgren (IL)
Lou Barletta (PA)
Chip Cravaack (MN)
Blake Farenthold (TX)
Larry Buschon (IN)
Billy Long (MO)
Bob Gibbs (OH)
Pat Meehan (PA)
Richard L. Hanna (NY)
Stephen Fincher (TN)
Jeff Landry (LA)
Steve Southerland (FL)
Jeff Denham (CA)
James Lankford (OK)
Democrats
Peter Defazio (OR)
Jerry Costello (IL)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Jerrold Nadler (NY)
Corrine Brown (FL)
Bob Filner (CA)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)
Elijah Cummings (MD)
Leonard Boswell (IA)
Tim Holden (PA)
Rick Larsen (WA)
Mike Capuano (MA)
Tim Bishop (NY)
Mike Michaud (ME)
Russ Carnahan (MO)
Grace Napolitano (CA)
Daniel Lipinski (IL)
Mazie Hirono (HI)
Jason Altmire (PA)
Tim Walz (MN)
Heath Shuler (NC)
Steve Cohen (CA)
Laura Richardson (CA)
Albio Sires (NJ)
Donna Edwards (MD)

House Committee on Ways and Means

Chair, Dave Camp (R-MI)
Ranking, Sander Levin (D-MI)


Republicans

Wally Herger (CA)
Sam Johnson (TX)
Kevin Brady (TX)
Paul Ryan (WI)
Devin Hunes (CA)
Pat Tiberi (OH)
Geoff Davis (KY)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Charles W. Boustany, Jr (LA)
Peter Roskam (IL)
Jim Gerlach (PA)
Tom Price (GA)
Vern Buchanan (FL)
Adrian M. Smith (NE)
Aaron Schock (IL)
Lynn Jenkins (KS)
Erik Paulsen (NM)
Kenny Marchant (TX)
Rich Berg (ND)
Diane Black (TN)
Democrats
Charles B. Rangel (NY)
Pete Stark (CA)
Jim McDermott (WA)
John Lewis (GA)
Richard E. Neal (MA)
Xavier Becerra (CA)
Lloyd Doggett (TX)
Mike Thompson (CA)
John B. Larson (CT)
Earl Blumenauer (OR)
Ron Kind (WI)
Bill Pascrell (NJ)
Shelley Berkley (NV)
Joseph Crowley (NY)


Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures (Tax)
House Committee on Ways and Means

Chair, Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Ranking, Richard Neal (D-MA)


Republicans
Peter Roskam (IL)
Erik Paulson (MN)
Rick Berg (ND)
Charles Boustany (LA)
Kenny Marchant (TX)
Democrats
Mike Thompson (CA)
John Larson (CT)
Shelley Berkley (NV)

Senate Committees
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Chair, Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Ranking, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Democrats
Ron Wyden (OR)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Debbie Stabenow (MI
Mark Udall (CO)
Jeanne Shaheen (NH)
Al Franken (MN)
Joe Manchin (WV)
Chris Coons (DE)
Republicans
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Richard Burr (NC)
John Barrasso (WY)
Jim Risch (ID)
Mike Lee (UT)
Rand Paul (KY)
Dan Coats (IN)
Rob Portman (OH)
John Hoeven (ND)
Bob Corker (TN)

Independent
Bernie Sanders (VT)

Subcommittee on Parks
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Chair, Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Ranking, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Democrats
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Al Franken (MN)
Joe Manchin (WV)
Christopher Coons (DE)
Republican
John Barrasso (WY)
Dan Coats (IN)
Rob Portman (OH)
Dean Heller (NV)
Bob Corker (TN)

Independent
Bernie Sanders (VT)

Senate Appropriations Committee

Chair, Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Ranking, Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Democrats
Patrick Leahy (VT)
Tom Harkin (IA)
Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Herb Kohl (WI)
Patty Murray (WA)
Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Dick Durbin (IL)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Jack Reed (RI)
Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Jon Tester (MT)
Sherrod Brown (OH)
Republicans
Mitch McConnell (KY)
Richard Shelby (AL)Kay Bailey Hutchinson (TX)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Susan Collins (ME)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Mark Kirk (IL)
Dan Coats (IN)
Roy Blunt (MO)
Jerry Moran (KS)
John Hoeven (ND)
Ron Johnson (WI)


Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies
Senate Appropriations Committee

Chair, Jack Reed (D-RI)
Ranking, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Democrats
Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Patrick Leahy (VT)
Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Herb Kohl (WI)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Jon Tester (MT)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Republicans
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Thad Cochran (MS)
Susan Collins (ME)
Ron Johnson (WI)
Roy Blunt (MO)
John Hoeven (ND)

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Chair, Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Ranking, James Imhofe (R-OK)

Democrats
Max Baucus (MT)
Tom Carper (DE)
Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Ben Cardin (MD)
Amy Klobuchar (MN)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Tom Udall (NM)
Jeff Merkley (OR)
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Republicans
James Imhofe (OK)
David Vitter (LA)
John Barrasso (WY)
Jeff Sessions (AL)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Mike Johanns (NE)
John Boozman (AR)


Independent
Bernie Sanders (VT)

Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Senate Appropriations Committee

Chair, Max Baucus (D-MT)
Ranking, David Vitter (R-LA)

Democrats
Tom Carper (DE)
Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Ben Cardin (MD)
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Tom Udall (NM)
Republicans
John Barrasso (WY)
Jeff Session (AL)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Mike Johanns (NE)
John Boozman (AR)


Independent
Bernie Sanders (VT)

Senate Finance Committee

Chair, Max Baucus (D-MT)
Ranking, Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Democrats
Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Ron Wyden (OR)
Charles Schumer (NY)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Robert Menendez (NJ)
Thomas Carper (DE)
Ben Cardin (MD)
Sherrod Brown (OH)
Michael F. Bennet (CO)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA)

Republicans
Chuck Grassley (IA)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Pat Roberts (KS)
Mike Enzi (WY)
John Thune (SD)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Rob Portman (OH)
Patrick J. Toomey (PA)