History of the Chairs of the Standing House Committee on Rules

(1849-1850; 1880 to present)

The House established a standing Committee on Rules by resolution on December 27, 1849, at the opening of the 31st Congress (1849-1851). It was terminated as a standing committee in the second session of that Congress, when the House reverted to its longtime practice of appointing a temporary select committee on rules at the opening of each Congress. On March 2, 1880, during the 46th Congress, the Committee on Rules was again re-established as a standing committee, and that status was continued under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.

  • Twenty-seven individuals have chaired the standing Committee on Rules; the very first chairman was David Kaufman of Texas.
  • The longest-serving chairman was Howard Smith of Virginia who chaired the committee from 1955 to 1967.
  • More Members from New York (5) have chaired the committee than any other state: Bertrand Snell, John O’Conner, James Delaney, Gerald Solomon, and Louise Slaughter. Slaughter is the only woman to have chaired the committee.
  • Seven Speakers of the House chaired the committee from 1880 until 1910 when House Rules were modified after the Cannon Revolt to remove the Speaker from the chairmanship: Samuel Randall of Pennsylvania, J. Warren Keifer of Ohio, John Carlisle of Kentucky, Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine, Charles Crisp of Georgia, David Henderson of Iowa, and Joseph Cannon of Illinois.[1]
31st (1849–50) David Kaufman DEM TX
46th (1880–81) Samuel Randall DEM PA
47th (1881–83) J. Warren Keifer REP OH
48th–50th (1883–89) John Carlisle DEM KY
51st (1889–91) Thomas Brackett Reed REP ME
52nd–53rd (1891–95) Charles Crisp DEM GA
54th–55th (1895–99) Thomas Brackett Reed REP ME
56th–57th (1899–1903) David Henderson REP IA
58th–61st (1903–10) Joseph Cannon REP IL
61st (1910–11) John Dalzell REP PA
62nd–64th (1911–17) Robert Henry DEM TX
65th (1917–19) Edward Pou DEM NC
66th–67th (1919–23) Philip Campbell REP KS
68th–71st (1923–31) Bertrand Snell REP NY
72nd–73rd (1931–35) Edward Pou DEM NC
74th–75th (1935–39) John O'Conner DEM NY
76th–79th (1939–47) Adolph Sabath DEM IL
80th (1947–49) Leo Allen REP IL
81st–82nd (1949–51) Adolph Sabath DEM IL
83rd (1953–55) Leo Allen REP IL
84th–89th (1955–67) Howard Smith DEM VA
90th–92nd (1967–73) William Colmer DEM MS
93rd–94th (1973–77) Ray Madden DEM IN
95th (1977–79) James Delaney DEM NY
96th–97th (1979–83) Richard Bolling DEM MO
98th–101st (1983–89) Claude Pepper DEM FL
101st–103rd (1989–95) J. Joseph Moakley DEM MA
104th–105th (1995–99) Gerald Solomon REP NY
106th–109th (1999–2007) David Dreier REP CA
110th–111th (2007–09) Louise Slaughter DEM NY
112th (2011–13) David Dreier REP CA
113th–115th (2013–18) Pete Sessions REP TX
116th-Present (2019-) James P. McGovern DEM MA