A Look At Senior House Members
Earlier today we talked about the proposed rule change that will alter the makeup of two of the most power committees in the House- Appropriations and Ways and Means. Instead of calling for the Speaker to appoint six members from the five old Congressional districts based on seniority, they would now use the new Congressional districts, still with six members each. The Speaker’s at large appointments would now increase from three to nine under the proposed rules. The total number of members would remain at 33 each, with no one serving on both.
I know a seniority list is going around the capitol, but without that benefit I have a rough look at that list, based on Congressional districts using all members elected in 2007 or before. Again, this isn’t exact and you have many members whose districts cross Congressional districts. For this, I tried to use the member’s hometown as the basis for the district that they were put in.
As has been talked about, the old rules would favor Democrats simply because many of them have been around for a very long time with the combination of safe, majority black districts along with ancestral Democrats still around.
And, if we go down to six members from each district, twelve total for the two committees, here is the party breakdown based solely on seniority, using my list which may or may not be exact:
CD 1: 7 R/ 5 D
CD 2: 11 D/ 1 R
CD 3: 8 D/ 4 R
CD 4: 7 R/ 5 D
By mount count, that is 19 Republicans and 29 Democrats among those 48 members. The Speaker would be able to work with these numbers to even them out as best as he can for the GOP, and most of the at large appointments would likely to have to be Republicans at this point so they can maintain their majority.