United States House of Representatives Committee Assignment Request Data, 80th-103rd Congress (ICPSR 21080)

Published: Feb 26, 2008

Principal Investigator(s):
Scott A. Frisch, California State University-Channel Islands; Sean Q. Kelly, California State University-Channel Islands


Version V1

These data were collected by Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly between 2000 and 2004 from the archived papers of former members of the United States Congress. In most cases, Frisch, Kelly, or both traveled to archives to collect the textual materials from which the data were generated. In most cases, the request data come from the committee request summaries (briefing books) compiled for the Democratic Members of the Committee on Ways and Means, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and the Republican Executive Committee on Committees. In addition to Committee notebooks, copies of the letters that individual members wrote in support of their assignment requests were collected. The format of these letters typically consists of a lengthy justification of the member's qualifications and need for his or her first request, with perhaps a paragraph devoted to a list of additional committees to which assignment would be acceptable. In a few instances, when no briefing book was available, preferences were reconstructed from the request letters submitted by the members to their party committees. In these cases, the most recent letter was considered the definitive statement of the member's preferences. Data regarding subcommittee assignments are not included in these data, nor are temporary committee assignments, nor are assignments that were not made at the beginning of a Congressional term. Committee requests for temporary, joint committees, boards, select committees and the like are also not included. The total number of committee preference listings is 2,480. Included are the committee preferences of 1,163 first-term members, as well as committee transfer requests made by 1,317 incumbents. For Democrats, the data cover the 80th through the 103rd Congress (but not the 85th Congress, which has not been located), comprising the committee preferences of 1,366 members, 655 first-term Democrats, and 711 incumbent Democrats. For the Republicans, the data cover the 86th through the 102nd Congress, reflecting the committee preferences of 1,114 Republican members, including 452 first-term Republicans and 662 incumbent Republicans. Republican data prior to the 86th Congress could not be located and were apparently lost during an effort to consolidate the records of congressional leaders prior to the 86th Congress. Data for Republicans from the 103rd Congress have not been located.

Frisch, Scott A., and Kelly, Sean Q. United States House of Representatives Committee Assignment Request Data, 80th-103rd Congress. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-02-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21080.v1

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Dirksen Congressional Center

California State University-Bakersfield

California State University-Channel Islands

Niagara University Research Council

Gerald Ford Library

University of Oklahoma. Carl Albert Center

Washington State University. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service

George Mason University. Institute for Humane Studies


2000 -- 2004

Democratic and Republican members of the United States House of Representatives.


archived papers of members of Congress

administrative records data

record abstracts




  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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