Homeland Security and House Committees: Analysis of 109th Congress Jurisdiction Changes and Their Impact on the Referral of Legislation [August 30, 2005]   [open pdf - 337KB]

"The creation by the House of the standing Homeland Security Committee in the 109th Congress (H.Res. 5) has led to changes in the referral of bills and joint resolutions on a wide range of subjects under the broad rubric of homeland security. The House vested the new committee with jurisdiction over 'overall homeland security policy,' 'organization and administration of the Department of Homeland Security' (DHS), and, with certain exceptions, over six DHS functions: border and port security, customs, homeland security information, domestic preparedness and response to terrorism, research and development, and transportation security. During House debate on H.Res. 5, Rules Committee Chairman Dreier inserted in the Congressional Record a document ('Legislative History') explaining the meaning and scope of the new committee's jurisdiction and the jurisdictional relationship between the new committee and 10 existing committees. The Legislative History is a complex document. It is a guideline to the Speaker in his referral of legislation and to all the affected committees on their potential claim to jurisdiction over specific subject matter. This report analyzes the Legislative History to explain how it allocates jurisdiction between the new committee and the 10 existing committees by retaining jurisdiction over some subject matter in one or more of the existing committees, by sharing jurisdiction over other subject matter between the new committee and one or more of the existing committees, and by defining the primary claim of the Homeland Security Committee to yet other subject matter."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33061
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