House Committee on Government Reform --

Welcome to PMC!

This background paper should serve as the starting point for your individual research of a specific policy topic. Here you will find information on your committee's jurisdiction, subcommittees, and current hot topics.  However, do not stop here - keep your eye on news events, check out government websites, search the internet for interesting topics that fall within this committee's scope, and above all -- think about important and relevant legislative issues that matter to you.   We look forward to reading your bill and to hearing a thoughtful debate on its merits at the conference.  Please remember to research the facts that drive your bill in order to solidify your arguments. Use the links on the Delegate Start Page to help you in this endeavor.  After your bill is submitted, review some of the other topics your committee is currently tackling in order to form opinions on issues engaged by the bills of your fellow delegates. 


We look forward to seeing you this year at the conference and good luck!


House Committee on Government Reform




The Government Reform Committee is widely recognized as the House’s chief oversight committee, acting as a watchdog against waste, fraud and abuse.  While all Congressional committees are expected to oversee the agencies under their jurisdiction, the Government Reform Committee’s authority to conduct oversight government-wide sets it apart. 


The committee holds jurisdiction over the following areas:


(1) Overseeing all Federal civil service and intergovernmental personnel, including their compensation, classification, and retirement, which is the fourth largest entitlement program, and with reorganizations in the executive branch of government


(2) All matters relating to the criminal justice system, the nation's anti-narcotics programs, both foreign and domestic, and health, housing, education, and welfare


(3) All matters relating to the Nation's economic growth, competitiveness, and natural resources


(4) Regulatory reform and paperwork reduction measures


(5) The overall  economy, efficiency and  management of Government operations


(6) All matters relating to the financial management of Executive Branch departments and agencies, including governmental accounting measures


(7) All matters relating to intergovernmental relations


(8) All matters relating to the handling of government information, including information security, presidential records and the Freedom of Information Act


(9) All matters relating to national security, veterans affairs, and international relations, including anti-terrorism efforts, both foreign and domestic, and international trade


(9) All matters relating to information technology and Federal procurement policy and practices




The Committee on Government Reform has been in existence in varying forms since 1816. It first appeared as the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, which was created in 1927 by consolidating the 11 Committees on Expenditures previously spread among the various departments of the government to oversee how taxpayer monies were spent.


The Committee's immediate predecessor, the Committee on Government Operations, was established in 1952. The name change was intended to communicate to the outside world the primary function of the committee, that being to study "the operations of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining their economy and efficiency." It is the Committee's government-wide oversight jurisdiction that sets it apart from other House committees.


On January 4, 1995, Republicans assumed control of the House of Representatives for the first time in over forty years. Republicans immediately implemented several internal reforms to the House, including one which applies all of the laws the rest of America lives under to Congress and another to downsize the congressional committee system. Perhaps more than any other committee, the Government Reform Committee embodies the changes taking place in the House of Representatives. The Committee's name was changed to highlight the Republican view that the federal government needs to be reformed to ensure accountability.


The Committee on Government Reform is unlike most other committees in that its jurisdiction has grown. Including the agenda of the former Committee on Government Operations, the Committee also has the responsibilities of the old Committee on Post Office and Civil Service and the Committee on the District of Columbia. The Committee has seven subcommittees responsible for the same jurisdiction previously covered by 3 committees and 14 subcommittees. This consolidation resulted in millions of dollars in budget savings and a nearly 50% cut in staff.


Public outrage at reports of ineffectiveness, waste, fraud and abuse in the use of public monies shows that investigation and oversight is one of the most important functions that a Congressional committee can perform. The Government Reform Committee serves as Congress' chief investigative and oversight committee of the Federal government. The Committee is granted broad jurisdiction because of the importance of effective, centralized oversight. Because it authorizes only a few small agencies and programs, it is therefore able to review government agencies and programs with an unbiased eye.




Civil Service

Criminal Justice

District of Columbua

Energy Policy

Government Efficiency

National Security

Technology and Procurement




Homeland Security


United States Citizens held in Saudi Arabia


F.B.I. Corruption in New England


Clemency Lobbying Disclosure


Sustaining Military Training Ranges


Healthcare Issues


Holocaust Victim Restitution







Dan Burton, IN, Chairman

Benjamin A. Gilman, NY

Constance A. Morella, MD

Christopher Shays, CT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL

John M. McHugh, NY

Stephen Horn, CA

John L. Mica, FL

Thomas M. Davis III, VA

Mark E. Souder, IN

Steven C. LaTourette, OH

Bob Barr, GA

Dan Miller, FL

Doug Ose, CA

Ron Lewis, KY

Jo Ann Davis, VA

Todd Russell Platts, PA

Dave Weldon, FL

Chris Cannon, UT

Adam Putnam, FL

Butch Otter, ID

Ed Schrock, VA

John Duncan, TN

John Sullivan, OK




Henry A. Waxman, CA, Ranking

Tom Lantos, CA

Major R. Owens, NY

Edolphus Towns, NY

Paul E. Kanjorski, PA

Patsy T. Mink, HI

Carolyn B. Maloney, NY

Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC

Elijah E. Cummings, MD

Dennis J. Kucinich, OH

Rod R. Blagojevich, IL

Danny K. Davis, IL

John F. Tierney, MA

Jim Turner, TX

Thomas H. Allen, ME

Janice D. Schakowsky, IL

Wm. Lacy Clay, MO

Diane E. Watson, CA

Stephen F. Lynch




Bernard Sanders, VT