House Armed Services Committee Through the Ages

Posted May 8, 2009 at 2:23pm

The House creates the first of a series of select committees to consider legislation on naval affairs, including the organization and maintenance of naval forces.

House leaders establish the first of a series of select committees for military affairs with jurisdiction over the maintenance and regulation of land forces.

The House convenes a select committee on militias, following the defeat of a measure to establish a standing committee. The select panel is responsible for overseeing state militias, including their organization, training and armament.

The House creates the Naval Affairs and Military Affairs committees, replacing the chamber’s reliance on select committees. The panels enjoy broad jurisdiction over their respective domains.

The House establishes the standing Militia Committee to replace the select panel.

The Naval Affairs and Military Affairs committees are granted jurisdiction over their own appropriations bills.

The Militia Committee formally transfers its functions and powers to the Military Affairs Committee and is terminated.

The House Appropriations Committee assumes responsibility over defense-related spending bills from the Naval Affairs and Military Affairs committees.

Congress passes the Legislative Reorganization Act, establishing the House Armed Services Committee in 1947, replacing the Naval Affairs and Military Affairs committees. Rep. Walter Andrews (R-N.Y.) becomes chairman of the new panel.

The committee’s jurisdiction is adjusted to formalize oversight over the Defense Department. The panel’s broad jurisdiction is recognizable today and includes responsibility for the Pentagon, military service branches and the general defense of the nation.

The panel assumes responsibility for authorizing the construction of military housing.

The Armed Services Committee assumes jurisdiction over military applications of nuclear energy following the abolition of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee.

The committee shares jurisdiction with the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee over a resolution regarding continued operation of the Hanford nuclear reactor in Washington state to produce power for the Bonneville Power Administration.

Republicans assume control of the House and rename the panel the on National Security Committee during the 104th and 105th Congresses. Rep. Floyd Spence (R-S.C.) becomes Armed Services chairman.

Congress changes the panel’s name back to the Armed Services Committee.

Democrats assume control of the House in the 110th Congress. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) becomes Armed Services chairman.