Dan Newhouse

For 20, a New Year’s Boost in House Legislative Sway
How the winners of top committee assignments made their own luck

Keep an eye peeled for these House members with plum new committee assignments, from left to right, first row: Pete Aguilar, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Katherine M. Clark, Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo; second row: Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Brian Higgins, John Moolenaar, Grace Meng; third row: Dan Newhouse, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Raul Ruiz, David Schweikert; fourth row: Terri A. Sewell, Scott Taylor, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski and Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark, Meredith Dake-O’Connor and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos. Scott Taylor courtesy Scott Taylor for U.S. Congress)

Specialization seasoned with seniority is the surest recipe for a meaningful legislative career in the House, which is more than big enough to swallow all the dilettantes and short-timers without a trace. It’s finding a substantive niche, then fitting in over the long haul, that proves perennially frustrating for many members. 

But the goal of becoming a successful and substantive lawmaker just got a whole lot easier for a score of them.

House Members Seek Rules Changes on Ousting Speaker, Moments of Silence
Rules Committee hears ideas from members as it considers changes for 115th Congress

One House rules change under consideration would target the process the House Freedom Caucus used to pressure former Speaker John Boehner to resign. (Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

House members, frustrated by events such as conservatives' effort to oust former Speaker John A. Boehner and congressional inaction after multiple mass shootings, proposed changes to the Rules Committee Wednesday to prevent such scenarios from occurring in the 115th Congress. 

Wednesday's discussion on House rules that should be amended for the next Congress follows an April hearing on proposed changes to the appropriations process. Rules and Organization of the House Subcommittee Chairman Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said that he may hold another hearing, but that at a minimum he plans to continue discussing ideas with his colleagues.

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 6, 2015 (Video)

Members returned from an 11-day recess to reflect on airplanes, reclaim their time and ask rhetorical questions about sheep diets.