Chair: John Yarmuth
Projected Grade for the 117th Congress
0 Investigative Oversight Hearings
4 Policy/Legislative Hearings
5 Total HearingsLast updated: June 30, 2021, 8:44 p.m.
The committee’s main job is to draft the annual Budget Resolution that sets revenue and spending levels for the coming fiscal year. By law, the resolution must be enacted by April 15, so most of the committee’s work happens in the first months of each calendar year. (However, the target date often slips, and some years no budget resolution is adopted.) It also reviews the president’s annual budget request to Congress, as well as supplemental and emergency requests that come up during the year.
With 36 members, the committee is moderate-sized for the House. Annual budget debates allow some members to achieve high profiles in the media, and a few have gone on to the administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Unlike most other House committees, members are limited to three terms (four for chair and ranking member). Waivers are available, but they must be approved by a vote in the whole House. There are no subcommittees.
In recent years under GOP leadership the committee has done much of its work behind closed doors, and has held few public hearings. Under the leadership of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee, the committee held only four hearings during the final two years of the Obama administration (114th Congress), and only eight in the prior Congress (2013-14). Activity picked up under Chair Steve Womack (R, Ark.) in the 115th Congress (2017-18), with 15 hearings, still a low figure compared to earlier Congresses.
In the 116th Congress, with the Democrats back in control under Chair John Yarmuth of Kentucky, hearing activity picked up sharply. Even though the pandemic cut deeply into Congress's work schedule, the committee held nearly twice as many total hearings as in the previous Congress, and 50 percent more policy and legislative hearings. However, under Chair Yarmuth the committee returned to its traditional practice of holding no investigative oversight hearings.
111th Congress: John Spratt (D-SC)
112th Congress: Paul Ryan (R-WI)
113th Congress: Paul Ryan (R-WI)
114th Congress: Tom Price (R-GA)
115th Congress: Steve Womack (R-AR)
116th Congress: John Yarmuth (D-KY)
117th Congress: John Yarmuth (D-KY)
We are 51% of the way through the 117th Congress
House Committee on Budget0 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 0% historical maximum
Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]