The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is the chief oversight committee of the United States Senate.
While elements of the Committee can be traced back to the 19th century, its modern origins began with the creation of the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments on April 18, 1921. The Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department was renamed the Committee on Government Operations in 1952, which was reorganized as the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1978. After passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, it became the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, adding homeland security to its jurisdiction.
Of the five current subcommittees, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is the oldest and most storied, having been created at the same time as the Committee on Government Operations in 1952. The Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia was established after the creation of the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1978. The Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security was created in 2003.
Two ad hoc subcommittees were established in January 2007 to reflect the Committee's expanded homeland security jurisdiction. They were the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and the Subcommittee on State, Local, and Private Sector Preparedness and Integration. The Subcommittee on Contracting was added in 2009. In 2011, both ad hoc subcommittees merged to form the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Over the years, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and its predecessors have dealt with a number of important issues, including government accountability, Congressional ethics, regulatory affairs, and systems and information security. In 2003, after the Homeland Security Act of 2002 established the Department of Homeland Security, the Committee adopted primary oversight of the creation and subsequent policies, operations, and actions of the Department.
Senator Tom Carper, Chairman
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Established January of 2005, when it replaced the Committee on Governmental Affairs.
2013 - : Tom Carper (D-DE)
2007-2012: Joseph I. Lieberman (ID-CT)
2005-2006: Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
Established February 11, 1977, when it replaced the Committee on Government Operations, Post Office and Civil Service, and District of Columbia.
2003-2004 : Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
2001-2003: Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
2001: Fred D. Thompson (R-TN)
2001: Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
1997-2001: Fred D. Thompson (R-TN)
1995-1997: Ted Stevens (R-AK)
1995 : William V. Roth (R-DE)
1987-1995: John Glenn (D-OH)
1981-1987: William V. Roth (R-DE)
1977-1981: Abraham A. Ribicoff (D-CT)
Established March 3, 1952, when it replaced the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. Terminated February 11, 1977, when it was replaced by the Committee on Governmental Affairs.
1975-1977: Abraham A. Ribicoff (D-CT)
1972-1974: Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (D-NC)
1955-1972: John L. McClellan (D-AR)
1953-1955: Joseph R. McCarthy (R-WI)
1952-1953: John L. McClellan (D-AR)
Expenditures in Executive Departments
Established April 18, 1921. Terminated March 3, 1952, when it became the Committee on Government Operations, which was then replaced by the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1977.
1949-1952: John L. McClellan (D-AR)
1947-1949: George D. Aiken (R-VT)
1942-1947: Lister Hill (D-AL)
1940-1942: Frederick Van Nuys (D-IN)
1933-1939: J. Hamilton Lewis (D-IL)
1931-1933: Frederick Steiwer (R-OR)
1930-1931: Guy D. Goff (R-WV)
1927-1930: Frederic M. Sackett (R-KY)
1925-1927: David A. Reed (R-PA)
1921-1925: Medill McCormick (R-IL)
Chairmen reference: Chairmen of Senate Standing Committees 1789 to present. United States Senate Historical Office.
Historical Documents at NARA
The National Archives and Records Administration stores a number of historical congressional documents, including documents of the Committee on Governmental Affairs. These documents provide a wealth of information and perspective on the activities of the Committee. Further information can be found on the National Archives and Records Administration's website.