Historical Highlights

The Hansen and Bolling Reports

October 08, 1974
The Hansen and Bolling Reports Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Richard Bolling of Missouri served 17 terms in the House of Representatives and as chairman of the Select Committee on Committees of the House, Joint Economic Committee, and Committee on Rules.
On this date, by a vote of 203 to 165, the House of Representatives passed the Hansen Committee report, one of the chamber’s significant internal reforms of the 1970s. The Hansen measure served as a substitute for a far-reaching proposal by Chairman of the Select Committee on Committees Representative Richard Bolling of Missouri. Bolling sought to completely overhaul the House committee system by modifying jurisdictions and eliminating two standing panels. The Democratic Caucus Committee on Organization, Study, and Review, led by Representative Julia Butler Hansen of Washington developed a milder alternative report that established more subcommittees, increased the minority staff, abolished proxy voting in committees, and permitted the Speaker to refer a bill to more than one committee. During the six-day floor debate, Representative David Martin of Nebraska, the co-chair of the Select Committee on Committees, submitted a third proposal to merge the competing Bolling and Hansen reports. After the Hansen measure prevailed, a disappointed Bolling told reporters, “I think something was done. It’s a start. I never said it was nothing. I said it was not enough.”

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