Committee Firsts & Record Holders

Committee Firsts

The First Select Committee

The Select Committee on Rules was the first select committee ever created by the House on April 7, 1789, but it did not become a permanent standing body until 1880.

Standing Committee

First created as a select committee in the 1st Congress (1789–1791) on July 24, 1789, the Committee on Ways and Means became a standing committee in the 7th Congress (1801–1803).

Committee Chair Firsts & Record Holders

First African American Chairman

 William L. Dawson of Illinois chaired Expenditures in the Executive Departments, 81st Congress (1949–1951).

First Hispanic American Chairman

 Romualdo Pacheco of California chaired the Private Land Claims Committee, 47th Congress (1881–1883).

First Woman Chairman

 Mae Ella Nolan of California chaired Expenditures in the Post Office Department, 68th Congress (1923–1925).

First Asian American Chairman

 Norman Mineta of California chaired the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, 103rd Congress (1993–1995).

Longest Serving Member on any House Committee

John D. Dingell Jr. of Michigan joined the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 85th Congress (1957–1959) on January 10, 1957. When he retired from the 113th Congress (2013–2015) on January 3, 2015, he served a total of 58 years on the committee.

House Members with the Most Known Standing Committee Chairmanships

 William S. Holman of Indiana:

  • Committee on Appropriations, 44th and 52nd Congresses (1875–1877; 1891–1893)
  • Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, 44th Congress (1875–1877)
  • Committee on Public Lands, 50th Congress (1887–1889)
  • Committee on Indian Affairs, 53rd Congress (1893–1895)

 Harold Knutson of Minnesota:

  • Committee on Pensions, 67th71st Congresses (1921–1931)
  • Committee on Indian Affairs, 68th Congress (1923–1925)
  • Committee on Insular Affairs, 71st Congress (1929–1931)
  • Committee on Ways and Means, 80th Congress (1947–1949)

 Mary T. Norton of New Jersey:

  • Committee on the District of Columbia, 72nd75th Congresses (1931–1939)
  • Committee on Labor, 75th79th Congresses (1937–1947)
  • Committee on Memorials, 77th Congress (1941–1943)
  • Committee on House Administration, 81st Congress (1949–1951)