Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Standing committee
Active
Seal of the United States Senate.svg

United States Senate
117th Congress
History
FormedJanuary 28, 1869
Leadership
ChairPatty Murray (D)
Since February 3, 2021
Ranking memberRichard Burr (R)
Since February 3, 2021
Structure
Political partiesMajority (11)
  •   Democratic (11)
Minority (11)
Jurisdiction
Oversight authorityDepartment of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor
House counterpartHouse Committee on Education and Labor
Meeting place
428 Senate Dirksen Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Website
help.senate.gov
Rules

The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) generally considers matters relating to these issues. Its jurisdiction also extends beyond these issues to include several more specific areas, as defined by Senate rules.

While currently known as the HELP Committee, the committee was originally founded on January 28, 1869, as the Committee on Education. Its name was changed to the Committee on Education and Labor on February 14, 1870, when petitions relating to labor were transferred to its jurisdiction from the Committee on Naval Affairs.

The committee’s jurisdiction at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries focused largely on issues relating to federal employees’ working conditions and federal education aid. Prominent action considered by the committee in the 1910s and 1920s included the creation of a national minimum wage, the establishments of a Department of Labor, a Department of Education, and a Children’s Bureau. During the 1930s, the committee took action on the National Labor Relations Act, the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act of 1936 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

In 1944, the jurisdiction of the Public Health Service was transferred from the Commerce Committee to the Committee on Education and Labor, adding issues relating to public health matters to its jurisdiction. The committee's name was changed during the 80th Congress to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare as part of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (Public Law 79-601). The act further expanded the committee's oversight to include the rehabilitation, health, and education of veterans. Mine safety was also added to the committee’s jurisdiction in 1949.

During the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the committee took the lead in shaping legislation as part of Johnson's War on Poverty, resulting in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Through the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-510), certain issues pertaining to veterans were transferred to the newly created Committee on Veterans Affairs. In the 95th Congress, the Senate passed S. Res. 4, which renamed the committee to be the Committee on Human Resources. However, the name was again changed in the 96th Congress by S. Res. 30 to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. On March 18, 1992, the committee’s jurisdiction was updated to include all of the areas listed below. The committee was given its current name, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, on January 19, 1999, by S. Res. 20.[1]

Jurisdictional areas

Under the Rule 25[2] of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the following subject matters fall under the jurisdiction of the Committee.[3]

Members, 117th Congress

Main article: 117th United States Congress

Majority Minority

Subcommittees

Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Children and Families Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Employment and Workplace Safety John Hickenlooper (D-CO) Mike Braun (R-IN)
Primary Health and Retirement Security Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Susan Collins (R-ME)

Historical members

110th Congress

Majority Minority
Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Children and Families Chris Dodd (D-CT) Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Patty Murray (D-WA) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Richard Burr (R-NC)

111th Congress

The Committee was chaired by Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts until his death on August 25, 2009. Under seniority rules, Acting Chairman Christopher Dodd was next in line, but Dodd chose instead to remain chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.[6] Tom Harkin, next in line by seniority, assumed the chairmanship on September 9, 2009, vacating his post as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.[7] Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming continued to serve as Ranking Member.

Majority Minority

Source: 2010 Congressional Record, Vol. 156, Page S6226 ,

Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Children and Families Chris Dodd (D-CT) Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Patty Murray (D-WA) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Richard Burr (R-NC)

112th Congress

Majority Minority

Source: 2011 Congressional Record, Vol. 157, Page S557

Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Children and Families Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Richard Burr (R-NC)
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Patty Murray (D-WA) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging Bernie Sanders (I-VT)[5] Rand Paul (R-KY)

113th Congress

Majority Minority

Source: 2013 Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page S296 to 297

Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Children and Families Kay Hagan (D-NC) Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Employment and Workplace Safety Bob Casey (D-PA) Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Primary Health and Aging Bernie Sanders (I-VT)[5] Richard Burr (R-NC)

114th Congress

Majority Minority

Source [8]

Source: 2015 Congressional Record, Vol. 161, Page S67 to 68

Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Children and Families Rand Paul (R-KY) Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA)
Employment and Workplace Safety Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Al Franken (D-MN)
Primary Health and Retirement Security Mike Enzi (R-WY) Bernie Sanders (I-VT)[5]

[9]

115th Congress

Majority Minority

116th Congress

Main article: 116th United States Congress

Majority Minority
Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Children and Families Rand Paul (R-KY) Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA)
Employment and Workplace Safety Tim Scott (R-SC) Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Primary Health and Retirement Security Mike Enzi (R-WY) Bernie Sanders (I-VT)[5]

Defunct subcommittees

The committee has had other subcommittees in the past, such as:

Chairmen

Education 1869–1870

Education and Labor, 1870 – 1947

Labor and Public Welfare, 1947–1977

Human Resources, 1977–1979

Labor and Human Resources, 1979–1999

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, 1999–present

See also

References

  1. ^ "U.S. Senate. Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. 1/19/1999- Organization Authority Record". National Archives.
  2. ^ "Rule XXV - Standing Committees" (PDF). govinfo.gov. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "About". help.senate.gov. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  4. ^ Bernie Sanders is an Independent, but caucuses with Democrats on the committee.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sanders is an Independent, but caucuses with the Democrats and is treated a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments.
  6. ^ Paul Kane, Ben Pershing. "Dodd Decides Against Taking Over Senate Health Committee". Washington Post.
  7. ^ "Life after Ted Kennedy: all eyes on Chris Dodd - politico.com". Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  8. ^ "U.S. Senate: Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions". senate.gov. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "RULES OF PROCEDURE" (PDF). govinfo.gov. 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Bernie Sanders is an Independent, but caucuses with Democrats on the committee.