United States House Committee on Ways and Means
The Committee of Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are not allowed to serve on any other House Committees unless they apply for a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including:
- Social Security
- Unemployment benefits
- Enforcement of child support laws
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal welfare program
- Foster care and adoption programs
The U.S. Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the House of Representatives. Since House procedure is that all bills regarding taxation must go through this committee, the committee is very influential, as is its Senate counterpart, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.
The Ways and Means Committee in the 111th Congress was chaired by Charlie Rangel, who had taken a leave of absence as chairman until House ethics violations were resolved. However, his leave of absence as chairman was ruled to be a resignation. Pete Stark resigned as acting chairman, so Sander Levin held that position until the start of the 112th Congress. Dave Camp became the committee chair for the 112th Congress, after the Republicans won control of the House in the 2010 election.
The idea of a "Committee of Ways and Means" to handle the financial matters of a legislature is an old one, having been used in the English Parliament and the colonial and state legislatures in America.
The Committee was first established during the first Congress, in 1789. However, this initial version was disbanded after only 8 weeks; for the next several years, only ad hoc committees were formed, to write up laws on notions already debated in the whole House. It was first established as a standing committee by resolution adopted December 21, 1795, and first appeared among the list of regular standing committees on January 7, 1802. Upon its original creation, it held power over both taxes and spending, until the spending power was given to the new Appropriations Committee in 1865.
Three future presidents - James Polk, Millard Fillmore, and William McKinley - served as Committee Chairman. Before the official roles of floor leader came about in the late 19th century, the Chairman of Ways and Means was considered the Majority Leader. The Chairman is one of very few Representatives to have office space within the Capitol building itself.
Political significance 
Because of its wide jurisdiction, Ways and Means has always been one of the most important committees with respect to impact on policy. Although it lacks the prospects for re-election help that comes with the Appropriations Committee, it is seen as a valuable post for two reasons. First, since its range is so broad, members with a wide array of policy concerns often seek positions, simply to be able to influence policy decisions. Some recent major issues that have gone through this committee include welfare reform, a Medicare prescription drug benefit, Social Security reform, George W. Bush's tax cuts, and trade agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Second, given the wide array of interests that are affected by the committee, a seat makes it very easy to collect campaign contributions.
Until 1974, the Ways and Means Committee decided which chairmanships newly elected members of Congress would have, along with its regular financial duties. When Ways and Means chair Wilbur Mills' career ended in scandal, Congressman Phillip Burton transferred the committee's selection powers to a separate, newly created committee.
Members, 113th Congress 
Subcommittees, 113th Congress 
There are six subcommittees in the 113th Congress. In 2011, the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support was renamed the Subcommittee on Human Resources, returning to the name it held prior to the 110th Congress.
|Trade||Devin Nunes (R-CA)||Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)|
|Social Security||Sam Johnson (R-TX)||Xavier Becerra (D-CA)|
|Oversight||Charles Boustany (R-LA)||John Lewis (D-GA)|
|Health||Kevin Brady (R-TX)||Jim McDermott (D-WA)|
|Human Resources||Dave Reichert (R-WA)||Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)|
|Select Revenue Measures||Pat Tiberi (R-OH)||Richard Neal (D-MA)|
|#||Chair||Party||State||Start of Service||End of Service|
|2||William L. Smith||Federalist||SC||1794||1797|
|3||Robert G. Harper||Federalist||SC||1797||1800|
|7||George W. Campbell||Democratic-Republican||TN||1807||1809|
|8||John W. Eppes||Democratic-Republican||VA||1809||1811|
|11||John W. Eppes||Democratic-Republican||VA||1813||1815|
|17||Gulian C. Verplanck||Democratic||NY||1832||1833|
|18||James K. Polk||Democratic||TN||1833||1835|
|19||Churchill C. Cambreleng||Democratic||NY||1835||1839|
|20||John W. Jones||Democratic||VA||1839||1841|
|22||James I. McKay||Democratic||NC||1843||1847|
|23||Samuel F. Vinton||Whig||OH||1847||1849|
|24||Thomas H. Bayly||Democratic||VA||1849||1851|
|25||George S. Houston||Democratic||AL||1851||1855|
|26||Lewis D. Campbell||Republican||OH||1856||1857|
|27||J. Glancy Jones||Democratic||PA||1857||1858|
|28||John S. Phelps||Democratic||MO||1858||1859|
|32||Robert C. Schenck||Republican||OH||1867||1871|
|34||Henry L. Dawes||Republican||MA||1871||1875|
|35||William R. Morrison||Democratic||IL||1875||1877|
|37||John R. Tucker||Democratic||VA||1881||1881|
|38||William D. Kelley||Republican||PA||1881||1883|
|39||William R. Morrison||Democratic||IL||1883||1887|
|40||Roger Q. Mills||Democratic||TX||1887||1889|
|42||William M. Springer||Democratic||IL||1891||1893|
|43||William L. Wilson||Democratic||WV||1893||1895|
|44||Nelson Dingley, Jr.||Republican||ME||1895||1899|
|45||Sereno E. Payne||Republican||NY||1899||1911|
|46||Oscar W. Underwood||Democratic||AL||1911||1915|
|49||William R. Green||Republican||IA||1923||1928|
|50||Willis C. Hawley||Republican||OR||1928||1931|
|51||James W. Collier||Democratic||MS||1931||1933|
|52||Robert L. Doughton||Democratic||NC||1933||1947|
|54||Robert L. Doughton||Democratic||NC||1949||1953|
|55||Daniel A. Reed||Republican||NY||1953||1955|
|Al Ullman (acting)||Democratic||OR||1973||1975|
|Sam Gibbons (acting)||Democratic||FL||1994||1995|
|Sander Levin (acting)||Democratic||MI||2010||2011|
- "Rangel temporarily steps down as House Ways and Means chair - CNN.com". CNN. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Herszenhorn, David M. (2010-03-03). "Rangel's Leave May Not Be Temporary". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Ways and Means Bicentennial History, Page 38
- Ways and Means Bicentennial History, Page 58
- Grier, Kevin; Munger, Michael (1991). "Committee Assignments, Constituent Preferences and Campaign Contributions". Economic Inquiry 29 (1): 24–43. doi:10.1111/j.1465-7295.1991.tb01250.x.
- Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. pp. 276–279. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
- Committee Members, United States House Committee on Ways and Means, 2013.
- "Chairman Camp Announces Republican Membership on Ways & Means Subcommittees for 113th Congress". January 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-22.