ICYMI: What does the Committee on House Administration do?

Jul 9, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) recorded a podcast with the American Enterprise Institute on their series "Understanding Congress" with Kevin Kosar. On the episode titled "What does the Committee on House Administration do?," Davis discusses the role of the smallest committee in Congress and the issues it covers from Capitol security to election administration and everything in between.

CLICK HERE or image above to listen to the entire podcast or read key excerpts below.
Key Quotes

On the pandemic and reopening

Rodney Davis:

You fast forward that to the pandemic of 2020, in that first term that I was ranking member, we never would have thought House Admin would have to deal with such an issue about, how’s the house going to operate? What’s happening with security? What’s happening with Capitol grounds?

Rodney Davis:

That took up so much of my time during the year of 2020, throughout the pandemic, because we were trying to get the majority to focus on planning, so that we could reopen our house campus. We asked them to plan for testing, when we didn’t have access to testing on Capitol Hill. Now we’ve asked them, plan for vaccinations. They’ve done that, but it’s been a lot slower. Those issues have really been the two that have taken up our time over the last two congresses.

Bipartisanship

Rodney Davis:

Well, I wish we were doing more. I wish there was more bipartisanship. And certainly, when we were in the majority, it was a very bipartisan committee. But Chairperson Lofgren has chosen to take a much more partisan route. Our three members, it’s me, it’s Barry Loudermilk and Brian Steil, we’re nimble, we’re fast and we fight.

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Kevin Kosar:

Historically, public approval has been not high, but it’s been around like 40%. So, it seems to me that there’s a rich audience out there, so to speak for a message of, “Hey, as a member of Congress, I’m going to reform the place, the place that you dislike so much,” but I’m not a legislator. So what do I know? Do you talk about congressional reform to your constituents? And if you do, do they respond positively to it?

Rodney Davis:

I do. I certainly do. As a matter of fact, I think they respond positively. I’ve been reelected now four times and elected five times. These are the issues I talk about. I brag about being ranked the either 13 or I’m now 14, the 14th most bipartisan member of congress, according to the Lugar Center. I talk about these things all the time.

IA-02 Contested Election

Rodney Davis:

We fight like hell to make sure that our voices are heard and are our visions of how to run the Capitol complex and how to oversee those agencies are put forth. Frankly, there’s no better example of our successes working as a team together, than the Democrats walking away from trying to unseat our fellow member of Congress, Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa.

Rodney Davis:

She won a very close race by six votes. The Democrats were on a path to overturn her election and unseat her. Speaker Pelosi said she envisioned a scenario of that happening. We were able to work with our leadership, our political folks, and with Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ team and beat back their attempts and beat back their high price lawyers and the Democrat Campaign Congressional Committee too.

Modernization Committee

Rodney Davis:

You’re right. During the last congress, if you want to see bipartisan success, it’s the recommendations that we all made in a bipartisan way, that came out of the Modernization Committee. Now, I’ve learned with my first two and a half years in the minority now, that this is a very majority-driven institution. Although I would argue, I probably believed a little bit more in the bipartisanship nature when we were in the majority, because that’s what I saw from my committee chairs. I don’t see that now.

Rodney Davis:

I certainly hope that Chairperson Lofgren will continue to implement and schedule to be implemented any statutory changes that we’ve offered on the Modernization Committee, that she too serves on.

Capitol security reform

Rodney Davis:

Well, it’s one that’s very appropriate post-January 6th. It’s changing the way the Capitol Police Board operates. Frankly, I don’t think leadership of either the House or the Senate wants it to change because they have control. They can make decisions, but I truly believe those political decisions played a major role and an impact on putting our Capitol Police and the entire security posture in and around the Capitol on January 5th and 6th in a bad position.

Rodney Davis:

I want to change that. The Capitol Police Board should not unilaterally be able to make security decisions and overrule our Capitol Police chief and our officers. The Sergeant at Arms in the House and the Senate, they’re politically appointed. They work in complete conjunction with the Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

Rodney Davis:

And again, I’m finding out this is a very majority-driven institution. I’ve learned a lot during the pandemic because you have, not just different security postures between the Senate and the House. I mean, how in the world should we have different security postures between the north and south side of the Capitol, let alone different COVID responses?

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117th Congress