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Congressional committees play a vital role in policy making in Washington, but the assignment criteria for committee positions is often opaque and hard to decipher. Political scientists widely claim that Congress members’ loyalty affects party leadership’s decisions in granting committee assignments. This paper tested this argument on the United States House of Representatives using select roll call vote data from the 103rd to 115th Congresses. The findings indicate that in general, loyalty affects Republicans more than it affects Democrats. This paper also finds that moderately loyal members fare as well as, if not slightly better than, highly loyal members in committee assignment.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Party Loyalty and Committee Assignment in the U.S. House of Representatives

  • Journal title
    • International Social Science Review

  • Volume
    • 95

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Xiaoli Jin holds a B.A. from Middlebury College in Computer Science and Political Science, and has received early admission to Harvard Law School.