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In United States politics, a ranking member is the most senior member of a congressional or state legislative committee from the minority party.[1] On many committees the ranking minority member, along with the chairman, serve as ex officio members of all of the committee's subcommittees.

When party control of a legislative chamber changes, a committee's ranking minority member is likely, though not assured, to become the next chairman of the committee, and vice versa.

Congressional usage[edit]

Four Senate committees refer to the ranking minority member as Vice Chairman. The following committees follow the Chairman/Vice Chairman structure for the majority and minority parties.

Other Senate committees refer to the ranking minority members as Ranking Member.[2]

The House of Representatives does not use the term vice chairman for the ranking minority member, though some committees do have a vice chairman position, usually assigned to a senior member of the majority party other than the chairman. House committees that follow this structure are:

Joint Committees of the House and Senate operate in much the same way, with a chairman and vice chairman from the majority party, alternating between a member of the House and a member of the Senate, and often two ranking members from both bodies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Archived July 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs : Home". Banking.senate.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 

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