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The Republican Study Committee is a caucus of over 100 conservative members of the Republican Party in the United States House of Representatives. Though the primary functions of the Republican Study Committee vary from year to year, it has always pushed for significant cuts in non-defense spending, advocated socially conservative legislation, and protected rights such as the right to keep and bear arms. It has proposed an alternative budget every year since 1995, with notable decreases in pork spending. It has unveiled its plan to balance the budget without increasing taxes. Its alternative budget proposals are regularly praised by the editors of National Review, a leading conservative journal of opinion.


The RSC's key legislative initiatives are detailed in the American Taxpayer Bill of Rights, unveiled in March 2007.

  • 1. Taxpayers have a right to have a federal government that does not grow beyond their ability to pay for it.
  • 2. Taxpayers have a right to receive back each dollar that they entrust to the government for their retirement.
  • 3. Taxpayers have a right to expect the government to balance the budget without having their taxes raised.
  • 4. Taxpayers have a right to a simple, fair tax code that they can understand.


It was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists to keep a watch on the House Republican leadership, which they saw at the time as too moderate. Their formation mirrored the rise of the Democratic Study Group, a liberal force in the House Democratic Caucus founded in 1948. The group's first chairman was Phil Crane of Illinoismarker. The group briefly dissolved in 1995 after the Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years. Newly elected Speaker Newt Gingrich terminated funding for the RSC and similar groups soon after taking office.

However, it was almost immediately refounded as the Conservative Action Team by Dan Burton of Indianamarker (the last chairman of the original RSC), Sam Johnson of Texasmarker, John Doolittle of Californiamarker and Ernest Istook of Oklahomamarker. The four founders alternated as chairmen throughout the next two Congresses until David McIntosh of Indiana became chairman in 1998. When he resigned from the chairmanship in 2000 to focus on his run for governor of Indiana, Johnson reassumed the chairmanship. John Shadegg of Arizonamarker became chairman in 2001, renaming it the RSC soon after taking over. Shadegg increased the group's membership from 40 members in 2001 to 70 members in 2003. Sue Myrick of North Carolinamarker was the first woman to serve as chair from 2003 to 2005. Mike Pence of Indiana served as chairman from 2005 to 2007 and Jeb Hensarling of Texas served as chairman from 2007 to 2009. The current chairman is Dr. Tom Price of Georgia who succeeded Hensarling in 2009.

In September 2004, Representative Mike Pence, the Republican from the Sixth District of Indiana, was elected unanimously to chairman the committee for the 109th United States Congress. Rep. Pence is continuing to push the committee as a Reagan Republican voice, being championed as "Rush Limbaugh on decaff" and "A New Face of Conservatism." He now serves as chairman of House Republican Conference, the third-highest ranking position in the Republican leadership.

Several members of the RSC have held high positions in the House leadership. For instance, Doolittle was secretary of the House Republican Conference from 2003 to 2007, and Shadegg served as chairman of the House Policy Committee before stepping down to run for House Majority Leader in 2005.


The organization has long had ties to groups making up the most conservative elements of the Republican Party, such as the National Rifle Associationmarker, the American Family Association, Focus on the Familymarker, Concerned Women for America and the conservative magazine National Review, as well as the libertarian Cato Institute.

A subgroup of the committee, the Values Action Team, coordinates legislation with the Christian right. It has been headed by Joe Pitts of Pennsylvaniamarker since its formation in 1997.

The RSC has never publicized its full membership list, but a partial list has always been available at the group's website. It touts a former Vice President (Dan Quayle) and a former House Majority Leader (likely Tom DeLay) among its former members. In addition, four sitting senators—David Vitter (LA), Richard Burr (NC), Jim DeMint (SC), and Roger Wicker (MS)—were members of the RSC while serving in the House. Current governors Butch Otter (ID) and Bobby Jindal (LA) were also members.


The Republican Study Committee accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of pirating C-SPAN footage. In addition to an earlier attack on Pelosi about her private use of a military aircraft, the RSC retracted the accusations. (

House Republicans walked out of the bailout negotiations insisting on the RSC plan on September, 25th, 2008.






















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