United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is a standing committee of the United States Senate.[1] It is empowered with legislative oversight of the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, interstate commerce, communications, highways, aviation, rail, shipping, transportation security, oceans, fisheries, climate change, disasters, science, nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences, sports, tourism, consumer issues, economic development, technology, competitiveness, product safety, insurance, and standards and measurement. The committee also has jurisdiction over coastal zone management, inland waterways (except construction), the Panama Canal and other interoceanic canals, and commerce aspects of Continental Shelf lands.[1]

The Committee is one of the largest in the Senate with 27 members in the 115th Congress. It is composed of seven subcommittees, and the Committee Chairman is Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and its Ranking Member is Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). Nelson is the only sitting Member of Congress who served as an astronaut.[2] The majority office is housed in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and the minority office is located in the Hart Senate Office Building.[1]


The Committee has its roots in the Committee on Commerce and Manufacturers, which served as a standing committee in the early-1800s. This committee was split in two in the 1820s and remained in this configuration until the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Under the LRA, the number of standing committees was dramatically decreased to streamline increase congressional efficiency and increase institutional strength. As a result, the Committee on Commerce, the Committee on Manufactures, the Committee on Interstate Commerce, and the Committee on Interoceanic Canals were combined into the United States Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. In 1977, as a part of widespread committee reorganization, the Committee renamed the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and given additional oversight jurisdiction over nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The original progenitors of this committee were:

Members, 115th Congress

Majority Minority



Subcommittee Chair Ranking Member
Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security   Roy Blunt (R-MO)   Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet   Roger Wicker (R-MS)   Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security   Jerry Moran (R-KS)   Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard   Dan Sullivan (R-AK)   Gary Peters (D-MI)
Space, Science and Competitiveness   Ted Cruz (R-TX)   Ed Markey (D-MA)
Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security   Deb Fischer (R-NE)   Cory Booker (D-NJ)


Committee on Commerce and Manufactures, 1816–1825

William HunterFederalistRhode Island1816–1817
Nathan SanfordDemocratic-RepublicanNew York1817–1820
Mahlon DickersonDemocratic RepublicanNew Jersey1820–1825

Committee on Commerce, 1825–1947

James LloydNational RepublicanMassachusetts1825–1826
Josiah JohnstonNational RepublicanLouisiana1826–1827
Levi WoodburyDemocraticNew Hampshire1827–1831
John ForsythDemocraticGeorgia1831–1832
William R. KingDemocraticAlabama1832–1833
Nathaniel SilsbeeWhigMassachusetts1833–1835
Robert Henry GoldsboroughWhigMaryland1835–1836
John DavisWhigMassachusetts1836–1837
William R. KingDemocraticAlabama1837–1841
Jabez HuntingtonWhigConnecticut1841–1845
William HaywoodDemocraticNorth Carolina1845–1846
John Adams DixDemocraticNew York1846–1849
Hannibal HamlinDemocraticMaine1849–1856
Henry DodgeDemocraticWisconsin1856–1857
Clement Claiborne ClayDemocraticAlabama1857–1861
Zachariah ChandlerRepublicanMichigan1861–1875
Roscoe ConklingRepublicanNew York1875–1879
John B. GordonDemocraticGeorgia1879–1880
Matt RansomDemocraticNorth Carolina1880–1881
Samuel J. R. McMillanRepublicanMaine1881–1887
William P. FryeRepublicanMaine1887–1893
Matt RansomDemocraticNorth Carolina1893–1895
William P. FryeRepublicanMaine1895–1911
Knute NelsonRepublicanNorth Dakota1911–1913
James P. ClarkeDemocraticArkansas1913–1916
Duncan U. FletcherDemocraticFlorida1916–1919
Wesley L. JonesRepublicanWashington1919–1930
Hiram W. JohnsonRepublicanCalifornia1930–1933
Hubert D. StephensDemocraticMississippi1933–1935
Royal S. CopelandDemocraticNew York1935–1939
Josiah W. BaileyDemocraticNorth Carolina1939–1947

Committee on Interstate Commerce, 1887–1947

Shelby M. CullomRepublicanIllinois1887–1893
Matthew ButlerDemocraticSouth Carolina1893–1895
Shelby M. CullomRepublicanIllinois1895–1901
Stephen ElkinsRepublicanWest Virginia1901–1911
Moses E. ClappRepublicanMinnesota1911–1913
Francis G. NewlandsDemocraticNevada1913–1917
Ellison D. SmithDemocraticSouth Carolina1917–1919
Albert B. CumminsRepublicanIowa1919–1924
Ellison D. SmithDemocraticSouth Carolina1924–1925
James E. WatsonRepublicanIndiana1925–1928
James CouzensRepublicanMichigan1928–1933
Clarence C. DillDemocraticWashington1933–1935
Burton K. WheelerDemocraticMontana1935–1947

Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 1947–1961

Wallace H. White, Jr.RepublicanMaine1947–1949
Edwin C. JohnsonDemocraticColorado1949–1953
Charles W. TobeyRepublicanNew Hampshire1953
John W. BrickerRepublicanOhio1953–1955
Warren G. MagnusonDemocraticWashington1955–1961

Committee on Commerce, 1961–1977

Warren G. MagnusonDemocraticWashington1961–1977

Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 1977–present

Warren G. MagnusonDemocraticWashington1977–1978
Howard W. CannonDemocraticNevada1978–1980
Bob PackwoodRepublicanOregon1981–1985
John DanforthRepublicanMissouri1985–1987
Ernest F. HollingsDemocraticSouth Carolina1987–1995
Larry PresslerRepublicanSouth Dakota1995–1997
John McCainRepublicanArizona1997–2001
Ernest F. HollingsDemocraticSouth Carolina2001
John McCainRepublicanArizona2001
Ernest F. HollingsDemocraticSouth Carolina2001–2003
John McCainRepublicanArizona2003–2005
Ted StevensRepublicanAlaska2005–2007
Daniel K. InouyeDemocraticHawaii2007–2009
Jay RockefellerDemocraticWest Virginia2009–2015
John ThuneRepublicanSouth Dakota2015–present


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