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CRS — Congressional Member Organizations – Their Purpose and Activity

October 28, 2013

Congressional Member Organizations – Their Purpose and Activity (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Merit System Protection Board Watch)

There are 694 informal Member organizations listed in the Congressional Yellow Book or registered with the Committee on House Administration. According to self-reported information contained in the Congressional Yellow Book, the House’s 618 informal Member organizations had from 1 to 321 members, with an average membership of 25, and the Senate’s 76 informal Member organizations had from 1 to 61 members, with an average membership of 14. On average, House Members report membership in 34 informal Member organizations and Senators report membership in 18. Of these 694 informal organizations, 249 are registered with the Committee on House Administration as congressional Member organizations (CMOs).

The term “congressional Member organization” refers to a group of Members who join together in pursuit of common legislative objectives and register the organization with the Committee on House Administration. In many instances, Members assign personal staff (including shared employees) under the Member’s control to assist the CMO in carrying out its legislative objectives. Any informal group of House Members who wish to use personal staff to work on behalf of an informal Member group, discuss their membership in the group in official communications, or mention their membership on their official House website must register the group with the Committee on House Administration as a CMO. There are no registration requirements in the Senate.

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