Intraparty Caucus Formation in the United States Congress

“Intraparty Caucus Formation in the United States Congress,” in Party and Procedure in the United States Congress2nd edition, eds. Jacob R. Straus and Matthew Glassman. (2016). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.


This chapter explores the dynamics surrounding intraparty caucus formation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Specifically, I analyze here the pressures and opportunities driving the creation of the Republican Study Committee in the House and the Steering Committee in the Senate in the mid-1970’s, as well as the creation of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015. These case studies illustrate the challenges associated with forming collective organizations in Congress and the benefits such organizations provide members once fully institutionalized. Additionally, the cases highlight intraparty dynamics and the challenges party leaders face even in an era of cohesive parties.