150 Years of the Senate Appropriations Committee

On June 28, 2017 the United States Capitol Historical Society hosted an evening reception in the Kennedy Caucus Room to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Current and former members and staff of the committee and special guests of the Society gathered to share memories and commemorate the significant historical milestone.

Former Staff Director Charlie Houy shared a heartfelt message from Irene Hirano Inouye which conveyed the appreciation of her late husband, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, for his time serving on and chairing the Appropriations Committee. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Chairman of the Committee, reflected on the rewarding nature of his work with the committee in remarks given during the reception. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Vice-Chairman of the Committee, spoke of the bipartisan friendships he cherishes which formed he formed in service on the Appropriations Committee.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Senate Historian Betty Koed, who recounted the vivid history of the committee. Dr. Koed shared the particularly inspiring story of Leona Wells, who became the first woman to hold a top committee position in the Senate when she served as Chief Clerk of the Appropriations Committee in 1911. Humorous and informative, her talk was the highlight of the evening.

The reception gave long-time friends who served on the committee an opportunity to reunite and reminisce together. Former Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and a plethora of former staff were right at home among their colleagues.

A recording of the event aired on C-SPAN in July and can be found here.


The event was made possible through the generous support of these donors:

Bank of America
Altria Client Services
Leonardo DRS
Independent Community Bankers of America
Airlines for America
Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell, P.C.
Mr. Terry Lierman