Who We Are
The Standing Committee was created (as a Special Committee) by the ABA Board of Governors at the 1996 Annual Meeting following the report of the Task Force on Congressional and Governmental Relations. The Task Force, created by then Immediate-Past President Roberta Cooper Ramo, made several recommendations to enhance the Association's congressional and governmental relations efforts in Washington. A key recommendation of the Task Force was that a special or standing committee be created to assist the Governmental Affairs Office (GAO) in implementing the Association's legislative program. At the Annual Meeting in August 2003, the Special Committee on Governmental Affairs became the Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs.
The Committee works with the GAO to review the approaches and methodologies employed to implement the Association's legislative agenda and advises the GAO and the Board of Governors on ways the program can be improved. The Committee is not involved with setting Association policies, but advises the GAO on ways to improve the policy-setting and implementation processes.
To enhance the Association's legislative priority process by providing additional volunteer input, the Board of Governors has directed the Committee to annually review the priority recommendations of the GAO and make its own recommendations to the Board. At the 1998 Midyear Meeting, the Board approved recommendations developed by the Committee to make the Legislative and Governmental Priorities process more efficient and "user-friendly" for Association members. The Committee also assists the GAO in coordinating the annual "ABA Day in Washington."