|House chairman||Mike Johnson (LA)|
|National affiliation||Republican Party|
|Seats in House Republican Caucus|
|Seats in the House|
Although the primary functions of the RSC vary from year to year, it has always pushed for significant cuts in non-defense spending, spearheaded efforts to pass free trade agreements, advocated socially conservative legislation, and supported the right to keep and bear arms. It has proposed an alternative budget every year since 1995. In 2007, in conjunction with the unveiling of its "Taxpayer Bill of Rights", it presented an alternative budget resolution that claimed would balance the budget within five years without increasing income taxes.[better source needed]
Entering the 116th United States Congress, the RSC is the largest ideological caucus in Congress of either party.
The RSC was founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists to keep a watch on the House Republican leadership, which they saw at the time as too moderate. Their formation mirrored the rise of the Democratic Study Group, a liberal force in the Democratic Caucus founded in 1959. The group's first chairman was Phil Crane of Illinois.
The group briefly dissolved in 1995 when Newt Gingrich abolished it and other similar groups after the Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years. It was soon resurrected as the Conservative Action Team (CATs) by Dan Burton of Indiana (the last chairman of the original RSC), Sam Johnson of Texas, John Doolittle of California and Ernest Istook of Oklahoma. These four founders alternated as chairmen throughout the next two Congresses until David McIntosh of Indiana became chairman in 1998.
Paul Teller spent over 10 years as Executive Director of RSC. He was fired in December 2013 by Chairman Steve Scalise for divulging member conversations. Teller had been working with two outside groups in opposition to a budget deal forged by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray.
The organization has had ties to outside groups allied with conservative elements of the Republican Party, such as the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, the conservative magazine National Review, and the libertarian Cato Institute.
A subgroup of the committee, the Values Action Team, coordinates legislation with religious organizations, including the Christian right. It has been headed by Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania since its formation in 1997.
The RSC membership list is available at the group's website. It counts current Vice President Mike Pence, former Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay among its former members. In addition, at least four sitting senators--Pat Toomey (PA), Richard Burr (NC), John Boozman (AR), and Roger Wicker (MS)--were members of the RSC while serving in the House. At least three former governors-Pence (IN), Butch Otter (ID) and Bobby Jindal (LA) were also members.
On June 16, 2010, the committee issued a press release critical of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama for negotiating an agreement with energy company BP to waive the $75 million federal limit on oil company liability for oil spills. The statement called the agreement requiring BP to set aside $20 billion to pay damage claims for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a "Chicago-style political shakedown" by the White House.
In July 2013, the Republican Study Committee barred Heritage Foundation employees from attending its weekly meeting in the Capitol, reversing a decades-old policy, over disagreements about the farm bill.