The committee began in 1869 as the Committee on Education and in 1884 through the mid-1900s it was known as the Education and Labor Committee. In 1999, then Chairman James Jeffords of Vermont, worked to officially name it the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Today the Committee is led by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and is comprised of 22 Senators; 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Under their leadership, the Committee is composed of three subcommittees, which have a broad jurisdiction over our country’s health care, education, employment and retirement policies.


Rule 25, of the Standing Rules of the Senate, States the Committee’s Jurisdiction to be the following: Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:

  1. Measures relating to education, labor, health, and public welfare.
  2. Aging.
  3. Agricultural colleges.
  4. Arts and humanities.
  5. Biomedical research and development.
  6. Child labor.
  7. Convict labor and the entry of goods made by convicts into interstate commerce.
  8. Domestic activities of the American National Red Cross.
  9. Equal employment opportunity.
  10. Gallaudet University, Howard University, and Saint Elizabeth hospital.
  11. Individuals with disabilities.
  12. Labor standards and labor statistics.
  13. Mediation and arbitration of labor disputes.
  14. Occupational safety and health, including the welfare of miners.
  15. Private pension plans.
  16. Public health.
  17. Railway labor and retirement.
  18. Regulation of foreign laborers.
  19. Student loans.
  20. Wages and hours of labor

Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to health, education and training, and public welfare, and report thereon from time to time.

Subcommittee on Children and Families

Welcome to the Subcommittee on Children and Families home page. The Subcommittee Chairman is Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and the Ranking Member is Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA). The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over a wide range of issues including Head Start, child care and child support such as the Child Care & Development Block Grant, the Family Medical Leave Act, National Service, women and children’s healthcare, and other issues involving children, youth, and families. Please visit our homepage for the latest information on Subcommittee hearings and links to information and resources that relate to our Subcommittee’s issues.

Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety

The Subcommittee Chairman is Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and the Ranking Member is Senator Al Franken (MN).  The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over a variety of employment issues including workforce education and training, worker health and safety, wage and hour laws, and workplace flexibility.


  • Health

    The HELP Committee jurisdiction encompasses most of the agencies, institutes, and programs of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Administration on Aging, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • Education

    The evolving global economy and the need for a highly skilled workforce create new challenges for American workers. The HELP Committee is ensuring our country’s workforce is prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century through a lifetime of learning for our citizens.