In 1973, Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL) and others founded the RSC and gave conservatives a place to call home in the House of Representatives. The first executive director of the RSC was Ed Feulner, who currently serves as President of Heritage Foundation. The group functioned as a Legislative Service Organization until such groups were abolished under House rules in the first days of the 104th Congress (1995).
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) was the last Chairman of the RSC before it was abolished. Shortly thereafter, the group was re-started as the Conservative Action Team (CATs) under new founders Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), Ernest Istook (R-OK), Sam Johnson (R-TX), and Dan Burton. These four Members rotated chairmanships until 1998 when Rep. David McIntosh (R-IN) became Chairman.
Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) became the CATs chairman in 2000 and returned the group to its historic name, the RSC, in 2001. Rep. Shadegg was succeeded by Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) in the 108th Congress (2003-2004), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) in the 109th Congress (2005-2006), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) in the 110th Congress (2007-2008), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) in the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the 112th Congress (2011-2012). The current Chairman is Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).
The RSC was founded to serve as an “ideological rallying point” where like-minded conservatives can coordinate their activities and stand on the basis of principle – where a minority of committed men and women without years of seniority or formal leadership positions can affect change. They can do it on their first day in Congress. They can do it by coming up with a sound policy idea and by articulating a powerful position in debate. They can do it by serving actively in the RSC and by making it their home and family during their tenure in Congress.