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I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.

G. K. Chesterton, writer

Football combines the two worst things about America: it is violence punctuated by committee meetings.

George Will, journalist

A committee is a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.


Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist

No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.


A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour.

Elbert Hubbard, writer

A camel looks like a horse that was planned by a committee.


When you talk about changing the rules, that takes time, and it always involves more than just a committee.

Al Edwards, politician

If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.

Charles Kettering, inventor

Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer meetings the better.

Peter Drucker, consultant

I hate being placed on committees. They are always having meetings at which half are absent and the rest late.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, writer

A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.

Milton Berle, comedian

Committee--a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours.

Milton Berle, comedian

If you want to kill any idea in the world today, get a committee working on it.

Charles Franklin Kettering,

Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee.

F. Lee Bailey, lawyer

Democracy is not about making speeches. It is about making committees work.

Alan Bullock, historian

A technical objection is the first refuge of a scoundrel.

Heywood Broun, journalist

I'm a member of the US committee o the United Nations.

Betty Hill, celebrity

We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist.

Frank Moore Colby, educator

A committee is a group of the unwilling chosen form the unfit, to do the unnecessary.


dump a good idea on a meeting table. It will belong to the meeting.


A conference is a gathering of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

Fred A. Allen,

Ive said many a time that I think the Un-American Activities Committee in the House of Representatives was the most un-American thing in America!

Harry S Truman, president

A committee of one gets things done.

Joe Ryan,

The optimum committee has no members.

Norman Ralph Augustine, author

The Committee's review of a series of intelligence shortcomings, to include intelligence prior to 9/11 and the pre-war intelligence on Iraq, clearly reveal how vital a diverse intelligence workforce is to our national security.

Jane Harman, politician

Mr. Dingell is just plain Mr. Dingell. And when he gets to be chairman of the Commerce Committee, he doesn't let it go to his head. However, he thinks he would be a very, very good chairman.

John Dingell, politician

First, I have the privilege of being Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It is not an oxymoron I assure you.

Pat Roberts, politician

I want to make it clear publicly that I expect more candor from this Administration during the next four years, particularly with members on the Foreign Relations Committee so that we can maintain a bipartisan foreign policy.

George Voinovich, politician

This has not been a legislative process worthy of the Senate. Members of the Judiciary Committee, as I just said, were implored to save their amendments for the floor. Then, when we got here, we were told no amendments could be accepted.

Russ Feingold, politician

I became chairman of the inmates committee. Got into a lot of trouble. Was accused of fomenting a riot. Was accused of plotting to kill the warden.

Clifford Irving, writer

'Referring the matter to a committee' can be a device for diluting authority, diffusing responsibility and delaying decisions.

Antony Jay, writer

They sit there in committees day after day, And they each put in a color and it comes out gray. And we all have heard the saying, which is true as well as witty, That a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.

Allan Sherman, musician

So, you know, I think that Democrats are being more successful in Congress and I'm really going to be proud of the role I will play tomorrow as ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee when this bill passes.

Jane Harman, politician

The Republican National Committee hired me, and they hired me because they wanted someone who could look members straight in the eye and tell them the truth.

Frank Luntz, politician

Only under conditions of revolutionary crises do you have the highest level of self-organization; this is the Soviet type of organization, which is to say, workers' councils, people's councils, call them what you want, popular committees.

Ernest Mandel, author

And in that confirmation process, I sat for 17 hours in front of a senate judiciary committee.

Stephen Breyer, judge

I have voted to make tough decisions in budgetary times, I've served on two recessionary budgets, my opponent has never served on any a budget committee where there was less money to spend than the year before.

Matt Gonzalez, politician

The committee's work is not about whether or how we should pay reparations. That was never the intent nor will the payment of reparations be the outcome. This is an effort designed to involve the campus community in a discovery of the meaning of our past.

Ruth J. Simmons, educator

And I have been campaigning for the past three months trying to get the Senate Judiciary Committee that has the oversight authority and responsibility to start its own public hearings.

Sibel Edmonds, public servant

I am persuaded, that if any attempt is made to improve the education of the poor, and such an unmanly spirit should guide the resolution of a society or committee for that purpose, it would render the design abortive.

Joseph Lancaster, educator

By the time we got to MGM, and Lions Gate the movie was done there was nothing else to say. It was done. Just as at Universal, it was art by committee.

Rob Zombie, musician

I think that where I've watched a movie go wrong, it's usually because the dread committee has been interfering with it.

John Le Carre, writer

All alone in a committee room of the Senate Office Building in Washington, I was reading the dry typewritten pages in an unpublished report of an almost forgotten congressional committee hearing.

Robert Welch,

The Cox Committee found that the Chinese military acquired many of the technologies over the past seven years, although many of them had been targeted for acquisition for more than a quarter century.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

The committee discloses that even after the U.S. government learned of the diversion of U.S. designs for nuclear warheads in late 1995, the Clinton Administration failed to take steps immediately to improve security.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

In its report, the Cox Committee concludes that China is using stolen U.S. design information to speed up its deployment of a new nuclear missile force.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

According to the committee's findings, a network of mobile missiles carrying the newest warheads could be tested by China this year and deployed as early as 2002.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

As a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, I will be participating in several hearings on the startling revelations contained in the report.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

The Intelligence Committee will also examine present counterintelligence programs for the Department of Energy, the National Laboratories, and the Department of Defense.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

At that time a senator who was on the Joint Committee of Atomic Energy said rather quietly, 'You know, we're having a little problem with waste these days.' I didn't know what he meant then, but I know now.

David R. Brower, environmentalist

This person should not be directly connected with the President Ford Committee nor should he be seen as a member of the liberal wing of the Republican Party. He should be someone like Laird or Rogers Morton.

Robert Teeter, politician

Jim, I'm not aware of any formal requests from the Senate Judiciary Committee for these kinds of documents.

Alberto Gonzales, public servant

It is by such means as the prize offered by your Committee that the attention of the world will be focused and that men and women will be inspired to greater efforts in the interest of peace.

Frank B. Kellogg, politician

As the Pentagon makes plans for the largest troop rotation since World War II, I will work with the Armed Services Committee to help make this proposal a reality.

Mike Rogers, politician

If people knew of ethics violations, they should have sent them to the Ethics Committee. If you think there was serious ethics violation that ought to be looked at, you don't hold it back for retaliatory purposes.

Barney Frank, politician

For a long time in American history, people didn't even come up before the Senate. They didn't come before the Judiciary Committee, and up until about 1923, something like that.

Fred Thompson, politician

In the Armed Services Committee, we endeavored to put forth proposals that would help alleviate some of that stress, both for the troops and for their families.

John M. McHugh, politician

At a magazine, everything you do is edited by a bunch of people, by committee, and a lot of them are, were, or think of themselves as writers. Part of that is because magazines worry about their voice.

Chuck Klosterman, critic

I didn't serve on a committee that dealt with foreign policy.

Geraldine Ferraro, politician

Thanks to the high standing which science has for so long attain and to the impartiality of the Nobel Prize Committee, the Nobel Prize for Physics is rightly considered everywhere as the highest reward within the reach of workers in Natural Philosophy.

Guglielmo Marconi, scientist

We are seeing at the Republican National Committee a phenomenon that is worth noting this week; maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe Wednesday, we will have a million first time donors since the president took office.

Ed Gillespie, politician

The fact is that we as a party at the Republican National Committee registered 3.4 million new voters in the past two years and brought them into the political process. The president won by 3.5 million votes.

Ed Gillespie, politician

That's because the International Olympic Committee has a policy of never replacing medals.

Mary Lou Retton, athlete

I was sent there by the Free Congress Committee, headed by Paul Weyrich. Fred Smith and I were sent down as observers, with reporters' credentials, so we could witness the events.

Dixie Lee Ray, politician

The SSRC committee turned attention from team research for building a model of the United States to doing one for world trade in order to investigate the international transmission mechanism.

Lawrence R. Klein, economist

This is no job for a UN committee. It needs the same kind of unwavering dedication and the kinds of people that got us the first nuclear submarine and the first man on the moon.

Wilson Greatbatch, inventor

I have had national security background, 10 years on the Intelligence Committee, the last two years as chair.

Bob Graham, politician

Last year the National Sorry Day Committee consulted with stolen generations people in every State and Territory, and concluded that programmes set up in response to the Bringing Them Home Report are reaching only a small fraction of those they are intended to help.

Malcolm Fraser, politician

Anybody can decide if they have got the money to fight a case if they don't like a particular thing, and they complain to the watch committee, local council or whatever.

Timothy West, actor

In 1975 I was among a group of blacks who formed the Black Americans in Support of Israel Committee.

David Dinkins, politician

The committee's finding that China stole sensitive technology from U.S. weapons research labs is alarming.

Charles Foster Bass, politician

The review process was conducted in an extremely bipartisan manner. Minority members of the Judiciary Committee were responsible for the invitation of 1/3 of the witnesses who appeared.

Jo Bonner, politician

Tonight, I am pleased to announce that I have secured $1 million from the Convention Host Committee to fund the beautification of Boston's neighborhoods.

Thomas Menino, politician

One of the ideas behind doing this acoustic record is that I didn't want to have to produce it by committee.

Robyn Hitchcock, musician

When you do a movie in the studio system, there's a committee. A committee of six or seven people you answer to. There's two or three producers, a studio executive and one or two people above that studio executive.

Thomas Lennon, actor

The Times' new credibility committee report that was issued on Monday very specifically said they will be putting in a policy that reporters must get permission from their department heads to appear on television, which I think is a really good thing.

Daniel Okrent, editor

The vote by the Judiciary Committee reflects the fact that John Roberts is an exceptional nominee with a conservative judicial philosophy - a philosophy that represents mainstream America.

Jay Alan Sekulow, lawyer

For the year after I left government service, I worked as a consultant to the Republican National Committee because the lawyers advised that was the proper way for me to comply with ethics regulations and continue to advise the President.

Karen Hughes, politician

I will not be making appointments to a committee that is not bipartisan.

Nancy Pelosi, politician

There were no gifts. Everything is properly accounted for. I provided testimony and evidence to the committee... This was all stuff that was previously known.

Robert Torricelli,

Obama's health care plan will be written by a committee whose head, John Conyers, says he doesn't understand it. It'll be passed by Congress that has not read it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a Treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that's nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?

Rush Limbaugh, entertainer

The review committee has left it to NASA to determine the scope of these alleged incidents.

Ellen Ochoa, astronaut

Committee - a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.

Fred Allen, comedian

Throughout its history, the international Olympic Committee has struggled to spread its ideal of fraternity, friendship, peace and universal understanding.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, celebrity

If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.

Arthur Goldberg, judge

With her high pale brow under her faded brown hair, she was like a rock washed clean by years of her husband's absences at conventions, dinners, committee meetings or simply at the office.

Louis Auchincloss, novelist

A committee is an animal with four back legs.

John Le Carre, writer

The real process of making decisions, of gathering support, of developing opinions, happens before the meeting or after.

Terrence Deal,

Meetings are a great trap. Soon you find yourself trying to get agreement and then the people who disagree come to think they have a right to be persuaded. However, they are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist

Whoever invented the meeting must have had Hollywood in mind. I think they should consider giving Oscars for meetings: Best Meeting of the Year, Best Supporting Meeting, Best Meeting Based on Material from Another Meeting.

William Goldman, novelist

Committee: A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit to do the unnecessary.

Richard Harkness,

One of the reasons why the Ten Commandments are so short and to the point is the fact they were given direct and did not come out of committees.

H. G. Hutcheson,

The ideal committee is one with me as the chairman, and two other members in bed with the flu.

Lord Milverton,

A committee is organic rather than mechanical in its nature: it is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts, and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in their turn.

C. Northcote Parkinson, historian

The State, that craving rookery of committees and subcommittees.

V. S. Pritchett, writer

Muddle is the extra unknown personality in any committee.

Anthony Sampson, writer

When committees gather, each member is necessarily an actor, uncontrollably acting out the part of himself, reading the lines that identify him, asserting his identity. We are designed, coded, it seems, to place the highest priority on being individuals, and we must do this first, at whatever cost, even if it means disability for the group.

Lewis Thomas, scientist

A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing, but who, as a group, can meet and decide that nothing can be done.


Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.

Katharine Whitehorn, journalist

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Famous authors of committee quotes

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