select bills for further consideration and help inform public about key issues
4 kinds of Committees
standing, select, joint, and conference
PERMANENT groups to oversee bills concerning certain issues. House has 22 Senate has 16= controlled
1988 House Democratic Caucus
classified standing committees as exlusive, major, nonmajor, and select
Senate standing committees
major, minor and select
Do Committees reflect party membership?
committees that specialize in a subcategory of a standing committee. # is growing bcuz congress workload is growing and congress members want to be chairpeople to gain popularity
Democratic Party Caucus
made subcommittees more independent of standing comms. Rules include: chair ppl can hire own staff, each comm with 20 or more ppl needs 4 or more subcomms and bills must be given to subcomms quickly
temporary comms that study 1 issue and report to house/senate. Issues include matters of public concern, overlooked problems, or problems with interest groups unsatisfied with Congress. Usually temporary but some are renewed while others are reclassified as standing comms
comms made of ppl from house and senate. Supposed to coordinate work between both housees but actually jsut handle routine matters. can't deal directly with bills or propose legislation to congress. Can be temp or permanent
temporary comm that resolves differences between house and senate when both pass different versions of the same bill: compromise on ideas. Must be voted on as a whole when reaches each house.
Committees are important to lawmakers because...
1 can increase chance for reelection
2 can increase influence
3 can increas power over other congressppl
Important house committees
rules, ways and means, and appropriations
Important Senate committees
foreign relations, means, and appropriations
as important as party leaders. make key decisions about comms when meet, which bills, how long, when hearings held, public or private hearings, which witnesses, hire/fire staff, control budget, floor during debates.
Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970
majority of comm can meet without chair approval, comm members who disagree with chair must be able to present view, reasonable notice b4 meetings
member of majority party with longest service of comm gets chair. modified in 1971 for house and 1973 for senate= members vote for chairs