The Types of Committees within the U.S. Congress and their Duties

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There are four types of committees within the House and the Senate, they are: the Standing Committees, the Select or Special Committees, the Joint Committees and the Conference Committees. Currently in the United States there are twenty one permanent committees in the House, twenty in the Senate and four joint committees. Each committee has several subcommittees that share specific tasks within the jurisdiction of the full committee.

The House's Standing Committees are permanent House panels. The Standing Committees have legislative jurisdiction, therefore they consider bills and issues. They also suggest measures for deliberation by the full House. They are also responsible for monitoring agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions. "The Standing Committees have the power to examine and inquire into all such things as the House might refer, report from time to time, append supplementary or dissenting opinions to reports, send for persons, papers, and records; sit when the House is sitting or when the House stands adjourned, sit jointly with other committees of the House, print from day to day such papers and evidence as the committee may order, and delegate powers to subcommittees - except the power to report directly to the House.

(Pursuant to Standing Order 108(1))" The House has nineteen Standing Committees and eighty six Subcommittees. The Subcommittees do most of the work at their level. When the bill is dropped or introduced it is sent to the committee with the jurisdiction of that bill. The subcommittee determines whether or not the bill moves up to the full committee; unless there is a discharge petition. The head of the Subcommittee is the chairman; he has the right to ignore or mark up the bill. The leadership chooses the chairman, who in turn chooses the members of the committee. Each representative serves on about...