Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12 Section 2. The HOR and Senate are too large to conduct all business as a whole group. There is so much legislation that must be reviewed."— Presentation transcript:
The HOR and Senate are too large to conduct all business as a whole group. There is so much legislation that must be reviewed that neither house would be able to discuss it all if they tried to do it as a whole. To be able to accomplish as much as possible each house directs legislation to different committees based on the issue it relates to.
Each committee in the HOR has 10 to 75 members. Each representative usually serves on 1 or 2 committees. Each committee in the Senate has 14 to 28 members. Each Senator usually serves on 3 or 4 committees. Senators and representatives are assigned to committees based on their areas of expertise.
Most bills are considered in committees so the fate of each bill relies on the committee to which it was assigned. Many interest groups and lobbyists will attend committee meetings to try to convince committee members to pass a piece of legislation that is important to them. Approximately 8,000 bills go into committees during each session of Congress. Only about 10% make it to the floor to be considered by the entire House or Senate.
There are 4 types of Congressional committees. 1. Standing Committees – permanent committees in Congress. MOST IMPORTANT! Consider and shape most bills that come to Congress each year. 2. Select Committees – temporarily formed for specific purposes, often to study a particular issue. They usually do not draft legislation. (Example: committees that investigated the assassinations of JFK and MLK)
3. Joint Committees – similar to select committees, but have members from the HOR and Senate. These are used to conduct business between the two houses. 4. Conference Committee – a created only when the HOR and Senate need to compromise on two different versions of the same bill. Once this committee agrees on one version of the bill, it is sent back to both houses for approval.
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Called the “traffic cop” in the HOR. Does not exist in the Senate. Used to screen the bills that are introduced to the HOR each term. Sets up rules for debate on the bill (how long can it be discussed, etc.) Schedules a time for the bill to be considered on the House floor. Very powerful!!! Can push bills to the top or bottom of the calendar in order to help or hurt its chances of being passed.