logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Low Carb: 8:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Democratic Party Site

BellaOnline's Democratic Party Editor

g

The Congressional Committees Project

Guest Author - Tracey-Kay Caldwell

When a bill is introduced in Congress, it is assigned a number, labeled with a sponsorís name, and sent to the government printing office. Then the bill is referred by the Speaker of the House or the presiding officer in the Senate to committee. This is where the real work begins. The Daily Kos Community of bloggers has embarked on an ambitious project to monitor what goes on in these committees.

It is while a bill is in committee that it can face many changes or even be killed. Committees have been a part of Congress since its beginning in 1789, but the committee process that exists today grew out of the Legislative Reorganization act of 1946. The role of committees and sub committees is to gather information, compare and evaluate legislative alternatives, identify problems, propose solutions, markup bills and produce reports. There are three types of committees, standing, select and joint. The standing committees are permanent. Their roles are defined by the chamber rules. In addition to recommending bills for consideration, they have oversight and funding responsibilities. Select committees can be permanent or temporary and are established by the parent chamber. A select committee is established when its subject mater is beyond the scope of the standing committee, or to conduct investigations and studies. Joint committees, made up of members from both houses, tend to be permanent and conduct studies and housekeeping duties rather than consider measures.

The power within a committee is centralized within the Chair. The respective parties assign members to committees. About 2,000 aides provide professional, administrative and clerical support to the committees. Committee form subcommittees and assign specific tasks to the subcommittees. When a measure is assigned to a committee, the committee is not required to act on it and the measure may not come to the floor for a vote without some action or consideration by the committee. The selection of a measure, the modification through the amendment process, makes a position on the committee a very powerful position.

When a committee is considering a measure, it often seeks comment from the relevant executive agency. It will solicit testimony from experts and the public in the form of hearings. Following hearing the committee will frequently schedule a markup meeting to cleanup a bill and modify it to attract broader support. Following the markup meeting the committee reports the bill with any changes and recommendations. Much of the committee process occurs without public or mainstream media scrutiny.

The Daily Kos community would like to monitor the committee process and draw attention to verifiable issues that might be missed by the blogging community. To achieve this they have set up a project that would allow citizen volunteers to choose to monitor a specific committee and report on issues. Volunteers are asked to brush up on their knowledge of how the legislature functions and to learn as much about the committee or subcommittee they are monitoring. To learn the membership, history, jurisdiction, schedule, meeting places and transcript policy of the committee, to identify major sources of information on the committee. This will be an ambitious project with hundreds of volunteers monitoring the actions of the committees. Blogger Greenflex said in his Daily Kos diary that, ďA spread out, amateur press is always superior to a centralized corporate one, right? Here is our chance to put a magnifying glass right over, and I mean directly over our elected representatives.Ē This is a unique opportunity for citizens to engage directly in their civic duty to provide oversight of their elected officials.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Twitter Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Facebook Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to MySpace Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Del.icio.us Digg The+Congressional+Committees+Project Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Yahoo My Web Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Google Bookmarks Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Stumbleupon Add The+Congressional+Committees+Project to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Democratic Party Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Tracey-Kay Caldwell. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tracey-Kay Caldwell. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
How to Lobby Congress

Funding Public Broadcasting

Help Women and Girls Worldwide

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor