House and Senate Committees
Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, the Senate and House divide its tasks among committees, subcommittees, and joint committees. The Senate and House committee system are similar, however each has its own guidelines, within which each committee adopts its own rules. This creates considerable variation among the panels. Standing committees generally have legislative jurisdiction.
Several thousand bills and resolutions are referred to committees during each 2-year Congress. Committees select a small percentage for consideration, and those not addressed often receive no further action. The bills that committees report help to set the Senate’s and House’s agenda. Subcommittees handle specific areas of the committee’s work. Select and joint committees generally handle oversight or housekeeping responsibilities.
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