Committee News

Committee News

Congressional committees are the core of the legislative process. They are responsible for reviewing bills and conducting hearings on important issues. A key responsibility is ensuring the public has access to committee meetings. Committees use a variety of formal and informal procedures, depending on their size and type of work.

Some committees, such as the Energy and Commerce Committee, conduct open public hearings in which anyone can attend. Other committees, such as the Judiciary Committee, conduct closed meetings in which only members of Congress can participate. In both types of meetings, the chairman is responsible for keeping discussions on the appropriate subject, recognizing members to speak and confirming that what the committee has decided (through voting or by unanimous consent) is in fact true. In some cases, committees follow more formal rules of order based on Robert’s Rules Newly Revised.

A committee’s chairperson, who is usually a member of the majority party, is responsible for running the meetings. The chairman is also tasked with making sure that the public knows what the committee is discussing and taking action on. The chairman sets the tone for the committee interaction with the bill sponsor as well as its deliberations.

The panel has also been scrutinizing a wide range of Trump’s activities that day, including whether he coordinated efforts to pressure state and federal officials into trying to overturn his election loss or to block the official count of electoral votes. The committee is considering several potential criminal referrals, including whether he violated laws against obstruction of justice by calling on his supporters to attack the Capitol and disrupt the vote count.

One of the biggest challenges for the select committee has been overcoming the skepticism of those who claim it is overly partisan and politically motivated to undermine the president. But it has made headway in the form of a report that says no White House employee corroborated witness Cassidy Hutchinson’s dramatic account of Trump lunging for her steering wheel after his speech at the Ellipse, which was reported by NBC News.

The report also said the panel has a wide array of evidence but cannot publicly release all of it because it includes videotape from hundreds of interviews that include sensitive information. The committee will send those videos to the National Archives, which by law must make them available in 50 years. Other records, such as the full transcript of Hutchinson’s testimony and emails, will be available to the general public unless redacted by the committee. The panel has also begun sending some of its findings to the White House for review and to the Justice Department for possible prosecutions.