Congressional committees are a key component of the legislative process and provide a forum for discussion and debate on issues that affect the lives of Americans. They are responsible for conducting oversight of federal agencies, overseeing the nomination and confirmation of judicial nominees and providing an opportunity for organizations and individuals to participate in policy making.

The House Intelligence Committee announced it is investigating the FBI and DOJ’s handling of a report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The investigation is expected to last more than a year.

Family members of the victims of the recent Boeing MAX 737 crashes have endorsed Phil Washington’s nomination to be the next FAA administrator. Their statement notes that the families are “grateful for the opportunity to work with this Committee on safety reforms” and praised the efforts of Senator John Hickenlooper for his op-ed in support of Washington’s nomination.

A new special House panel could be a one-stop shop for investigations of perceived wrongdoing by the federal government against conservatives, including President Trump. Language to establish the panel has been tucked inside a rules package expected to pass the House this week.

With the 116th Congress just two weeks away from being sworn in, E&E News has spoken with several lawmakers and Hill observers to identify which members are in line to lead the environmental committees if Democrats hold the majority in the next Congress. The list isn’t surprising.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, chaired by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), today voted to advance several presidential nominations to the full Senate with bipartisan support. Those included the unanimous approval of Michael Whitaker to serve as the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and approval of nominations for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Amtrak Board of Directors and Coast Guard promotions.

In the aftermath of the deadly Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren are urging President Trump to step aside as chairman of the Transportation Committee, a post they say would be “inconsistent with the public interest.”

As he prepares for his first trip overseas since becoming president, Donald Trump is dealing with ongoing investigations by both the federal and state governments and fighting in court against an effort to force him to turn over his White House records related to Jan. 6. His lawyer has argued the records are protected by executive privilege and that turning them over would violate his constitutional rights. The Committee on Ethics is also weighing a referral of the former president to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution for impeding or obstructing Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes.