Over the course of a Congress, committees receive many more bill referrals than they can possibly pursue through hearings and a markup. The chair of a committee is the chief agenda-setting authority, and decides which bills will be pursued by the panel through these formal proceedings. In making these decisions, the chair considers a variety of factors including the scope and potential impact of the proposed legislation, as well as the interests and expertise of committee members and their staff.

Each committee holds public hearings on issues and bills that come before them. Hearing dates, times and locations are listed on the House Calendar. Each committee also records and publishes a transcript of testimony given during hearings.

When a bill has been formally acted upon in a committee, it is referred back to the chamber with a report describing the committee’s action. Depending on the outcome of the committee’s deliberation, a bill may be “reported out” with or without amendment or it may be “tabled,” meaning no further action will occur on that measure. The result of any committee vote can be found in Committee Votes.

The House Judiciary Committee today voted to approve a bill that would require the Supreme Court to disclose information about its members’ financial activities. The bill, backed by Democratic leaders, comes amid a growing debate about the Supreme Court’s influence from wealthy donors and partisanship on the bench. Republicans have accused Democrats of using the proposal as a way to harass the Supreme Court.

Health Committee hears submissions from two stage-four breast cancer sufferers

The Health Committee heard evidence on Tuesday from Terre Nicholson and Wiki Mulholland, who are both stage four breast cancer patients, regarding their experiences with accessing a range of breast cancer medicines. This includes the cost of medication, whether or not it is available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and the impact of waiting for a new prescription to be issued after previous medications have expired.

Regulations Review Committee scrutinises a wide range of laws

The Regulations Review Committee met 31 times in 2016. It tackled a wide variety of issues, from the welfare of laying hens to the scope of regulation-making powers after a natural disaster.

The Committee on Open Government oversees and advises the public, government and news media on Freedom of Information, open meetings and personal privacy protection laws. It offers guidance in response to phone inquiries, prepares written legal advisory opinions and provides training to government and other interested groups. The committee also oversees the implementation of a number of national and international open data initiatives, including the Australian Open Government Partnership and the Asia-Pacific Network on Freedom of Information. It also works with state and territory governments on the development of legislation relating to freedom of information.