From the welfare of laying hens to the scope of regulations, congressional committees examine a wide variety of issues. The first step in this process is often a public hearing, where members hear from witnesses with different viewpoints on the matter at hand. Once the committee finishes deliberating, it may report the bill or resolution to the House with or without amendments. You can find information on upcoming hearings in the Committee Schedules. Once a measure has been reported, it will have a House Report number and appear in the Congressional Record with a description of its purpose and scope.
Committees play a critical role in ensuring the integrity of legislation and in the broader legislative process. They provide a forum for members to debate issues in a non-partisan environment, where all points of view are heard and where solutions can be found through discussion and compromise. Committees also serve as a check on the executive branch by holding regular oversight hearings and seeking to ensure that laws are implemented in an effective manner.
After a decade of bitter partisan battles, the Democratic Party has finally gained control of the Senate. With it, senators are now in a position to rewrite many of the rules that govern the chamber and give themselves more power to block executive actions. Changing these rules could help to restore the Senate’s ability to provide a more bipartisan and effective legislative process.
The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol has released its summary, describing a trove of evidence that former President Donald Trump broke multiple federal criminal laws with his efforts to overturn his election defeat. The committee’s summary suggests that the Justice Department should prosecute him for a range of crimes, including witness tampering and obstructing an official proceeding.
In addition to revealing new details of the attacks, the report also describes a series of legal and procedural roadblocks that the panel has run into. The report says that Trump’s attorneys have tried to use the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to avoid testifying about their dealings with the panel. The panel’s summary includes text messages and phone logs showing that Hope Hicks and Hogan Gidley advised the former president to issue a preemptive public statement that called for Jan. 6 to remain peaceful.
The report’s release could make the panel’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Jordan, a powerful figure in the next Congress. The Freedom Caucus co-founder has a reputation for aggressive investigative work and has served on politically charged panels like the Benghazi investigation that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He is poised to chair the Judiciary Committee as well. Republicans and Democrats alike pushed him for the role, seeing his understated style as the ideal fit for an investigation that is sure to be fraught with partisanship. But it is not clear if the GOP will let him keep his new post, especially since House Speaker Paul Ryan has vowed to launch his own probe into the Jan. 6 attacks if the Republicans win control of the House in November.