The Role of Congressional Committees in the Legislative Process
The Congress is the main body that is involved in the legislative processes in the government, of which the Senate divides its legislative, oversight, and internal administrative tasks among committee and subcommittees. The committee system is a very vital organ in the lawmaking process as it is responsible for gathering information, evaluating legislative alternatives, identifying policy problems, and coming up with solutions (Berry and Fowler 2). They also monitor executive branch performance and investigate claims of wrongdoings.
The Three Branches of Congressional Committees
The committees are further divided into three branches: the standing, special, and joint committees. The standing committee analyzes potential policies and underlying problems, recommending elements that the chamber handling the issue should consider (Clemens, Crespin and Finocchiaro 1078). It also acts in a supervisory capacity to oversee activities, programs, and agencies under Congressional purview. Congressional committees are involved in budget oversight. They also authorize new and existing government operations, meaning that they play the vital role of shaping policy outcomes and determining the association between Congress and the executive.
The Power and Function of Congressional Committees
All proposed bills must first pass through Congressional committees before going to the Senate for debating. This provides committees with the power to approve, revise, discard, or ignore a bill at their discretion (Berry and Fowler 4). Therefore, Congressional committee members have to maintain impartiality to any affiliations that would bias their decisions. Participatory measures, such as hearings from interest groups, are held at the committee level where the committee members debate about pertinent bills (Fasone and Lupo 355). The committees also help in the organization of most of the obligations of Congress, which involve formulating, debating, and implementing the country’s laws.
The Importance of Congressional Committees in the Lawmaking Process
It is therefore prudent to conclude that the committee system is a very vital organ in the lawmaking process. It is the backbone of all legislative duties in the government, without which most of the lawmaking process would be undermined. It brings out the motivations behind the decisions made by the Congress and oversees all of the government’s legislative duties. The committee, due to its specialized nature, provides valuable information to Congress by investigating and reporting their findings on their areas of specialization. This makes the committee system indispensable and crucial to the country’s democratic processes.
Berry, Christopher R., and Anthony Fowler. "Congressional committees, legislative influence, and the hegemony of chairs." Journal of Public Economics 158 (2018): 1-11.
Clemens, Austin, Michael Crespin, and Charles J. Finocchiaro. "Earmarks and subcommittee government in the US Congress." American Politics Research 43.6 (2015): 1074-1106.
Fasone, C., " Lupo, N. (2015). Transparency vs. informality in legislative committees: Comparing the US House of Representatives, the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the European Parliament. The Journal of Legislative Studies, 21(3), 342-359.