Evaluate the Importance of Congressional Committees Essay

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The committee system of Congress is made up of different types of committee, performing legislative and investigatory functions – with Herbert Hoover describing them as “Congress at work”. Although it is clear that there is a significant amount of importance with Congressional Committees, which provide both permanence and expertise on different subjects, there are clear limitations to some of these functions, which may limit their power and influence. The main function of Congressional Committees is within the legislative process. After the first reading stage in Congress comes the committee stage, which involves Standing Committees and, if necessary, Select Committees. The job of the Committees is to investigate the bills and any perceived faults or flaws with them, as well as amending or redrafting the bill before it goes to the full chamber. This gives the Committees a significant role in the analysis of a given bill, which has huge influence on the overall passage of a bill through Congress – in other words, if a Standing or Select Committee finds a bill to be imperfect, that will certainly have an effect on the overall perception of a bill. Furthermore, the members of these committees are regarded as experts, and are able to amend bills as they wish – meaning that what comes out of this process to move further through the legislative process is basically the work of the committees, providing us with evidence that in this aspect, Congressional Committees are extremely important. After bills have passed through the committee stage, they must be timetabled. It is at this stage that the House Rules Committee takes part in the process. This committee prioritises bills for debate on the House floor. With so many bills waiting to be debated on the single floor of the House, the House Rules Committee is vital in choosing which bills to hold back and which to put

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