The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry oversees issues concerning the nation’s agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry and logging, and nutrition and health. In regard to agriculture, the committee has legislative oversight of production, marketing, and stabilization of prices and commodities. It also carries out inspections on a range of matters related to the industry. The committee has jurisdiction over such issues as crop insurance, farm credit and security, forestry, school nutrition programs, food stamps programs, and rural electrification and development.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, please see: http://www.agriculture.senate.gov/.
The Senate Committee on Armed Services oversees the nation’s military, including the Department of Defense and the departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The committee has legislative oversight of aeronautical and space activities mainly dealing with weapons systems development and military operations. It has jurisdiction over military research and development, security concerns related to nuclear energy, the maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, the Selective Service system, benefits and privileges for Armed Forces members, and other issues related to defense policy.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, please see: http://armed-services.senate.gov/.
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs oversees matters related to banks and banking, price controls, deposit insurance, economic stabilization and defense production, export promotion and controls, federal monetary policy, financial aid to commerce and industry, issuance and redemption of notes, and currency and coinage. It also has jurisdiction over nursing home construction, public and private housing, government contracts, and urban development and mass transit. The committee reviews, on a comprehensive basis, issues concerning international economic policy that affect the United States and its institutions.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, please see: http://banking.senate.gov/public/.
The Senate Committee on the Budget drafts Congress’ annual budget plan. This entails instituting obligatory ceilings on spending and enforcing tools for budgetary limits and timetables. The committee oversees the Congressional Budget Act and the operation of the Congressional Budget Office as well. The Budget Committee also has joint jurisdiction with the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee over the presidential nominations of people to fill the roles of director and deputy director for Budget within the Office of Management and Budget.
For more information on the Senate Committee on the Budget, please see: http://budget.senate.gov/.
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has jurisdiction over interstate commerce. It also oversees the regulation of consumer products and services. For example, it oversees testing of toxic materials, financial services, housing, policies for engineering and technology research and development, and transportation. The committee also oversees the Coast Guard, Panama Canal, and other interoceanic canals, dealing mainly with issues concerning communications, safety, and transportation. For example, it manages the coastal zone and oversees inland waterways and merchant marine and navigation.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, please see: http://commerce.senate.gov/public/.
Energy and Natural Resources
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has jurisdiction over national energy policy. This includes legislative oversight of international energy affairs and emergency preparedness. The committee oversees matters concerning Native Hawaiians and the privatization of federal assets, as well as territorial and nuclear waste policy. If there are issues related to its jurisdiction that require speedy management or are of special importance nationally, then the Energy and Natural Resources Committee will provide the necessary oversight.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, please see: http://energy.senate.gov/public/.
Environment and Public Works
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has legislative oversight of issues related to environmental policy and infrastructure. For example, it oversees air pollution and the construction and maintenance of highways. In regard to the environment, the committee researches the effects of toxic substances and oversees fisheries and wildlife, flood control, noise pollution, and regulation of nuclear energy. In regard to public works, the committee has jurisdiction over bridges and dams, solid-waste disposal, regional economic development, water pollution, water resources, and public buildings such as the District of Columbia’s federal buildings.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, please see: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Home.
The Senate Committee on Finance has legislative oversight of issues concerning revenue such as taxation policy and the United States’ debt. The committee has jurisdiction over trade agreements, tariffs and import quotas, the transportation of dutiable goods, customs, and ports of entry and delivery. The Finance Committee also oversees health programs under the Social Security Act and other health programs funded by specific taxes or trust funds.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Finance, please see: http://finance.senate.gov/.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations examines America’s foreign policy, paying particular attention to areas such as trade, economic development, environmental affairs, and security. The committee has jurisdiction over U.S. boundaries and diplomatic service. It oversees foreign aid in regard to economic, military, technical, and humanitarian assistance. The Foreign Relations Committee also has legislative oversight of foreign loans and the international activities of the American National Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The committee is concerned with acquiring land and buildings for embassies and legations abroad.
International conferences and congresses and international law are also managed by the committee, along with international intervention and declarations of war. The committee works to foster American business interests abroad and has legislative oversight of the International Monetary fund and other such global organizations that deal with financial issues. U.S. involvement with the United Nations and World Bank is also managed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, please see: http://foreign.senate.gov/.
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions oversees matters relating to education, health and public welfare, and labor. In regard to education, the committee has jurisdiction over Gallaudet University, Howard University and St. Elizabeth Hospital, agricultural colleges, arts and humanities, and student loans. In regard to health and public welfare, the committee oversees biomedical research and development, the American National Red Cross, handicapped individuals, public health, and aging. The committee also has legislative oversight of child and convict labor, equal employment opportunity, and labor standards and statistics. The committee has jurisdiction over job-related safety and health, which includes private pension plans, regulation of wages and hours, regulation of foreign workers, the wellbeing of miners, and railway labor and retirement.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, please see: http://help.senate.gov/.
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has jurisdiction over the Homeland Security Department and handles most legislation that is referred to the department. The committee oversees government information, the census and collection of statistics, the organization of the executive branch, intergovernmental relations, and municipal affairs in the District of Columbia. The committee also investigates the effectiveness of all government agencies and departments, as well as laws dealing with the organization of government. The committee has jurisdiction over budget and accounting measures, U.S. nuclear export policy, U.S. archives, federal civil service, and the Postal Service. The status of officers and employees of the United States is also under control of the committee, which includes such matters as their classification, compensation, and benefits.
The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee also has joint jurisdiction with the Budget Committee over the presidential nominations of people to fill the roles of director and deputy director for Budget within the Office of Management and Budget.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, please see: http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/.
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice and agencies under the department such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. The committee also oversees executive nominations for positions within the agencies listed above, but also the Office of National Drug Control Policy, United States Parole Commission, United States Sentencing Commission, State Justice Institute, and Department of Commerce. Judicial nominations are also managed by the committee. These include nominations to the Court of International Trade, Supreme Court, appellate courts, and district courts. The Judiciary Committee also oversees national penitentiaries, espionage and counterfeiting, constitutional amendments, immigration and naturalization, the Patent Office, claims against the United States, bankruptcy, holidays and celebrations, and civil liberties.
For more information on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, please see: http://judiciary.senate.gov/.
Rules and Administration
The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration oversees the administration of the Senate Office Buildings and Senate wing of the Capitol. The committee also has jurisdiction over congressional organization and rules and regulations, which include floor and gallery rules of the Senate. The committee handles corrupt practices, Federal elections, contested elections, and the credentials and qualification of members of the Senate. The Government Printing Office and the printing and correction of the Congressional Record are also under the control of the Rules and Administration Committee. The committee manages the Library of Congress, presidential successions, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Botanic Gardens. It also purchases books and manuscripts and erects monuments in memory of various individuals.
The Rules and Administration Committee also works to strengthen Congress, particularly the Senate, by simplifying its operations and improving its relationships with various branches of the government. It should also identify court proceedings that are important to Congress and bring them to the attention of the Senate at large.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, please see: http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Home.
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees all matters related to small business. The committee periodically studies and reports on problems that American small business enterprises face.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, please see: http://sbc.senate.gov/public/.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has jurisdiction over veterans’ compensation, government-issued life insurance for service in the armed forces, national cemeteries, and war pensions. The committee also works to help servicemen readjust to civil life by overseeing soldiers’ and sailors’ civil relief, veterans’ hospitals, medical care and treatment of veterans, and veterans’ vocational rehabilitation and education.
For more information on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, please see: http://veterans.senate.gov/.
For more information on the House Committee on Agriculture, please see: http://agriculture.house.gov/.
The House Committee on Financial Services has legislative oversight of issues concerning the economy, the banking system, housing, insurance, and securities and exchanges. The committee also has jurisdiction over monetary policy, international finance, international monetary organizations, and efforts to combat terrorist financing. Through its oversight of the Federal Reserve Board and individual reserve banks, the Treasury, the production and distribution of currency, and the nation’s capital markets, the committee also has authority over the nation’s economy.
Generally, the House Committee on Financial Services also has jurisdiction over the following government agencies: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Export-Import Bank.
The committee manages arms control and disarmament issues as well. It has jurisdiction over the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); activities and policies of the State, Commerce, and Defense Departments; and other agencies related to the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act. The committee also has jurisdiction over international law; promotion of democracy; international law enforcement issues such as narcotics control programs; the Broadcasting Board of Governors; embassy security; international broadcasting; public diplomacy; information policy; and international education and cultural programs.
Patents, the Patent and Trademark Office, copyrights, and trademarks; protection of trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies; revision and codification of the statutes of the United States; state and territorial boundary lines; and subversive activities affecting the internal security of the United States are also presided over by the Judiciary Committee. In addition, the committee oversees members of Congress, attendance of members, and their acceptance of incompatible offices.
The Natural Resources Committee oversees military parks and battlefields; national cemeteries administered by the Secretary of the Interior; parks within the District of Columbia; and the erection of monuments. Mineral land laws; mineral resources of public lands; mining interests generally; mining schools and experimental stations; oceanography; and marine affairs, including coastal zone management, but excluding measures concerning oil and other pollution of navigable waters; are presided over by the committee. The panel also oversees petroleum conservation on public lands and conservation of the radium supply in the U.S.; preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest on the public domain; public lands generally, including entry, easements, and grazing; and the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, excluding ratemaking.