Congressional Committees Project

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The Congressional Committees Project was started to facilitate participatory democracy by encouraging an informed citizenry through the advocacy of legislative transparency and the gathering of legislative information. More general information about our project can be found here.

Everyone is encouraged to contribute constructively; this project's potential lies largely in its collaborative nature. An explanation of how to help can be found on this page.

You can also join our mailing list and ask for assistance, or participate in the discussion.

Contents

Inspiration

Quod omnes tangit debet ab omnibus videri.
"What touches all must be visible by all." (Based on an ancient Roman law maxim.)

See What We Won, or Dkos Sends Out Its Eyes for further explanation (this is the first diary, getting things started). See Congressional Committees Project ... Please join us! to read a diary about how this project was launched on Sunday 11/12/2006.

What do I do now?

If you just joined and are not sure what to do, read our Help Getting Started page.

If you already signed up and understand the wiki organization, please help us move forward.

  • General Knowledge: You may want to brush up on your understanding of how our legislature functions (written by the Congressional Research Service), or how committees function (pdf file). Also check the links section of this page for a pile of resources.
  • Sources: Think about what sources you've identified as major places you can find information. We'd like to become a major source for committee information, so think about both the committees and also the issues. To that end, we should organize a Toolbox of well organized committee sources helpful for all committees, and also a space to discuss Collaboration with interest groups or daily kos users who have specialized information about issues.
  • Recommendations: Please collect here your recommendations to the Democrats about the best practices of setting up committee websites.
  • Epistemology: There has been a lot of discussion and writing about the limitations on our knowledge (epistemology) regarding committees. Here is a place to collect information about committee transparency.
  • News: Consider adding especially notable news on Congressional Committees to our news links page.

House Standing Committees

Agriculture

Agriculture(discussion) Got a Grip-dkos
Conservation, Credit, Rural Development and Research(discussion) MrBubs, Green tea-dkos
Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry(discussion) Unstable Isotope-dkos
Livestock and Horticulture(discussion) Ellicatt
General Farm Commodities and Risk Management(discussion) unassigned
Specialty Crops and Foreign Agriculture Programs(discussion) Elise

Appropriations

Appropriations(discussion) 4Freedom
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies(discussion) Aimeein KC-dkos
Defense(discussion) Justrock
Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies(discussion) CWaltz
Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs(discussion) unassigned
Homeland Security(discussion) unassigned
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies(discussion) Syrith
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies(discussion) AmySmith, universalhealth, Lcs
Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies(discussion) Guru D-dkos
Science, the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce, and Related Agencies(discussion) ukben
Select Intelligence Oversight Panel(discussion) unassigned
Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, The Judiciary, District of Columbia(discussion) bendygirl

Armed Services

Armed Services(discussion) DocAngel
Projection Forces(discussion) Disillusioned
Readiness(discussion) unassigned
Strategic Forces(discussion) Schwellenbach
Tactical Air and Land Forces(discussion) ANKOSS
Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities(discussion) Shockwave
Total Force(discussion) unassigned

Budget

Budget(discussion) DoctorScience
(no subcommittees)

Education and Labor

Education and Labor(discussion) Sobermom
21st Century Competitiveness(discussion) Ellicatt
Education Reform(discussion) graciein
Employer-Employee Relations(discussion) democracylover in NYC-dkos
Select Education(discussion)
Workforce Protections(discussion) unassigned

Energy and Commerce

Energy and Commerce(discussion) Global Citizen-dkos
Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection(discussion)
Energy and Air Quality(discussion) simonf-dKos
Environment and Hazardous Materials(discussion) decafdyke
Health (Energy and Commerce)(discussion) Hester, Moesse-dKos
Oversight and Investigations (Energy and Commerce)(discussion) Odysseus
Telecommunications and the Internet(discussion) duvallbuck, Justrock-dkos, Janet Strange-dkos

Financial Services

Financial Services(discussion) unassigned
Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises(discussion) alivingston
Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology(discussion) DoTell
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit(discussion) Debby
Housing and Community Opportunity(discussion) Debby, Peace to all-dkos
Oversight and Investigations (Financial Services)(discussion) alivingston

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs(discussion) weirdmusic657
Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations(discussion) edgery
Asia and the Pacific(discussion) zenbowl
Europe and Emerging Threats(discussion) mrbubs, NearlyNormal, BleedingKnuckleLiberal-dKos
Middle East and Central Asia(discussion) doughnutman
Oversight and Investigations(discussion) edgery
Western Hemisphere(discussion) Scientician, Shockwave

Homeland Security

Homeland Security(discussion) iheartbooks-dKos
Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism(discussion) unassigned
Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response(discussion) jimmyjazz-dKos
Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology(discussion) Memophage
Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment(discussion) xynz
Management, Investigations, and Oversight(discussion) Memophage
Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection(discussion) unassigned

House Administration

House Administration(discussion) Karmsy, AlanF
(No Subcommittees)

Intelligence (Permanent Select)

Intelligence(discussion) ex99125b, gatordem, Schwellenbach
Intelligence Policy(discussion) unassigned
Oversight (Intelligence)(discussion) unassigned
Technical and Tactical Intelligence(discussion) unassigned
Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence(discussion) unassigned

Judiciary

Judiciary(discussion) edgery
Commercial and Administrative Law(discussion) jlynne
Constitution(discussion) m.suskind
Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property(discussion) toys
Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security(discussion) archibaldtuttle-dKos
Immigration, Border Security, and Claims(discussion) bb, wakemeup7nov06

Natural Resources

Natural Resources(discussion) Naturegal, Annagram, edison
Office of Native American and Insular Affairs(discussion) roses
Energy and Mineral Resources(discussion) ucla grad102-dkos
Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans(discussion) Naturegal
National Parks, Forests and Public Lands(discussion) ybruti, Annagram,loquatrix, dangangry
Water and Power(discussion) elial

Oversight and Government Reform

Oversight and Government Reform(discussion)
Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources(discussion) On The Bus-dkos, CruznOz
Energy and Resources(discussion) archibaldtuttle-dKos
Federalism and the Census(discussion) pat of butter in a sea of grits-dkos
Federal Workforce and Agency Organization(discussion) yodafone
Government Management, Finance, and Accountability(discussion) totallynext
National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations(discussion) Schwellenbach

Dr Seuss-dkos

Regulatory Affairs(discussion) celticshel-dKos

Rules

Rules(discussion) ForFreedom
Legislative and Budget Process(discussion) celticshel-dKos
Rules and the Organization of the House(discussion) jjellin

Science and Technology

Science and Technology(discussion) MsKitty
Energy and Environment(discussion) simonf-dKos
Environment, Technology, and Standards(discussion) Memophage
Research(discussion) pb, TimeTogether
Space and Aeronautics(discussion) WeatherDem

Small Business

Small Business(discussion) TwinPeaks
Regulatory Reform and Oversight(discussion) alivingston
Rural Enterprises, Agriculture, and Technology(discussion) Prog227
Tax, Finance, and Exports(discussion) unassigned
Workforce, Empowerment, and Government Programs(discussion) totallynext

Standards of Official Conduct

Standards of Official Conduct(discussion) Expat Zuzzguzz-dkos
(no subcommittees)

Transportation and Infrastructure

Transportation and Infrastructure(discussion) Cali Scribe-dkos
Aviation(discussion) pbLightningman, Ellicatt-dKos
Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation(discussion) unassigned
Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management(discussion) Ellicatt
Highways, Transit and Pipelines(discussion) PDXSteve
Railroads(discussion) slksfca-dKos
Water Resources and Environment(discussion) faithfull-dKos

Veterans' Affairs

Veterans' Affairs(discussion) Me4president2008-dkos
Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs(discussion) RubDMC
Economic Opportunity(discussion) bendygirl
Health (Veteran's Affairs)(discussion) D Guru D
Oversight and Investigations(discussion) bendygirl

Ways and Means

Ways and Means(discussion) Cantinflas
Health (Ways and Means)(discussion) Jamais Vu-dkos
Human Resources(discussion) Kuz
Oversight(discussion) america08
Select Revenue Measures(discussion) paziz
Social Security(discussion) ethans mom-dkos
Trade(discussion) edgery

Select Committees of the House of Representatives

Bipartisan Committee to Investigate Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina(discussion) Edrie, Annagram, gn1927, annan
(no subcomittees)

Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

Energy Independence and Global Warming(discussion) kml
(no subcomittees)

Standing Committees of the Senate

Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry(discussion) jgilhousen-dKos
Production and Price Competitiveness(discussion) unassigned
Marketing, Inspection, and Product Promotion(discussion) EatLocal-dKos
Forestry, Conservation, and Rural Revitalization(discussion) dangangry-dKos
Research, Nutrition, and General Legislation(discussion) jgilhousen-dKos

Appropriations

Appropriations(discussion) [1]
Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies(discussion) unassigned
Commerce, Justice, and Science(discussion) Jonathan-dKos
Defense(discussion) [2]
District of Columbia(discussion) unassigned
Energy and Water(discussion) FaithAndReason-dKos
Homeland Security(discussion) [3]
Interior and Related Agencies(discussion) [4]
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies(discussion) lahke-dKos
Legislative Branch(discussion) unassigned
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs(discussion) unassigned
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs(discussion) unassigned
Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies(discussion) unassigned

Armed Services

Armed Services(discussion) 4jkb4ia-dKos [provisional]
Airland(discussion) unassigned
Emerging Threats and Capabilities(discussion) unassigned
Personnel(discussion) unassigned
Readiness and Management Support(discussion) unassigned
Seapower(discussion) celticshel-dKos
Strategic Forces(discussion) unassigned

Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs(discussion) planetcs-dKos
Economic Policy(discussion) unassigned
Financial Institutions(discussion) unassigned
Housing and Transportation(discussion) unassigned
International Trade and Finance(discussion) unassigned
Securities and Investment(discussion) unassigned

Budget

Budget(discussion) fladem-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Commerce, Science, and Transportation(discussion) Jonathan-dKos
Aviation(discussion) Gravedugger-dKos
Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine(discussion) unassigned
Science and Space(discussion) SJLeonidas-dKos
Fisheries and Coast Guard(discussion) unassigned
Trade, Tourism, and Economic Development(discussion) bewert-dKos
Technology, Innovation, and Competitiveness(discussion) iheartbooks-dKos
Consumer Affairs, Product Safety, and Insurance(discussion) unassigned
Global Climate Change(discussion) Hummingbird-dKos
Disaster Prevention and Prediction(discussion)

Rogneid-dKos

National Ocean Policy Study(discussion) sobermom-dKos


Energy and Natural Resources

Energy and Natural Resources(discussion) Syrith-dKos,Annagram-dKos
Water and Power(discussion) kozmo-dKos
Energy(discussion) Syrith-dKos, shipyardian-dKos
Public Lands and Forests(discussion) unassigned
National Parks(discussion) crose-dKos, Annagram-dKos

Environment and Public Works

Environment and Public Works(discussion) Patrick Kennedy-dkos, Hummingbird-dKos, Naturegal-dKos,
Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, Children’s Health Protection and Nuclear Safety(discussion) Patrick Kennedy-dkos
Transportation and Infrastructure(discussion) unassigned
Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection(discussion) Naturegal-dKos
Clean Air and Nuclear Safety(discussion) Syrith-dKos
Superfund and Environmental Health(discussion) unassigned
Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security, and Water Quality(discussion) unassigned

Finance

Finance(discussion) edgery-dKos Lestatdelc-dKos
Health Care(discussion) unassigned
International Trade(discussion) unassigned
Long Term Growth and Debt Reduction(discussion) Lestatdelc-dKos
Social Security and Family Policy(discussion) unassigned
Taxation and IRS Oversight(discussion) Steven wonders-dkos

Foreign Relations

Foreign Relations(discussion) edgery-dKos, vivian darkbloom-dkos, zenbowl-dKos , thewin-dKos, casperr-dKos
African Affairs(discussion) vivian darkbloom-dkos
East Asian and Pacific Affairs(discussion) zenbowl-dKos
European Affairs(discussion) celticshel-dKos, BleedingKnuckleLiberal-dKos
International Economic Policy Export and Trade Promotion(discussion) jburwen-dKos
International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights(discussion) Wiffle-dKos
Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs(discussion) casperr-dKos
Western Hemisphere Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs(discussion) Me4President2008-dkos

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions(discussion) Athena-dKos, Lahke-dKos
Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness(discussion) cici414-dKos, jimmyjazz-dKos
Education and Early Childhood Development(discussion) mrteacher-dKos
Employment and Workplace Safety(discussion) Kid Blink-dkos, Lochner's Bakers-dkos
Retirement Security and Aging(discussion) Chance the gardener-dkos

Homeland Security and Government Affairs

Homeland Security and Government Affairs(discussion) Memophage-dKos,

mondalein88-dKos

Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security(discussion) unassigned
Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia(discussion) unassigned
Investigations(discussion) Schwellenbach-dKos

Indian Affairs

Indian Affairs(discussion) jjellin-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Judiciary

Judiciary(discussion) selise-dKos
Administrative Oversight and the Courts(discussion) jlynne-dKos
Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights(discussion) unassigned
Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights(discussion) FISG-dKos
Corrections and Rehabilitation(discussion) jzilliac-dKos
Crime and Drugs(discussion) scratchinmybutt-dKos, vivian darkbloom-dkos
Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship(discussion) wakemeup7nov06-dKos, scratchinmybutt-dKos
Intellectual Property(discussion) Fjord's discontent-dkos
Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security(discussion) vivian darkbloom-dkos

Rules and Administration

Rules and Administration(discussion) natchezms-dKosFree Spirit
(no subcommittees)

Small Business and Entrepeneurship

Small Business and Entrepeneurship(discussion) toys-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Veterans' Affairs

Veterans' Affairs(discussion) unassigned
(no subcommittees)

Special, Select, and Other Committees of the Senate

Ethics

Ethics(discussion) celticshel-dKos, Klnb1019-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Intelligence

Intelligence(discussion) Bewert-dKos, Shockwave-dKos, gatordem-dKos, Schwellenbach-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Aging

Aging(discussion) Chance the gardener-dkos
(no subcommittees)

Drug Caucus

The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, though not a committee, is the only official Senate caucus, established by law in 1985. They have held hearings in the past, though it appears the caucus had little activity during the 109th congress.

Drug Caucus(discussion) shipyardian-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Joint Congressional Committees

Economic

Economic 4Freedom-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Library

Library unassigned
(no subcommittees)

Printing

Printing unassigned
(no subcommittees)

Taxation

Taxation Memophage-dKos
(no subcommittees)

Helpful Links

Primary resources

THOMAS, the official main point of access to the legislative information, where all bills can be viewed before their passage. There is a lot of other valuable information there too. This website may prove to be as big an asset as the committee's websites themselves. The advanced search page lets you search for a bill by committee. The daily digest describes what happened today on the floor of the House and Senate. Here is an easy to read guide to THOMAS.

THOMAS beta permits searching pending and previous legislation by topic or sponsor.

Govtrack - using automatic data collection from congressional websites, this website lets you track representatives, issues and bills. In some ways, it's easier to access than Thomas.

The Government Printing Office's (aka the GPO) Congressional Record Page. It contains The Daily Digest - the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. Announcements of public committee hearings are posted here.

Federal Depository Library Program "Desktop." Established by Congress to "ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information."

Congressional Research Service Reports can be found here. See this comment on The Next Hurrah for some background.

Library of Congress search: searches U.S. historical and cultural collections (American Memory), Library of Congress Online Catalog, Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, Legislation and Congressional Activity through THOMAS, and the Library of Congress Web site.

The Federal Register location for publication of all sorts of Federal information.

THOMAS also offers Congressional floor schedules, committee hearing schedules, and legislative calendars, all indexed here.

How the Congress works

Committees

Wikipedia on Congressional committees

PoliSigh's comment on committees

Government Printing Office website on committees - official publications

CRS Report: Congressional Oversight Manual (pdf) Details the processes of Congressional oversight, which is "generally considered a committee activity."

Suggested Areas for Oversight for the 110th Congress (11/17/2006). Report from Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office (formerly General Accounting Office).

How a bill becomes a law - a simple explanation of the legislative process.

How Our Laws Are Made - a rather involved explanation of the legislative process

Here is a detailed .pdf file prepared by the Congressional Resource office, entitled "The Committee System in the U.S. Congress." This is an excellent, if brief, official overview.

CRS Guide to the Legislative Process is a MUCH more detailed explation created by the Congressional Research Service.

House Practice, 108th edition (most recent available) lays out history of committees and their appointment in pages 233-293. See especially page 237 section 2.

House Practice from the GPO on Select and Joint Committees.

Committee Jurisdictions at a glance. (under construction)

CRS Guide: Finding Directory Information on Members and Committees. (PDF file)

House of Representatives

House Committees and subcomittees from wikipedia.

House Committee Assignments List of Representatives with Committee Assignments (for the 110th Congress)

List of links to House Committee websites

Wikipedia on House procedures

Wikipedia on the parliamentary procedure manual used by the house

Committee FAQ on the House website

House Rules and Manual for the 109th Congress (110th starts January 07). This is where the rules for committees start, and also where they get their charter from.

House Rules, Rule 10 organizes the committees and gives them their official identity and purpose. Look here for the official definition and purpose of your committee. The new version for the 110th congress should be available soon, after its passage.

The Clerk of the House website lists all House Committees and also their contact information.

Committee FAQ from the clerk of the house.

House Democratic Caucus

House Republican Conference

CRS Reports about the House. (Tons of official pdfs)

Senate

Senate Committee Assignments List of Members with Links to Committees (Current, that is Old)

Senate rules

Senate rules from the Senate Webpage (better copy).

Official Senate committee page

Senate Rules, Chapter 25: this particular section defines standing committees of the Senate and their jurisdictions.

CapitolHearings.org Live audio of Senate Committee hearings provided by C-SPAN

This page of the Senate website explains that finding committee transcripts can be difficult. Their availability seems to be left largely up to the individual committees, and, when available, can probably be found in either: the committee or subcommittee webpage, the GPO website (Government Printing Office), or on THOMAS (the Library of Congress website.)

Senate Republican Conference Rules. (Rules for Republicans in the Senate) (109th Congress)

Democratic Senate Caucus

News sources

Congressional Quarterly offers Congressional news coverage. (subscription)

Lexis Nexis Congressional (subscription)

Capitol Hearings, a service provided by C-SPAN and Congressional Quarterly, lets you listen live to hearings as they occur. Also provides Senate hearing schedules.

Federal News Service provides transcripts to political events.

News articles

Article from The Hill on democrats' scrambling for committee assignments in the 110th congress.

Joshua Tauberer on xml and rdf formats.

The Democratic Party's Honest Leadership & Open Government Act would be a step in the right direction...

HR 4682 --one version of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006, from GovTrack.us. See especially section 504.

Transparency and Government Data Sites

Sunlight Foundation - a citizen organization promoting government transparency. Here's their review of Committees and their comparative transparency online. Here is Sunlight's guide to watchdogging.

Center for Citizen Media

Read the Bill .org advocates all legislation being posted online 72 hours before its consideration, in accordance with to H.RES 688 whose passage they advocate. Very close (but slightly stricter) than section 504 of The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which should be considered in January.

Project on Government Oversight

British citizen's oversight group, run in part by My Society dot org.

OMB watch, advocates of government transparency, writing on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590).

OMB Watch's Information and Access Program.

Congresspedia, a congress wiki affiliated with the Sunlight Foundation (has excellent committee news aggregated on the main page).

CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

GovTrack

MapLight.org

FedSpending.org

Open CRS Network

MetaVid

Congresspedia

OMB Watch

OpenSecrets.org

National Security Archive

Follow the Money's PULSE, a statistical analysis of the effects of money on elections.

The Institute on Money in State Politics

Open Congress

Miscellaneous

Models of Address and Salutation for proper formal salutation of elected officials.

Guide to locating federal bills ...We should write a better one.

Follow the Money's PULSE, a statistical analysis of the effects of money on elections.

Edgery's guide to calling Members of Congress.

How to link to THOMAS or GPO documents.

Collaborative Diaries

Web tools

Google news alerts
Yahoo news alerts
Diigo - shared web page annotations

Personal tools