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one or more persons appointed or elected to consider, report on, or take action on a particular matter. Because of the advantages of a division of labor, legislative committees of various kinds have assumed much of the work of legislatures in many nations. Standing committees are appointed in both houses of the U.S. Congress at the beginning of every session to deal with bills in the different specific classes. Important congressional committees include ways and means; appropriations; commerce; armed services; foreign relations; and judiciary. The number, but not the scope, of the committees was much reduced in 1946. Since then there has been a large increase in the number of subcommittees, which have become steadily more important.

Members of committees are in effect elected by caucuses of the two major parties in Congress; the majority party is given the chairmanship and majority on each committee, and chairmanships, as well as membership on important committees, are influenced by seniority, but seniority is no longer the sole deciding factor and others may override it. The presiding officer of either house may appoint special committees, including those of investigation, which have the power to summon witnesses and compel the submission of evidence. The presiding officers also appoint committees of conference to obtain agreement between the two houses on the content of bills of the same general character. The U.S. legislative committee system conducts most congressional business through its powers of scrutiny and investigation of government departments.

In France the constitution of the Fifth Republic permits each legislative chamber to have no more than six standing committees. Because these committees are large, unofficial committees have formed that do much of the real work of examining bills. As in the U.S. government, these committees are quite powerful because of their ability to delay legislation. In Great Britain devices such as committees of the whole are used in the consideration of money bills and there are large standing committees of the House of Commons, but committees have not been very important in the British legislature. Recently attempts have been made to form specialized committees.


See L. A. Froman, The Congressional Process (1967); G. Goodwin, Jr., The Little Legislatures (1970); Congressional Quarterly, Guide to Congress (3d ed. 1982).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: Donald Kohn and Martin Taylor have made a wonderful contribution to the Financial Policy Committee during their terms.
At our annual INA convention in October members of the Public Policy Committee met to identify priorities to guide our committee focus and actions this legislative session.
Ms Shafik, who will join the LSE in September 2017, was also a member of the Financial Policy Committee, the board of the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Bank's Court of Directors.
T wo days after announcing his decision to quit the RBI, Governor Raghuram Rajan on Monday praised the Modi government for `` taking the momentous step of both setting a consumer price index- based inflation objective for the Reserve Bank as well as setting up an independent monetary policy committee ( MPC).
Following are members of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
The Monetary Policy Committee decided in its last meeting in 2015 on 24 December to raise the prices of basic yield atCBE by 0.
Although the legislation died fairly quickly in all three states, and with much opposition from various interested parties including cities, government coalitions, industry trade groups, defense lawyers and private citizens, the IREM Legislative and Public Policy Committee felt compelled to adopt a new SOP addressing the issue.
As per the proposals, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is to decide interest rates rather than the central bank head.
Bank governor Mark Carney said they were "the most significant set of changes to how we present and explain our interest rate decisions since the Monetary Policy Committee was formed in 1997".
His exit comes after he lost his old job as chief economist and his seat on the is exit comes after he lost his old job as chief economist and his seat on the Monetary Policy Committee in a March reshuffle by governor Mark Carney.
The meeting, the second of its kind, will also be held in the Iranian capital Tehran on Sunday and falls within the scope of Iran's policy that is based on "halting violence in Syria and consolidating security and stability in it being the frontline of resistance," according to Chairman of Iranian Shura Council's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Al-Eddin Borujerdi.
aACoeThe current state of the economy, in which unemployment remains high alongside below-trend economic activity, suggests scope for monetary policy easing to stimulate stronger output growth,aACA[yen] said the Bank of Botswana (BoB) Monetary Policy Committee.

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