Congressional Committee System Vocabulary

Congressional Committee System
Caucuses-groups of Congress members working together to pursue common legislative
objectives; examples include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Bipartisan Disability
Conference Committee- a temporary committee formed to amend the differences in House and
Senate versions of a bill
Congressional Record- the record of the proceedings of the U.S. Congress, with a transcript of
the discussion, published daily by the government while Congress is in session
Congressional Research Service (CRS)-a unit of the Library of Congress that provides policy
and legal analysis to committees and Congress members
House Committee on Rules- a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives that determines
the consideration of legislative measures and establishing conditions for debate and amendment.
This committee is often referred to as “the traffic cop of Congress”.
Joint Committee- a combined House-Senate committee formed to coordinate activities and
expedite legislation in a certain area
Legislative Calendar-used to plan business during a legislative session; may contain committee
hearing schedules and important deadlines. In the U.S. Congress, the phrase “placed on the
calendar,” accompanies a bill pending before committees in either house; the bill is assigned a
calendar number that determines when it will be considered by that house.
Select Committee-a committee appointed to investigate a certain issue or problem not suited for
a standing committee and dissolves after issuing a report of its findings
Sequential referral-the practice of sending a bill to more than one Congressional committee for
consideration and doing so in an ordered sequence
Standing Committee-a permanent committee responsible for legislation in a particular policy
Subcommittee-a subdivision of a committee that is assigned a portion of the committee’s
jurisdiction, holds hearings, amends legislation, and reports to the committee