How a bill becomes a law/VII. Legislative oversight by standing committees

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Series: How a bill becomes a law in the U.S. Congress
Main page:
Subpages:
  1. The Congress
  2. Sources of legislation
  3. Forms of congressional action
  4. Introduction and referral to committee
  5. Consideration by committee
  6. Reported bills
  7. Legislative oversight by standing committees
  8. Calendars
  9. Obtaining consideration of measures
  10. Consideration and debate
  11. Congressional budget process
  12. Engrossment
  13. Final action on amended bill
  14. Enrollment
  15. Presidential action
  16. Publication

Each standing committee, other than the Committees on Appropriations and on the Budget, is required to review and study, on a continuing basis, the application, administration, execution, and effectiveness of the laws dealing with the subject matter over which the committee has jurisdiction and the organization and operation of federal agencies and entities having responsibility for the administration and evaluation of those laws.

The purpose of the review and study is to determine whether laws and the programs created by Congress are being implemented and carried out in accordance with the intent of Congress and whether those programs should be continued, curtailed, or eliminated. In addition, each committee having oversight responsibility is required to review and study any conditions or circumstances that may indicate the necessity or desirability of enacting new or additional legislation within the jurisdiction of that committee, and must undertake, on a continuing basis, future research and forecasting on matters within the jurisdiction of that committee. Each standing committee also has the function of reviewing and studying, on a continuing basis, the impact or probable impact of tax policies on subjects within its jurisdiction.

The rules of the House provide for special treatment of an investigative or oversight report of a committee. Committees are allowed to file joint investigative reports and to file investigative and activities reports after the House has completed its final session of a Congress. In addition, several of the standing committees have special oversight responsibilities. The details of those responsibilities are set forth in the rules of the House.

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