Committees and Caucuses
How Congressional Committees Work
Members of Congress serve on a number of committees. Each committee specializes in specific issues and reviews legislation pertaining to those issues. After bills are introduced, they are referred to the committees having jurisdiction over the issues the legislation addresses. Most House committees are further divided into subcommittees. Legislation is first reviewed by a subcommittee, where testimony is presented and the bills are amended. Subcommittee members then vote on the amended bill. If it passes in subcommittee, the legislation is then eligible for consideration by the full committee. If the full committee passes the legislation, it is then eligible for consideration by the full House of Representatives. Only a fraction of bills that get introduced each year are considered by a subcommittee and a smaller percentage of those bills are considered by the full House of Representatives.
Financial Services Committee
I have served on the Financial Services Committee, and its predecessor, the House Banking Committee, since I was first elected to Congress. This Committee has jurisdiction over a number of issues. Some of these include international finance, securities and exchanges, monetary policy, insurance, banking and housing. The Committee also oversees financial services regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve. Currently I am a member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
I'm also a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. I received this assignment in June of 2002. Before being named to this Committee, I served on the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Science and Technology. The Transportation Committee has jurisdiction over issues related to aviation, maritime transportation, railroads, highways, transit and pipelines and water resources. Currently I am the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, and a member of the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
Congressional Caucuses are formed by Members to provide a forum for issues or legislative agendas. A number of caucuses exist in the House and their primary function is to draw attention to issues of importance to their membership. Since taking office, I have founded five caucuses: The Congressional Caucus on Community Health Centers, the Congressional Caucus on Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities, the Congressional Caucus on Korea, the Congressional Caucus on Sudan, and the Congressional Former Mayors Caucus. A complete list of my Caucus memberships is provided below:
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