The House of Representatives divides its work among over twenty permanent and standing committees. After a bill is introduced on the House or Senate floor, it is normally referred to the committee of jurisdiction (the committee charged with reviewing measures in the area of law or policy with which the bill is concerned). The committee of referral most often sends the measure to its specialized subcommittee(s) for study, hearings, revisions and approval.
For most bills, the committee or subcommittee fails to take further action on the referred bill, effectively "killing" the measure at this point. Occasionally, a committee will report a measure "unfavorably," with explicit recommendations against its passage, or it will report a bill "without recommendation," which has the same effect as an unfavorable report. If the bill passes the subcommittee with a favorable vote, it is sent back to the full committee for further consideration, hearings, amendment and vote.
- Committee Hearings Schedule
- Committee Hearings and Markup Videos
- Congressional Committee Materials Online via the Government Printing Office’s Federal Digital System (FDsys)
Normally, before a piece of legislation is considered by the House, it has been reviewed by at least one of the committees, and that committee has issued a report describing the legislation and indicating (on a section-by-section basis) how the proposed statute changes existing statutes.