House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads. The Committee also has jurisdiction over other aspects of our national infrastructure, such as clean water and waste water management, the transport of resources by pipeline, flood damage reduction, the management of federally owned real estate and public buildings, the development of economically depressed rural and urban areas, disaster preparedness and response, and hazardous materials transportation.
In addition, the Transportation Committee has broad jurisdiction over the Department of Transportation, ,the U.S. Coast Guard, Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others. The Committee also has jurisdiction over federal buildings, which includes the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
|Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit has responsibility for the development of national surface transportation policy, construction and improvement of highway and transit facilities, implementation of highway and transit safety programs and research activities, and regulation of commercial motor vehicle operations. Within this scope of responsibilities, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over many U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) programs, including the following: Federal-aid Highway Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); Federal transit programs administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA); Highway safety grants and research programs administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Commercial motor vehicle safety programs and regulations administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA); Surface transportation research administered by FHWA, FTA, FMCSA, NHSTA and coordinated through the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST).
|Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment consists generally of matters relating to water resources development, conservation and management, water pollution control and water infrastructure, and hazardous waste cleanup. Within this scope of authority, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all programs within the civil works and regulatory programs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the water quality and Clean Water Act-related infrastructure programs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) (within the U.S. Department of Transportation). The Subcommittee also shares jurisdiction with the Committee on Energy and Commerce over EPA’s hazardous waste cleanup and liability authorities (under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly known as Superfund) and brownfields revitalization program. In addition, the Subcommittee shares jurisdiction over the joint EPA-U.S. Coast Guard authorities under the Oil Pollution Act with the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Finally, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the small watershed grants and remediation programs under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (within the U.S. Department of Agriculture), and water quality and water-infrastructure related programs of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) (within the U.S. Department of State).
| Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation has jurisdiction over the United States Coast Guard, including its duties, organization, functions, and powers. Within the Committee’s broader maritime transportation jurisdiction, the Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the regulation of vessels and seamen; international conventions related to the safety of life at sea; and the regulation of ocean shipping, domestic cabotage, and the merchant marine, except as it relates to national defense.
House Committee on Natural Resources
The House Committee on Natural Resources responsible for oversight and legislation relating to: Fisheries and wildlife, including research, restoration, refuges, and conservation; forest reserves and national parks created from the public domain; forfeiture of land grants and alien ownership, including alien ownership of mineral lands; Geological Survey; international fishing agreements; interstate compacts relating to apportionment of waters for irrigation purposes; irrigation and reclamation, including water supply for reclamation projects and easements and acquisition of public and private lands for irrigation projects; Native Americans generally, including the care and allotment of Native American lands and general and special measures relating to claims that are paid out of Native American funds; insular possessions of the United States generally (except those affecting the revenue and appropriations); military parks and battlefields, national cemeteries administered by the Secretary of the Interior, parks within the District of Columbia, and the erection of monuments to the memory of individuals; mineral land laws and claims and entries thereunder; mineral resources of public lands; mining interests, schools and experimental stations; marine affairs, including coastal zone management (except for measures relating to oil and other pollution of navigable waters); oceanography; petroleum conservation on public lands and conservation of the radium supply in the United States; preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest on the public domain; public lands generally, including entry, easements, and grazing thereon; relations of the United States with Native Americans and Native American tribes; and, Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline (except ratemaking).
| Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
I serve as ranking member of this Subcommittee which oversees American energy production and mining on federal lands – both onshore and offshore – to ensure that they are developed in a safe and equitable manner so that U.S. taxpayers are properly compensated for their use.
| Subcommittee on Federal Lands
The Subcommittee on Federal Lands is responsible for all matters related to the National Park System, U.S. Forests, public lands, and national monuments.
What Is A Congressional Committee?
The House of Representatives divides its work among over twenty permanent committees. Normally, before a piece of legislation is considered by the House it has been reviewed by at least one of the committees and a report is issued by that committee describing the legislation and indicating (on section-by-section basis) how the proposed statute changes existing statutes. Congress divides its work among over two hundred committees and subcommittees, each of which issues regular reports on its activities.
Types of Committees
Standing committees are permanent panels which consider bills and issues and recommend measures for consideration. They also have oversight responsibility to monitor agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions, and in some cases in areas that cut across committee jurisdictions.
Select or special committees are established generally by a separate resolution of the chamber, sometimes to conduct investigations and studies, and, on other occasions, also to consider measures. Often, select committees examine emerging issues that don’t fit clearly within existing standing committee jurisdictions, or which cut across jurisdictional boundaries.
Joint committees are permanent panels that include members from both chambers, which generally conduct studies or perform housekeeping tasks rather than consider measures.
Subcommittees are formed by most committees to share specific tasks within the jurisdiction of the full committee. Subcommittees are responsible to, and work within the guidelines established by, their parent committees.
What do Congressional Committees Do?
After a bill is introduced on the House or Senate floor, it is referred to the committee of jurisdiction (i.e., 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, amendments and a vote.