Committee Assignments

United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was originally known as the Committee on Public Lands, overseeing the settling of land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Since then, its oversight jurisdiction has expanded to include nuclear, hydroelectric and other energy production; mining, grazing, and oil and gas leasing on public lands; water rights; National Parks and Indian Affairs.

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United States Senate Committee on Finance

The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to: taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection districts, and ports of entry and delivery; reciprocal trade agreements; tariff and import quotas, and related matters thereto; the transportation of dutiable goods; deposit of public moneys; general revenue sharing; health programs under the Social Security Act, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and other health and human services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund; and national social security.

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United States Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs

The Veterans' Affairs committee was created in 1970 to transfer responsibilities for veterans from the Finance and Labor committees to a single panel. From 1947 to 1970, matters relating to veterans compensation and veterans generally were referred to the Committee on Finance, while matters relating to the vocational rehabilitation, education, medical care, civil relief, and civilian readjustment of veterans were referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. Congressional legislation affecting veterans changed over the years. For the members of the armed forces and their families in the nation's early wars -- the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War -- the response of the federal government had been essentially financial. This was clearly the legislative mission of the Senate Committee on Pensions which was created as one of the Senate's original standing committees in 1816 and continued until its termination in the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. During World War I the nature of the congressional response to veterans' needs changed towards a more diversified set of programs. A war risk insurance program, which was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, changed the consideration of veterans benefits in the Senate. The Finance Committee was the Senate standing committee most responsible for veterans programs from 1917 to 1946. After World War II, the Finance Committee handled the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, the "GI Bill of Rights," which extended to servicemen and their families, a number of benefits including unemployment assistance, education, vocational training, housing and business loan guarantees, as well as the traditional medical and pension benefits of previous times. Many experts believe this law was one of the most important elements in the expansion of the middle class following World War II.

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United States Senate Joint Economic Committee

The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) is one of four standing joint committees of the U.S. Congress. The committee was established as a part of the Employment Act of 1946, which deemed the committee responsible for reporting the current economic condition of the United States and for making suggestions for improvement to the economy.

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United States Senate Committee on Health Education Labor & Pensions

The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) generally considers matters relating to these issues. Its jurisdiction extends beyond these issues to include several more specific areas, as defined by Senate rules.

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