Senate Committees

The following is a list of Senate Committees:

Senate Committee on Aging (Special)

Note: While special committees have no legislative authority, they can study issues, conduct oversight of programs, and investigate reports of fraud and waste.

Deals with issues related to health care for seniors, long-term care, elder fraud and abuse, social security and retirement savings, older workers, emergency preparedness for seniors, assisting seniors with rising energy costs and affordable senior housing.

Relevance to the Academy: Pertinent legislation includes the Older Americans Act, which regulates congregate and home-delivery meal programs. Other issues relate to Medicare reimbursement and long-term care facility services.

Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

Responsible for oversight of all legislation that deals with our nation's agriculture industry, including food and agricultural research, education, economics and extension; innovation in the use of agricultural commodities and materials; farming programs; forestry and logging; and legislation related to nutrition and health, including nutrition and food assistance and hunger prevention, school and child nutrition programs, local and healthy food initiatives.

Relevance to the Academy: Pertinent legislation and issues include the Farm Bill, National School Lunch program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, School Breakfast, WIC and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program.

Appropriations Committee

Has jurisdiction over all discretionary spending legislation in the Senate. The committee writes the legislation that allocates federal funds to the numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis. Appropriations are limited to the levels set by a Budget Resolution, drafted by the Senate Budget Committee.

Relevance to the Academy: All bills require appropriation legislation along with authorization to be viable.

Committee on Armed Services

Deals with issues primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations; the common defense; the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy and the Department of the Air Force.

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Areas of jurisdiction include banking, insurance, financial markets, securities, housing, urban development and mass transit, international trade and finance, and economic policy.

Committee on Budget

Along with the House Budget Committee, it is responsible for drafting Congress' annual budget plan and monitoring action on the budget for the Federal Government. In addition, the Budget Committee has jurisdiction over the operation of the Congressional Budget Office. The budget resolution prepared by the Budget Committee sets out a broad blueprint for the Congress with respect to the total levels of revenues and spending for the government as a whole.

Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Jurisdiction includes coastal zone management, highway safety, interstate commerce, nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences, sports, standards and measurement and marine fisheries as well as regulation of consumer products and services, including testing related to toxic substances other than pesticides, and except for credit, financial services and housing.

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Jurisdiction over matters related to National Energy Policy, including international energy affairs and emergency preparedness; nuclear waste policy; privatization of federal assets; territorial policy (including changes in status and issues affecting Antarctica) and Native Hawaiian matters.

Committee on Ethics (Select)

The Senate Select Committee on Ethics is authorized to publish regulations necessary to implement the Senate Code of Official Conduct, and to issue interpretative rulings and advisory opinions regarding the application of any law, rule or regulation within the Committee's jurisdiction.

Committee on Environment and Public Works

Jurisdiction includes issues of air and noise pollution, environmental policy, fisheries and wildlife, public buildings, works, bridges and dams, solid waste disposal and recycling, water pollution. Subcommittees deal with policy issues in connection with protection of pregnant women, infants and children from environmental hazards and job creation through the development and deployment of "green" technologies and practices.

Committee on Finance (similar to the House Ways and Means Committee)

The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to: taxation and other revenue measures generally, the transportation of dutiable goods, deposit of public moneys, general revenue sharing; as well as 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.

Relevance to the Academy: Issues related to Medicare and Medicaid insurance reimbursement for RDN services/MNT.

Committee on Foreign Relations

The Foreign Relations Committee is generally responsible for overseeing (but not administering) and funding foreign aid programs as well as funding, arms sales and training for national allies. The committee is also responsible for holding confirmation hearings for high-level positions in the Department of State.

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP)

Has jurisdiction over most of the agencies, institutes, and programs of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the FDA, CDC, NIH, AOA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Committee also oversees public health and health insurance statutes to address emerging threats and changing patterns in the health-care industry. This committee has jurisdiction over various issues related to education and workforce development, including Head Start, the No Child Left Behind Act, Higher Education, the Arts and Humanities, Student Financial Assistance, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Job and Vocational Training and the Workforce Investment Act. This Committee also deals with federal labor and employment laws and private retirement plans and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Relevance to the Academy: Pertinent legislation/issues include home-delivered and congregate meal programs for seniors, Ryan White CARE Act. Many of the programs/agencies under this committee's jurisdiction include nutrition and nutrition-related issues e.g. FDA, NIH, AOA, Head Start.

Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Has jurisdiction over matters related to the Department of Homeland Security and other homeland security concerns, as well as the functioning of the government itself, including the National Archives, budget and accounting measures other than appropriations, the Census, the federal civil service, the affairs of the District of Columbia, and the United States Postal Service.

Committee on Indian Affairs

Issues include the Indian County provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, appropriations and budget, federal recognition of tribes, health care reform (Indian Health Services) Indian economic development, education, energy and water rights.

Relevance to the Academy: Issues related to nutrition within Indian Health Services.

Committee on Intelligence (Select)

Dedicated to overseeing the United States Intelligence Community — the agencies and bureaus of the federal government who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches.

Committee on the Judiciary

Provides oversight of the Department of Justice and the agencies under the Department's jurisdiction, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and is also charged with the consideration of Supreme Court nominations, appellate court nominations, and district court nominations.

Committee on Rules and Administration

Responsible for the rules of the Senate and administration of congressional buildings as well as the credentials and qualifications of members of the Senate, including responsibility for dealing with contested elections.

Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Has jurisdiction over the Small Business Administration and is also charged with researching and investigating all problems of American small business enterprises.

Committee on Veterans' Affairs

The Committee is dedicated to being an advocate for our nation's veterans, from those who served in World War I to our veterans who are returning home today. The Committee convenes hearings, conducts oversight and investigations, and is responsible for all legislation relating to veterans benefits and medical care.

Relevance to the Academy: Issues related to the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care system, programs and research apparatus.