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Congress Structure 101

March 11, 2011
by Kasi Boyd

Before you can understand the Farm Bill, it helps to understand a few basics about the House and Senate Ag committees, which make most of the important decisions to shape the Farm Bill.

House Committee on Ag

The House of Representative’s House Committee on Ag has general jurisdiction over federal ag policy and is responsible for researching and recommending funding for various government programs.

The Committee is separated into sub-committees:

  1. Committee Meeting Hall

    Conservation, Energy, and Forestry

  2. Department Operations, Oversight, and Credit
  3. General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
  4. Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry
  5. Nutrition and Horticulture (previously Horticulture and Organics)
  6. Rural Development, Research, Biotech, and Foreign Ag

These committees have the power to initiate bills and impeach officials, whereas the Senate committee members cannot.

Senate Committee of Ag, Nutrition, and Forestry

The Senate Committee of Ag has legislative oversight, meaning it is responsible for reviewing, monitoring, supervising, and implementing related bills.

The Committee is separated into sub-committees:

  1. Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry, and Credit
  2. Energy, Science, and Technology
  3. Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant and Animal Health
  4. Hunger, Nutrition, and Family Farms
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