Saturday, August 13, 2011

Repeat After Me: Joint Committee NOT "Super-Congress"

The power of language.

If I didn't spend time in DC, interning on Capitol Hill and keeping in touch with my mentors from that realm, I would easily fall for the "Super-Congress," or "Super-Committee,"  chorus. 

There is no such thing as a "Super Congress,"  or "Super Committee,"

Congressional members do not run to the cloakroom and put on tights and a cape (and if they do, I hope they do it on their own time, not the taxpayers); their are multiple Joint Committees in Congress that work on the mundane and the policy changing.

Alex Ross' Kingdom Come Superman

First, read the definitions of Joint Committee:

"A House-Senate panel with a common purpose....Some, like the Joint Committee on Printing, have purely housekeeping functions.  In 1992, in the midst of what some called institutional gridlock, Congress set up the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress,"  

--  The Congress Dictionary by Paul Dickson and Paul Clancy, pub.1993; pg 179.

"Committees including membership from both houses of Congress. Joint committees are usually established with narrow jurisdictions and normally lack authority to report legislation. Chairmanship usually alternates between the House and Senate members from Congress to Congress."
 -- United States Senate website

The Current List of Joint Committees in Congress are:

Joint Committee on Printing;

Joint Committee on Taxation;  

Joint Committee on the Library;

Joint Economic Committee

If the Library of Congress and Congressional Committees are "Super-Congress'" then they all are. 

So, next time someone says "There is a Super-Congress," or "Super-Committee," ask them if the bill printing makes one "Super,"

My question: Why do people get their own Government wrong?

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