United States Senate Committee on Finance
The Committee on Finance was established as a standing committee of the Senate in 1816 and is one of the oldest and most powerful committees in the Senate. It has the largest jurisdiction among both the House and Senate and oversees more than 50 percent of the federal budget. Its primary areas of jurisdiction include taxation and other revenue measures; bonded debt of the United States; customs; reciprocal trade agreements; tariffs; general revenue sharing; Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TANF, and other Health and Human Services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund; and social security.
United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is the chief oversight committee of the United States Senate. It 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. The committee had been called the United States Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs before homeland security was added to its responsibilities in 2004.The committee serves as the Senate's chief investigative and oversight committee. The chair of the committee is the only committee chair in the Senate with the power to issue subpoenas without a committee vote, though in practice, such unilateral subpoenas have rarely been issued in recent years.
United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Jurisdiction of the Full Committee on Energy and Natural Resources includes oversight and legislative responsibilities for: 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); Native Hawaiian matters; and Ad Hoc issues. In addition, other issues are retained in the Full Committee on an ad hoc basis. Generally, these are issues which (1) require extremely expeditious handling or (2) substantially overlap two or more subcommittee jurisdictions, or (3) are of exceptional national significance in which all Members wish to participate fully.
United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is a committee of the United States Senate charged with oversight in matters related to the American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples. A Committee on Indian Affairs existed from 1820 to 1947, after which it was folded into the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. A new Indian Affairs Committee was created in 1977, initially as a select committee, as a result of the detachment of indigenous affairs from the new Committee on Energy and National Resources, which had succeeded the old Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The committee was initially intended to be temporary, but was made permanent in 1984. The committee tends to include senators from Western and Plains states, who have more American Indian constituents.
United States Senate Committee on Ethics
The Select Committee on Ethics (the Committee) is unique among all Senate committees in that it is structurally bipartisan—there are a total of six Members, with three Members from the majority party and three Members from the minority party. The Committee staff is a nonpartisan professional staff hired jointly by the Chairman and Vice Chairman. The Committee has three main functions. First, the Committee provides ethics advice and education to Members, officers, and employees. Second, the Committee administers the Senate’s financial disclosure program. Finally, the Committee investigates allegations of misconduct by Members, officers, or employees. Contact with the Committee about the application of laws and rules to proposed conduct is welcomed and encouraged. The Committee’s aim is to preempt possible violations by providing guidance that allows Members, officers, and employees to have a clear understanding of the standards of conduct that govern their actions as public officials.