Committee is an indefinite administrative committee within congress that
considers enactment inside its assigned subject zone; they are the fundamental
unit of consideration in the House and the Senate. The Standing Committees in the United States was created to
handle and mandate certain aspects and funding of different departments of the
legislative branch. The House’s Committees analyzes bills, organizations
and issues inside their domain. There are three types of committees within
congress; Standing Committees, Selective Committees and Conference Committees.
The Standing Committee jurisdictions have likeness to those in the Executive
Branch of the Government.
Standing Committees, the law allows each member to retain their positions
permanently. A committee member is assigned to a jurisdiction by their
expertise. In order for a bill to be analyzed, it is ultimately given to the
standing committee to which it most correlates to. To begin with, a bill is
presented by a legislator, which then alluded to a standing committee. The
individuals within the committee are at that point capable to focus on the
details of the proposed bill, a public hearing is then held where the committee
members decide on the bill’s credibility and merit. There are currently 16
standing committees within the senate and 20 within the house, with each being
distinctive in their own rights. Unlike the House and Senate, the level of
superiority is determined by how many consecutive years were served on the
committee and not elsewhere in congress. What started off as a Selective
Committee, the Standing Committee of Finance duties are to discuss budgets, tax,
appropriation, and general expenses.
Senate’s first 27 years, it had no standing committees. The early Senate
was a small body. It conducted its work through temporary committees that
met as needed and disbanded when the Senate enacted the legislation that had
prompted the Senate to form the committee” (Finance.senate.gov,
selective committee, the major two issues at the time was the Tariff Act of
1816 and the Bank Act. The Bank Act helped to stabilize the nation’s chaotic
financial systems. The Tariff Act of 1816 helped to eradicate the debt from the
result of the 1812 War. The Finance Committee shared jurisdiction over tariffs
with the Committee on Commerce and Manufacturers. Senators on the finance
committee argued that the tariffs were means to raise revenue and was within
the rights of the Finance; however, every act to transfer it was a failed
mission because more concerns of protecting the industries was of certain home
states of the Senators, resulted in the senate redirected the legislation to
the Commerce and Manufacturers Committee (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).
As years passed,
tariff issues grew larger, which exposed a geographic division within the
country. Southern and western interests supported the reductions in
tariffs; however, northern interests, felt that tariffs were still too low and
did not afford enough protection (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).
disputes over tariffs reached a crisis. South Carolina threatened to
nullify all tariff acts. The Senate was forced to act. And Henry
Clay offered a solution that would draw down tariffs over a 10-year
period. Congress passed the bill, and President Jackson signed it into
law” (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).
Tariffs in the
United States was not the only problem, the Charter of the Second Bank was up
for renewal which was created by the committee in 1816. At the time, President
Jackson vocalized his belief that the Second Bank violated the constitution and
outsized the importance of the country’s currency and financial systems. Led by
Samuel Smith, the committee came to an unanimous decision that the bank created
a secured and continuous currency in the United States.
Jackson won re-election, he mandated that the secretary of treasury to remove
all federal money from the bank and redistribute it to state banks. Senators
Webster and Clay felt as if Jackson’s actions regarding the Second Bank was
unconstitutional and that money issues within the country should be deliberated
in the senate. Ultimately, for 3 years Jackson was stripped from making
decisions pertaining the Second Bank until the Democrats won over the Senate.
On December 10, 1816, the senate approves
Senator James Barbour’s request to have an established Committee on Finance as
a standing committee of the Senate. Just
after a few days, its very first Members were appointed: Senators George Campbell
of Tennessee (the Committee’s first Chairman), Jeremiah Mason of New Hampshire,
Thomas Thompson of New Hampshire, Rufus King of New York, and George Troup of
Georgia (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).
During the Civil War Era in 1862, there was proposal made by the House Ways
and Means Committee to create non-interest currency that would be legal to pay off
debts within the country (Finance.senate.gov,
2017). Senator Chase was against the notion because he feared for
possible inflation and counterfeiting which divided the Finance Committee (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).
Chairman William Fessenden supported the vast
majority of the bill but he did not approve of the legal tender title; however,
Senator John Sherman, favored the House-passed bill presented it to the Senate (Finance.senate.gov 2017). An agreement was made by
Chairman Fessenden and Senator Sherman to allow the loan payments within the
bill to be backed by hard currency (Finance.senate.gov,
2017). Congress passed the measure, and President Lincoln signed
it into law (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).
It was made apparent
to Congress could see that the Civil War would last for multiple years.
In response, Congress stopped increasing tariff rates and instead, focused on taxing
income to fund the war (Finance.senate.gov,
2017). House legislation incorporated direct taxes in
addition to the flat income tax rates (Finance.senate.gov, 2017). “When
Chairman Fessenden reported the bill to the Senate, he noted that he was the
only one among the Committee’s Senators who cared for the House’s direct tax
provisions. The Senate struck the direct taxes and substituted
progressive income tax rates to recoup the lost revenue” (Finance.senate.gov, 2017).