The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy (as pertaining to national security), benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and other matters related to defense policy. The Armed Services Committee was created as a result of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 following U.S. victory in the Second World War. It merged the responsibilities of the Committee on Naval Affairs (established in 1816) and the Committee on Military Affairs (also established in 1816). Considered one of the most powerful Senate committees, its broad mandate allowed it to report some of the most extensive and revolutionary legislation during the Cold War years, including the National Security Act of 1947.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works has an evolving Senate history that dates back to 1837. At its start, the committee was charged with overseeing the development of the Federal buildings in an expanding Washington, D.C. Since that time, the committee’s jurisdiction has matured to legislative responsibility for the development of the Nation’s Interstate highway system, flood control and navigation projects. During the mid-20th century, the committee also took on an environmental role to work on new laws related to clean air, clean water and later the protection of endangered species and fish and wildlife refuges. This led to passage of two notable pieces of legislation, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. In addition to its legislative role, the committee also has oversight over several departments and agencies including but not limited to: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The Committee on the Judiciary is one of the oldest and most influential committees in the U.S. Senate. The committee is tasked with considering all U.S. Constitution Article III judicial nominees, including those for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, appellate courts and district courts. The committee also considers and has jurisdiction on all legislation pertaining to judicial and legal issues, including civil liberties, constitutional amendments and immigration policies. In addition, the committee is charged with providing oversight of the Department of Justice and its agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of all matters relating to the nation's agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry and logging, and legislation relating to nutrition and health.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It has jurisdiction over the Small Business Administration and is also charged with researching and investigating all problems of American small business enterprises.