Congressional Committees: Power, Appointments, and Representation

Topic: Government
Words: 614 Pages: 2


The work of congressional committees is complicated due to the specificity of their tasks, which means that generalizations are not applicable to this area. In order to clearly understand it, it is required to discuss the essential elements, determining the power of these entities in relation to the legislative process. Moreover, the appointment of their members deserves particular attention as it directly affects the overall productiveness of their decisions. This mechanism can also be explicitly seen by considering the way the House Appropriations Committee might represent others. Therefore, the examination of the mentioned aspects can shed the light on the characteristics of these departments and their feasibility for addressing the population’s needs in the long run.

Why Committees Are Powerful

The first issue, which should be discussed for confirming the effectiveness of congressional committees, is the reason why they are actually powerful. The scholars usually claim that it is generally viewed as the adherence of their members to traditional practices, allowing them to successfully cope with various tasks while relying on solid evidence (Curry, 2019). Meanwhile, it is not always the case when individual factors come into play. The activity of these entities is, indeed, very diverse, and their efficiency is the result of people’s expertise and knowledge, applied to the resolution of issues (Curry, 2019). These characteristics mean that a committee’s members are selected with regard to their varying skills and abilities, and this practice confirms their apparent power when solving controversial problems.

Appointing to Committees

Considering the significance of the combined efforts of committee members mentioned above, the procedure of their appointment deserves particular attention for determining its effects on their work. According to Berry and Fowler (2018), the increase in power reported by the selected members of these entities is confirmed, and it relates to their greater capability to impact peers. This fact explains why this task should be approached with caution as the possibility of affecting the actions of others is underpinned by a varying degree of influence (Berry & Fowler, 2018). In other words, the reason why it matters who is appointed to committee lies in the presence of some kind of a hierarchy within them, determining uneven distribution of power. In the case of appointing members with insufficient expertise or strong personal interests, the whole legislative system might be adversely affected.

The House Appropriations Committee

The final consideration is the effects of the House Appropriations Committee on other entities and, more specifically, its role in representing them. As follows from the article, written by Metzger (2021), this provision can be confirmed by this entity’s capability to guarantee the balance between interests while effectively managing the cooperation of branches of power. The scholar also states that the recent conflict over the border wall is one of the examples in which the importance of the House Appropriations Committee is confirmed (Metzger, 2021). Since its activity reflects the changes in other parts of the legislative system as a whole, it apparently represents all House committees while managing “wealth and honor,” possessing “strength and power to exalt” (Bible Gateway, n.d.). In this way, the House Appropriations Committee should not be viewed as an outlier as its decisions directly affect others.


To summarize, long-term effects of the work of congressional committees for the wellbeing of the population are determined by their power confirmed by knowledge and expertise. From this perspective, appointing to these entities is a critical task as it defines the appropriateness of one’s skills and intentions for the work of others. In turn, the House Appropriations Committee as one of the most important actors in the matter is significant for proper functioning as it ensures the balance of interests.


Berry, C. R., & Fowler, A. (2018). Congressional committees, legislative influence, and the hegemony of chairs. Journal of Public Economics, 158, 1-11.

Bible Gateway. (n.d.). 1 Chronicles 29:12. Web.

Curry, J. M. (2019). Knowledge, expertise, and committee power in the contemporary congress. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 44(2), 203-237.

Metzger, G. E. (2021). Taking appropriations seriously. Columbia Law Review, 121(4), 1075-1172. Web.

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