How the Senate Finance Committee Staff Prepares and Conducts Hearings
The senate finance committee staff oversees legislation that is primarily concerned with taxation, debts and trade. This includes legislative oversight of public employees’ retirement systems and agencies such as the Department of Revenue and State Treasury. It also focuses on preserving Medicare and protecting retirement security, updating the nation’s tax structure with a focus on growth and fairness, and ensuring that fiscal policy supports American jobs.
Preparing for a Hearing
Whether legislative, oversight, investigative or confirmation, hearings share common elements of preparation and conduct. Among the most important are those that govern public announcements of a hearing, critical decisions regarding witnesses, and administrative arrangements.
Frequently, committee rules contain provisions that regulate these aspects of a hearing. For example, Senate rules generally require committee chairs to publicly announce a hearing at least seven days before the date of the public notice.
However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. For example, the rules of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry permit hearings with less than a week’s public notice only when the chair determines that “special circumstances” require swift action.
Despite this flexibility, it is advisable for witnesses to prepare their statements in advance of a hearing. This helps ensure that witnesses are prepared to address all of the committee’s questions.
Preparing a Media Packet
One of the most exciting and rewarding tasks for committee staff is preparing a media packet. The best media packets include a selection of eye-catching visuals that tell a story about the subject matter of the hearing in an entertaining and nonchalant manner. These materials include a well-thought out table of contents, a concise list of witnesses, an attractively designed briefing book, and a dazzling array of color and black and white photographs and charts to spruce up any office or meeting room.…How the Senate Finance Committee Staff Prepares and Conducts Hearings Continue Reading >>>