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This lesson from EDSITEment introduces students to the pivotal role that Congressional committees play in the legislative process, focusing on how their own Congressional representatives influence legislation through their committee appointments. Students begin by reviewing the stages of the legislative process then learn how committees and subcommittees help determine the outcome of this process by deciding which bills the full Congress will consider and by shaping the legislation upon which votes are finally cast. With this background, students research the committee and subcommittee assignments of their Congressional representatives, then divide into small groups to prepare class reports on the jurisdictions of these different committees and their representatives' special responsibilities on each one. Finally, students consider why representation on these specific committees might be important to the people of their state or community, and examine how the committee system reflects some of the basic principles of American federalism.
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