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Conference committee

From Academic Kids

A conference committee in the United States Congress and bicamerial state legislature is a committee appointed by the members of the upper and lower house to resolve disagreements on a bill passed in different versions of each House. It is composed usually of the ranking Members of the committees of each House that originally considered the legislation.

Conference committees operate between the second reading and third reading and are unnecessary if both houses pass the same bill in the second reading. They can be extremely contentious if both houses are controlled by different parties. Conference committees can also introduce riders into a bill, particular in the case of a budget bill.

Once a bill has been passed by a conference committee, it goes to the floor in the House and the Senate without an amendment stage.

In British influenced legislatures, conference committees are unknown because the lower house tends to have much more power than the upper house, thereby making negotiations unnecessary.

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