Conference Committee

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  • An ad hoc, temporary committee appointed by Congress to resolve differences on House and Senate versions of the same—often complex—bill (e.g., appropriations bills). It is also known as the U.S. Congress Conference Committee. For the President to veto or approve any bill, the House and Senate versions need to be in identical form. Conference committees are formed only after both Houses have passed their version of the bill. The committees choose their own chairman and decide the rules of procedure, the only caveat being that members discuss only the disagreed-on provisions. The committee proceedings are public, unless the members vote to keep them closed. The alternative to forming a conference committee is to exchange amendments between Houses; either House may accept the other's amendments.

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