Legislative Committees

Special Committee on Aging

National Senate Committee

G31 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510-6400

Phone: 202-224-5364

Fax: 202-224-8660

E-mail:

Web Address:


 

SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING

Jurisdiction and Authority

S. Res. 4, 104, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. (1977) \1\

\1\ As amended by S. Res. 78. 95th Cong., 1st Sess. (1977), S. Res. 376, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. (1978), S. Res. 274, 96th Cong., 1st Sess. (1979), S. Res. 389, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. (1980).

(a)(1) There is established a Special Committee on Aging (hereafter in this section referred to as the "special committee'') which shall consist of nineteen Members. The Members and chairman of the special committee shall be appointed in the same manner and at the same time as the Members and chairman of a standing committee of the Senate. After the date on which the majority and minority Members of the special committee are initially appointed on or after the effective date of title I of the Committee System Reorganization Amendments of 1977, each time a vacancy occurs in the Membership of the special committee, the number of Members of the special committee shall be reduced by one until the number of Members of the special committee consists of nine Senators.

(2) For purposes of paragraph 1 of rule XXV; paragraphs 1, 7(a)(1) (2), 9, and 10(a) of rule XXVI; and paragraphs 1(a) (d), and 2 (a) and (d) of rule XXVII of the Standing Rules of the Senate; and for purposes of section 202 (i) and (j) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, the special committee shall be treated as a standing committee of the Senate.

(b)(1) It shall be the duty of the special committee to conduct a continuing study of any and all matters pertaining to problems and opportunities of older people, including, but not limited to, problems and opportunities of maintaining health, of assuring adequate income, of finding employment, of engaging in productive and rewarding activity, of securing proper housing, and when necessary, of obtaining care or assistance. No proposed legislation shall be referred to such committee, and such committee shall not have power to report by bill, or otherwise have legislative jurisdiction.

(2) The special committee shall, from time to time (but not less often than once each year), report to the Senate the results of the study conducted pursuant to paragraph (1), together with such recommendation as it considers appropriate.

(c)(1) For the purposes of this section, the special committee is authorized, in it discretion, (A) to make investigations into any matter within its jurisdiction, (B) to make expenditures from the contingent fund of the Senate, (C) to employ personnel, (D) to hold hearings, (E) to sit and act at any time or place during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of the Senate, (F) to require by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance of witnesses and the production of correspondence, books, papers, and documents, (G) to take depositions and other testimony, (H) to procure the service of individual consultants or organizations thereof (as authorized by section 202(i) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended) and (I) with the prior consent of the Government department or agency concerned and the Committee on Rules and Administration, to use on a reimbursable basis the services of personnel of any such department or agency.

(2) The chairman of the special committee or any Member thereof may administer oaths to witnesses.

(3) Subpoenas authorized by the special committee may be issued over the signature of the chairman, or any Member of the special committee designated by the chairman, and may be served by any person designated by the chairman or the Member signing the subpoena.

(d) All records and papers of the temporary Special Committee on Aging established by Senate Resolution 33, Eighty-seventh Congress, are transferred to the special committee.

Rules of Procedure

141 Cong. Rec. S3293 (daily ed. Feb. 28, 1995)

I. Convening of Meetings and Hearings

1. Meetings. The Committee shall meet to conduct Committee business at the call of the Chairman.

2. Special Meetings. The Members of the Committee may call additional meetings as provided in Senate Rule XXVI (3).

3. Notice and Agenda:

(a) Hearings. The Committee shall make public announcement of the date, place, and subject matter of any hearing at least one week before its commencement.

(b) Meetings. The Chairman shall give the Members written notice of any Committee meeting, accompanied by an agenda enumerating the items of business to be considered, at least 5 days in advance of such meeting.

(c) Shortened Notice. A hearing or meeting may be called on not less than 24 hours notice if the Chairman, with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member, determines that there is good cause to begin the hearing or meeting on shortened notice. An agenda will be furnished prior to such a meeting.

4. Presiding Officer. The Chairman shall preside when present. If the Chairman is not present at any meeting or hearing, the Ranking Majority Member present shall preside. Any Member of the Committee may preside over the conduct of a hearing.

II. Closed Sessions and Confidential Materials

1. Procedure. All meetings and hearing shall be open to the public unless closed. To close a meeting or hearing or portion thereof, a motion shall be made and seconded to go into closed discussion of whether the meeting or hearing will concern the matters enumerated in Rule II.3. Immediately after such discussion, the meeting or hearing may be closed by a vote in open session of a majority of the Members of the Committee present.

2. Witness Request. Any witness called for a hearing may submit a written request to the Chairman no later than twenty-four hours in advance for his examination to be in closed or open session. The Chairman shall inform the Committee of any such request.

3. Closed Session Subjects. A meeting or hearing or portion thereof may be closed if the matters to be discussed concern: (1) national security; (2) Committee staff personnel or internal staff management or procedure; (3) matters tending to reflect adversely on the character or reputation or to invade the privacy of the individuals; (4) Committee investigations; (5) other matters enumerated in Senate Rule XXVI (5)(b).

4. Confidential Matter. No record made of a closed session, or material declared confidential by a majority of the Committee, or report of the proceedings of a closed session, shall be made public, in whole or in part or by way of summary, unless specifically authorized by the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member.

5. Broadcasting:

(a) Control. Any meeting or hearing open to the public may be covered by television, radio, or still photography. Such coverage must be conducted in an orderly and unobtrusive manner, and the Chairman may for good cause terminate such coverage in whole or in part, or take such other action to control it as the circumstances may warrant.

(b) Request. A witness may request of the Chairman, on grounds of distraction, harassment, personal safety, or physical discomfort, that during his testimony cameras, media microphones, and lights shall not be directed at him.

III. Quorums and Voting

1. Reporting. A majority shall constitute a quorum for reporting a resolution, recommendation or report to the Senate.

2. Committee Business. A third shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of Committee business, other than a final vote on reporting, providing a minority Member is present. One Member shall constitute a quorum for the receipt of evidence, the swearing of witnesses, and the taking of testimony at hearings.

3. Polling:

(a) Subjects. The Committee may poll (1) internal Committee matters including those concerning the Committee's staff, records, and budget; (2) other Committee business which has been designated for polling at a meeting.

(b) Procedure. The Chairman shall circulate polling sheets to each Member specifying the matter being polled and the time limit for completion of the poll. If any Member so requests in advance of the meeting, the matter shall be held for meeting rather than being polled. The clerk shall keep a record of polls, if the Chairman determines that the polled matter is one of the areas enumerated in Rule II.3, the record of the poll shall be confidential. Any Member may move at the Committee meeting following a poll for a vote on the polled decision.

IV. Investigations

1. Authorization for Investigations. All investigations shall be conducted on a bipartisan basis by Committee staff. Investigations may be initiated by the Committee staff upon the approval of the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member. Staff shall keep the Committee fully informed of the progress of continuing investigations, except where the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member agree that there exists temporary cause for more limited knowledge.

2. Subpoenas. Subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses or the production of memoranda, documents, records, or any other materials shall be issued by the Chairman, or by any other Member of the Committee designated by him. Prior to the issuance of each subpoena, the Ranking Minority Member, and any other Member so requesting, shall be notified regarding the identity of the person to whom the subpoena will be issued and the nature of the information sought, and its relationship to the investigation.

3. Investigative Reports. All reports containing findings or recommendations stemming from Committee investigations shall be printed only with the approval of a majority of the Members of the Committee.

V. Hearings

1. Notice. Witnesses called before the Committee shall be given, absent extraordinary circumstances, at least forty-eight hours notice, and all witnesses called shall be furnished with a copy of these rules upon request.

2. Oath. All witnesses who testify to matters of fact shall be sworn unless the Committee waives the oath. The Chairman, or any member, may request and administer the oath.

3. Statement. Witnesses are required to make an introductory statement and shall file 150 copies of such statement with the Chairman or clerk of the Committee at least 72 hours in advance of their appearance, unless the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member determine that there is

good cause for a witness's failure to do so. A witness shall be allowed no more than ten minutes to orally summarize their prepared statement.

4. Counsel:

(a) A witness's counsel shall be permitted to be present during his testimony at any public or closed hearing or depositions or staff interview to advise such witness of his rights, provided, however, that in the case of any witness who is an officer or employee of the government, or of a corporation or association, the Chairman may rule that representation by counsel from the government, corporation, or association creates a conflict of interest, and that the witness shall be represented by personal counsel not from the government, corporation, or association.

(b) A witness is unable for economic reasons to obtain counsel may inform the Committee at least 48 hours prior to the witness's appearance, and it will endeavor to obtain volunteer counsel for the witness. Such counsel shall be subject solely to the control of the witness and not the Committee Failure to obtain counsel will not excuse the witness from appearing and testifying.

5. Transcript. An accurate electronic or stenographic record shall be kept of the testimony of all witnesses in executive and public hearings. Any witness shall be afforded, upon request, the right to review that portion of such record, and for this purpose, a copy of a witness's testimony in public or closed session shall be provided to the witness. Upon inspecting his transcript, within a time limit set by the committee clerk, a witness may request changes in testimony to correct errors of transcription, grammatical errors, and obvious errors of fact, the Chairman or a staff officer designated by him shall rule on such request.

6. Impugned Persons. Any person who believes that evidence presented, or comment made by a Member or staff, at a public hearing or at a closed hearing concerning which there have been public reports, tends to impugn his character or adversely affect his reputation may:

(a) file a sworn statement of facts relevant to the evidence or comment, which shall be placed in the hearing record;

(b) request the opportunity to appear personally before the Committee to testify in his own behalf; and

(c) submit questions in writing which he requests be used for the cross-examination of other-witnesses called by the Committee. The Chairman shall inform the Committee of such requests for appearance or cross-examination. If the Committee so decides; the requested questions, or paraphrased versions or portions of them, shall be put to the other witness by a Member or by staff.

7. Minority Witnesses. Whenever any hearing is conducted by the Committee, the minority on the Committee shall be entitled, upon request made by a majority of the minority Members to the Chairman, to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify or produce documents with respect to the measure or matter under consideration during at least one day of the hearing. Such request must be made before the completion of the hearing or, if subpoenas are required to call the minority witnesses, no later than three days before the completion of the hearing.

8. Conduct of Witnesses, Counsel and Members of the Audience. If, during public or executive sessions, a witness, his counsel, or any spectator conducts himself in such a manner as to prevent, impede, disrupt, obstruct, or interfere with the orderly administration of such hearing the Chairman or presiding Member of the Committee present during such hearing may request the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, his representative or any law enforcement official to eject said person from the hearing room.

VI. Depositions and Commissions

1. Notice. Notices for the taking of depositions in an investigation authorized by the Committee shall be authorized and issued by the Chairman or by a staff officer designated by him. Such notices shall specify a time and place for examination, and the name of the staff officer or officers who will take the deposition. Unless otherwise specified, the deposition shall be in private. The Committee shall not initiate procedures leading to criminal or civil enforcement proceedings for a witness's failure to appear unless the deposition notice was accompanied by a Committee subpoena.

2. Counsel. Witnesses may be accompanied at a deposition by counsel to advise them of their rights, subject to the provisions of Rule V.4.

3. Procedure. Witnesses shall be examined upon oath administered by an individual authorized by local law to administer oaths. Questions shall be propounded orally by Committee staff. Objections by the witnesses as to the form of questions shall be noted by the record. If a witness objects to a question and refuses to testify on the basis of relevance or privilege, the Committee staff may proceed with the deposition, or may at that time or at a subsequent time, seek a ruling by telephone or otherwise on the objection from a Member of the Committee. If the Member overrules the objection, he may refer the matter to the Committee or he may order and direct the witness to answer the question, but the Committee shall not initiate the procedures leading to civil or criminal enforcement unless the witness refuses to testify after he has been ordered and directed to answer by a Member of the Committee.

4. Filing. The Committee staff shall see that the testimony is transcribed or electronically recorded. If it is transcribed, the witness shall be furnished with a copy for review. No later than five days thereafter, the witness shall return a signed copy, and the staff shall enter the changes, if any, requested by the witness in accordance with Rule V.6. If the witness fails to return a signed copy, the staff shall note on the transcript the date a copy was provided and the failure to return it. The individual administering the oath shall certify on the transcript that the witness was duly sworn in his presence, the transcriber shall certify that the transcript is a true record to the testimony, and the transcript shall then be filed with the Committee clerk. Committee staff may stipulate with the witness to changes in this procedure; deviations from the procedure which do not substantially impair the reliability of the record shall not relieve the witness from his obligation to testify truthfully.

5. Commissions. The Committee may authorize the staff, by issuance of commissions, to fill in prepared subpoenas, conduct field hearings, inspect locations, facilities, or systems of records, or otherwise act on behalf of the Committee. Commissions shall be accompanied by instructions from the Committee regulating their use.

VII. Subcommittees

1. Establishment. The Committee will operate as a Committee of the Whole, reserving to itself the right to establish temporary subcommittees at any time by majority vote. The Chairman of the full Committee and the Ranking Minority Member shall be ex officio Members of all subcommittees.

2. Jurisdiction. Within its jurisdiction as described in the Standing Rules of the Senate, each subcommittee is authorized to conduct investigations, including use of subpoenas, depositions, and commissions.

3. Rules. A subcommittee shall be governed by the Committee rules, except that its quorum for all business shall be one-third of the subcommittee Membership, and for hearings shall be one Member.

VIII. Reports

Committee reports incorporating Committee findings and recommendations shall be printed only with the prior approval of the Committee, after an adequate period for review and comment. The printing, as Committee documents, of materials prepared by staff for informational purposes, or the printing of materials not originating with the Committee or staff, shall require prior consultation with the minority staff; these publications shall have the following language printed on the cover of the document: ``Note: This document has been printed for informational purposes. It does not represent either findings or recommendations formally adopted by the Committee.''

IX. Amendment of Rules

The rules of the Committee may be amended or revised at any time, provided that not less than a majority of the Committee present so determine at a Committee meeting preceded by at least 3 days notice of the amendments or revisions proposed.