Conference Committees

Whenever a bill is passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in differing forms because of amendments added by one of the houses, and the two bodies cannot agree on identical language for the bill in question, each house may appoint a number of conferees to meet with conferees of the other house to seek a resolution of the differences existing in the two versions of the bill. This temporary joint committee formed to resolve differences in Senate-passed and House-passed versions of a particular measure is called a Conference Committee. When a Conference Committee is appointed, the committee can consider only those matters that are in dispute. When a Conference Committee reaches an agreement, it prepares a conference report that describes the agreement reached by the House and the Senate. The conference report must be signed by a majority of the conferees of each house, and one copy of the conference report is offered in the House and one copy is offered in the Senate. Both houses must adopt the conference report in order for the bill to advance toward becoming law.

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