To really understand how a place works, first you have to speak the language.


When the Senate and the House both legislate on a specific issue the bills they produce are often quite different. Discrepancies between the two bills are ironed out by the Conference Committee, a temporary panel of House Members and Senators who combine their two bills into one. Members of the Committee are appointed by Leadership and have enormous power-- they generally meet behind closed doors and can drastically change a bill. Depending on which side of the issue you're on, Conference is a place to save a bill by taking out poison pill amendments, undo losses from the Floor fight, or one last chance to kill a policy you oppose.

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