Intelligence Committees - Senate and House
US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
What is it? The committee was established in 1976 to oversee the intelligence agencies and bureaus that report to the federal government. The Committee is "select" because it comprises rotating membership and all positions are temporary.
Who does it include? The Committee has 15 members, 8 from the Majority party and 7 from the Minority. The Committee must include 2 members (one from each side) from the following committees: appropriations, armed services, foreign relations, and judicial. The Senate Majority and Minority leaders are also ex officio (non-voting but selected by virtue of holding their other positions) members of the Committee. The Chairman and Ranking Official for the Committee on Armed Services are also ex officio members. The current Chairman is Senator Richard Burr (R) of North Carolina and the Vice Chairman is Senator Mark Warner (D) of Virginia. For a full list of all Committee members, click here.
What does it do? Basically, it monitors intelligence and the budget for intelligence offices. All intelligence committee members have access to intelligence methods and sources. The President is legally required to keep the Committee up to date and informed, which means intelligence offices must notify the Committee of their operations, even those that are covert. Responsibilities for the Committee thus include investigations and reviews, intelligence analysis, drafting legislation for funding the intelligence community, hearings on recent intelligence activity, analysis of intelligence activity, and daily oversight.
United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
What is it? Founded in 1977 and usually called the House Intelligence Committee, it comprises Representatives from the House and is tasked with oversight of the Intelligence community, specifically of these seventeen elements of the US Government and the Military Intelligence Program.
Who does it include? There are 22 members currently serving on the Committee; 13 Republicans and 9 Democrats. The Chairman of the Committee is from the Majority party (Republican) and the Ranking Member, similar to the vice chair, from the Minority party. The current Chairmen is Devin Nunes (R) and the Ranking Member is Adam Schiff (D). Members are selected by each side of the House and Senate.
What does it do? The Committee meets regularly on the first Thursday of every month, unless the Chairman instructs otherwise. Generally, Committee meetings held for the purpose of business transactions and hearings are open to the public, but meetings may be made private pursuant to circumstances you can see here. The Chair must approve investigations along with the ranking member before they can begin in the Committee. The Chair must also authorize any and all subpoenas the Committee deems necessary.