Hearing / Hearings (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Hearing / Hearings

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Committee sessions for taking testimony from witnesses. At hearings on legislation, witnesses usually include specialists, government officials and spokesmen for persons or entities affected by the bill or bills under study. Hearings related to special investigations bring forth a variety of witnesses. Committees sometimes use their subpoena power to summon reluctant witnesses. The public and press may attend open hearings, but are barred from closed or “executive” hearings. The vast majority of hearings are open to the public.


Also see Bills; Executive Session; § 6.40 Committee Hearings, in Congressional Deskbook; Congressional Leadership and Committees.

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