"The legislative jurisdictions of the Senate's standing committees are established in Senate Rule XXV. The committees vary in terms of jurisdictional breadth, with some responsible for a diverse array of issues and others focused more narrowly on related policies. All of the standing committees, because of their legislative jurisdiction, consider measures and issues and recommend legislation for consideration by the Senate. They also have oversight responsibility to monitor agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions. In addition, the Senate has given some standing committees comprehensive oversight responsibility for issues that cut across committee jurisdictions. Some of the Senate's non-standing committees also have legislative jurisdiction, while the others conduct studies and investigations. The legislative jurisdictions or other responsibilities of the non-standing committees are contained in the Senate Manual. Senate Rule XXV generally identifies a dozen or more broad issues handled by each standing committee, although not all issues within a committee's purview are specified. Further, these jurisdictional descriptions do not explicitly identify each committee's jurisdiction over particular measures, or over (1) executive branch departments and agencies, (2) particular offices within these departments and agencies, or (3) programs operated by these departments and agencies. A committee's jurisdiction over an executive department or agency generally is implied by its jurisdiction over the issues it handles."
CRS Report for Congress, 98-242