The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. The committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including Social Security, unemployment benefits, Medicare, the enforcement of child support laws, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, foster care, and adoption programs. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are not allowed to serve on any other House Committee unless they are granted a waiver from their party's congressional leadership. It has long been regarded as the most prestigious committee of the House of Representatives.
The United States Constitution requires that all bills regarding taxation must originate in the U.S. House of Representatives, and House rules dictate that all bills regarding taxation must pass through Ways and Means. This system imparts upon the committee and its members a significant degree of influence over other representatives, committees, and public policy.