What are party caucuses or conferences and party committees?
A party caucus or conference is the name given to a meeting, whether regular or specially called, of all party members in the House. The term "caucus" or "conference" can also mean the organization of all party members in the House. House Democrats refer to their organization as the Democratic Caucus, while House Republicans refer to their organization as the House Republican Conference.The party caucus or conference officially elects party floor leaders; the party whips nominate each party's candidates for the Speakership and other offices in the House. The chairs of the party conferences, and other subordinate party leaders are elected by vote of the caucus or conference at the beginning of each Congress. Regular caucus or conference meetings provide a forum in which party leaders and rank-and-file party members can discuss party policy, pending legislative issues and other matters of mutual concern.

The party caucus or conference traditionally establishes party committees with specialized functions. Party committees generally nominate party members to serve on the various committees of the House, subject to the approval by the caucus or conference. Party policy committees generally discuss party positions on pending legislation. Majority party steering committees (the minority party traditionally has none) generally plan the schedule of Chamber action on pending legislation. Party research committees conduct studies on broad policy questions, generally before committees of the House begin action on legislation. Party campaign committees provide research and strategy assistance to party candidates for election to the House. The chairs of the party committees are generally elected by the party caucus or conference; the exception is the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee which is chaired by the Speaker of the House (when the Democrats are in the majority) or by the Democratic Floor Leader (when they are in the minority).

The caucus or conference may also decide to appoint "task forces" to perform research on a new policy proposal, or to assist the formal leadership in developing a party position on important legislation. These "task forces" are traditionally disbanded once their work has been completed.