In bicameral legislatures, joint committees, containing members of both houses, can be convened in order to coordinate activities, avoid duplicating work, or to discuss matters of common interest.
In the US Congress joint committees play an important legislative role. The two houses often pass substantially different versions of the same bill, in which case a joint committee, usually consisting of three members from each house, is convened. The joint committee seeks to find a compromise between the different versions of the bill, a procedure that often involves substantial redrafting. Joint committees are also convened to carry out congressional investigations, or to discuss business the two houses have in common, such as the running of common facilities, or arranging celebrations or memorials. There are also a number of permanent joint committees.