[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 13. Conferences Between the Houses]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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             CHAPTER 13 - CONFERENCES BETWEEN THE HOUSES

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

                               I. Generally

  Sec.  1. In General; Purpose
  Sec.  2. Questions Sent to Conference
  Sec.  3. Sending to Conference
  Sec.  4. -- When in Order; Stage of Disagreement
  Sec.  5. Effect of Special Rules

                          II. Conference Managers

  Sec.  6. In General; Appointment of Managers
  Sec.  7. Committee Representation
  Sec.  8. Changing or Adding Managers; Removal or Resignation
  Sec.  9. Power and Discretion of Managers
  Sec. 10. Meetings

                  III. Instructions to Managers; Motions

  Sec. 11. In General
  Sec. 12. Consideration of Motions to Instruct
  Sec. 13. -- Debate on Motion; Recognition and Amendments
  Sec. 14. Motions After Failure of Managers to Report
  Sec. 15. Instructions in Motions to Recommit
  Sec. 16. Instructions as Binding on the Managers

                          IV. Conference Reports

              A. Generally; Form

  Sec. 17. In General; Preparation and Filing
  Sec. 18. Signing and Signatures
  Sec. 19. Correction of Errors

              B. Limitations on Reports; Points of Order

  Sec. 20. In General
  Sec. 21. Reports Exceeding Authority of Managers
  Sec. 22. -- Conference Substitutes or Modifications

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  Sec. 23. Nongermane Senate Matter
  Sec. 24. Senate Appropriations on House Legislative Bill
  Sec. 25. Senate Legislation on House Appropriation Bill
  Sec. 26. Congressional Budget Act Violations
  Sec. 27. Raising Points of Order
  Sec. 28. Waiving Points of Order

              C. Consideration and Disposition of Reports

  Sec. 29. In General; Custody of Official Papers
  Sec. 30. Layover and Availability Requirements
  Sec. 31. Filing and Calling Up Report; Reading
  Sec. 32. En Bloc Consideration
  Sec. 33. Debate
  Sec. 34. -- Recognition; Control of Debate Time
  Sec. 35. Recommittal of Report
  Sec. 36. Final Disposition of Report; Voting
  Sec. 37. Effect of Rejection of Report; Further Conferences

              D. Disposition Where Managers Report in Total Disagreement

  Sec. 38. In General
        Research References
          5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6254-6589
          8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3209-3332
          Deschler-Brown Ch 33
          Manual Sec. Sec. 530-559, 637, 1069-1094


                               I. Generally


  Sec. 1 . In General; Purpose

      Before a measure can become law, both Houses must agree to the 
  same bill--either a House bill or a Senate bill--and they must agree 
  on each provision of the bill. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6233-6240. Although 
  the two Houses may pass similar measures on the same subject, neither 
  can become law unless both Houses pass the same numbered bill with the 
  identical text. 4 Hinds Sec. 3386.
      In many cases disagreements between the House and Senate over the 
  provisions in a bill can be resolved through amendments that are 
  messaged

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  between the Houses. Such action is taken in the expectation that one 
  House will eventually concur (or recede and concur) with the 
  amendments of the other House and thereby finally pass the bill. See 
  Senate Bills; Amendments Between the Houses. Another approach aimed at 
  reconciling differences is a conference committee, consisting of 
  managers from each Chamber, with authority to report on negotiated 
  agreements. Sometimes these procedures are pursued simultaneously: one 
  House will (1) concur as to certain amendments and (2) insist on 
  disagreement as to other amendments and request a conference thereon. 
  5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6287, 6401. If a conference fails to reconcile the 
  differences, and reports this fact back to the two Houses, motions to 
  dispose of any amendments remaining in disagreement are permitted. 
  Sec. Sec. 36-38, infra.
      The request for a conference is made by the House in possession of 
  the papers. Sec. 4, infra. The House receiving the request may agree 
  to the conference or it may disregard the request and act on the 
  pending unresolved amendments. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6313-6315. In the 
  latter case it may simply concur in the amendments or recede from 
  disagreement, thereby rendering a conference unnecessary if no further 
  issues remain to be disposed of between the Houses. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6316-6318. It also has the option of postponing action on 
  the request to a time certain or indefinitely. 5 Hinds Sec. 6199.


  Sec. 2 . Questions Sent to Conference

      It was Jefferson's view that a House-Senate conference may be 
  sought ``in all cases of difference of opinion between the two Houses 
  on matters depending between them.'' Manual Sec. 530. Conferences 
  between the two Houses are usually held over differences as to 
  amendments to a particular bill. 5 Hinds Sec. 6254. On occasion, 
  several bills have been sent to a single conference by a single House 
  action. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 27.6. Differences over a joint or 
  concurrent resolution also may be sent to conference. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6258, 7063.
      House-Senate conferences have sometimes been sought to resolve 
  questions unrelated to any pending bill or other legislative 
  proposition. Conference committees have on rare occasions been used to 
  resolve differences as to:

     The prerogatives of the two Houses in the origination of 
         revenue measures. 2 Hinds Sec. 1487.
     The instructions given by one House to its managers. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. 6401.
     The procedures to be followed in an impeachment proceeding. 3 
         Hinds Sec. 2304.

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     The time for the convening of the next session of Congress. 5 
         Hinds Sec. 6255.
     Papers in the nature of petitions. 5 Hinds Sec. 6263.


  Sec. 3 . Sending to Conference

                      Generally; By Unanimous Consent

      Amendments in disagreement between the Houses may be sent to 
  conference by unanimous consent. The disagreement may relate to a 
  Senate amendment or to an insistence by the House on its own 
  amendment. Manual Sec. 533; 6 Cannon Sec. 732.

      Member: Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to take from the 
    Speaker's table the bill H.R. __________, with the Senate amendments 
    thereto, disagree to the amendments, and ask a conference with the 
    Senate [or agree to a conference asked by the Senate] on the 
    disagreeing votes of the two Houses.

                                 By Motion

      A matter may be sent to conference pursuant to a motion offered 
  under rule XXII clause 1. The motion is privileged in the discretion 
  of the Speaker if the motion is offered by direction of the primary 
  committee and of all reporting committees that had initial referral of 
  the measure. Manual Sec. Sec. 1069, 1070. This restraint is intended 
  to prevent the use of that motion as a dilatory tactic. Manual 
  Sec. 535. The motion may be offered only while the House is in 
  possession of the papers.
      Initial Senate amendments may be taken from the Speaker's table 
  and sent to conference by motion under this rule. Manual 
  Sec. Sec. 533, 1069, 1070. The motion permitted by the rule also may 
  be raised at subsequent stages of the amendment process between the 
  Houses and may include a motion to disagree to a Senate amendment to a 
  House amendment to a Senate bill and request a conference (92-2, Mar. 
  8, 1972, p 7540) or a motion to insist on a House amendment to a 
  Senate amendment to a House bill and request a conference (Manual 
  Sec. 1070).
      A Member offering a motion to send a bill to conference under this 
  rule is recognized for one hour and is in control of the debate on the 
  motion. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 2.14. When the previous question is 
  ordered on the motion, further debate may be had on it only by 
  unanimous consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 2.15.
      Rule XXII clause 1 requires a separate committee authorization 
  with respect to each particular bill to be sent to conference. Where a 
  measure has been reported by two or more committees of initial 
  referral, each reporting committee must authorize the motion sending 
  it to conference. A committee

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  receiving sequential referral of a bill or not reporting thereon need 
  not authorize the motion. On a Senate bill with a House amendment 
  consisting of the text of two corresponding House bills that were 
  previously reported to the House, the motion must be authorized by the 
  committees reporting those corresponding bills. Manual Sec. 1070. The 
  primary committee of jurisdiction may authorize the motion on an 
  unreported measure. 106-2, Oct. 11, 2000, p ____.
      Motions to send a measure to conference pursuant to rule XXII 
  clause 1 are generally made by the chairman of the legislative 
  committee with primary jurisdiction over the measure, acting by 
  direction of that committee as follows:

      Member: Mr. Speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule XXII and by 
    direction of the Committee on __________, I move to take from the 
    Speaker's table the bill (H.R. ______) with the Senate amendments 
    thereto, disagree with the Senate amendments and agree to the 
    conference requested by the Senate [or request a conference with the 
    Senate thereon].

      Member: Mr. Speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule XXII and by 
    direction of the Committee on __________, I move to take from the 
    Speaker's table the bill (S. ______) with the House amendments 
    thereto, insist on the House amendments and agree to the conference 
    requested by the Senate [or request a conference with the Senate 
    thereon].

      A motion to send a bill to conference may not be amended to 
  include instructions to House managers; instructions are properly 
  offered by separate motion following the adoption of the motion to go 
  to conference and before managers are appointed. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 2.18. For a discussion of motions to instruct, see Sec. 11, 
  infra.


  Sec. 4 . -- When in Order; Stage of Disagreement

                                 Generally

      Under the former practice, it was customary to allow the House 
  insisting on its amendment (the other House having disagreed thereto) 
  to request a conference. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6278-6280. Under the modern 
  practice, a conference may be requested as soon as one House has 
  either disagreed to an amendment of the other or has insisted on its 
  own amendment. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6273-6277. In any event, the request 
  for a conference must always be by the House that is in possession of 
  the papers. Manual Sec. 530.

                                  Motions

      A motion to disagree or insist and request a conference is in 
  order before, or after (subject to preferential motions), the Houses 
  have reached the stage of disagreement if made pursuant to rule XXII 
  clause 1. Manual

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  Sec. Sec. 528, 535, 1069; see also Senate Bills; Amendments Between 
  the Houses.
      Once a motion to request a conference has been rejected, its 
  repetition at the same stage of the proceedings has not been permitted 
  where no other motion to dispose of the matter in disagreement has 
  been considered. 5 Hinds Sec. 6325. However, a motion under rule XXII 
  clause 1 may be repeated, if again authorized by the committee 
  concerned, and if the Speaker again agrees to recognize for that 
  purpose, even though the House has once rejected a motion to send the 
  same matter to conference. Manual Sec. Sec. 535, 1070.

                        Unanimous-consent Requests

      A unanimous-consent request to seek a conference is in order even 
  though the House and Senate have not yet reached the stage of 
  disagreement. Indeed, there have been rare instances where the House 
  by unanimous consent has ``deemed'' a House bill with possible Senate 
  amendment sent to conference before Senate passage of the bill with 
  amendment, effective when subsequently in possession of the papers, in 
  order to permit managers to be appointed and to formally meet if the 
  House is not in session. See, e.g., 105-2, Apr. 1, 1998, p ____.


  Sec. 5 . Effect of Special Rules

      Amendments may be sent to conference pursuant to a special rule 
  from the Committee on Rules. 4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3242-3249. The special 
  rule may or may not preclude intervening motions, and may direct the 
  Speaker to appoint the managers. 4 Hinds Sec. 3242. The special rule 
  may:

     Take a House bill with Senate amendments from the Speaker's 
         table and send it directly to conference. 7 Cannon Sec. 826.
     Make in order a motion to take a bill with Senate amendments 
         from the Speaker's table, disagree to the amendments, and 
         request a conference. 7 Cannon Sec. 822.
     Provide for consideration of Senate amendments and for a 
         motion to agree to a conference, and for appointment without 
         instructions to the managers. 4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3243, 3244.
     Discharge a committee from consideration of a bill with Senate 
         amendments and ask for, or agree to, a conference thereon. 7 
         Cannon Sec. Sec. 820, 821.

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                          II. Conference Managers


  Sec. 6 . In General; Appointment of Managers

                                 Generally

      Appointments of Members to serve as managers on the part of the 
  House at a conference are made by the Speaker pursuant to rule I 
  clause 11. Manual Sec. 637. The terms ``manager'' and ``conferee'' are 
  used synonymously in the modern precedents and are so used in this 
  chapter. The Speaker observes the guidelines set forth in rule I as to 
  the designation of managers. That rule requires the Speaker to 
  appoint:

     A majority of Members who generally supported the House 
         position, as determined by the Speaker.
     Members who are primarily responsible for the legislation.
     To the fullest extent feasible, Members who were the principal 
         proponents of the major provisions of the bill as it passed the 
         House.

      These guidelines permit the exercise of broad discretion by the 
  Speaker in making appointments. Manual Sec. 637. He may specify the 
  legislative issues on which individual managers are to confer. Manual 
  Sec. 536.

                            Number of Managers

      In the early practice of the House, three Members were usually 
  appointed to a conference by the Speaker. 5 Hinds Sec. 6336. Today, 
  the number of Members to be designated is at the discretion of the 
  Speaker, and he may consider the complexity of the bill and the number 
  of committees with jurisdiction. 8 Cannon Sec. 3221. A motion to 
  instruct the Speaker as to the number of managers to be appointed is 
  not in order. Manual Sec. 637; 8 Cannon Sec. 3221.
      Conference agreements are reached when a majority of House 
  managers agree with a majority of Senate managers, which is indicated 
  by their signing of the conference report. The number of managers 
  appointed by the Senate does not affect the Speaker's determination as 
  to the number of House managers because the managers of one House vote 
  separately from those of the other. 5 Hinds Sec. 6334. For a 
  discussion of conference meetings, see Sec. 10, infra.

                            Time of Appointment

      Conferees are usually appointed by the Speaker immediately after 
  the request for a conference is granted, but they may be appointed at 
  a subsequent time. In one instance, the Speaker did not announce his 
  appointment

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  of conferees until the second session on a bill on which the House had 
  requested a conference in the first session. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 6.17.


  Sec. 7 . Committee Representation

      The Speaker in making his appointments to a conference normally 
  consults with the chairman of the committee having jurisdiction over 
  the bill. Members of that committee are ordinarily designated as 
  managers. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 6.1. The Speaker may make such 
  appointments without regard to committee seniority. 99-2, July 16, 
  1986, p 16705. On a comprehensive matter, the Speaker may appoint 
  separate groups of conferees from several committees for consideration 
  of provisions within their respective jurisdictions. Manual Sec. 637.
      The Speaker may appoint members from a nonreporting committee as 
  conferees on a provision in a Senate measure within that committee's 
  jurisdiction. Manual Sec. 637. The Speaker may, after appointing 
  general conferees from a reporting committee on all Senate provisions, 
  appoint additional conferees from an additional reporting or 
  nonreporting committee on a specified section. 107-2, Mar. 7, 2002, p 
  ____.
      In the current practice, the Speaker has announced a policy of 
  simplifying conference appointments by noting on the occasion of a 
  relatively complex appointment that, inasmuch as conference committees 
  are select committees that dissolve when their report is acted upon, 
  conference appointments should not be construed as jurisdictional 
  precedent. Manual Sec. 637.


  Sec. 8 . Changing or Adding Managers; Removal or Resignation

      At any time after the appointment of a conference committee, the 
  Speaker may remove a conferee or appoint additional conferees. Rule I 
  clause 11; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6341-6368. In making additional 
  appointments, the Speaker may specify that a conferee be authorized to 
  act only with respect to a certain provision (96-1, Aug. 2, 1979, p 
  22101), or that additional conferees from certain committees act 
  solely on matters within those committees' jurisdictions (99-1, Oct. 
  24, 1985, p 28743). Under clause 11, the Speaker may supplement an 
  appointment of conferees by modifying the array of separate panels and 
  by further specifying the subject matter to be considered by such 
  panels. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 8.7.
      Where several conferences are held on the same bill, it was the 
  early practice to change the managers at each conference. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6288-6291, 6324. So fixed was this practice that their 
  reappointment had a special significance, indicating an unyielding 
  temper. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6352-6368. However,

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  the later practice is to reappoint the same managers (5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6341-6344) unless a change is necessary to enable the 
  sentiment of the House to be represented (5 Hinds Sec. 6369). For 
  motions to discharge and appoint new conferees, see Sec. 14, infra.
      Vacancies on a conference committee are filled through appointment 
  by the Speaker. 5 Hinds Sec. 6372; 8 Cannon Sec. 3228. The Speaker may 
  appoint a conferee to fill a vacancy caused by death or ill health, 
  resignation, or removal. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. Sec. 8.3, 8.8. The 
  Speaker may appoint the successor conferee with all or part of the 
  authority of the original conferee. 98-2, Mar. 21, 1984, p 6249.
      Usually a conferee resigns by sending a letter of resignation to 
  the Speaker. The letter is laid before the House. A conferee may be 
  excused by unanimous consent at the request of another Member, 
  particularly where time is of the essence. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 8.2.
      Managers have resigned from conference committees because of 
  policy differences with other managers. In one instance, a Member 
  declared that his resignation was based on the fact that other House 
  conferees had agreed to a motion in conference limiting their 
  participation to specified portions of the matters committed to 
  conference, though originally all Members had been appointed without 
  restriction. The Member's resignation was accepted by unanimous 
  consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 8.10.
      Under rule I clause 11, conferees may be removed from a conference 
  committee by the Speaker. Before the adoption of that rule, conferees 
  were removed only by action of the House by unanimous consent. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 8.1.


  Sec. 9 . Power and Discretion of Managers

                                 Generally

      There are limitations on the authority of the managers with 
  respect to the legislative matters they may address. The managers:

    May not change text that has already been agreed to by both 
         Houses. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6417, 6418, 6420.
     May not address new items or a new subject not committed to 
         the conference. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6407, 6408; 8 Cannon 
         Sec. Sec. 3254, 3255; 107-2, Nov. 14, 2002, p ____.
     Must confine themselves to matters that are within the scope 
         of the difference between the House position and the Senate 
         position. Manual Sec. 1088.

      These limitations stem from the fundamental principle that when a 
  bill is sent to conference, matters in disagreement between the 
  Houses--and

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  only matters in disagreement between the Houses--are before the 
  conferees. Manual Sec. 1088. A matter not within the scope of the 
  differences committed to the conference lies beyond the authority of 
  the managers even though germane to the question at issue. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 6419.
      Rule XXII clause 9 permits managers to propose a substitute that 
  is a ``germane modification'' of the matter in disagreement but 
  proscribes the presentation of ``specific additional'' matter not 
  committed to conference. Clause 9 further prohibits the report of the 
  managers from including matter not committed to the conference by 
  either House or a modification of any specific matter committed to the 
  conference if that modification is beyond the scope thereof. Manual 
  Sec. 1088. For a discussion of points of order against the report, see 
  Sec. 22, infra; for the use of special rules to protect against a 
  point of order for exceeding ``scope,'' see Sec. 28, infra.

                      Differences as to Time Periods

      When the two Houses fix different periods of time for certain 
  legislative action, the conferees have latitude to compromise only 
  between the two time frames, and may not exceed the longer or go below 
  the shorter. 8 Cannon Sec. 3264. Likewise, where the Senate has 
  amended a House-passed bill to change the effective date therein, the 
  authority of the conferees on the bill is limited to the time frame 
  between the dates in each version. Where the dates contained in both 
  versions have since passed, the conferees may report the Senate 
  amendment back in technical disagreement so that the effective date 
  can be reconsidered. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 7.12.

                   Differences as to Numbers or Amounts

      Where the legislative differences between the two Houses on a 
  measure involve numerical figures, managers at conference are limited 
  to the range between the highest figure proposed by one House and the 
  lowest proposed by the other. If, for example, the House proposes a 
  tariff rate of 30% for a certain product and the Senate proposes a 35% 
  tariff, the managers may agree on 30% or 35% or any tariff falling 
  within that range; but they may not agree on a tariff that is less 
  than 30% or more than 35%. 8 Cannon Sec. 3263. Similarly, where 
  sections of a conference report contain higher entitlements for 
  certain veterans' benefits than those contained in either the House 
  bill or in the Senate amendment, the conferees may be held to have 
  exceeded their authority. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 7.7. By the same 
  token, conferees may report back in total disagreement where the 
  informal decisions reached by the conferees would have exceeded the 
  scope of the differences committed to conference by reducing certain 
  aggregate totals below

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  those in either the House or the Senate version. 95-1, Sept. 13, 1977, 
  p 29021.

                        Amendments to Existing Law

      Where one House has amended an existing law and the other House 
  has implicitly taken the position of existing law by remaining silent 
  on the subject, the scope of differences committed to conference lies 
  between those issues presented in the amending language on the one 
  hand and the comparable provisions of existing law on the other. 95-2, 
  Feb. 28, 1978, p 5010. In such cases, the Speaker may examine existing 
  law to determine whether House conferees have remained within the 
  scope of the differences committed to conference. Manual Sec. 1088.

               Extending Authority of Managers by Resolution

      On rare occasions, the managers of a conference have been 
  permitted to take up a matter not in issue between the Houses pursuant 
  to a concurrent resolution. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6437-6439. Concurrent 
  resolutions permitting managers to consider matters not technically 
  committed to conference are considered by unanimous consent. Manual 
  Sec. 527.


  Sec. 10 . Meetings

                             Generally; Voting

      The managers of the two Houses while in conference vote 
  separately, the majority in each body determining the attitude to be 
  taken toward the proposition(s) at issue. 5 Hinds Sec. 6336. When the 
  report is made, the unqualified signatures of a majority of the 
  managers from each House are sufficient. For a more thorough 
  discussion of signatures on a conference report, see Sec. 18, infra.

                        Meetings as Open or Closed

      Rule XXII clause 12 requires a conference meeting of each 
  conference committee to be open to the public except where the House 
  by record vote determines otherwise. Manual Sec. 1093. The rule 
  permits a point of order in the House against the report if the House 
  managers fail to meet at least once in open session as required. See 
  Manual Sec. 548. If the point of order is sustained, it results in 
  rejection of the report (signatures notwithstanding) and in an 
  automatic request for a new conference, and it permits the appointment 
  of new conferees without intervening motion to instruct. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 33 Sec. 5.13.

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                   Motions to Close a Conference Meeting

      Under rule XXII clause 12, a motion to close a conference meeting 
  is privileged for consideration in the House after the House has 
  agreed to go to conference. The motion is not debatable and must be 
  decided by a record vote. The motion may be amended only if the Member 
  offering the motion yields for that purpose (or the previous question 
  is rejected). Manual Sec. 1093. The motion may provide for exceptions 
  or limitations, such as a stipulation that the meeting may be closed 
  only when certain matters are under discussion or that any sitting 
  Member of Congress shall have the right to attend such meeting. 95-2, 
  July 14, 1978, p 20960.

               Points of Order as to Meeting Irregularities

      There are no formal House rules that govern procedures to be 
  followed in conducting a meeting of the conferees. The conferees offer 
  motions or consider and debate propositions according to their own 
  informal guidelines or ad hoc rules, with each House having one vote. 
  The Speaker will not normally sustain a point of order against 
  consideration of a conference report signed by a majority of House and 
  Senate conferees based upon irregularities at the conference meeting, 
  other than the requirement for one open meeting. 96-2, Mar. 25, 1980, 
  p 6430. This position reflects the policy that unqualified signatures 
  of a majority of House and Senate conferees constitute a ratification 
  of any procedural irregularity alleged to have occurred in a 
  conference committee. The Speaker will not look behind the signatures 
  to determine whether the report has incorporated all the agreements 
  informally made in conference. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 18.2. In one 
  instance the Speaker overruled a point of order against a conference 
  report signed by a majority of the conferees, although the Member 
  raising the point of order alleged that the form of the report was 
  inconsistent with a motion agreed to in the conference meeting. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 7.13.

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                  III. Instructions to Managers; Motions


  Sec. 11 . In General

                           Instructions In Order

      Instructions are used primarily to indicate priorities considered 
  important to the House or to identify positions or amendments it would 
  support or oppose. The House may instruct its conferees to:

     Insist on a portion of a House amendment to a Senate bill. 93-
         1, July 24, 1973, pp 25539-41.
     Agree to a numbered Senate amendment with an amendment that is 
         within scope. Manual Sec. 941.
     Insist on certain provisions in a House-passed bill. 96-1, 
         Dec. 19, 1979, p 36895.
     Disagree to one of several Senate amendments (notwithstanding 
         that the House has just disagreed to all Senate amendments in 
         toto). 91-1, Oct. 9, 1969, p 29315.
     Insist on a meeting with Senate conferees. Manual Sec. 1079.

                        Limitations on Instructions

      Instructions may not direct conference managers to do that which 
  they might not otherwise do (5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6386, 6387; 8 Cannon 
  Sec. Sec. 3235, 3244), such as to change a part of a bill not in 
  disagreement (5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6391-6394). Instructions may not:

     Change the text to which both Houses have agreed. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. 6388.
     Direct the conferees to agree to something not committed to 
         conference. Manual Sec. 1088.
     Agree to the deletion of certain language committed to 
         conference if the effect of such deletion results in broadening 
         the scope of the matter in disagreement. Manual Sec. 1088.
     Direct conferees to concur in a Senate amendment with an 
         amendment not germane thereto. 8 Cannon Sec. 3235.
     Include argument. Rule XXII clause 7(d).

      One House has no jurisdiction over conferees appointed by the 
  other. Instructions apply only to managers on the part of the House 
  giving the instructions. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3241, 3242.

        Conferring Authority to Agree to Certain Senate Amendments

      A motion to instruct also may be used to authorize House 
  conferees, pursuant to rule XXII clause 5, to agree to certain Senate 
  amendments. Clause 5 requires such authorization for Senate amendments 
  that, if originating in the House, would violate rule XXI clause 2 
  (legislation on an ap

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  propriation bill or an unauthorized appropriation) or propose an 
  appropriation on a bill other than a general appropriation bill. 
  Manual Sec. 1076. However, clause 5 does not permit a motion to 
  instruct conferees on a general appropriation bill to include 
  additional legislation to that contained in the Senate amendment. 
  Manual Sec. 1076.


  Sec. 12 . Consideration of Motions to Instruct

                                 Generally

      The opportunity for the House to instruct conferees arises at 
  three distinct stages of the legislative process: (1) at the time the 
  House votes to go to conference, (2) 20 calendar days and, 
  concurrently, 10 legislative days after the second House has appointed 
  conferees, the conferees having failed to report (Sec. 14, infra), and 
  (3) immediately before adoption of a conference report by the first 
  House, in a motion to recommit the conference report to conference 
  (Sec. 15, infra). For a discussion of recognition and debate of such 
  motions, see Sec. 13, infra.

                          On Going to Conference

      After the House has voted to go to conference with the Senate, the 
  House may consider a timely motion to instruct its managers. A motion 
  to instruct the House managers at a conference is in order after the 
  House has agreed to a conference and before the appointment of the 
  conferees, although the motion may be postponed by unanimous consent 
  until a time after the appointment. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6379-6382. The 
  motion is not in order until the House has voted to ask for or agree 
  to a conference. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 10.5. Only one motion to 
  instruct conferees is in order at this stage. Manual Sec. 541; 8 
  Cannon Sec. 3236.

                             Tabling of Motion

      A motion to instruct House managers at a conference is subject to 
  the motion to lay on the table; and, if adopted, does not carry the 
  bill to the table. Manual Sec. 541. The motion to lay the motion to 
  instruct on the table is in order after the motion to instruct has 
  been read or after debate thereon before ordering the previous 
  question. If the motion to table is voted down, the previous question 
  may be moved on the motion to instruct. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 9.13.

                   Withdrawal or Postponement of Motion

      A motion to instruct the House managers at a conference has been 
  withdrawn after debate thereon. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 9.14. The 
  postponement of consideration of such a motion is permitted by 
  unanimous consent.

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   Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 10.4. Under rule XX clause 8, the Speaker 
  may postpone the vote on a motion to instruct. However, proceedings 
  may not resume on a postponed question of agreeing to a motion to 
  instruct under rule XX clause 7 after the managers have filed a 
  conference report in the House. Manual Sec. 1079.


  Sec. 13 . -- Debate on Motion; Recognition and Amendments

                          Recognition and Debate

      Recognition to offer the initial motion to instruct House 
  conferees, and the motion to recommit a conference report with 
  instructions, is the prerogative of the minority. The Speaker 
  recognizes the ranking minority member of the committee reporting the 
  bill when that member seeks recognition to offer the motion. Manual 
  Sec. 541.
      A motion to instruct conferees is debatable under the hour rule. 
  Under rule XXII clause 7(b), the hour is equally divided between the 
  majority and minority parties unless both support the motion. Manual 
  Sec. 1078. In that case a Member in opposition to the motion may 
  demand one-third of the time for debate. No additional debate thereon 
  is in order unless the previous question is rejected or unless the 
  Member having the floor yields for amendment. See, e.g., Deschler-
  Brown Ch 33 Sec. 9.7. The hour of debate time on a motion to instruct 
  may be terminated by laying the motion to instruct on the table before 
  debate. Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 68.29.

                           Amendments to Motion

      No amendment to a motion to instruct is in order unless the 
  previous question is rejected or unless the Member having the floor 
  yields for amendment. Manual Sec. 541.


  Sec. 14 . Motions After Failure of Managers to Report

      Where conferees have been appointed for 20 calendar days and, 
  concurrently, 10 legislative days (or for 36 hours during the last six 
  days of a session) and have failed to file a report, motions to 
  instruct the House managers--or discharge and appoint new ones--are in 
  order. Rule XXII clause 7(c). This period runs from the time that the 
  conference committee has been formed by appointment in both Houses. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 14.3. The Member offering such motion must 
  give notice of one legislative day under the rule, and recognition 
  does not depend on party affiliation. Manual Sec. 1079. When the House 
  adjourns while such motion is pending, the motion becomes unfinished 
  business on the next day and does not need to be renoticed. Manual 
  Sec. 877.

[[Page 344]]

      The practice that precludes more than one motion in the House to 
  instruct conferees before their appointment (Sec. 12, supra) is not 
  applicable to motions to instruct (or discharge and appoint new) 
  conferees who have failed to report to the House within the requisite 
  period. Manual Sec. 541. Indeed, a motion to instruct House conferees 
  who have failed to report for 20 calendar days and, concurrently, 10 
  legislative days is in order even though its instructions are the same 
  as those given to the conferees at the time the bill was sent to 
  conference. 92-2, May 11, 1972, pp 16838-42. The motion remains 
  available when a conference report is recommitted by the first House 
  to act thereon, because the conferees are not discharged and the 
  original conference remains in existence. Manual Sec. 1079.


  Sec. 15 . Instructions in Motions to Recommit

      A motion to recommit a conference report may include instructions 
  to the House conferees. 8 Cannon Sec. 3241; Sec. 35, infra. A report 
  may be recommitted with instructions to insist on disagreement or take 
  other action on an amendment contained in the report. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 33 Sec. 32.38; 94-2, Sept. 28, 1976, p 33034.
      However, the motion may not instruct House conferees to include 
  matter that is beyond the scope of differences committed to 
  conference. For example, a motion to instruct conferees on a general 
  appropriation bill may not instruct the conferees to include a funding 
  limitation not contained in the House bill or Senate amendment or to 
  add legislation to that contained in a Senate amendment. Manual 
  Sec. 1076. Similarly, a motion to recommit a conference report may not 
  instruct conferees to expand definitions to include classes not 
  covered under the House bill or Senate amendment or to include 
  provisions not contained in the House bill or Senate amendment. A 
  waiver of all points of order against a conference report and against 
  its consideration does not inure to instructions contained in a motion 
  to recommit such measure to conference. Manual Sec. 1088.
      Under rule XXII clause 7(d), instructions to conferees in a motion 
  to recommit to conference may not include argument.


  Sec. 16 . Instructions as Binding on the Managers

      Instructions by the House to its conferees are advisory in nature 
  and are not binding as a limitation on their authority. Manual 
  Sec. 550. A failure of conferees to adhere to such instructions does 
  not render their report subject to a point of order. Manual Sec. 541; 
  5 Hinds Sec. 6395; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3246-3248. Conferees are not 
  required to seek further guidance if they are unable to comply with 
  instructions suggested to them. Deschler-Brown Ch 33

[[Page 345]]

  Sec. 12.4. For these reasons, a point of order will not lie against a 
  conference report because it is in contravention of instructions 
  imposed on House conferees. It is for the House to determine by its 
  vote on the report whether to accept or reject it or to recommit it. 
  Manual Sec. 541. For a discussion of voting on the report, see 
  Sec. 36, infra.

                          IV. Conference Reports


                            A. Generally; Form


  Sec. 17 . In General; Preparation and Filing

                        Generally; Partial Reports

      A conference report contains the recommendations of the conference 
  committee to the two Houses as to the disposition of the matter in 
  disagreement. The report may recommend, for example, that the House 
  (or Senate) recede from disagreement to a certain numbered amendment, 
  or that it agree to a certain amendment with an amendment. A 
  conference report may contain an entirely new amendment in the nature 
  of a substitute. Manual Sec. 543; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6465-6467.
      The report will normally identify those amendments on which the 
  committee has been unable to agree. Managers may report an agreement 
  as to a portion of the numbered amendments in disagreement, leaving 
  the remainder to be disposed of by subsequent House action. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6460-6464. For a discussion of disposition of amendments 
  remaining in disagreement between the Houses, see Senate Bills; 
  Amendments Between the Houses.
      A conference report is jointly prepared by the managers from the 
  House and the Senate. The report must be signed by a majority of the 
  managers of the House and a majority of the managers on the part of 
  the Senate. Under House precedents, the signatures must be without 
  qualification, exception, or argument. Sec. 18, infra. Minority views 
  are not in order. Manual Sec. 543. The managers in the minority have 
  no authority to make a formal report concerning the conference. 5 
  Hinds Sec. 6406.
      Filing a conference report and subsequent printing in the 
  Congressional Record are necessary to initiate the three-day waiting 
  period that must precede the consideration of the report on the floor 
  of the House. Manual Sec. 1082; Sec. 30, infra. Under rule XXII clause 
  7 the filing of a conference report is privileged. Permission to file 
  and print a report when the House is not in session may be given by 
  unanimous consent.

[[Page 346]]

      In the case of recommittal of a conference report to a committee 
  of conference, the subsequent conference report is filed as 
  privileged, assigned a new number, and otherwise treated as a new and 
  separate report. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 16.2.

                          Explanatory Statements

      Under rule XXII clause 7(e), conference reports are to be 
  accompanied by an explanatory statement prepared jointly by the 
  conferees on the part of the House and the conferees on the part of 
  the Senate. This statement must inform the House as to the effect that 
  the matter contained in the report will have upon the pending measure. 
  Manual Sec. 1080. This statement is signed by a majority of the 
  managers of each House, which, under House precedents, must be without 
  qualification, exception, or argument. Manual Sec. 543.
      A report may not be received without the accompanying statement. 
  Manual Sec. 1080. The Speaker may require the statement to be in 
  proper form, but it is for the House, and not the Speaker, to 
  determine its sufficiency. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6511-6513.
      Although minority views are not in order on a conference report, 
  the majority of the managers may, in the statement accompanying the 
  report, indicate exceptions taken or objections raised by certain 
  conferees who signed with the majority. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 20.4. A conferee may not revise or supplement a joint statement 
  of managers by inserting in the Congressional Record by unanimous 
  consent extraneous material. Manual Sec. 1080.


  Sec. 18 . Signing and Signatures

      To be valid in the House, a conference report must be signed by a 
  majority of the managers of the House and by a majority of the 
  managers of the Senate without qualification, exception, or argument. 
  Manual Sec. 543; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6497-6502 (even though under Senate 
  practice signatures with conditions or exceptions are counted toward a 
  majority). In the House each provision must receive signatures of a 
  majority of the Members appointed for that provision only (including 
  general and additional conferees). However, under Senate practice, 
  signatures are counted strictly per capita. Reports bearing 
  insufficient signatures are subject to a point of order and will not 
  be received. 5 Hinds Sec. 6497; 8 Cannon Sec. 3295.
      Reports are made in duplicate for the two Houses, the House 
  managers signing first the report for their House and the Senate 
  managers signing the other report first. 5 Hinds Sec. 6500. The name 
  of an absent manager may not be affixed to a conference report. 
  However, the House and Senate may by

[[Page 347]]

  concurrent action authorize him to sign the report after it has been 
  acted on. 5 Hinds Sec. 6488. A quorum among the managers on the part 
  of the House at a committee of conference is established by their 
  signatures on the conference report and joint explanatory statement. 
  Manual Sec. 543.

                      Signatures with Qualifications

      Conferees have been permitted to sign a conference report with 
  qualification or exception. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6489-6496, 6538. 
  However, recent precedents in the House weigh against allowing such 
  signatures to be counted with the majority in support of the report. 
  This is consistent with the general rule that conferees may not file 
  separate or minority views. Managers on the part of the House must act 
  on a conference report as a whole, either by signing it to indicate 
  their support for all that is included in the report or by declining 
  to sign it to indicate their opposition to any part thereof. Manual 
  Sec. 543; 8 Cannon Sec. 3302. However, under Senate practice, House 
  and Senate signatures with conditions or exceptions are counted toward 
  a majority.


  Sec. 19 . Correction of Errors

      A correction to language appearing in a conference report may be 
  made by the Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate in the enrollment of 
  the bill if authorized by concurrent resolution. Such a concurrent 
  resolution may be considered by unanimous consent, under suspension of 
  the rules, or by report from the Committee on Rules. Manual Sec. 527. 
  In one instance, a conference report and concurrent resolution making 
  changes therein (by correcting the enrollment) were simultaneously 
  adopted under a motion to suspend the rules. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 30.28.
      The inadvertence of the conferees in failing to dispose of an 
  amendment to a title does not prevent the amendment from coming back 
  to the House for disposition by motion or unanimous consent following 
  adoption of the conference report. 94-2, Apr. 28, 1976, p 11598; 94-2, 
  Sept. 10, 1976, p 29759; 107-2, Oct. 10, 2002, p ____.


                B. Limitations on Reports; Points of Order


  Sec. 20 . In General

      A conference report is subject to a point of order for failure to 
  comply with one or more rules of the House when the report is called 
  up for consideration in the House and before debate on it begins. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 25.9. For a discussion of raising points of 
  order, see Sec. 27, infra.

[[Page 348]]

  Sec. 21 . Reports Exceeding Authority of Managers

      A point of order will lie against a conference report on the 
  ground that the conferees have agreed to a provision that was beyond 
  the limits of their authority. Manual Sec. 1088; Sec. 9, supra. If the 
  point of order is sustained, the conference report is vitiated; and 
  the bill and amendments are again before the House for consideration. 
  Manual Sec. 547; 8 Cannon Sec. 3256; 107-2, Nov. 15, 2002, p ____.
      Sustaining a point of order on a conference report on the ground 
  that it contains a provision beyond scope does not preclude subsequent 
  consideration of the same provision in the House by motion. The bill 
  and amendments are again before the House and, the stage of 
  disagreement having been reached, motions relating to amendments and a 
  further conference are in order. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 25. A 
  matter ruled out as ``beyond scope'' may constitute a germane 
  amendment to a Senate amendment remaining in disagreement.
      For a discussion of the Senate scope rule, Senate Rule XXVIII 
  clause 2, see Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 19.4


  Sec. 22 . -- Conference Substitutes or Modifications

      Under rule XXII clause 9, a conference report containing a 
  substitute agreed to by the managers may not include matter not 
  committed to the conference by either House. Manual Sec. 1088. Points 
  of order under the rule are confined to language in the conference 
  report and do not extend to expressions of intent in the joint 
  statement. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 7.4. Even a modification of a 
  proposition will give rise to a point of order if it is beyond the 
  scope of either the bill or the amendment as committed to conference. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 7.11. The deletion of provisions ``not 
  committed to conference'' because the text has been agreed to by both 
  Houses or is identical in the bill and the amendment also may give 
  rise to a point of order. Manual Sec. 527. The managers may eliminate 
  specific words or phrases contained in either version and add words or 
  phrases not included in either version only if they remain within the 
  scope of their differences and do not incorporate additional topics, 
  issues or propositions. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 7.4.


  Sec. 23 . Nongermane Senate Matter

      A Member may raise a point of order against certain language in a 
  conference report if such matter originated in the Senate but would 
  have been considered as not germane if offered to the text when under 
  consideration

[[Page 349]]

  in the House. The point of order may be raised with respect to a 
  Senate amendment, a conference substitute, or a provision in a Senate 
  bill (if not included in the House-passed version). The point of order 
  must be raised before the report itself is debated. Rule XXII clause 
  10(a).
      If the Chair sustains a point of order that conferees have agreed 
  to a nongermane Senate provision, a motion to reject that provision is 
  in order, which is debatable for 40 minutes, equally divided between 
  the Member offering the motion and a Member opposed. Rule XXII clause 
  10(b). Recognition is not based on party affiliation. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 29 Sec. 17.10. No other point of order may be made until disposal 
  of the motion to reject. Manual Sec. 1090.
      If the motion to reject is not agreed to, the nongermane Senate 
  matter is retained, and debate commences on the conference report 
  itself. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 30.24.
      Under rule XXII clause 10(d), if the House votes in favor of any 
  motion to reject the nongermane matter, the report itself is 
  considered as rejected. The House then automatically proceeds to 
  consider a motion to recede and concur with an amendment (consisting 
  of that portion of the report not rejected) or to insist on its own 
  amendment. Manual Sec. 1089. The adoption of clause 10(d) was based on 
  the principle that a conference report must be acted on as a whole. It 
  must be either agreed to or disagreed to in its entirety. Rejection of 
  a portion of a conference report results in the rejection of the 
  entire report. Manual Sec. 549.
      Points of order arising under rule XXII clause 10(a) are normally 
  waived by a special rule from the Committee on Rules or by unanimous 
  consent. Sec. 28, infra.


  Sec. 24 . Senate Appropriations on House Legislative Bill

      Under rule XXII clause 5, the House managers may not agree to a 
  Senate amendment providing for an appropriation on any bill other than 
  a general appropriation bill unless specific authority to agree to 
  such amendment is first given by the House. Manual Sec. 1076. 
  Therefore, where a House legislative measure has been committed to 
  conference and the conferees agree to a Senate amendment appropriating 
  funds, the conference report thereon is subject to a point of order 
  and may be ruled out. Manual Sec. 1076. This point of order:

     Applies only to Senate amendments that are reported from 
         conference and not to appropriations reported in Senate 
         legislative bills. Manual Sec. 1076.
     Does not apply if House conferees were authorized to agree to 
         the amendment by separate House vote, such as a motion to 
         instruct or a motion to recommit with instructions. Manual 
         Sec. 1076.

[[Page 350]]

     Does not apply to a provision permitted by the House to remain 
         in its own bill. Manual Sec. 1076.
     May be waived by special rule or by unanimous consent. 
         Sec. 28, infra.


  Sec. 25 . Senate Legislation on House Appropriation Bill

      Language changing existing law in violation of rule XXI clause 
  2(c)--often referred to as ``legislation on an appropriation bill''--
  may give rise to a point of order if it appears in a Senate amendment 
  agreed to by the conference managers. The House managers may not agree 
  to such an amendment unless specific authority to agree to the 
  amendment is first given by the House by a separate vote, such as a 
  vote on a motion to instruct or a motion to recommit with 
  instructions. Manual Sec. Sec. 1039, 1076. The purpose of this 
  restriction is to prevent conference committees from using 
  appropriation bills to legislate or to agree to unauthorized 
  appropriations without the permission of the House. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 1574.
      Points of order arising under this requirement are normally waived 
  by a special rule from the Committee on Rules or by unanimous consent. 
  Sec. 28, infra.
      Because of the point of order that will lie against the conferees' 
  agreement to a Senate legislative amendment to an appropriation bill 
  under the rules, it was at one time a customary practice to report 
  such amendments in technical disagreement, where such Senate 
  amendments were separately numbered. The House would first consider a 
  partial report consisting of the matter agreed to in conference and 
  not in conflict with rule XXI, and then consider separately those 
  amendments reported in real or technical disagreement. Such Senate 
  amendments are not subject to a point of order when reported from 
  conference in disagreement, and may be called up for disposition by 
  separate motion. Manual Sec. 1076. Under rule XXII clause 8(b)(3), a 
  preferential motion to insist on disagreement to the Senate amendment 
  is in order if offered by the House committee having jurisdiction 
  thereof and if the original motion to dispose of the Senate 
  legislative amendment offered by the House manager proposes to amend 
  existing law. Manual Sec. 1084; see Senate Bills; Amendments Between 
  the Houses. However, under modern practice, the Senate ordinarily 
  amends a House-passed general appropriation bill with one amendment in 
  the nature of a substitute, which precludes reporting in partial 
  disagreement of portions thereof and necessitates waivers of points of 
  order in the House.

[[Page 351]]

  Sec. 26 . Congressional Budget Act Violations

      Congressional action on legislation reported from a conference 
  committee is subject to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Manual 
  Sec. 1127. The following points of order against consideration of a 
  conference report under the Congressional Budget Act lie in the House:

     Containing spending, revenue, or debt-limit legislation for a 
         fiscal year before a budget resolution for that year has been 
         adopted. Sec. 303(a).
     Containing matter within the jurisdiction of the House and 
         Senate Budget Committees but not reported by those committees. 
         Sec. 306.
     On reconciliation legislation if containing a recommendation 
         that changes Social Security. Sec. 310(g).
     Breaching the allocation--to each committee with 
         jurisdiction--of appropriate levels of budgetary spending 
         authority. Sec. 302(f).
     Breaching certain budgetary levels as set forth in the 
         applicable concurrent resolution on the budget. Sec. 311(a).
     Providing certain budget authority beyond that provided for in 
         advance in appropriation acts. Sec. 401.
     Increases in the costs of Federal intergovernmental mandates 
         by amounts that exceed specified thresholds (to be determined 
         by a vote on the question of consideration). Sec. 425.
     In the Senate only, a conference report on a reconciliation 
         bill that includes extraneous provisions (the ``Byrd Rule''). 
         Sec. 313.

  Sec. 27 . Raising Points of Order

                                 Generally

      A point of order against a conference report comes too late after 
  debate has been had on the report. The point of order should be made 
  when the report is called up for consideration and before debate 
  thereon. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 25.9. Where a reading is required, 
  a point of order against the report is not entertained until after the 
  report has been read and cannot be reserved during a reading of the 
  report. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 25.12; 94-1, Dec. 15, 1975, p 40671. 
  Under rule XXII clause 8(c), a conference report is considered as read 
  if it has been available for three days (having been printed in the 
  Congressional Record on the day filed). The report also may be 
  considered as read by special rule or by unanimous consent.

                         Multiple Points of Order

      The Chair may rule on all points of order raised against a 
  conference report, whether they are made separately or at one time. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 25.18. However, the Chair entertains and 
  rules on points of order that, if sustained, will vitiate the entire 
  conference report before entertaining

[[Page 352]]

  points of order against certain portions of the report under rule XXII 
  clause 10. Manual Sec. 1090.
      Where a point of order against a conference report is overruled, a 
  second point of order may be pressed against the report, providing 
  that debate on the report has not intervened. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 25.17.

             Points of Order and the Question of Consideration

      The question of consideration may be raised against a conference 
  report before the Chair entertains points of order against the report 
  on the ground that it is useless to entertain points of order if the 
  House is not going to consider the report. However, a point of order 
  should be decided first if it concerns whether the matter is 
  privileged to come up for consideration in the first instance. Manual 
  Sec. 909.
      Under section 426 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which 
  provides for disposition of points of order that preclude unfunded 
  Federal intergovernmental mandates, a question of consideration can be 
  raised against a conference report that contains a provision 
  increasing the costs of such mandates above levels specified in 
  section 424 of that Act. If the provision is precisely identified in 
  the point of order, the House can then, by voting on the question of 
  consideration, determine whether or not to allow the entire conference 
  report to be considered.


  Sec. 28 . Waiving Points of Order

                              By Special Rule

      Points of order against a conference report--or against the 
  consideration of a conference report--may be waived pursuant to a 
  resolution reported by the Committee on Rules and adopted by the 
  House, and this has become the normal practice. See, e.g., 107-1, H. 
  Res. 312, Dec. 12, 2001, p ____. The resolution normally waives all 
  points of order but may waive one or more specific points of order. 
  Such a resolution may also waive all points of order against a 
  conference report except against certain provisions, for example, 
  sections therein that contain matter beyond the House conferees' scope 
  of authority in violation of rule XXII clause 9. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 26.8.
      Resolutions waiving certain points of order against a conference 
  report are subject to germane amendment if the previous question on 
  the resolution is voted down. See Special Orders of Business.

                           By Unanimous Consent

      By unanimous consent the House may waive some or all of the points 
  of order that would otherwise lie against a conference report and may 
  take

[[Page 353]]

  such action before the report has been filed or even before the 
  conferees have reached agreement. 98-2, June 18, 1984, p 16841; 99-1, 
  Dec. 16, 1985, p 26559. By unanimous consent, the House has provided 
  for the following:

     The consideration of a report (on a bill on which conferees 
         had just been appointed) on that same day or any day thereafter 
         (if filed). 99-1, Aug. 1, 1985, p 22640.
     The consideration of a report not yet filed and amendments 
         reported in disagreement, subject to one-hour availability to 
         Members. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 2.24.
     The consideration of a report containing no joint statement of 
         the managers. 98-2, June 29, 1984, p 20206.
     The midnight filing of a new report on a bill recommitted to 
         conference, and the consideration of the report on the 
         following day. 97-2, Aug. 17, 1982, pp 21397, 21398.

                      By Motion to Suspend the Rules

      A conference report may be adopted pursuant to a motion to suspend 
  the rules. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 30.26. Thus, the Speaker may 
  recognize a Member to move to suspend the rules and agree to a 
  conference report that has been ruled out of order because the 
  conferees exceeded their authority in violation of rule XXII clause 9 
  or because the conference report has not met its availability 
  requirement under rule XXII clause 8. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 26.28; 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 27.9.


                C. Consideration and Disposition of Reports


  Sec. 29 . In General; Custody of Official Papers

      Both Houses of Congress must agree to a conference report, and 
  they do so seriatim. Either House must be in possession of the 
  official papers before it can act. Manual Sec. 549. Under a practice 
  suggested by Jefferson, at the close of an effective conference, the 
  official papers change hands from the House asking the conference to 
  the House agreeing to the conference. The managers on the part of the 
  House agreeing to the conference take possession of the papers and 
  submit them and the report to their House, which acts first on the 
  report. However, the managers for the agreeing House may nevertheless 
  surrender the papers to the asking House so that it may act first on 
  the report. Manual Sec. 555; 8 Cannon 3330.
      Where a conference dissolves without reaching any agreement, the 
  managers for the House that (having the papers) asked the conference, 
  are justified in retaining them and carrying them back to their House. 
  Manual Sec. 556;

[[Page 354]]

  5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6254, 6571-6584; 8 Cannon Sec. 3332. However, in the 
  event that the matter in disagreement is an amendment of the House 
  that requested the conference, the papers may be surrendered to the 
  other House to permit it to act first on, and respond to, that 
  amendment. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 24.13.


  Sec. 30 . Layover and Availability Requirements

                                 Generally

      The floor consideration of conference reports is subject to 
  layover and availability requirements under rule XXII clause 8(a). 
  Manual Sec. 1082. They require that conference reports:

     Be printed in the Congressional Record on the day filed and be 
         available for three calendar days (excluding Saturdays, 
         Sundays, and legal holidays unless the House is in session).
     Be available to Members on the floor for at least two hours 
         before consideration thereof.

      The three-day layover requirement does not apply during the last 
  six days of a session. Manual Sec. 1082. This is construed to mean 
  that, during the last six calendar days before the constitutional end 
  of a session on January 3, a conference report may be called up on the 
  same day it is filed. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 22.5.

                                  Waivers

      The three-day layover rule may be waived by unanimous consent, by 
  suspension of the rules, or, more commonly, by adoption of a special 
  rule. Sec. 28, supra. A resolution only waiving the availability 
  requirement may be considered on the same day the resolution is 
  reported under rule XXII clause 8(e) and rule XIII clause 6(a)(2). 
  Such a resolution may permit a waiver of the three-day layover 
  requirement for the remainder of a session. 93-2, Dec. 18, 1974, pp 
  40846, 40847.
      Even if the three-day layover requirement is waived, the 
  conference report is still to be available at least two hours before 
  the matter is taken up for consideration, although the two-hour 
  requirement may likewise be waived pursuant to a special rule. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 27.10. The two-hour requirement also may be 
  waived pursuant to a unanimous-consent agreement providing for 
  consideration ``immediately'' after filing. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 27.9.

[[Page 355]]

  Sec. 31 . Filing and Calling Up Report; Reading

                           Generally; Precedence

      A conference report may be called up in the House as privileged 
  business after the report has been filed and is in compliance with the 
  three-day layover and two-hour availability requirements of rule XXII. 
  Sec. 30, supra.
      Because of its potential value in settling House-Senate 
  differences, the filing of a conference report is considered as a 
  matter of high privilege. Rule XXII clause 7; Manual Sec. 1077; 5 
  Hinds Sec. 6443. Its presentation or filing takes precedence over:

     Unfinished business. Manual Sec. 1077.
     The reading of a bill. 5 Hinds Sec. 6448.
     A Member occupying the floor in debate. 5 Hinds Sec. 6451.
     The ordering of (or demand for) the previous question. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 6449, 6450.
     The question of ordering a recorded vote. 5 Hinds Sec. 6447.
     A motion to refer a Senate bill. 5 Hinds Sec. 6457.
     A motion to reconsider. 5 Hinds Sec. 5605.
     A motion to adjourn (although as soon as the report is 
         presented the motion to adjourn may be put). Manual Sec. 1077.

                              Who May Call Up

      A conference report may be called up for consideration in the 
  House by the senior manager on the part of the House at the 
  conference, and he may be recognized to do so even though he did not 
  sign the report and was in fact opposed to it. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 23.3. If the senior House manager is unable to be present on the 
  floor to call up the report, the Speaker will recognize another 
  majority member of the conference committee. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 23.1.

                                  Reading

      Under rule XXII clause 8(c), a conference report that meets the 
  availability requirements need not be read when called up for 
  consideration in the House. If it has not been available for the 
  three-day period, it must be read in full when called up for 
  consideration, unless dispensed with by unanimous consent or by 
  special rule. The statement of the managers accompanying a conference 
  report may by unanimous consent be read in lieu of the report. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 20.9.

[[Page 356]]

                         Withdrawal; Postponement

      A conference report may be withdrawn from consideration in the 
  House by the Member calling it up at any time before action thereon. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 20.9.
      A motion to postpone the consideration of a conference report to a 
  day certain is permitted until the previous question is ordered on the 
  report. Thereafter, postponement is permitted only by unanimous 
  consent (except for the Speaker's authority to postpone the vote on 
  adoption of a conference report under rule XX clause 8). Deschler-
  Brown Ch 33 Sec. 30.9.


  Sec. 32 . En Bloc Consideration

                                  Reports

      Ordinarily, it is not permissible to consider several conference 
  reports en bloc. Each conference report should be considered and voted 
  upon separately. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 30.2. However, pursuant to 
  a resolution from the Committee on Rules, the House may consider and 
  vote on two or more conference reports en bloc. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 22.10.

                        Amendments in Disagreement

      Where two or more amendments have emerged from conference in 
  disagreement, they may by unanimous consent be considered en bloc 
  where the same motion is to be applied to each amendment. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 33 Sec. 29.42. Proposed motions to dispose of the amendments 
  that were not all the same (as where they proposed to recede and 
  concur with different amendments) also may be considered by unanimous 
  consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 32 Sec. 11.10. For disposition of Senate 
  amendments generally, see Senate Bills; Amendments Between the Houses.


  Sec. 33 . Debate

                         Generally; Extending Time

      Debate on a conference report is under the hour rule. Rule XVII 
  clause 2; rule XXII clause 8(d); Manual Sec. Sec. 957, 1086. Such 
  debate may be extended by unanimous consent or by special rule 
  reported by the Committee on Rules but not by motion. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 33 Sec. Sec. 28.2, 28.3. The one hour of debate could also be 
  continued if the motion for the previous question were rejected. 93-2, 
  Feb. 27, 1974, p 4397.

                             Division of Time

      Under rule XXII clause 8(d), the time for debate on a conference 
  report or an amendment emerging from conference in disagreement is 
  equally di

[[Page 357]]

  vided between the majority and minority parties. The rule has been 
  interpreted to require an equal allocation of time on a motion to 
  dispose of an amendment in disagreement following rejection of a 
  conference report by the House or following the sustaining of a point 
  of order against a conference report. Indeed, it has become the 
  practice of the House to equally divide the time on all motions to 
  dispose of amendments emerging from conference in disagreement, 
  whether the amendment has been reported in disagreement or has come 
  before the House at some other stage for disposition. Manual 
  Sec. 1086.

                       Three-way Division of Debate

      Rule XXII clause 8(d) provides that, if both the floor manager for 
  the majority and the floor manager for the minority support a 
  conference report, the hour of debate thereon may be divided three 
  ways--among the two managers and a Member who is opposed. Manual 
  Sec. 1086. This allocation may not be claimed if the minority manager 
  states that he or she is opposed to the report. 99-2, Oct. 15, 1986, p 
  31515. Recognition of a Member to control the 20 minutes of debate in 
  opposition does not depend upon party affiliation. Priority in such 
  recognition is accorded to a member of the conference committee. 
  Manual Sec. 1086.
      To open debate, the Chair recognizes first the majority manager 
  calling up the conference report, then the minority manager, then the 
  Member in opposition. The right to close the debate where the time is 
  divided three ways falls to the manager calling up the conference 
  report. A similar three-way division of time applies to the motion 
  offered by the floor manager to dispose of an amendment remaining in 
  disagreement if the floor managers for the majority and minority favor 
  the motion. Manual Sec. 1086.


  Sec. 34 . -- Recognition; Control of Debate Time

                                 Generally

      When a conference report is called up or a Senate amendment in 
  disagreement is pending, the hour of debate time is equally controlled 
  by the majority and minority parties. Manual Sec. 1086. Where the 
  Member calling up the report does not seek recognition as a majority 
  member to offer a motion to dispose of the matter reported in 
  disagreement, another majority member may be recognized to offer such 
  a motion and to control one-half of the time thereon. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 32 Sec. 8.11. Where conferees have been appointed from two 
  committees of the House, the Speaker may recognize the chairman of one 
  committee to control 30 minutes and a minority member of another 
  committee to control 30 minutes. Deschler-Brown Ch 33

[[Page 358]]

  Sec. 28.6. By unanimous consent, the time allocated to the majority 
  and minority may be reallocated to other Members, with the right of 
  those Members to yield time to other Members. 99-2, Oct. 8, 1986, p 
  29714.
      Debate in the House on a Senate amendment reported from conference 
  in disagreement having been divided, the minority member in charge 
  controls 30 minutes for debate only and may yield to other Members for 
  debate only. Another minority member, merely by offering a 
  preferential motion, does not thereby control one-half of the time 
  under the original motion. Manual Sec. 1086.
      However, if the original motion is defeated, recognition may shift 
  and a second motion to dispose of the amendment may be offered; and if 
  the second motion is offered by a minority member, the Chair may 
  allocate the hour of debate between him and a majority member, 
  although neither controlled time on the initial motion. Manual 
  Sec. 1086.

                 Debate Following Division of the Question

      Where a preferential motion to recede and concur in an amendment 
  reported from conference in disagreement has been divided, one hour of 
  debate, equally divided between the majority and minority, is 
  permitted on the motion to recede. If the previous question is ordered 
  only on the motion to recede and if the House then recedes and a 
  preferential motion to concur with an amendment is offered, another 
  hour of debate equally divided is permitted. 95-1, Aug. 2, 1977, p 
  26206; 95-2, Oct. 5, 1978, p 33698. The Chair may put the question on 
  receding without debate if the majority and minority floor managers do 
  not seek recognition to debate that portion of the original motion, 
  because the subsequent question of concurring, or concurring with an 
  amendment, is debatable for one hour, equally divided between the 
  managers. 98-2, Oct. 10, 1984, p 31694.


  Sec. 35 . Recommittal of Report

                           Generally; By Motion

      A motion to recommit a conference report to the existing 
  conference committee is in order if the other House has not acted on 
  the report and thereby discharged its managers. Manual Sec. 550. After 
  one House has acted on a report, the other House has only the option 
  of accepting or rejecting it. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.6. After 
  both Houses have acted on the report, it may be recommitted to 
  conference only by concurrent resolution. Manual Sec. 550; 8 Cannon 
  Sec. 3316.
      The motion to recommit is initially the prerogative of the 
  minority. See Refer and Recommit. However, the Speaker has recognized 
  a majority

[[Page 359]]

  member to offer a motion to recommit a conference report in the 
  absence of a minority member seeking recognition to offer the motion. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.20.
      A motion to recommit a conference report is not in order until the 
  previous question has been ordered on the report. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 
  Sec. 32.10. Only one valid motion is permitted, so if the motion is 
  voted down, the question before the House is on the adoption of the 
  report. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.52. However, if a recommittal 
  motion with instructions is ruled out on a point of order, a valid 
  motion may still be offered. A motion to recommit comes too late after 
  the report has been agreed to. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.13.
      Under section 305(a)(6) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, a 
  motion to recommit a conference report on the concurrent resolution on 
  the budget is not in order.
      Where a conference report is recommitted to conference, the House 
  managers carry the original papers back to conference. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 33 Sec. 32.51. The same conferees remain appointed. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 33 Sec. 32.2. If a second report is then filed by the conferees, it 
  is numbered and otherwise treated as a new and separate report. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.48.
      Instructions in motion to recommit, see Sec. 15, supra.

             Recommittal by Unanimous Consent or Special Rule

      Conference reports are sometimes recommitted by unanimous consent 
  in the House acting first. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.40. This 
  procedure may be used:

     To recommit a report in which an error has been discovered. 
         Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.40.
     To permit the conferees to make certain changes and to file a 
         new report. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 32.41.
     Where the conferees have exceeded their authority in reporting 
         a matter not in disagreement. 90-1, June 28, 1967, p 17738.

      A conference report also may be recommitted by a special rule 
  reported by the Committee on Rules. See e.g., 107-1, H. Res. 134, May 
  8, 2001, p ____.


  Sec. 36 . Final Disposition of Report; Voting

                                 Generally

      As a general rule, when a conference report has been debated and 
  its final disposition is pending, only three courses of action are 
  available to the

[[Page 360]]

  Members: (1) agree, (2) disagree, or (3) recommit to conference. 5 
  Hinds Sec. Sec. 6546, 6558. For recommittal, see Sec. 35, supra. 
  Conference reports may not be:

     Disposed of by the motion to table after the previous question 
         is ordered. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6538-6544.
     Referred to a standing committee. 5 Hinds Sec. 6558.
     Amended (5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6534, 6535), except by concurrent 
         resolution (5 Hinds Sec. 6536).
     Sent to Committee of the Whole. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6559-6561.

      A report having been called up, the motion to agree to the report 
  is regarded as pending. The Speaker may put the question on the report 
  without motion from the floor. 5 Hinds Sec. 6517; 8 Cannon Sec. 3300. 
  Although most reports are agreed to by majority vote, a two-thirds 
  vote is required on a report relating to a constitutional amendment (5 
  Hinds Sec. 7036) and under rule XXI clause 5(b), a three-fifths vote 
  is required on a conference report carrying a Federal income tax rate 
  increase. For Speaker's discretion to postpone a vote on a conference 
  report, see rule XX clause 8; Manual Sec. 1030. Postponement by 
  unanimous consent, see Sec. 31, supra.
      Under rule XX clause 10, the yeas and nays are considered ordered 
  on the adoption of a conference report on a general appropriation 
  bill, on a concurrent resolution on the budget, or on a bill 
  increasing Federal income tax rates.

                              Partial Reports

      A conference report must generally be acted on as a whole and 
  either agreed to or disagreed to in its entirety. Rejection of a 
  portion of a conference report under a special rule permitting such a 
  separate vote results in the rejection of the entire report. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 33 Sec. 30.5. Until the report has been acted on, no motion 
  to deal with individual amendments reported in disagreement is in 
  order. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6323, 6389, 6390. In some cases, however, the 
  managers return to the House with a partial conference report dealing 
  with the amendments on which they have reached agreement but 
  specifying one or more amendments that remain in disagreement. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5460-5464. In such cases, the vote first occurs on agreeing 
  to the conference report on those matters on which agreement has been 
  reached. The amendments reported therein in disagreement are reported 
  and acted on seriatim thereafter. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 29.3. For 
  a discussion of amendments reported in total disagreement, see 
  Sec. 38, infra.

[[Page 361]]

                      Motions to Reconsider the Vote

      After disposition of the report and any or all amendments reported 
  from conference in disagreement, it is in order to move to reconsider 
  the vote on a motion disposing of one of the amendments. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 33 Sec. Sec. 30.35, 30.36. The Speaker may put as one 
  question reconsideration of multiple votes (subject to demand for a 
  separate vote on reconsideration of any question) and a Member may 
  then move to lay all motions to reconsider on the table. 95-2, Oct. 4, 
  1978, p 33480. Under section 305(a)(6) of the Congressional Budget Act 
  of 1974, a motion to reconsider the vote on a conference report on the 
  concurrent resolution on the budget is not in order.


  Sec. 37 . Effect of Rejection of Report; Further Conferences

      When either House disagrees to a conference report, the matter is 
  left in the position it was in before the conference was asked but in 
  the stage of disagreement. 5 Hinds Sec. 6525. Motions for the 
  disposition of amendments in disagreement or to send the matter to 
  further conference are again in order. Rule XXII clause 4; Manual 
  Sec. Sec. 1074, 1075; 8 Cannon Sec. 3303. Thus, the House may reject a 
  conference report, insist on disagreement to a Senate amendment, and 
  ask for a further conference. Manual Sec. 528d. However, a motion to 
  instruct House managers at a new conference is not in order until the 
  motion to go to further conference has been agreed to. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 33 Sec. 31.8.


        D. Disposition Where Managers Report in Total Disagreement


  Sec. 38 . In General

      Where the managers at a conference are unable to come to any 
  agreement on the matters committed to them, they prepare and sign a 
  written report to that effect. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6565-6570. The report 
  is filed and ordered printed. Manual Sec. 545. Under the former 
  practice, amendments reported in total disagreement could be taken up 
  for immediate consideration in the House. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3299, 
  3332. Today the matter in disagreement is subject to the three-day 
  layover requirement of rule XXII clause 8(b).
      House action on amendments reported in total disagreement differs 
  from that of the Senate. In the Senate a conference report in total 
  disagreement is considered before disposition of the reported 
  amendments. Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 29.13. In the House, after the 
  report is called up, action is taken on the amendment in disagreement 
  but not on the report. Deschler-

[[Page 362]]

  Brown Ch 33 Sec. 29.3. Thus, where conferees report in disagreement 
  absent a special rule, and the Senate then recedes and concurs in the 
  House amendments with an amendment, the conference report is not acted 
  on in the House; the Speaker merely directs the Clerk to report the 
  Senate amendments to the House amendments for disposition by motion. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 33 Sec. 29.28. Debate (including possible three-way 
  debate) and voting proceeds in the same manner as on amendments 
  reported from conference in partial disagreement. See Sec. 33, supra. 
  Motions to dispose of amendments in disagreement, see Senate Bills; 
  Amendments Between the Houses.