[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 35. Officers and Offices]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                    CHAPTER 35 - OFFICERS AND OFFICES

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec. 1. House Officers
  Sec. 2. Election and Oath
  Sec. 3. Removal From Office
  Sec. 4. Vacancies
  Sec. 5. Other Offices Established by Rule II
  Sec. 6. Offices Established by Law
  Sec. 7. Service of Process
        Research References
          U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 2
          1 Hinds Sec. Sec. 235-283
          6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 25-34
          Deschler Ch 6 Sec. Sec. 15-22
          Manual Sec. Sec. 640-670

  Sec. 1 . House Officers

                                In General

      The Constitution directs that the House choose its Speaker and 
  other officers. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 2. The ``other officers'' not 
  specified by title in the Constitution have carried various titles. 
  Currently, they are the Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chief Administrative 
  Officer, and Chaplain. Manual Sec. 640. Of these, only the Speaker 
  traditionally has been chosen from the sitting membership of the 
  House. Manual Sec. 26; see Office of the Speaker. The Speaker's term 
  of office thus expires at the end of his term of office as a Member, 
  whereas the other House officers continue in office until their 
  successors are chosen and qualified. Rule II clause 1; 1 Hinds 
  Sec. 187.
      In the 102d Congress the position of the Postmaster, for many 
  years an elected officer of the House, was eliminated with the 
  adoption of the House Administrative Reform Resolution. Manual 
  Sec. 668. The Doorkeeper of the House, formerly an elected officer of 
  the House, was not reestablished when the rules were adopted for the 
  104th Congress. The responsibilities of that position were transferred 
  to the Sergeant-at-Arms. Manual Sec. 664.

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      Other offices established in the rules of the House or by statute 
  are occupied by appointed officers. Rule II contains authority for an 
  Office of General Counsel (clause 8), Historian (clause 7), and 
  Inspector General (clause 6). The duties and appointing authority for 
  the positions of Legislative Counsel, Law Revision Counsel, and 
  Parliamentarian are carried in law. See Manual Sec. Sec. 1118, 1120, 
  1122.

                                 The Clerk

      The Clerk has specific responsibilities spelled out in House 
  rules, in statute, or as delegated to him by the House. He presides 
  when a new Congress convenes. Rule II clause 2; Manual Sec. Sec. 641-
  645. He has duties related to the conduct of House business. For 
  example, he is responsible for processing bills, preparing the 
  Journal, taking and tallying votes, and receiving messages from the 
  President and the Senate when the House is not in session. Manual 
  Sec. Sec. 642, 647, 648, 652. To assist the House in its consideration 
  of measures, the Clerk reads bills and motions (Manual Sec. Sec. 428, 
  904), reads names alphabetically during the taking of certain votes 
  and elections (Manual Sec. 1015), notes all questions of order and 
  decisions thereon and places them in the Journal (Manual Sec. 647), 
  reports disorderly words of a Member who has been called to order 
  (Manual Sec. 960), certifies to the passage of all bills and 
  resolutions (Manual Sec. 648), makes corrections during engrossment 
  (Manual Sec. 479), presents enrolled bills to the Speaker for 
  signature and transmittal to the Senate (Manual Sec. 575), and 
  presents enrolled bills to the President (Manual Sec. 648).
      The Clerk also calls various calendars at the direction of the 
  Speaker (Manual Sec. 898), receives petitions and private bills 
  (Manual Sec. 818), disseminates copies of amendments offered in the 
  Committee of the Whole (Manual Sec. 978), and provides a place where 
  Members may sign discharge petitions (Manual Sec. 892). The Clerk also 
  supervises the official reporters of the House, subject to the 
  direction and control of the Speaker. Manual Sec. 685.
      In one instance, the Clerk carried out the duties of his own 
  office as well as those of the Sergeant-at-Arms, having been elected 
  to serve concurrently as Sergeant-at-Arms following the death of the 
  incumbent. Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 16.3.
      The Clerk may designate and authorize one or more of his employees 
  to perform the duties of his Office during his absence, except for 
  such duties as are imposed on him by statute. Manual Sec. 651. The 
  designation may provide that such authorization is to remain in effect 
  until revoked. 91-1, Oct. 29, 1969, p 32076. The designation is laid 
  before the House by the Speaker. Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 18.18.

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                             Sergeant-at-Arms

      The duties of the Sergeant-at-Arms on the floor are prescribed by 
  House rules and by statute. Rule II clause 3; 2 USC Sec. 78; Manual 
  Sec. Sec. 656-660. Under these provisions the Sergeant-at-Arms 
  maintains order and executes arrest warrants for persons cited for 
  contempt of the House or of a committee. In addition he enforces the 
  prohibition against Members walking across or out of the Hall of the 
  House while the Speaker is addressing the House (Manual Sec. 962), 
  appoints officers to send for and arrest absent Members when so 
  ordered by the Speaker or the House under rule XX clause 5 or 6 
  (Manual Sec. Sec. 1021-1025), and brings absent Members before the 
  House (Manual Sec. 1026).

                       Chief Administrative Officer

      The Chief Administrative Officer of the House has the operational 
  and financial responsibility for functions assigned to him by the 
  Committee on House Administration. He is subject to the oversight of 
  that committee and reports to it semiannually on the financial and 
  operational status of each function under his jurisdiction. Rule II 
  clause 4.

                               The Chaplain

      The Chaplain offers a prayer at commencement of each day's sitting 
  of the House. Rule II clause 5. The prayer, which does not require a 
  quorum, is offered daily, whether the House adjourned or recessed at 
  its previous sitting. Deschler Ch 6 Sec. Sec. 21.1, 21.2.
      There are often ``guest chaplains.'' The daily prayer has been 
  offered by visiting clergy of various denominations and nationalities. 
  Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 21.9. In the unexpected absence of the Chaplain, 
  the prayer has been offered by a Member who was an ordained minister. 
  93-1, May 31, 1973, p 17441.


  Sec. 2 . Election and Oath

                                 Election

      The Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chief Administrative Officer, and 
  Chaplain are elected for each Congress by resolution. Deschler Ch 6 
  Sec. 16 (with forms). Before the House recodified its rules in the 
  106th Congress, the House was required under former rule II to elect 
  its Speaker and other officers by a viva voce vote following 
  nominations. 1 Hinds Sec. Sec. 204, 208. However, even then, the 
  officers mentioned in the rule, other than Speaker, were usually 
  chosen by resolution, which is not a viva voce election. 1 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 193, 194.

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      At the commencement of a Congress, each party's caucus selects one 
  nominee for each such office. The majority submits its slate of 
  nominees, and the minority usually submits a substitute resolution 
  containing its slate. The House then votes on these slates, which may 
  be offered by the caucus chairmen. Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 16. Such a 
  resolution is offered from the floor as privileged and may be divided 
  for a separate vote for the Chaplain, customarily an uncontested 
  office. Manual Sec. 640; Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 16.2.

                                   Oath

      Each elected officer of the House takes the oath prescribed by 
  law, which is administered by the Speaker. 5 USC Sec. 3331 (with 
  form); Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 17. An officer elected to hold an additional 
  office concurrently takes a separate oath for the additional office. 
  Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 17.1. Generally an officer appointed to fill the 
  vacancy of an elected officer does not appear at the bar to take the 
  oath but subscribes thereto in writing when he accepts the 
  appointment. Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 17.2. The oath has been administered 
  to an officer-elect before the effective date of his election. 92-2, 
  June 26, 1972, p 22387; generally, see Oaths.


  Sec. 3 . Removal From Office

      Both the Speaker and the House have the authority to remove the 
  Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, or Chief Administrative Officer. Rule II 
  clause 1; Manual Sec. 640. An officer of the House may be removed from 
  office pursuant to the adoption of a simple resolution, which may be 
  offered as a matter of privilege. 1 Hinds Sec. Sec. 284, 288-290; 6 
  Cannon Sec. 35. For removal of the Speaker, see Office of the Speaker. 
  As a basis for removal of an officer, the House has considered 
  allegations as follows:

     That the Clerk altered and falsified a House document. 1 Hinds 
         Sec. 284.
     That the Clerk was negligent in the administration of the 
         contingent fund or misappropriated House funds. 1 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 283, 287.
     That the Doorkeeper was guilty of misconduct or corruption in 
         office. 1 Hinds Sec. Sec. 288, 289.


  Sec. 4 . Vacancies

      The Speaker may make temporary appointments to fill vacancies in 
  the Offices of the Clerk, the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Chief 
  Administrative Officer, and the Chaplain. 2 USC Sec. 75a-1. Pursuant 
  to this authority, the Speaker has temporarily filled vacancies caused 
  by the death or resignation of an officer. See, e.g., Deschler Ch 6 
  Sec. 6.25. Such appointments are effective until such time as the 
  House acts by the adoption of a resolution to fill the va

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  cancy on a permanent basis. Such a resolution is presented as a 
  question of privilege if offered by direction of the majority party 
  caucus. Manual Sec. 701. The resignation of an elected officer of the 
  House is subject to acceptance by the House. Manual Sec. 640.


  Sec. 5 . Other Offices Established by Rule II

                        Office of Inspector General

      Under rule II clause 6, the Inspector General conducts audits of 
  the financial and administrative functions of the House. The Inspector 
  General is appointed by the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the 
  Minority Leader, acting jointly, and is subject to the policy 
  direction and oversight of the Committee on House Administration. 
  Manual Sec. 667.

                         Office of General Counsel

      Under rule II clause 8 the General Counsel provides legal 
  assistance and representation to the House. The General Counsel is 
  appointed by the Speaker and functions under his direction. Manual 
  Sec. 670.
      The General Counsel is authorized by law to appear in any 
  proceeding before a State or Federal court (except the United States 
  Supreme Court) without compliance with admission requirements of such 
  court. 2 USC Sec. 130f(a). Furthermore, the law requires the Attorney 
  General to notify the General Counsel of a determination not to appeal 
  a court decision affecting the constitutionality of an Act. 2 USC 
  Sec. 130f(b).

                          Office of the Historian

      Under rule II clause 7 the Historian of the House of 
  Representatives is appointed by the Speaker. Manual Sec. 669.


  Sec. 6 . Offices Established by Law

                         General Accounting Office

      The preparation, utilization, and distribution (to committees and 
  Members) of reports by the General Accounting Office, and its 
  authority to assign its employees to duty with congressional 
  committees, are regulated by sections 231-236 of the Legislative 
  Reorganization Act of 1970. 31 USC Sec. 1172-1176.

                           Office of Compliance

      The Office of Compliance was established by the Congressional 
  Accountability Act of 1995. 2 USC Sec. 1381. The office is composed of 
  five individuals appointed jointly by the Speaker, the Majority Leader 
  of the Sen

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  ate, and the Minority Leaders of the House and the Senate. The office 
  has regulatory, enforcement, and educational responsibilities under 
  the Act. Section 1382 provides for a General Counsel to be appointed 
  by the Chair of the Compliance Board to exercise the authorities of 
  the Office of Compliance.

                       Office of Legislative Counsel

      The Office of the Legislative Counsel of the House of 
  Representatives evolved from a single Legislative Drafting Service 
  established for the Congress by the Act of February 24, 1919. 40 Stat. 
  1057, 1141. The currently applicable provisions of law setting forth 
  the purpose and functions of the office and providing for its 
  administration are contained in title V of the Legislative 
  Reorganization Act of 1970. 2 USC Sec. Sec. 281, 282. The purpose of 
  the office is to advise and assist the House, its committees, and its 
  Members in the achievement of a clear, faithful, and coherent 
  expression of legislative policies.

                        Congressional Budget Office

      The Congressional Budget Office was established by the 
  Congressional Budget Act of 1974. 2 USC Sec. 601. The office is headed 
  by a director appointed by the Speaker and the President pro tempore. 
  2 USC Sec. 601. The functions of the office include providing 
  assistance to the House and Senate Committees on the Budget and 
  Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance in the discharge of 
  matters within their jurisdictions and to other committees to assist 
  them in complying with the provisions of the Act. 2 USC Sec. 602.

                  The Office of the Law Revision Counsel

      The Office of the Law Revision Counsel was established by the 
  Committee Reform Amendments of 1974 to develop a codification of the 
  laws of the United States. 2 USC Sec. 285.

                       Office of the Parliamentarian

      A Parliamentarian has been appointed by the Speaker in every 
  Congress since 1927. Before 1927 the ``Clerk at the Speaker's Table'' 
  performed the function of the Parliamentarian. In the 95th Congress 
  the House formally and permanently established an Office of the 
  Parliamentarian to be managed, supervised, and administered by a 
  nonpartisan Parliamentarian appointed by the Speaker. 2 USC Sec. 287. 
  The compilation and preparation of the precedents of the House of 
  Representatives was authorized in the 93d Congress by the Committee 
  Reform Amendments of 1974. 2 USC Sec. 28a.

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   The printing and distribution of the precedents was also authorized 
  by law. 2 USC Sec. Sec. 28, 28b-e, 29.
      For a list of other House offices, commissions, and joint 
  entities, see Manual Sec. Sec. 1113-1125b.


  Sec. 7 . Service of Process

      Rule VIII governs the procedure for House response to a judicial 
  or administrative subpoena served on a Member, Delegate, Resident 
  Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House. Manual Sec. 697. 
  Examples of service of process on officers include those on the 
  Speaker, the Clerk, and the Sergeant-at-Arms. Deschler Ch 11 
  Sec. Sec. 16.2-16.4, 16.7-16.9, 16.11. Examples of service of process 
  on employees include those on current and former employees of a 
  committee, an employee of the House Republican Conference, and a 
  former employee of a former House select committee who was subpoenaed 
  to give a deposition about his recollection of certain executive 
  session transactions. 93-2, Sept. 30, 1974, p 33020; 94-1, Sept. 23, 
  1975, p 29824; 97-1, Jan. 22, 1981, pp 694, 695. For a discussion of 
  how an officer must comply with service of process under rule VIII, 
  see Questions of Privilege.
      Legal counsel, through the Department of Justice, is available to 
  an officer of the House (but not its Members) to defend the officer 
  against actions brought against him while he was discharging his 
  official duty or executing an order of the House. 2 USC Sec. 118. For 
  a discussion of this statutory procedure, as well as House 
  authorization by resolution for the appointment of legal counsel to 
  represent an officer, Member, or employee who has been served with 
  process, see Questions of Privilege. Legal counsel is also available 
  through the Office of General Counsel under rule II clause 8, which 
  provides legal assistance and representation to Members, committees, 
  officers, and employees in complying with legal process under rule 
  VIII. Sec. 5, supra.