[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 110th Congress]
[House Document 109-157]
[Rules of the House of Representatives]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
receipt and referral of measures and matters
This provision was adopted in 1867 and amended in 1880 (V, 6593). It
was renumbered January 3, 1953 (p. 24). Before the House recodified its
rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former rule
XXXIX (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47).
The House may receive a message from the Senate when the Senate is not
in session (VIII, 3338).
815. Entry of messages in the Journal and
1. Messages received from the Senate, or from the President,
shall be entered on the Journal and published in the Congressional
Record of the proceedings of that day.
clause only to the extent that they will contribute to the achievement
of the objectives of this clause.
(b) The Speaker shall refer matters under paragraph (a) in such manner
as to ensure to the maximum extent feasible that each committee that has
jurisdiction under clause 1 of rule X over the subject matter of a
provision thereof may consider such provision and report to the House
thereon. Precedents, rulings, or procedures in effect before the Ninety-
Fourth Congress shall be applied to referrals under this
(c) In carrying out paragraphs (a) and (b) with respect to the
referral of a matter, the Speaker--
(1) shall designate a committee of primary jurisdiction (except
where he determines that extraordinary circumstances justify review by
more than one committee as though primary);
(2) may refer the matter to one or more additional committees for
consideration in sequence, either initially or after the matter has been
reported by the committee of primary jurisdiction;
(3) may refer portions of the matter reflecting different subjects
and jurisdictions to one or more additional committees;
(4) may refer the matter to a special, ad hoc committee appointed
by the Speaker with the approval of the House, and including members of
the committees of jurisdiction, for the specific purpose of considering
that matter and reporting to the House thereon;
(5) may subject a referral to appropriate time limitations; and
(6) may make such other provision as may be considered
referred. In the 104th Congress paragraph (c) was again amended to
require the Speaker to initially designate a committee of primary
jurisdiction in each referral of a measure to more than one committee
(sec. 205, H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 467). In the 108th Congress the
parenthetical exception in paragraph (c)(1) was added (sec. 2(i), H.
Res. 5, Jan. 7, 2003, p. 7). A paragraph (e) was added to the clause on
January 4, 1977 (H. Res. 5, pp. 53-70) to abolish the legislative
jurisdiction in the House of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. The
legislative jurisdiction of the Joint Committee was divided among the
Committees on Armed Services (military applications of nuclear energy),
Interior and Insular Affairs (now Natural Resources) (regulation of the
domestic nuclear energy industry, since transferred to the Committee on
Energy and Commerce in the 104th Congress), Foreign Affairs
(nonproliferation of nuclear energy and international nuclear export
agreements), Interstate and Foreign Commerce (now Energy and Commerce)
(the same jurisdiction over nuclear energy as exercised over other
energy), and Science and Technology (nondefense nuclear research and
development). In addition, the Committee on Interstate and Foreign
Commerce (now Energy and Commerce) was given oversight jurisdiction over
all laws, programs, and government activities affecting nuclear energy.
Paragraph (e) was deleted entirely in the 97th Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan.
5, 1981, p. 98). At the same time the House deleted former paragraph
(d), which required the Congressional Research Service of the Library of
Congress to prepare factual descriptions of each bill or resolution
introduced in the House to be published in the Congressional Record.
Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, this
provision was found in former clause 5 of rule X (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6,
1999, p. 47).
This provision became effective as part of the rules on January 3,
1975 (H. Res. 988, 93d Cong., Oct. 8, 1974, p. 34470). Before that time
a bill or resolution could not be divided for reference among two or
more committees, although it contained matter properly within the
jurisdiction of several committees (IV, 4361). Paragraph (c) was amended
on January 4, 1977 (H. Res. 5, pp. 53-70) to authorize the Speaker to
place an appropriate time limit for consideration by the first committee
or committees to which
An order of the House precluding or limiting the potential for
organizational or legislative business on certain days was considered
not to deprive Members of the privilege of introducing bills and
resolutions during pro forma sessions on those days, such measures being
numbered on the day introduced but not noted in the Record or referred
to committee until the day on which business was resumed (H. Con. Res.
260, 102d Cong., Nov. 26, 1991, p. 35840, extended by unanimous consent
on Jan. 22, 1992, p. 149, and Jan. 28, 1992, p. 745; H. Res. 619, 109th
Cong., Dec. 16, 2005, p. ----, amended by H. Res. 640, 109th Cong., Dec.
18, 2005, p. ----).
within a certain period after the other committee reports to the House
(Speaker O'Neill, Jan. 27, 1983, p. 937; Speaker O'Neill, Feb. 2, 1983,
p. 1492; Speaker Wright, Apr. 9, 1987, p. 8665) or with a time limit on
one committee ending with a date certain (Speaker O'Neill, July 31,
1985, p. 21936; Speaker Hastert, Mar. 13, 2001, p. 3448; Speaker
Hastert, July 26, 2002, p. 15146). The Speaker may discharge a committee
from further consideration of a bill not reported by it within the time
for which the bill was referred and place the bill on the appropriate
calendar (Speaker O'Neill, May 8, 1978, p. 12924).
Under clause 2(c), the Speaker may (1) refer a bill to more than one
committee for their respective consideration of such provisions of the
bill as fall within their jurisdiction (Speaker Albert, Feb. 25, 1976,
p. 4315), (2) divide a matter for initial reference to committees
(Speaker Albert, Feb. 4, 1975, p. 2253; Speaker Hastert, Apr. 26, 1999,
p. 7354), or (3) refer designated portions of a bill to one committee
while referring the entire bill to another committee (Speaker O'Neill,
Mar. 3, 1982, p. 3155). The Speaker also may set appropriate time
limitations on the initial reference to each committee (Speaker O'Neill,
Feb. 16, 1977, p. 4532; Speaker O'Neill, May 2, 1977, p. 13184). For
example, the Speaker may refer a bill to two committees, with a time
limit on one of the committees ending
Before paragraph (c) was amended in the 104th Congress to require the
Speaker to designate a committee of primary jurisdiction, the Speaker
announced at the convening of the 98th Congress that he would exercise
his authority, in situations that warranted it, to designate a primary
committee among those to which a bill was jointly referred, and to
impose time limits on committees having a secondary interest following
the report of the primary committee under a joint referral (Speaker
O'Neill, Jan. 3, 1983, p. 54; reiterated by Speaker Foley, Jan. 5, 1993,
p. 105). The Speaker may refer a bill primarily to one committee while
also referring it initially to additional committees for time periods to
be subsequently determined when the primary committee reports, in each
case for consideration of matters within their respective jurisdictions
(Speaker Gingrich, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 123).
Pursuant to the Speaker's authority under clause 2 of rule XIV
(formerly clause 2 of rule XXIV), relating to messages from the Senate,
he has discretionary authority to refer from the Speaker's table to
standing committees, Senate amendments to House-passed bills, under any
conditions permitted under this provision for introduced bills; he may
for example impose a time limitation for consideration only of a portion
of the Senate amendment, not germane to the original House bill, by the
standing committee with subject-matter jurisdiction, without referring
the remainder of the Senate amendment to the House committee with
jurisdiction over the original House bill (Speaker O'Neill, H.R. 31,
Mar. 26, 1981, p. 5397). Beginning with the 98th Congress, the Speaker
announced a policy of referring nongermane Senate amendments under
certain conditions (Speaker O'Neill, Jan. 3, 1983, p. 54; Speaker Foley,
Jan. 5, 1993, p. 105).
eration of ``such provisions of the bill and amendment recommended by
the Committee on Energy and Commerce as propose to narrow the purview of
the Attorney General under section 271 of the Communications Act of
1934'' (Speaker Hastert, May 24, 2001, p. 9384). The Speaker exercised
his authority under this clause to sequentially refer a joint resolution
making continuing appropriations, reported as privileged by the
Committee on Appropriations, to the committee having legislative
jurisdiction over a legislative provision in the resolution, without a
time limitation on the sequential referral (Speaker O'Neill, Sept. 22,
1983, p. 25523).
816. Referral procedures.
2. (a) The Speaker shall refer
each bill, resolution, or other matter that relates to a subject listed
under a standing committee named in clause 1 of rule X in accordance
with the provisions of this clause.
The Speaker has sometimes announced the application of his authority
on sequential referrals at the outset of a Congress. For example, in the
97th Congress, the Speaker announced that the sequential referral of a
measure would be based on the subject matter of any amendment
recommended by the reporting committee, as well as upon the original
text of the measure (Speaker O'Neill, Jan. 5, 1981, pp. 115, 116). In
the 100th Congress, the Speaker announced that, in certain cases, a
sequential referral would be based only upon the text of a reported
substitute amendment in lieu of original text (Speaker Wright, Jan. 6,
1987, p. 22). The Speaker has sequentially referred (1) a bill for
consideration of the bill and amendment of the previous committee
(Speaker O'Neill, Oct. 13, 1977, p. 33716); (2) a bill to two committees
for different periods of time, solely for consideration of designated
sections of the first committee's recommended amendment (Speaker
O'Neill, May 18, 1982, p. 10418; Speaker O'Neill, Aug. 1, 1985, p.
22681); (3) a bill for consideration by a third committee of a portion
of an amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by one of the
committees to which the bill had been initially referred (Speaker
O'Neill, May 22, 1985, p. 13126); and (4) a bill back to the first-
reporting committee when it was reported from the second-reporting
committee with a nongermane amendment within the jurisdiction of the
first committee and not within the bounds of the initial referral
(Speaker Wright, Oct. 4, 1988, p. 28242). The Speaker also may base a
sequential referral only on the text of the bill as introduced, even
where a bill is reported by the primary committee with an amendment in
the nature of a substitute (Speaker Gingrich, Sept. 12, 1995, p. 24791).
For example, the Speaker sequentially referred a bill where the
amendment recommended by the primary committee would delete portions of
the bill within the jurisdiction of the sequential committee (Speaker
Hastert, May 10, 1999, p. 8690).
but amended in committee to address general water resource policy
affecting irrigation and reclamation projects and soil conservation
programs, to the Committees on Agriculture and Interior and Insular
Affairs (now Natural Resources) for consideration of provisions of the
committee amendment within their jurisdiction (Speaker O'Neill, May 20,
1981, p. 10361).
In the 96th Congress, the Speaker followed a more restrictive policy,
permitting a sequential committee to review (1) those portions of
introduced text within its jurisdiction and (2) those portions of an
amendment within its jurisdiction when the introduced version also
warranted a sequential referral to the committee (Speaker O'Neill, Apr.
15, 1980, p. 7760). The Speaker first exercised the authority to base
referrals on committee amendments by sequentially referring a bill
reported from the Committee on Public Works and Transportation (now
Transportation and Infrastructure), relating only to Corps of Engineers'
water projects as introduced
The Speaker may (1) discharge a measure from the Union Calendar and
sequentially refer it to another committee (Speaker O'Neill, Apr. 27,
1978, p. 11742; Speaker O'Neill, May 21, 1982, p. 11169; Speaker
O'Neill, June 19, 1986, p. 14741; Speaker Foley, June 12, 1990, p.
13670; Speaker Hastert, Nov. 30, 2001, p. 23681); (2) sequentially refer
a bill that has been initially referred to several committees but
reported only by one, for consideration of the reporting committee's
amendment (Speaker O'Neill, June 17, 1982, p. 14069; Speaker Foley,
Sept. 5, 1990, p. 23477); and (3) sequentially refer a bill referred to
more than one committee when the first committee reports, for a period
ending a number of days after the next committee reports (Speaker
O'Neill, Aug. 1, 1985, p. 22681), or after all committees report
(Speaker Wright, June 10, 1988, p. 14079).
The Speaker may (1) extend the time of a sequentially referred bill
and may refer the bill to yet another committee under the same
sequential referral conditions (Speaker Albert, June 1, 1976, p. 16588);
(2) delimit the period for sequential consideration of a bill in terms
of legislative days (Speaker Wright, June 30, 1988, p. 16597); or (3)
sequentially refer a bill without day (Speaker Wright, Sept. 27, 1988,
p. 25827). On the last day of an expiring sequential referral, a
committee has until midnight to file its report with the Clerk (Oct. 9,
1991, p. 26045).
Sec. 816a. Sequential referral procedures.
2(c), the Speaker has authority to sequentially refer a bill reported
from a committee to other committees for a time certain for
consideration of such portions of the bill as fall within their
respective jurisdictions (Speaker Albert, Apr. 9, 1976, p. 10265;
Speaker Albert, May 17, 1976, p. 14093). Under that authority, the
Speaker may limit a sequential referral to matters having a direct
effect on subjects within the committee's jurisdiction (Speaker O'Neill,
Apr. 5, 1982, p. 6580; Speaker O'Neill, June 7, 1983, p. 14699; Speaker
Wright, Sept. 9, 1987, p. 23648). For example, the Speaker sequentially
referred a bill reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce to the
Committee on the Judiciary for a specified time for consid
Pursuant to his authority under paragraph (c)(4), the Speaker may
refer a bill to a special ad hoc committee appointed by him with the
approval of the House (from the members of the committees with
legislative jurisdiction) for consideration and report on that
particular bill (Speaker Albert, Apr. 22, 1975, p. 11261) or may jointly
refer a report of a select committee filed with the Clerk to standing
committees of the House for their study (Speaker Albert, Feb. 16, 1976,
by this clause (H. Res. 508, Apr. 21, 1977, pp. 11550-56; Speaker
O'Neill, July 11, 1977, p. 22183; Speaker O'Neill, July 20, 1977, p.
24167). For a discussion of Speaker's referrals to the former Select
Committees on Homeland Security, see Sec. 723b, supra.
The Speaker may refer to an ad hoc committee, established with the
approval of the House, bills, resolutions, and other matters (including
messages and communications) for the purpose of considering such matters
and reporting to the House thereon, and the resolution creating such a
committee may specify whether referrals to such a committee shall be by
initial or sequential reference or by any of the other methods provided
Clause 7 provides the mechanism for changes of referrals erroneously
Sec. 816b. Referral procedures to an ad hoc select
Resolutions authorizing the Speaker to establish an ad hoc committee
for the consideration of a particular bill under paragraph (c) of this
clause, and extending the reporting date for such a committee, are
privileged when offered from the floor at the Speaker's request (Speaker
Albert, Apr. 22, 1975, p. 11261; Speaker Albert, Jan. 26, 1976, p. 876;
Speaker O'Neill, Jan. 11, 1977, pp. 894-98; Speaker O'Neill, Apr. 21,
1977, pp. 11550-56).
The present form of this paragraph was made effective January 2, 1947,
as a part of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (60 Stat. 812).
It was amended several times to conform references to renamed committees
(H. Res. 163, Mar. 19, 1975, p. 7343; H. Res. 89, Feb. 5, 1979, p. 1848;
sec. 202(b), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 467; sec. 213(d), H. Res. 6,
Jan. 4, 2007, p. ----). The old rule, adopted in 1885 and amended May
29, 1936, provided that private claims bills be referred to a Committee
on Invalid Pensions, Claims, War Claims, Public Lands, and Accounts, in
addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs and the Judiciary. Certain
private bills, resolutions and amendments are barred (see Sec. 822,
infra). Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress,
this provision was found in former clause 4 of rule XXI (H. Res. 5, Jan.
6, 1999, p. 47).
Petitions, memorials, and private bills
Under this paragraph unanimous consent is required for the reference
of a bill for the payment of a private claim to a committee other than
the Committee on the Judiciary or the Committee on Foreign Affairs (May
4, 1978, p. 12615). The Committee on the Judiciary, and not the
Committee on Ways and Means, has jurisdiction over a private bill
specifying that a certain annuity fund is exempt from taxation under
provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (Deschler, ch. 17, Sec. 43.22).
Speaker to be obscene or insulting) shall be entered on the Journal with
the name of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner presenting it
and shall be printed in the Congressional Record.
Sec. 817. Restriction on the reference of claims.
(d) A bill
for the payment or adjudication of a private claim against the
Government may not be referred to a committee other than the Committee
on Foreign Affairs or the Committee on the Judiciary, except by
At the first organization of the House in 1789 the rules then adopted
provided for the presentation of petitions to the House by the Speaker
and Members, and for the introduction of bills by motion for leave. In
1842 it was found necessary, in order to save time, to provide that
petitions and memorials should be filed with the Clerk. In 1870, 1879,
and 1887 the practice as to petitions was extended to private bills, at
first as to certain classes and later so that all should be filed with
the Clerk (IV, 3312, 3365; VII, 1024). Before the House recodified its
rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former clause 1
of rule XXII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47).
818. Introduction and reference of petitions,
memorials, and private bills.
3. If a Member, Delegate, or Resident
Commissioner has a petition, memorial, or private bill to present, he
shall endorse his name, deliver it to the Clerk, and may specify the
reference or disposition to be made thereof. Such petition, memorial, or
private bill (except when judged by the
Sec. 819. Duties of Speaker and Members
in presenting petitions.
Petitions, memorials, and other papers addressed to the House may
be presented by the Speaker as well as by a Member (IV, 3312). Petitions
from the country at large are presented by the Speaker in the manner
prescribed by the rule (III, 2030; IV, 3318; VII, 1025). A Member may
present a petition from the people of a State other than his own (IV,
3315, 3316). The House itself may refer one portion of a petition to one
committee and another portion to another committee (IV, 3359, 3360), but
ordinarily the reference of a petition does not come before the House
itself. A committee may receive a petition only through the House (IV,
Sec. 820. As to division of bills for
The parliamentary law provides that the House may commit a portion of a bill,
or a part to one committee and part to another (V, 5558), yet under the
practice of the House until January 3, 1975, a bill or joint resolution
could not be divided for reference, although it might contain matters
properly within the jurisdiction of several committees (IV, 4372, 4376).
On that date, the Speaker was given authority over referral of bills as
prescribed in clause 2 of this rule (formerly clause 5 of rule X). In
the 106th Congress the Speaker referred a bill by title to two
committees (H.R. 1554, Apr. 26, 1999, p. 7355).
Sec. 821. Fraudulent introduction of a
The fraudulent introduction of a bill involves a question of privilege, and a
bill so introduced was ordered stricken from the files (IV, 3388). As
the result of the unauthorized introduction of several bills without the
knowledge of the Members listed as sponsors, the Speaker directed that
all bills and resolutions must be signed by the prime sponsor thereof in
order to be accepted for introduction (Speaker Albert, Feb. 3, 1972, p.
(a) the payment of money for property damages, for personal
injuries or death for which suit may be instituted under the Tort Claims
Procedure provided in title 28, United States Code, or for a pension
(other than to carry out a provision of law or treaty stipulation);
(b) the construction of a bridge across a navigable stream; or
(c) the correction of a military or naval record.
Prohibition on commemorations
This paragraph derives from section 131 of the Legislative
Reorganization Act of 1946 (60 Stat. 812) and was made a part of the
standing rules January 3, 1953 (p. 24). Before the House recodified its
rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former clause
2(a) of rule XXII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). The prohibition
relating to correction of a military record does not apply to a private
bill that changes the computation of retired pay for a former member of
the armed services (after exhaustion of administrative remedies) but
does not directly correct his military record (Sept. 18, 1984, p.
Sec. 822. Certain private bills prohibited.
4. A private
bill or private resolution (including an omnibus claim or pension bill),
or amendment thereto, may not be received or considered in the House if
it authorizes or directs--
(b) In this clause the term ``commemoration'' means a remembrance,
celebration, or recognition for any purpose through the designation of a
specified period of time.
The 104th Congress added the prohibition against commemorative
legislation and directed the Committee on Government Reform and
Oversight (now Oversight and Government Reform) to consider alternative
means for establishing commemorations, including the creation of an
independent or executive branch commission for such purpose, and to
report to the House any recommendations thereon (sec. 216, H. Res. 6,
Jan. 4, 1995, p. 468). No recommendations were reported. Before the
House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was
found in former clause 2(b) of rule XXII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p.
47). The House by unanimous consent waived the prohibition against
introduction of a certain joint resolution specified by sponsor and
title proposing a commemoration (which was contained in the resolved
clause and not merely in the preamble) (Oct. 24, 2001, p. 20545).
823. Commemoratives prohibited.
5. (a) A bill or
resolution, or an amendment thereto, may not be introduced or considered
in the House if it establishes or expresses a commemoration.
This clause of the rule was first adopted in 1880, although the
portion relating to the return of certain petitions and bills was
adapted from an older rule of 1842 (IV, 3312, 3365). In the 104th
Congress it was amended to conform to the new prohibition against
commemorative legislation (sec. 216, H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 468).
Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, this
provision was found in former clause 3 of rule XXII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6,
1999, p. 47).
of order may not be raised as to jurisdiction (IV, 4390, 4391; VII,
2131). The Speaker may correct the erroneous referral of a bill as
private by referring it to the appropriate (Union) calendar as a public
bill when reported (June 1, 1988, p. 13184).
Errors in reference of petitions, memorials, or private bills are
corrected at the Clerk's table, without action by the House, at the
suggestion of the committee holding possession (IV, 4379). As provided
in the rule, the erroneous reference of a private House bill does not
confer jurisdiction, and a point of order is good when the bill comes up
for consideration either in the House or in the Committee of the Whole
(IV, 4382-4389). But in cases wherein the House itself refers a private
House or Senate bill a point
824. Correction of errors in reference; and relation to
6. A petition, memorial, bill, or resolution excluded under
this rule shall be returned to the Member, Delegate, or Resident
Commissioner from whom it was received. A petition or private bill that
has been inappropriately referred may, by direction of the committee
having possession of it, be properly referred in the manner originally
presented. An erroneous reference of a petition or private bill under
this clause does not confer jurisdiction on a committee to consider or
to the House or is discharged from its consideration.
(b)(1) The primary sponsor of a public bill or public resolution may
name cosponsors. The name of a cosponsor added after the initial
printing of a bill or resolution shall appear in the next printing of
the bill or resolution on the written request of the primary sponsor.
Such a request may be submitted to the Speaker at any time until the
last committee authorized to consider and report the bill or resolution
(2) The name of a cosponsor of a bill or resolution may be deleted by
unanimous consent. The Speaker may entertain such a request only by the
Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner whose name is to be deleted
or by the primary sponsor of the bill or resolution, and only until the
last committee authorized to consider and report the bill or resolution
reports it to the House or is discharged from its consideration. The
Speaker may not entertain a request to delete the name of the primary
sponsor of a bill or resolution. A deletion shall be indicated by date
in the next printing of the bill or resolution.
(3) The addition or deletion of the name of a cosponsor of a bill or
resolution shall be entered on the Journal and printed in the
Congressional Record of that day.
(4) A bill or resolution shall be reprinted on the written request of
the primary sponsor. Such a request may be submitted to the Speaker only
when 20 or more cosponsors have been added since the last printing of
the bill or resolution.
The rule of 1789 provided that all bills should be introduced on
report of a committee or by motion for leave. By various modifications
it was first provided that all classes of private bills should be
introduced by filing them with the Clerk, and in 1890 this system was by
this rule extended to all public bills (IV, 3365). In the 105th and
107th Congresses paragraph (a) was amended to effect technical
corrections (H. Res. 5, Jan. 7, 1997, p. 121; sec. 2(x), H. Res. 5, Jan.
3, 2001, p. 26). Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th
Congress, this provision was found in former clause 4 of rule XXII (H.
Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47).
p. 47). In the 107th and 108th Congresses the House adopted the same
order, but extended the applicable time to the entire first session
(sec. 3(d), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2001, p. 24; sec. 3(c), H. Res. 5, Jan.
7, 2003, p. 7). In the 108th Congress, the House by unanimous consent
extended such authority through the remainder of the Congress (Oct. 4,
2004, p. ----). In the 109th and 110th Congresses the House adopted the
same initial order but for the entire Congress (sec. 3(c), H. Res. 5,
Jan. 4, 2005, p. ----; sec. 217, H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 2007, p. ----).
At its organization for the 106th Congress the House adopted an order
of the House that the first 10 bill numbers be reserved for assignment
by the Speaker during a specified period (sec. 2(g), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6,
The motion for a change of reference and subsidiary motions take
precedence over motions to go into the Committee of the Whole for the
consideration of appropriation bills and the consideration of conference
reports (VII, 2124), and may not be debated (VII, 2126-2128). But the
motion is not in order on Calendar Wednesday (VII, 2117), and is not
privileged under the rule if the original reference was not erroneous
(VII, 2125). The motion may be amended, but the amendment, like the
original motion, is subject to the requirement that it be authorized by
the committee (VII, 2127). The motion must apply to a single bill and
not to a class of bills (VII, 2125).
According to the later practice the erroneous reference of a public
bill, if it remain uncorrected, in effect gives jurisdiction to the
committee receiving it (IV, 4365-4371; VII, 1489, 2108-2113; VIII,
2312). It is too late to move a change of reference after such committee
has reported the bill (VII, 2110; VIII, 2312), but the Speaker may,
pursuant to authority granted him by clause 2 (formerly clause 5 of rule
X) effective January 3, 1975 (H. Res. 988, 93d Cong., Oct. 8, 1974, p.
34470), refer a bill sequentially to other committees. All bills and
resolutions must be signed by the primary sponsor thereof (Speaker
Albert, Feb. 3, 1972, p. 2521).
Joint sponsorship of public bills by not more than 25 Members was
authorized in the 90th Congress (H. Res. 42, Apr. 25, 1967, p. 10712).
Prior thereto a special committee had reported against this practice and
the report had been adopted by the House (VII, 1029). Effective January
3, 1979 (H. Res. 86, 95th Cong., Oct. 10, 1978, p. 34929), paragraph (b)
was added to allow unlimited cosponsorship and to provide a mechanism
for Members to add their names as cosponsors to bills or resolutions
that have already been introduced, up until the bill is finally reported
from committee, and on January 15, 1979, the Speaker announced his
directive for the processing of lists of cosponsors pursuant to the new
clause (Speaker O'Neill, Jan. 15, 1979, p. 19).
the bill has reported to the House (or has been discharged from further
consideration) (Oct. 8, 1985, p. 26668; Feb. 10, 2000, p. 982), and the
Speaker has vacated unanimous-consent orders of the House to delete
cosponsors when advised that the bill had already been reported (Aug. 5,
1987, p. 22458). A Member may request unanimous consent that his name be
deleted as a cosponsor of an unreported bill during its consideration
under suspension of the rules and before a final vote thereon (June 9,
1986, p. 12979).
Although, before the 106th Congress, paragraph (b)(2) only permitted a
cosponsoring Member himself to request unanimous consent for his
deletion as a cosponsor, the primary sponsor of a measure was permitted
to request unanimous consent to delete from the permanent Record the
name of a cosponsor he had inadvertently or erroneously listed (Feb. 9,
1982). This practice was codified in the 106th Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan.
6, 1999, p. 47). Unanimous-consent requests to delete Members' names as
cosponsors are not entertained after the last committee authorized to
By unanimous consent a Member may add his own name as a cosponsor of
an unreported bill where the primary sponsor is no longer a Member of
the House (Aug. 4, 1983, p. 23188), and a designated Member may be
authorized to sign and submit lists of additional cosponsors where the
actual primary sponsor is no longer a Member (e.g., June 23, 1989, p.
13271; Apr. 5, 2000, p. 4487; June 20, 2001, p. 11196; Sept. 21, 2004,
p. ----), but the Chair will not otherwise entertain a request to add
cosponsors by a Member other than the primary sponsor (Mar. 5, 1991, p.
5026). In fact, the Chair will not entertain any unanimous-consent
request to add a cosponsor (July 24, 2000, p. 15878), whether such
request includes only the Member making the request (Oct. 25, 1995, p.
29352), includes all Members (Dec. 18, 1985, p. 37765), or includes a
specified additional sponsor (Jan. 28, 1985, p. 1141; May 23, 1985, p.
13421). Such requests must be made by a primary sponsor through the
hopper not later than the last day on which any committee is authorized
to consider and report the measure to the House (Nov. 4, 1997, p.
The Chair does not entertain a unanimous-consent request to designate
a co-offeror of an amendment (May 20, 2004, p. ----; Sept. 4, 2004, p.
At its organization for the 104th Congress the House resolved that
each of the first 20 bills and each of the first two joint resolutions
introduced in the House in that Congress could have more than one Member
reflected as a primary sponsor (sec. 223(g), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p.
469); and the Speaker stated that all signatures of ``primary'' sponsors
would be required on the bills (Speaker Gingrich, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 551).
A Member was subsequently added as a ``primary'' sponsor by unanimous
consent (Jan. 18, 1995, p. 1447).
825. Introduction, reference, and change of
reference of public bills, memorials, and resolutions.
7. (a) Bills, memorials,
petitions, and resolutions, endorsed with the names of Members,
Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner introducing them, may be
delivered to the Speaker to be referred. The titles and references of
all bills, memorials, petitions, resolutions, and other documents
referred under this rule shall be entered on the Journal and printed in
the Congressional Record. An erroneous reference may be corrected by the
House in accordance with rule X on any day immediately after the Pledge
of Allegiance to the Flag by unanimous consent or motion. Such a motion
shall be privileged if offered by direction of a committee to which the
bill has been erroneously referred or by direction of a committee
claiming jurisdiction and shall be decided without debate.
This provision was adopted in 1888 (IV, 3366). Before the House
recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, it was found in former
clause 6 of rule XXII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). It has never
been the practice of the House to permit the names of the persons
requesting the introduction of the bill to be printed in the Record.
Sec. 826. Introduction of bills, resolutions, or memorials
(5) When a bill or resolution is introduced ``by request,''
those words shall be entered on the Journal and printed in the
This rule was adopted in 1867 and amended in 1880 (V, 6593). It was
renumbered January 3, 1953 (p. 24). Before the House recodified its
rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former rule XL
(H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). Formerly estimates of appropriations
were transmitted through the Secretary of the Treasury (IV, 3573-3576,
4045), but under the Budget Act they are transmitted by the President.
827. Reception and reference of executive
communications, including estimates.
8. Estimates of appropriations and all other
communications from the executive departments intended for the
consideration of any committees of the House shall be addressed to the
Speaker for referral as provided in clause 2 of rule XIV.