[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 111th Congress]
[House Document 110-162]
[House And Congressional Offices]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
HOUSE AND CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES
Sec. 1113. House Commission on Congressional
Members may send through the mails, under their frank, certain
documents and materials as provided by 39 U.S.C. 3210, subject to the
limitations prescribed in rule XXIV, supra. The House Commission on
Congressional Mailing Standards, composed of six Members, provides
advice in connection with franking privileges (sec. 5, P.L. 93-191).
Sec. 1114. House Office Building
Rooms in the House Office Buildings are assigned pursuant to the Act of
May 28, 1908 (2 U.S.C. 2004-2011) and pursuant to regulations of the
House Office Building Commission (see regulations promulgated Oct. 7,
1996). The commission also issues regulations governing the House Office
Buildings, House garages, and the Capitol Power Plant (see regulations
promulgated December, 1995). The commission is composed of the Speaker
and two Members of the House (traditionally the Majority and Minority
Leaders) (2 U.S.C. 2001).
Sec. 1115. Government Accountability
The preparation, utilization, and distribution (to committees and Members) of
reports by the Government Accountability Office, and its authority to
assign its employees to duty with congressional committees, are
regulated by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, Sec. Sec. 231-
236 (84 Stat. 1140; 31 U.S.C. 711-720). This office was formerly known
as the General Accounting Office (31 U.S.C. 702 note).
Sec. 1116. Office of Compliance.
The Office of Compliance
was established by the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2
U.S.C. 1381). The office is composed of five individuals appointed
jointly by the Speaker, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and the
Minority Leaders of the House and the Senate. The office has regulatory,
enforcement, and educational responsibilities under the Act. The office
replaced the Review Panel of the Office of Fair Employment Practices at
the beginning of the 105th Congress (see Sec. 1101, supra). However, the
review panel was reconstituted in the same form as at the end of the
104th Congress to provide for the completion of ongoing proceedings in
the 105th Congress (Feb. 25, 1997, p. 2439).
Sec. 1117. Congressional Research
The organization of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of
Congress and its responsibilities to assist Members and committees were
provided in the Legislative Reorganization Acts of 1946 and 1970 (60
Stat. 836; 84 Stat. 1140; 2 U.S.C. 166).
Sec. 1118. Legislative Counsel.
The Office of the
Legislative Counsel of the House of Representatives evolved from a
Legislative Drafting Service established for the Congress by the Act of
February 24, 1919 (40 Stat. 1057, 1141). The provisions of law setting
forth the purpose and functions of the current office and providing for
its administration are contained in title V of the Legislative
Reorganization Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-510; 2 U.S.C. 281) as amended by the
Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1972 (P.L. 92-51). As stated in
section 502 of such title V, the purpose of the office is to advise and
assist the House, and its committees and Members, in the achievement of
a clear, faithful, and coherent expression of legislative policies.
Sec. 1119. Congressional Budget
The Congressional Budget Office was established by the Congressional Budget Act
of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 601). The office is headed by a director, who is
appointed by the Speaker and the President pro tempore. Section 202 of
the Act (2 U.S.C. 602) outlines the functions of the office, which
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 jurisdiction and to other committees
to assist them in complying with the provisions of the Act.
Sec. 1120. Law Revision Counsel.
The Office of the Law
Revision Counsel, to develop a codification of the laws of the United
States, was authorized in the 93d Congress by the Committee Reform
Amendments of 1974 (sec. 205, H. Res. 988, Oct. 8, 1974, p. 34470, made
permanent law by P.L. 93-544 (2 U.S.C. 285)).
in the 93d Congress by the Committee Reform Amendments of 1974 (sec.
208, H. Res. 988, Oct. 8, 1974, p. 34470, made permanent law by P.L. 93-
554, 2 U.S.C. 28a), and the printing and distribution of the precedents
were authorized by Public Law 94-551 (2 U.S.C. 28b-e). See also 2 U.S.C.
Sec. 1121. Technology Assessment.
The Office of Technology
Assessment, to assist the Congress in indicating the beneficial and
adverse impacts of the application of technology, was authorized by the
Technology Assessment Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 472). The office received
funding for 1996 to conduct an orderly shutdown (tit. I, P.L. 104-53)
and has not received funding since then.
Sec. 1122. Office of the
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 (H. Res. 502, Apr. 20, 1977, p.
11415, made permanent law by sec. 115 of P.L. 95-94; see 2 U.S.C. 287).
The compilation and preparation of the precedents of the House of
Representatives were authorized
Sec. 1123. Office of Floor
At its organization the 104th Congress established an office to assist the
Speaker in the management of legislative activity on the floor of the
House (Sec. 223(b), H. Res. 6, 104th Cong., Jan. 4, 1995, p. 469,
enacted into permanent law by the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act,
1996 (sec. 103, P.L. 104-53)).
Sec. 1124. Office of Interparliamentary
This office is responsible for responding to inquiries from, and
coordinating visits with, foreign legislative bodies; providing
assistance to delegations of Members on official visits to foreign
nations; coordinating the activities and responsibilities of the House
in connection with participation in various interparliamentary exchanges
and organizations; and enabling the House to host meetings with senior
government officials and other dignitaries in order to discuss matters
relevant to United States relations with other nations (2 U.S.C. 130-2).
Sec. 1125. House Recording Studio.
The House Recording
Studio was established by the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act,
1957 (2 U.S.C. 123b) and provides Members with audio and video recording
services. The studio is under the direction and control of the Committee
on the House Recording Studio, which consists of three Members appointed
by the Speaker (2 U.S.C. 123b(c)).
Attorney General to notify the General Counsel of various decisions and
policies (2 U.S.C. 130f(b)).
Sec. 1125a. United States Capitol Preservation
The United States Capitol Preservation Commission was established in
1988 (2 U.S.C. 2081) to provide improvements in, preservation of, and
acquisitions for the Capitol and to provide works of fine art and other
property for display in the Capitol. In the 106th Congress the
Commission was given responsibility for the planning, engineering,
design, and construction of the Capitol Visitor Center (sec. 310,
Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2000). Membership on the
Commission consists of the Speaker, the President pro tempore (co-
chairs), the chair and vice chair of the Joint Committee on the Library,
the chairs and ranking minority members of the Committee on Rules and
Administration and the Committee on House Administration, the Majority
and Minority Leaders of the House and Senate, three Members of the
Senate, and three Members of the House.
Sec. 1125b. Office of General Counsel.
The General Counsel
appointed under clause 8 of rule II 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 U.S.C. 130f(a)). Furthermore, the law requires the
Sec. 1125c. Office of Emergency Planning,
Preparedness, and Operations.
This office is responsible for mitigation and
preparedness operations, crisis management and response, resource
services, and recovery operations (2 U.S.C. 130i). The Speaker, in
consultation with the Minority Leader, provides policy direction for,
and oversight of, the office. The Speaker may request the head of any
Federal department or agency to detail to the office, on a reimbursable
basis, any of the personnel of the department or agency. The day-to-day
operations of the office are carried out by the director, under the
supervision of a House of Representatives Continuity of Operations
Board, comprising the Clerk, the Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Chief
Administrative Officer. The Clerk chairs the board.
Sec. 1125d. Office of Attending Physician.
This office was
established in the 70th Congress when the House requested the Secretary
of the Navy to detail a medical officer to be in attendance at the Hall
of the House during sessions of the House (H. Res. 253, Dec. 5, 1928, p.
101). Currently, the office provides primary care and emergency,
environmental, and occupational health services in direct support of
Members of Congress and the Supreme Court, staff, pages, visiting
dignitaries, and tourists (Office of Attending Physician in the U.S.
Congress, CRS, Dec. 12, 2001).
Sec. 1125e. Office of Architect of the
This office , which dates from 1793, operates and maintains the buildings
and grounds of the Capitol complex. For a detailed explanation of the
current duties and statutory evolution of the office, see Architect of
the Capitol: Appointment, Duties, and Operations, CRS, March 17, 2005.
Section 6701 of Public Law 110-28 established within the office a Chief
Executive Officer for Visitor Services with responsibility for the
operation and management of the Capitol Visitor Center.
Sec. 1125f. House Democracy Assistance
Established for the 109th (H. Res. 135, Mar. 14, 2005, p. _), 110th
(H. Res. 24, Jan. 30, 2007, p. _) and 111th Congresses (sec. 4(b), H.
Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. _), the commission provides advice and
consultation to selected countries. The commission consists of 20
Members appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader.
Sec. 1125g. Tom Lantos Human Rights
Established for the 110th (H. Res. 1451, Sept. 24, 2008, p. _) and
111th Congresses with modifications to its authority (sec. 4(c), H. Res.
5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. _), the commission promotes internationally
recognized human rights. Any Member may join the commission, which is
lead by co-chairs appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader,
Sec. 1125h. Office of Congressional Ethics.
the 110th (H. Res. 895, Mar. 11, 2008, p. _) and 111th Congresses with a
modification on its authority to engage consultants (sec. 4(d), H. Res.
5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. _), the office investigates ``self-initiated''
alleged ethics violations and reports its recommendations to the
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.