[Deschler-Brown Precedents, Volume 10 (Sections 1-24), Volume 11 (Sections 25-end, plus index)]
[Chapter 28. Amendments and the Germaneness Rule]
[E. Relation of Amendment or Bill to Existing Law]
[§ 36. Amendment Repealing Existing Law to Bill Amending That Law]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

[Page 8970-8974]
                               CHAPTER 28
                  Amendments and the Germaneness Rule
Sec. 36. Amendment Repealing Existing Law to Bill Amending That Law

    To a bill amending existing law in one particular,(20) 
or in a limited respect,(1) an amendment repealing the law 
is not germane. Thus, to a bill establishing a new office within a 
government department, an amendment to abolish the department is not 
germane.(2) Similarly, to an amendment proposing to amend 
existing law in some particulars, an amendment proposing to repeal the 
law in its entirety is not germane,(3) unless the 
proposition being amended changes law in a comprehensive and diverse 
way, in which case an amendment proposing repeal of the law may be 
germane.(4) And to a bill referring to certain provisions of 
existing law, an amendment repealing a portion of that law has been 
held not to be germane.(5)
20. See Sec. 36.2, infra.
 1. See Sec. 42.43, infra.
 2. Id.
 3. See Sec. 36.3, infra.
 4. See 5 Hinds' Precedents Sec. 5824.
 5. See Sec. 41.6, infra.

Continuing Tax Exemptions for Property Used by Government--Amendment 
    Repealing Other Exemptions

Sec. 36.1 To a bill to continue the tax-exempt status of certain 
    property owned by others but used and occupied by government 
    agencies or by the Red Cross, an amendment seeking to repeal the 
    law granting tax exemptions with respect to property occupied by 
    the Daughters of the American Revolution was held not to be 

    In the 79th Congress, a bill (6) was under consideration 
which stated in part as follows: (7)
 6. H.J. Res. 236 (Committee on the District of Columbia).
 7. 91 Cong. Rec. 9911, 79th Cong. 1st Sess., Oct. 22, 1945.

        Whereas in times of national stress it is necessary for the 
    United States of America and its various instrumentalities to use 
    and occupy additional space necessary for the proper execution of 
    their enlarged functions: Therefore be it

        Resolved, etc., That the use and occupancy of real property in 
    the District of Columbia by any department, agency, or 
    instrumentality of the United States of America, or by the American 

[[Page 8971]]

    Cross, on a basis which does not result in the receipt of rent or 
    income to the owner thereof within the meaning of section 2 of the 
    act of December 24, 1942 (56 Stat. 1089), shall not operate to 
    terminate the tax exempt status of such property if exempted from 
    taxation prior to such use and occupancy. . . .

    The purpose of the bill was indicated as follows:

        Mr. [Jennings] Randolph [of West Virginia]: . . . This is 
    merely to correct a technicality. Although the District of Columbia 
    Code exempts . . . property belonging to various institutions, 
    associations, societies, etc., when the latter use and occupy their 
    respective properties, the Commissioners of the District have held 
    that when such institutions furnish space to the Government 
    gratuitously the exemption ceases since such property is not then 
    ``used and occupied'' by the owner to whom the exemption is 
    granted. . . .

    The following amendment was offered to the bill: (8)
 8. Id. at p. 9912.

        Amendment offered by Mr. Biemiller: On page 2, following line 
    17, add a new section as follows:

            That the property situated in square one hundred and 
        seventy-three in the city of Washington, District of Columbia . 
        . . occupied by the Daughters of the American Revolution, shall 
        no longer be exempt from taxation, as heretofore provided [by 
        law] and that the said exemption . . . is . . . repealed.

    A point of order was raised against the amendment, as follows:

        Mr. Randolph: Mr. Speaker, I make the point of order that the 
    amendment is not germane to this legislation. We are only concerned 
    in providing for the Red Cross in connection with conditions that 
    arose during the war while a Government agency used the facilities 
    rent free. Frankly, the gentleman from West Virginia will not allow 
    this District of Columbia legislation to become involved in the 
    subject matter of the amendment offered by the gentleman from 
    Wisconsin. . . .

    In defense of the amendment, the proponent stated, as follows:

        Mr. [Andrew J.] Biemiller [of Wisconsin]: On the point of 
    order, Mr. Speaker, may I say that the bill deals with the question 
    of tax-exempt property in the District of Columbia and furthermore 
    deals with an organization which has been chartered by the 
    Congress, the American Red Cross. My amendment deals with those 
    same categories, tax-exempt property and an organization that has 
    been chartered by the Congress of the United States.

    The Speaker,(9) in ruling on the point of order, stated:
 9. Sam Rayburn (Tex.).

        This bill provides only for Government-chartered organizations 
    that have given their facilities to the Government of the United 
    States during the war period. The amendment offered by the 
    gentleman from Wisconsin would make an absolute repeal of law on 
    the statute books and therefore is not germane. The Chair sustains 
    the point of order.

[[Page 8972]]

Bill Amending Law as to Transfer of Rice Acreage Allotments--Amendment 
    To Repeal Law

Sec. 36.2 To a bill amending a single aspect of that agricultural law 
    relating to the transfer of rice acreage allotments, an amendment 
    to repeal the entire provision of law regulating such transfers was 
    ruled out as not germane.

    In the 88th Congress, a bill (10) was under 
consideration relating to the transfer of rice acreage allotments. An 
amendment as described above was offered by Mr. Paul Findley, of 
Illinois: (11)
10. H.R. 3742 (Committee on Agriculture).
11. 110 Cong. Rec. 423, 88th Cong. 2d Sess., Jan. 14, 1964.

    Mr. Paul C. Jones, of Missouri, having raised the point of order 
that the amendment was not germane to the bill, Mr. Findley stated:

        Mr. Chairman, the title of the bill makes it clear that it is 
    to amend the provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, 
    as amended, relating to the transfer of producer rice allotments. 
    The amendment that I have offered simply changes the subsection 
    which is a part of the section dealing with the transfer of 
    producer rice acreage allotments.

    The Chairman,(12) in ruling on the point of order, 
12. Clifford Davis (Tenn.).

        According to section 2949, volume 8, Cannon's Precedents of the 
    House of Representatives, I read:

            To a bill amending a law in one particular, an amendment 
        repealing the law is not germane.

        The Chair rules that the amendment is not germane.

Bill To Amend Reclamation Act: Amendment Striking Part of Section of 
    Bill--Substitute Repealing Law

Sec. 36.3 To an amendment proposing to strike out part of a section of 
    a bill, thereby amending existing law, a substitute proposing to 
    strike out the entire section and to repeal the existing law is not 

    In the 80th Congress, a bill (13) was under 
consideration amending certain provisions of the Reclamation Act of 
1939. An amendment striking a specified part of the bill was offered by 
Mr. Ben F. Jensen, of Iowa,(14) who indicated that the 
purpose of the amendment was to insure that the Secretary of the 
Interior not be given

[[Page 8973]]

excessive authority with respect to undertaking certain construction 
projects. Mr. Gordon L. McDonough, of California, speaking in support 
of the amendment, discussed its purpose as follows: (15)
13. H.R. 2873 (Committee on Public Lands).
14. See 94 Cong. Rec. 403, 80th Cong. 2d Sess., Jan. 21, 1948.
15. Id. at p. 404.

        . . . I want to read the section of the bill that this 
    amendment will strike out, so that those who have any doubts about 
    the authority that the Secretary of the Interior now has under the 
    present Reclamation Act may understand what this amendment would do 
    to correct that. The section that this amendment strikes out begins 
    on line 11, page 6, and reads as follows:

            If the proposed construction is found by the Secretary to 
        have engineering feasibility and if the repayable and 
        returnable allocations to irrigation, power, and municipal 
        water supply or other miscellaneous purposes found by the 
        Secretary to be proper pursuant to subdivisions (3), (4), (5), 
        and (6) hereof, together with any allocation to flood control 
        or navigation made under subsection (b) of this section, and 
        together with any allocation made pursuant to subdivision (7) 
        hereof, which shall be nonreimbursable and nonreturnable, equal 
        the total estimated cost of construction as determined by the 
        Secretary, then the new project, new division of a project, or 
        supplemental works on a project, covered by his findings, shall 
        be deemed authorized and may be undertaken by the Secretary.

        Evidently that is a repetition of what is now in the 1939 
    Reclamation Act as far as authority is concerned. This amendment 
    amends that out and gives to the Congress the power to determine 
    whether these projects shall be feasible and shall be initiated. . 
    . .

    The following exchange occurred with respect to the precise effect 
of the Jensen amendment: (16)
16. Id. at p. 405.

        Mr. Jensen: This amendment takes nothing away from the weight 
    and effect of the present law, specifically referring to section 9 
    of the Reclamation Act. It leaves that intact but simply provides 
    and assures us that no additional authorization and power will be 
    given to the Secretary of the Interior to authorize more projects.
        Mr. [Frank A.] Barrett [of Wyoming]: I am very much afraid that 
    the gentleman is entirely mistaken because existing law provides 
    for all of the elements that are outlined on page 6, from line 11 
    to the bottom of the page. That is in existing law at the present 
    time and you are repealing it.

    A substitute amendment was then offered, as follows:

        Mr. [Forest A.] Harness of Indiana: Mr. Chairman, I offer a 
    substitute for the pending amendment.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Substitute amendment offered by Mr. Harness of Indiana to 
        the amendment offered by Mr. Jensen: On page 4, line 15, to 
        page 7, line 15, delete all and substitute ``Section 9 (a) of 
        the Reclamation Act of 1939 is hereby repealed.''

    The following proceedings then took place with respect to a 
question as to the propriety of the Harness amendment:

[[Page 8974]]

        The Chairman: (17) I will say to the gentleman from 
    Indiana that is not a substitute for the Jensen amendment. The 
    Jensen amendment applied only to the section at the bottom of page 
    6 of the bill.
17. George A. Dondero (Mich.).

        Mr. Harness of Indiana: It is the same section that I am 
    striking out by my amendment.
        Mr. [Francis H.] Case of South Dakota: Mr. Chairman, I make a 
    point of order against the substitute amendment.
        The Chairman: The gentleman may offer his amendment after the 
    Jensen amendment is disposed of. . . .
        Mr. Harness of Indiana: Mr. Chairman, the Jensen amendment 
    proposes to strike out, beginning on page 6, line 11, all of that 
    section down to line 25 and add the word ``a.'' My amendment 
    strikes out that same section and also provides for the repeal of 
    the same section which is in the 1939 act.
        The Chairman: The Chair must hold that the amendment is not 
    germane to the Jensen amendment. The gentleman's amendment can be 
    offered after the Jensen amendment is disposed of.