[Deschler's Precedents, Volume 5, Chapters 18 - 20]
[Chapter 19. The Committee of the Whole]
[B. The Chairman]
[§ 7. Limitations on the Chairman's Jurisdiction]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


[Page 3295-3310]
 
                               CHAPTER 19
 
                       The Committee of the Whole
 
                            B. THE CHAIRMAN
 
Sec. 7.--Limitations on the Chairman's Jurisdiction

    The jurisdiction of the Chairman of the Committee of the

[[Page 3296]]

Whole is not unlimited; certain determinations are reserved to the 
Speaker, the House, or the Committee itself. Thus, the Committee of the 
Whole, not the Chairman, determines whether language in a committee 
report is binding,(1) and the Speaker responds to inquiries 
regarding whether a time limitation may be rescinded (2) or 
whether a two-thirds vote is required in the House.(3) The 
House determines the constitutionality of proposed 
legislation,(4) the sufficiency or legal effect of committee 
reports,(5) and whether the Committee of the Whole may sit 
in executive session.(6)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Sec. 7.16, infra.
 2. Sec. 7.12, infra.
 3. Sec. 7.13, infra.
 4. Sec. 7.2, infra.
 5. Sec. 7.17, infra.
 6. Sec. 7.18, infra.                          -------------------
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Constitutional Questions

Sec. 7.1 The Chairman does not pass on questions of constitutionality.

    On Mar. 11, 1958,(7) during consideration of S. 497, 
authorizing the construction, repair, and preservation of certain 
public works on rivers and harbors for navigation, Chairman Howard W. 
Smith, of Virginia, referred to the power of the Chair to rule on 
constitutional questions.(8)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7. 104 Cong. Rec. 4020, 85th Cong. 2d Sess.
 8. See also 112 Cong. Rec. 25677, 89th Cong. 2d Sess., Oct. 7, 1966, 
        in which Chairman Charles M. Price (Ill.), stated that the 
        Chair does not pass on constitutional questions; and see 94 
        Cong. Rec. 5817, 80th Cong. 2d Sess., May 13, 1948, for another 
        illustration of this principle.
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        Mr. [Donald E.] Tewes [of Wisconsin]: Mr. Chairman, I offer an 
    amendment.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Amendment offered by Mr. Tewes: On page 57, immediately 
        after line 22, insert the following:

        ``Sec. 211. For the purpose of disapproval by the President, 
    each paragraph of each of the preceding sections, shall be 
    considered a bill within the meaning of article I, section 7, of 
    the Constitution of the United States, and each such paragraph 
    which is disapproved shall not become law unless repassed in 
    accordance with the provisions of section 7, article I, of the 
    Constitution relating to the repassage of a bill disapproved by the 
    President.''
        And renumber the following section accordingly.
        Mr. [Frank E.] Smith of Mississippi: Mr. Chairman, I make a 
    point of order against the amendment on the ground that such 
    language is entirely out of order on any type of legislation. We do 
    not have a provision in our Constitution for an item veto.
        Mr. Tewes: Mr. Chairman, I do not think that constitutional 
    provisions are involved.

[[Page 3297]]

        The Chairman: The Chair is ready to rule. The Chair does not 
    pass upon constitutional questions. The amendment seems to be 
    pertinent to the bill and relates to the bill. Therefore, the Chair 
    overrules the point of order.

Sec. 7.2 The question of the constitutionality of proposed legislation 
    is a matter for the House, and not the Chairman, to decide.

    On May 10, 1973,(9) during consideration of an amendment 
to H.R. 7447, Chairman Jack B. Brooks, of Texas, ruled on the authority 
to decide constitutional questions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9. 119 Cong. Rec. 15290, 15291, 93d Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Sidney R.] Yates [of Illinois]: Mr. Chairman, I have a 
    point of order against the language beginning at page 6, line 10 
    through line 12.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state his point of order.
        Mr. Yates: Mr. Chairman. I make a point of order against the 
    language set forth in lines 10, 11, and 12, on page 6.
        Article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States 
    says:

            The Congress shall have the power to declare war.

        Congress has not declared war against Cambodia or Laos or 
    against any other country in Southeast Asia for that matter. 
    Congress has not given the President any authority to use the 
    American Armed Forces in Cambodia and Laos. Nevertheless, on order 
    of President Nixon, American military planes are bombing in both 
    those countries. The appropriation contained in the transfer 
    authority includes funds to continue the bombing of Cambodia and 
    Laos. That appears in the report of the committee and in the 
    testimony of the committee. This has been conceded by witnesses 
    appearing before the committee, and Secretary of Defense Richardson 
    again stated to the press yesterday that whether or not Congress 
    approves the transfer authority, the bombing would continue. . . .
        I am asking the Chair for its ruling on two points. One, I ask 
    the Chair to rule with respect to military appropriations which 
    provide funds for American Armed Forces to engage in war under rule 
    XXI, section 2, of the Rules of Procedure of the House of 
    Representatives, which states there must be, as well as any other 
    legislation authorizing such action, compliance with article I, 
    section 8, of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the approval of 
    the Congress for American Armed Forces to engage in that war. . . .
        The Chairman: Before the Chair will rule on this he will ask 
    the Clerk to read the section on which the point of order was 
    raised. The paragraph beginning on line 9.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Section 735 of the Department of Defense Appropriation Act, 
        1973, is amended by deleting ``$750,000,000'' and inserting 
        ``$1,180,000,000'' in lieu thereof. . . .

        The Chair is ready to rule.
        The Chair has read the resolution, and the resolution adopted 
    by the House under which this legislation is being considered says 
    that--

[[Page 3298]]

            All points of order against said bill for failure to comply 
        with the provisions of clause 2 and clause 5 of rule XXI are 
        hereby waived.

        Under clause 2, which the Chair has read, the pending paragraph 
    would be subject to a point of order, as legislation, were it not 
    for this rule.
        The Chair is not in a position, nor is it proper for the Chair 
    to rule on the constitutionality of the language, or on the 
    constitutionality or other effect of the action of the House in 
    adopting the resolution of the Committee on Rules. In the head 
    notes in the precedents of the House it very clearly states that it 
    is not the duty of a chairman to construe the Constitution as it 
    may affect proposed legislation, or to interpret the legality or 
    effect of language; and the Chair therefore overrules the point of 
    order raised by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Yates).

Sec. 7.3 It is the duty of the Chairman to determine whether the 
    provisions in a pending bill conform to the rules of the House, but 
    the Chair will not construe the constitutional validity of those 
    provisions.

    On May 10, 1973,(10) during consideration of an 
amendment to H.R. 7447, supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 
1973, Chairman Jack B. Brooks, of Texas, determined that the amendment 
conformed to the House rules, but declined to construe the 
constitutional validity thereof.(11) 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
10. 119 Cong. Rec. 15290, 15291, 93d Cong. 1st Sess.
11. See Sec. 7.2, supra, for the relevant debate on May 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Merits of Proposed Legislation

Sec. 7.4 It is not the function of the Chair to pass upon the merits of 
    a proposed amendment or bill.

    On May 19, 1948,(12) during consideration of H.R. 5852, 
regarding control of subversive activities, Chairman James W. 
Wadsworth, Jr., of New York, stated that the Chairman in ruling on a 
point of order does not pass on the merits of proposed legislation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
12. 94 Cong. Rec. 6139, 6140, 80th Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Sam] Hobbs [of Alabama]: Mr. Chairman, I offer an 
    amendment. The Clerk read as follows:

            Amendment offered by Mr. Hobbs. . . .
            ``Sec. 20. (a) That the deportation of aliens provided for 
        in this act and all other immigration laws of the United States 
        shall be directed by the Attorney General, within his 
        discretion and without priority of preference because of their 
        order as herein set forth, either to the country from which 
        such alien last entered the United States; or to the country in 
        which is located the foreign port at which such alien embarked 
        for the United States . . . .''

        Mr. [Karl [E.] [Mundt] of South Dakota]: Mr. Chairman, I make 
    the

[[Page 3299]]

    point of order against the amendment that it is not germane to the 
    pending bill, H.R. 5852. It seems to me the gentleman's amendment, 
    which I believe is in actuality a bill which is before the House 
    and before another committee, deals with the arrangements and 
    techniques of deportation proceedings, which do not properly fall 
    within the province of the House Committee on Un-American 
    Activities, so in my opinion the amendment should not be attached 
    with germaneness to legislation of this type. Regardless of the 
    merits of Mr. Hobbs' proposal, I submit it should come before us as 
    a separate measure and not be added as overburden to H.R. 5852.
        The Chairman: Does the gentleman from Alabama care to be heard 
    on the point of order?
        Mr. Hobbs: I certainly do, Mr. Chairman.
        The Chairman: The Chair will hear the gentleman.
        Mr. Hobbs: Mr. Chairman, the amended title of this bill is ``A 
    bill to protect the United States against un-American and 
    subversive activities.'' That is the declared purpose of the bill. 
    In the subcommittee's report on the legislation we have been 
    considering it is stated:

            The subcommittee recommends the immediate consideration by 
        the Judiciary Committee of the House of proposals which would 
        require all aliens to register annually with the Department of 
        Justice, allow the Department of Justice to hold deportable 
        aliens in custody until arrangements for their deportation can 
        be concluded, and provide for strict reciprocity in the 
        granting of visas and in the treatment of aliens from 
        Communist-dominated countries.

        I submit, Mr. Chairman, in all earnestness and candor, that 
    when you are dealing with a problem that goes to un-American and 
    subversive activities you cannot find any activity that is more 
    important to prevent the poisoning of the body politic of this 
    Nation than the one to which my amendment addresses itself. It has 
    already been considered by the Judiciary Committee of the House, it 
    has already been granted a rule by the Rules Committee, and it has 
    already passed this House. In substance it is identical with H.R. 
    5643 of the Seventy-sixth Congress, that did pass this House. It is 
    no fault of ours that it is not the law of the land today. . . .
        The Chairman: The Chair is ready to rule.
        The Chair would remind the gentleman from Alabama, of course, 
    that his function is not to pass upon the merits of an amendment 
    nor to pass upon the merits of the bill which the gentleman says 
    has already passed the House. The Chair may personally find himself 
    in complete agreement with the objective sought by the legislation 
    which the gentleman from Alabama espouses, but the legislation to 
    which he refers, as the Chair understands, has to do with the 
    immigration and naturalization laws of the United States. This bill 
    pending before the Committee of the Whole does not approach that 
    subject. Its title is ``Subversive Activities Control Bill, 1948.'' 
    It comes from the Committee on Un-American Activities. That 
    committee has no jurisdiction over legislation having to do with 
    immigration and naturalization laws. Therefore, the Chair holds 
    that the amendment is not germane.
        Mr. Hobbs: Mr. Chairman, may I call the attention of the Chair 
    to the

[[Page 3300]]

    fact that it deals with the question of the issuance of passports 
    and prohibits such issuance.
        The Chairman: The proposal of the gentleman goes far beyond 
    that. The point of order is sustained.

Consistency of Proposal With Existing Law

Sec. 7.5 It is not within the province of the Chairman to interpret the 
    consistency of a provision in a legislative bill with the 
    provisions of existing law.

    On June 7, 1973,(13) during consideration of H.R. 7645, 
to authorize appropriations for the Department of State, Chairman 
Robert C. Eckhardt, of Texas, ruled on the scope of the Chair's 
authority to interpret a proposed bill.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
13. 119 Cong. Rec. 18502, 18503, 93d Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [H. R.] Gross [of Iowa]: Mr. Chairman, I make a point of 
    order.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Gross: Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against the 
    language to be found on page 2, paragraph 2, lines 16 and 17, as 
    being in violation of the law and therefore not authorized.
        Mr. Chairman, section 286(c), title 22, United States Code, 
    which is derived from section 5 of the Bretton Woods Agreement Act, 
    provides as follows:

            Unless Congress by law authorizes such action neither the 
        President nor any person or agency shall on behalf of the 
        United States propose or agree to any change in the par value 
        of the United States dollar.

        Mr. Chairman, I repeat ``propose or agree to any change.'' Mr. 
    Chairman, reading from the report accompanying this bill on page 6:

            Paragraph (2) authorizes an appropriation not to exceed 
        $12,307,000 to offset increased costs abroad resulting from the 
        dollar devaluation . . .
            Mr. Chairman, I ask that my point of order be sustained on 
        the ground that the purpose of this specific authorization is 
        the result of a change in the par value of the dollar which has 
        not been validated.

        The Chairman: Does the gentleman from Ohio wish to be heard on 
    the point of order?
        Mr. [Wayne L.] Hays [of Ohio]: I do.
        Mr. Chairman, I recall a previous ruling in which the Chair at 
    one time ruled that the question of the constitutionality did not 
    have any bearing on the point of order if the language were 
    properly included in the bill and were not on an amendment subject 
    to a point of order.
        This is an amount of money put in at the request of the State 
    Department. It has nothing to do with any possible action by the 
    Banking and Currency Committee one way or the other.
        Whether we like it or not, whether there has been any 
    congressional action or not, in order to carry on the normal 
    operations at the present time, it is going to require $12 million 
    more to purchase the foreign currency necessary than it would have.
        This is not a devaluation by an act of Congress. This is a 
    pragmatic recogni

[[Page 3301]]

    tion of the loss of value of the dollar. And when the State 
    Department buys foreign currency with which to pay its bills, it 
    has to pay this much additional. By the time this becomes enacted 
    into law, if the present policies continue, it may cost a great 
    deal more than this.
        So, it has nothing to do with any action of Congress or any 
    law.
        Mr. Gross: Mr. Chairman, may I be heard further, briefly.
        I point out to the Chair that no legislation has been approved 
    by Congress and signed by the President changing the par value of 
    the dollar.
        Mr. Hays: Mr. Chairman, may I be heard further?
        The action of the Congress and the President has nothing to do 
    with the purchase of foreign currency. When we go to buy it, we do 
    not set the rate of exchange. The President of the United States 
    and the Secretary of the Treasury have allowed the dollar to float, 
    and it did not float; it sunk.
        Therefore, this is a pragmatic situation. We have to pay what 
    the market price is. Under a float, there is no fixed currency 
    exchange rate. This has nothing to do in any way with any action of 
    Congress.
        The Chairman: The Chair is ready to rule.
        The bill provides an authorization for an appropriation for 
    expenses of the Department of State overseas. The expenditures are 
    merely referred to as resulting from the devaluation of the dollar 
    and do not bring about that devaluation. The language in the bill 
    simply authorizes expenses of the Department of State, and is in 
    order in bill of this type.
        All the Chair can do is interpret the rules of the House. There 
    is no rule of the House called in controversy here.
        The Chair overrules the point of order.

Hypothetical Questions

Sec. 7.6 The Chairman does not rule on hypothetical questions.

    On Mar. 19, 1952,(14) after Chairman Wilbur D. Mills, of 
Arkansas, sustained a point of order raised by Mr. Clarence Cannon, of 
Missouri, to an amendment offered by Mr. Thomas A. Pickett, of Texas, 
Mr. John Phillips, of California, propounded a parliamentary inquiry as 
to whether the amendment would have been in order if the factual 
situation had been slightly different. The Chair refused to pass 
judgment on the hypothetical case. The proceedings were as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
14. 98 Cong. Rec. 2543, 82d Cong. 2d Sess. Under consideration was H.R. 
        7072, an independent executive offices appropriation bill for 
        fiscal 1953.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. Pickett: Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Amendment offered by Mr. Pickett: On page 3, after line 14, 
        insert a new heading and the following language: 

                               ``disaster relief

            ``The unobligated balances at the end of June 30, 1952, of 
        appropria

[[Page 3302]]

        tions heretofore made for Disaster Relief under the act of 
        September 30, 1950 (Public Law 875); the Independent Offices 
        Appropriation Act of 1952; act of July 18, 1951 (Public Law 
        80); and the act of October 24, 1951 (Public Law 202), shall, 
        to the extent that they exceed in the aggregate $5,000,000, not 
        be available for obligation after June 30, 1952, and shall be 
        recovered to the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.''

        Mr. Cannon: Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order, first, 
    that the amendment is not germane to the bill. It has no relation 
    to any item in the bill.
        Second, it is legislation on an appropriation bill.
        On both counts, or on either count, it is subject to a point of 
    order.
        The Chairman: Does the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Pickett] 
    desire to be heard on the point of order?
        Mr. Pickett: Mr. Chairman, it occurs to me that this is a 
    limitation of an appropriation. Its effect certainly is to recover 
    into the Treasury moneys which are just floating around, and 
    apparently serving no purpose at this time. It never occurred to 
    me, of course notwithstanding whatever the rule might be, that we 
    would avoid trying to save money here just by raising points of 
    order. It seems to me that we might save a little money by even 
    legislating some time. I hope the point of order will be overruled.
        The Chairman: The Chair is ready to rule. The gentleman from 
    Texas [Mr. Pickett] has offered an amendment. The gentleman from 
    Missouri [Mr. Cannon] makes a point of order against the amendment 
    on the ground it is not germane to the bill before the Committee 
    and that it is legislation on an appropriation bill. The Chair has 
    had an opportunity to read the amendment proposed by the gentleman 
    from Texas. The amendment does not, as the Chair understands, apply 
    to funds contained in the pending bill H.R. 7072, but has reference 
    to funds which have been made available by the Congress in other 
    legislation. Therefore, the amendment is not germane and is clearly 
    legislation on an appropriation bill. The Chair is constrained to 
    sustain the point of order.
        Mr. Phillips: Mr. Chairman, a parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Phillips: Mr. Chairman, would it have been in order if the 
    gentleman from Texas made it a transfer of the funds to the Housing 
    and Finance Agency, which comes on about page 53, and which already 
    has a fund for distress purposes, and merely transfer this money to 
    that fund? It would, therefore, be a limitation upon it.
        The Chairman: I am sure the gentleman from California will 
    agree with the Chair when the Chair calls the gentleman's attention 
    to the fact that the present occupant of the Chair has enough 
    trouble without having to pass judgment on a hypothetical case.
        Mr. Pickett: Mr. Chairman, if I might be heard further, I might 
    say that if there is any possibility that the amendment is germane, 
    it will be offered at that point.

Sec. 7.7 The Chairman does not respond to hypothetical questions even 
    though raised under the guise of a parliamentary inquiry.

[[Page 3303]]

    On Mar. 26, 1965,(15) during consideration of H.R. 2362, 
the elementary and secondary education bill of 1965, Chairman Richard 
Bolling, of Missouri, declined to respond to a hypothetical question 
which had been raised as a parliamentary inquiry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
15.  111 Cong. Rec. 6114, 89th Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Albert H.] Quie [of Minnesota]: Mr. Chairman, a 
    parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Quie: Mr. Chairman, if I had risen to move to strike out 
    the last word, rather than offering an amendment which would be 
    voted on, then would the extra 5 minutes have been I divided 
    equally?
        The Chairman: The Chair is not in position to answer that kind 
    of question.
        Mr. Quie: It may happen in the future as we go along with the 
    debate.
        The Chairman: The Chair will meet the situation as it arises.

Sec. 7.8 The Chairman will not entertain as a parliamentary inquiry a 
    hypothetical question regarding the effect which the defeat of a 
    pending amendment would have on the propriety of another amendment 
    which has not been offered.

    On Nov. 30, 1971,(16) during consideration of H.R. 
11060, the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, Chairman Richard 
Bolling, of Missouri, refused to give a specific answer to a question 
as to whether an amendment--not yet before the House--might be 
entertained after the defeat of the pending amendment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
16. 117 Cong. Rec. 43377, 92d Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Frank E.] Evans of Colorado: Mr. Chairman, I have asked 
    the gentleman from Illinois to yield to me for the purpose of 
    posing a parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state his parliamentary 
    inquiry.
        Mr. Evans of Colorado: In the event the amendment offered by 
    the distinguished gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Hays) is defeated, will 
    we then be in a position to entertain an amendment as described by 
    the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Anderson)?
        The Chairman: The Chair will reply to the gentleman from 
    Colorado that the Chair cannot anticipate events precisely. If the 
    amendment offered by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Hays) to this 
    particular section is voted down, then another germane amendment to 
    the particular area could be offered.

Anticipating House Action

Sec. 7.9 The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole does not predict 
    what action may take place in the House after the Committee rises.

    On Mar. 24, 1949,(1) during consideration of H.R. 2681, 
to provide
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. 95 Cong. Rec. 3110-15, 81st Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 3304]]

pensions for veterans of World World Wars I and II based on nonservice-
connected disability and attained age, Chairman Albert A. Gore, of 
Tennessee, made reference to the power of the Chairman to anticipate 
House action following a rise of the Committee.

        Mr. [Olin E.] Teague [of Texas]: Mr. Chairman, I offer a 
    preferential motion.
        The Clerk read as follows:

            Mr. Teague moves that the Committee do now rise and report 
        the bill back to the House with the recommendation that the 
        enacting clause be stricken out.

        Mr. Teague: Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this motion is not to 
    kill the bill. The purpose of this motion is to bring it back 
    before the House, at which time I will make a motion to recommit it 
    to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs for further study. I think it 
    is obvious from what has happened in the last 2 days that the bill 
    deserves further study. . . .
        Mr. [George A.] Smathers [of Florida]: Mr. Chairman, is this 
    not the parliamentary situation that if the motion is agreed to on 
    this teller vote, then the Committee rises and a motion will be 
    offered in the House to recommit the bill at which time there will 
    be a yea-and-nay vote, the first recorded vote?
        The Chairman: As Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, the 
    Chairman cannot construe what action may take place in the House. 
    The Chairman can only report the action of the Committee of the 
    Whole to the House when and if the Committee should rise.

Sec. 7.10 The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole does not rule on 
    procedural questions that may be directed to the Speaker when a 
    bill is reported back to the House.

    On Oct. 8, 1969,(2) during consideration of amendments 
to H.R. 14159, the public works appropriation measure for fiscal year 
1970, Chairman Wayne N. Aspinall, of Colorado, declined to rule on 
whether an amendment to the bill would be permissible in the House.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2. 115 Cong. Rec. 29219, 29220, 91st Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        The Chairman: . . . For what purpose does the gentleman from 
    Michigan (Mr. O'Hara) rise?
        Mr. [James G.] O'Hara: Mr. Chairman, a parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. O'Hara: Would it be possible to offer an amendment to the 
    language on page 14, lines 15 through 17, in the House after the 
    Committee rises?
        The Chairman: That request would have to be taken care of at 
    the time a motion ordering the previous question is made.
        Mr. O'Hara: But if the previous question were not ordered, the 
    amendment would then be in order?
        The Chairman: That question would be determined by the Speaker 
    of the House.

[[Page 3305]]

Sec. 7.11 The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole does not 
    anticipate or suggest what parliamentary decisions may be rendered 
    in the House by the Speaker.

    On May 18, 1966,(3) during consideration of H.R. 14544, 
the Participation Sales Act of 1966, Chairman Eugene J. Keogh, of New 
York, refused to anticipate decisions that the Speaker might render.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3. 112 Cong. Rec. 10895, 89th Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Charles R.] Jonas [of North Carolina]: Mr. Chairman, a 
    parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state his parliamentary 
    inquiry.
        Mr. Jonas: In case the bill agreed on in the conference should 
    delete this amending language, and the bill which came back to the 
    House contained the objectionable language, against which the point 
    of order was lodged, could a point of order be made against the 
    conference report to strike that language?
        The Chairman: The present occupant of the chair would not 
    assume to undertake to suggest what would be done by the Speaker in 
    that event.
        Mr. Jonas: That would be a matter for the Speaker to decide.
        The Chairman: The gentleman is correct.

Rescinding Time Limitation

Sec. 7.12 Whether the House can rescind a time limitation imposed by 
    the Committee of the Whole is a matter for the Speaker, and not the 
    Chairman, to determine.

    On Dec. 14, 1973,(4) during consideration of H.R. 11450, 
the Emergency Energy Act, Chairman Richard Bolling, of Missouri, 
declined to answer an inquiry regarding an extension of time for 
consideration of the bill on the ground that such an inquiry should be 
addressed to the Speaker.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4. 119 Cong. Rec. 41731, 93d Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [John H.] Buchanan [Jr., of Alabama]: Mr. Chairman, a 
    parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state his parliamentary 
    inquiry.
        Mr. Buchanan: Mr. Chairman, should a motion be offered that the 
    Committee do now rise, and that motion would be accepted by the 
    Committee, would it be possible then in the House for time to be 
    extended or for the earlier motion limiting time to be rescinded?
        The Chairman: The Chair will state to the gentleman from 
    Alabama that the gentleman is asking the Chairman of the Committee 
    of the Whole to rule on a matter that would come before the Speaker 
    of the House of Representatives.
        Mr. Buchanan: The Chairman cannot answer that according to the 
    rules of the House?
        The Chairman: The Chair will state that the Chair is not in a 
    position to answer for the Speaker.

[[Page 3306]]

Vote Required in House

Sec. 7.13 The question of the vote required to adopt a resolution in 
    the House is not properly addressed to the Chairman of the 
    Committee of the Whole as a parliamentary inquiry but should be 
    addressed to the Speaker in the House.

    On June 13, 1946,(5) during consideration of H.R. 6777, 
the government corporations appropriation bill, 1947, Chairman William 
M. Whittington, of Mississippi, declined to rule whether a two-thirds 
vote would be required in the House to adopt a special rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 5. 92 Cong. Rec. 6877, 6878, 79th Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Francis H.] Case of South Dakota: Mr. Chairman, a 
    parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Case of South Dakota: Would it be possible to get a rule 
    making in order a paragraph which had previously been stricken from 
    the bill on a point of order, unless that rule was adopted by a 
    two-thirds vote?
        The Chairman: The Chair may say to the gentleman that that 
    inquiry is not one that can be answered in the Committee of the 
    Whole. It is a matter that would have to be determined by the 
    Speaker of the House.

Time To Resume Unfinished Business

Sec. 7.14 The question as to when the Committee of the Whole will 
    continue the consideration of a pending bill after rising for the 
    day is for the Speaker and the House to decide and not the Chairman 
    of the Committee of the Whole.

    On Apr. 26, 1948,(6) during consideration of H.R. 2245, 
to repeal the tax on oleomargarine, Chairman Leslie C. Arends, of 
Illinois, declined to rule on when the Committee would continue 
consideration of the bill after rising for the day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 6. 94 Cong. Rec. 4873, 80th Cong. 2d Sess.
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        Mr. August H. Andresen [of Minnesota]: Mr. Chairman, a 
    parliamentary inquiry.

        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. August H. Andresen: Mr. Chairman, I understand that the 
    Committee will rise at 4 o'clock. It is also my understanding of 
    the rules that this Committee should meet tomorrow in order to have 
    continuous consideration of the pending legislation.
        I would like to have a ruling of the Chair as to whether or not 
    the rules provide that a day may intervene so that this legislation 
    may be taken up on Wednesday.
        The Chairman: The Chair may say that is a matter for the 
    Speaker of the

[[Page 3307]]

    House and the House itself to determine. It is not something within 
    the jurisdiction of the Chair to decide.

Sec. 7.15 A parliamentary inquiry as to whether a bill under 
    consideration on Calendar Wednesday would be the unfinished 
    business of the Committee of the Whole on the next day if the House 
    adjourns is not a question for the Chairman to decide.

    On Feb. 22, 1950, Calendar Wednesday,(7) during 
consideration of H.R. 4453, the Federal Fair Employment Practice Act, 
Chairman Francis E. Walter, of Pennsylvania, declined to answer a 
parliamentary inquiry as to whether the bill would be the unfinished 
business of the Committee of the Whole on the next day if the House 
adjourned.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7. 96 Cong. Rec. 2161, 2162, 81st Cong. 2d Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        The Speaker:(8) The House automatically resolves 
    itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the 
    Union. The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Walter] will take the 
    chair.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 8. Sam Rayburn (Tex.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Accordingly the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
    Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the 
    bill (H.R. 4453) to prohibit discrimination in employment because 
    of race, color, religion, or national origin, with Mr. Walter in 
    the chair.
        The Clerk read the title of the bill.
        Mr. [James G.] Fulton [of Pennsylvania]: Mr. Chairman, a 
    parliamentary inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Fulton: If the House were now to adjourn would the first 
    order of business tomorrow be the consideration of this bill by the 
    Committee of the Whole?
        The Chairman: The parliamentary inquiry is directed to a state 
    of facts that does not exist. The House has resolved itself into 
    the Committee of the Whole, and the Committee of the Whole cannot 
    adjourn.
        The Clerk will read the bill.

Sufficiency or Legal Effect of Committee Report

Sec. 7.16 The Chair does not pass on the legal effect of funding 
    limitations included in a committee report on an appropriation bill 
    but not written into the wording of the bill; that matter is 
    decided by the Committee of the Whole in considering the bill for 
    amendment.

    On Apr. 14, 1955,(9) during consideration of H.R. 5502, 
the Departments of State, Justice, Judiciary, and related agencies 
appropriations bill of 1956, Chairman Jere Cooper, of Tennessee, de
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9. 101 Cong. Rec. 4463, 4464, 84th Cong. 1st Sess.
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[[Page 3308]]

clined to respond to a parliamentary inquiry as to whether limitations 
appearing in a committee report but not in the bill are binding.

        Mr. [Robert C.] Wilson of California: I have a question 
    relative to the United States Information Agency as it affects the 
    report of the committee. As printed I notice there are several 
    limitations written into the report. For instance, not to exceed 
    $300,000 is provided for the ``presentation'' program; not to 
    exceed $200,000 is provided for exhibits for which $334,000 was 
    requested, and other limitations of that type.
        I am wondering if the fact that these limitations appear in the 
    report make them actual limitations in law. I notice they are not 
    mentioned in the bill itself, and I wonder if the committee regards 
    them as binding on the agency, because there are many serious 
    limitations, particularly in regard to exhibits, for example. I 
    would just like to hear the opinion of the chairman.
        Mr. [John J.] Rooney [of New York]: I may say to the gentleman 
    from California that it is expected that they will be the law; and 
    that they are binding. The fact that they have not been inserted in 
    the bill is not important. They represent the considered judgment 
    of the committee and we expect the language of the report to be 
    followed.
        Mr. Wilson of California: Mr. Chairman, a parliamentary 
    inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Wilson of California: Are limitations written in a 
    committee report such as this, but not written into the wording of 
    the legislation, binding?
        The Chairman: That is not a parliamentary inquiry. That is a 
    matter to be settled by the members of the Committee of the Whole.

Sec. 7.17 The Chair does not rule on the sufficiency or legal effect of 
    committee reports.

    On Apr. 14, 1955,(10) during consideration of H.R. 5502, 
the Departments of State, Justice, Judiciary, and related agencies 
appropriations bill of 1956, Chairman Jere Cooper, of Tennessee, stated 
that the Chair would not pass on the sufficiency of the committee 
report on the bill.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
10. 101 Cong. Rec. 4463, 4464, 84th Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [Robert C.] Wilson of California: I have a question 
    relative to the United States Information Agency as it affects the 
    report of the committee. As printed I notice there are several 
    limitations written into the report. For instance, not to exceed 
    $300,000 is provided for the ``presentation'' program; not to 
    exceed $200,000 is provided for exhibits for which $334,000 was 
    requested, and other limitations of that type.
        I am wondering if the fact that these limitations appear in the 
    report make them actual limitations in law. I notice they are not 
    mentioned in the bill itself, and I wonder if the committee regards 
    them as binding on the agency, because there are many serious 
    limitations, particularly in regard to exhib

[[Page 3309]]

    its, for example. I would just like to hear the opinion of the 
    Chairman. . . .

        Mr. Wilson of California: Mr. Chairman, a parliamentary 
    inquiry.
        The Chairman: The gentleman will state it. . . .
        Mr. Wilson of California: I merely wanted [to ask about a 
    report] for my own understanding and information, for I am fairly 
    new here. It seems to me rather unusual to consider matter written 
    into a report of the same binding effect on an administrator as 
    though written into the law itself.
        The Chairman: It is not the prerogative of the Chair to pass 
    upon the sufficiency or insufficiency of a committee report.
        Mr. Wilson of California: I am not really asking whether the 
    report itself is sufficient or insufficient; I am asking whether 
    the legislation we are voting on here is sufficient or 
    insufficient.
        The committee report on the appropriation bill now before the 
    House includes recommendations on maximum amounts to be available 
    to the USIA for certain specified functions. The recommendations 
    appear to be intended as limitations. No comparable limitations are 
    contained in the bill appropriating funds to USIA. . . .
        Legislation can be enacted only by the joint action of the 
    House and Senate and the President. Legislation cannot be 
    unilaterally enacted by a committee of the Congress. Naturally the 
    committee recommendations are to be given due weight by the 
    executive agencies in the administration of the programs concerned. 
    These recommendations are the result of the arduous labors of 
    conscientious legislators. They are not to be lightly ignored or 
    disregarded by the executive arm of the Government. They are not, 
    however, legislative mandates having the force of law.
        I am firmly of the above view and understand that my view is 
    shared by the General Counsel of the General Accounting Office.
        The Chairman: The gentleman might address that inquiry to the 
    chairman of the subcommittee.
        Mr. [John J.] Rooney [of New York]: Mr. Chairman, will the 
    gentleman yield?
        Mr. [Frederic R.] Coudert [Jr., of New York]: I yield.
        Mr. Rooney: Let me say once again that the language in the 
    report with regard to these limitations is a matter of custom which 
    has been followed over many years, and it is expected that the USIA 
    and the departments involved in this bill will strictly follow the 
    language of the report unless the will of the House demonstrates 
    otherwise by adopting amendments to the bill.

Sitting in Executive Session

Sec. 7.18 The House and not the Committee of the Whole decides whether 
    the Committee may sit in executive session; a parliamentary inquiry 
    of this sort should be addressed to the Speaker and not the 
    Chairman of the Committee of the Whole.

    On May 9, 1950,(11) during consideration of H.R. 7786, 
the gen
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
11. 96 Cong. Rec. 6746, 81st Cong. 2d Sess.
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[[Page 3310]]

eral appropriations bill of 1951, Chairman Mike Mansfield, of Montana, 
stated that the House, not the Committee of the Whole, determines 
whether the Committee may sit in executive session, and he declined to 
respond to a parliamentary inquiry regarding that matter on the ground 
that such an inquiry should be addressed to the Speaker.

        Mr. [Errett P.] Scrivner [of Kansas]: Mr. Chairman, I move to 
    strike out the last word.
        Mr. Chairman, I would submit a parliamentary inquiry as to 
    whether or not an executive session could be held and, if so, what 
    procedure would be necessary to bring that to pass before we are 
    asked to vote upon the $350,000,000 additional.
        The Chairman: The Chair will state to the gentleman from Kansas 
    that the Committee of the Whole would have no control over that. 
    That would be a matter for the House itself to decide.
        Mr. Scrivner: I understand that, of course, and raised the 
    question for information of the Members. Since it is a matter for 
    the House to determine, as a further parliamentary inquiry, what 
    would be the method followed to take that action?
        The Chairman: The Chair will say to the gentleman from Kansas 
    that a parliamentary inquiry of that sort should be addressed to 
    the Speaker rather than the Chairman.

Interpretation of Senate Procedure

Sec. 7.19 The Chair does not interpret the rules or procedures of the 
    Senate.

    On June 6, 1961,(12) during consideration of H.R. 7444, 
making appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for fiscal year 
1962, the Chairman declined to interpret Senate rules or procedure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
12. 107 Cong. Rec. 9626, 87th Cong. 1st Sess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. [William H.] Avery [of Kansas]: Mr. Chairman, may I submit 
    another parliamentary inquiry?
        The Chairman:(13) The gentleman will state it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
13. Paul J. Kilday (Tex.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Mr. Avery: Mr. Chairman, the language of the amendment now 
    pending at the desk is the identical language that came into 
    conference from the other body following action of the House, and 
    my amendment in 1959 became incorporated, I believe, in the 
    conference report. Does that in any way change the legislative 
    history of the amendment?
        The Chairman: The Chair may advise the gentleman that nothing 
    is pending before the Chair, but by way of observation, the 
    language the gentleman speaks of was apparently added by the other 
    body. The present occupant of the Chair would not attempt to state 
    or to interpret the rules or procedure of the other body.
        Mr. Avery: I thank the Chairman.