[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 115th Congress]
[House Document 114-192]
[Rules of the House of Representatives]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing 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.
(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 clause only to
the extent that they will contribute to the achievement of the
objectives of this clause.
(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 the Speaker 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
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, Space, 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. A
gender-based reference was eliminated in the 111th Congress (sec. 2(l),
H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. 7). 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 referred. In the 104th Congress paragraph (c) was
again amended to require the Speaker to initially designate a committee
of primary jurisdiction
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, Nov. 26, 1991, p. 35840, extended by unanimous consent on Jan. 22,
1992, p. 149, and Jan. 28, 1992, p. 745; H. Res. 619, Dec. 16, 2005, p.
29054, amended by H. Res. 640, Dec. 18, 2005, p. 30378; H. Res. 877,
Dec. 18, 2007, p. 35825).
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 referral 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 referral 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 within a
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. 564).
Pursuant to clause 2 of rule XIV (formerly clause 2 of rule XXIV),
relating to messages from the Senate, the Speaker 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. The Speaker 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). In modern practice, the Speaker does not refer
Commerce to the Committee on the Judiciary for a specified time for
consideration 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
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 the 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); (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 if 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,
ture), relating only to Corps of Engineers' water projects as introduced
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 Infrastruc
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
Pursuant to the authority under paragraph (c)(4), the Speaker may
refer a bill to a special ad hoc committee appointed by the Speaker 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), 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.
Sec. 816c. As to division of bills for
The parliamentary law provides that the House may commit a portion of a bill,
or a part thereof to one committee and another part thereof 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 even if it
contained 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).
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. 19). 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).
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). A gender-based reference was
eliminated in the 111th Congress (sec. 2(l), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p.
7). 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, the
Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall sign it, 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 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. 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 another State (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,
4557). The House in the 114th and 115th Congresses required that
petitions from state legislatures purporting to call for constitutional
conventions or to rescind such calls be made publicly available (sec.
3(c), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2015, p. l; sec. 3(d), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2017,
(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 the 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 resolving
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 where 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
(b)(1) The 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 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 reports it to the House or
is discharged from its consideration.
(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 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 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 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
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, and in the 112th Congress
paragraph (b) 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; sec.
2(f), H. Res. 5, Jan. 5, 2011, p. 80). 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).
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. 20566). In the 109th through 111th Congresses the House adopted
the same initial order but for the entire Congress (sec. 3(c), H. Res.
5, Jan. 4, 2005, p. 44; sec. 217, H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 2007, p. 19; sec.
3(d), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. 9) and the House in the 112th through
115th Congresses expanded it to reserve the second 10 bill numbers for
assignment by the Minority Leader (sec. 3(m), H. Res. 5, Jan. 5, 2011,
p. 80; sec. 3(h), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2013, p. _; sec. 3(l), H. Res. 5,
Jan. 6, 2015, p. _; sec. 3(k), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2017, 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,
1999, p. 47). In the 107th and 108th Congresses the House adopted the
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 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 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).
9, 1982). In the 106th Congress, paragraph (b)(2) codified that such
requests could be made by either the sponsor or the cosponsor (H. Res.
5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). Unanimous-consent requests to delete Members'
names as cosponsors are not entertained after the last committee of
referral 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; June 17, 2013, p. _). A Member may request unanimous
consent to be deleted as a cosponsor of an unreported bill during its
consideration under suspension of the rules and before a final vote
thereon is taken (June 9, 1986, pp. 12976, 12979; July 14, 2015, p. _).
Although paragraph (b)(2), before the 106th Congress, permitted only a
cosponsoring Member to request unanimous consent to be deleted as a
cosponsor, the sponsor of a measure was permitted to request unanimous
consent to remove a cosponsor inadvertently or erroneously listed (Feb.
By unanimous consent a Member may be added as a cosponsor of an
unreported bill if the sponsor is no longer a Member of the House (Aug.
4, 1983, p. 23188; Oct. 3, 2008, p. 24009), and a designated Member may
be authorized to sign and submit lists of additional cosponsors if the
actual 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.
18827), but the Chair will not otherwise entertain a unanimous-consent
request to add cosponsors (Mar. 5, 1991, p. 5026; 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 the 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. 24413).
The Chair does not entertain a unanimous-consent request to add a co-
offeror of an amendment (May 20, 2004, p. 10631; Sept. 14, 2004, p.
18429; Apr. 29, 2015, p. _) or to change the offeror of a pending
amendment (Apr. 29, 2015, p. _; July 11, 2016, 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 sponsor (sec. 223(g), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 469);
and the Speaker stated that all signatures of such ``primary'' sponsors
would be required on the bills (Speaker Gingrich, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 551).
A Member was subsequently added as such 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.
Sec. 825a. Fraudulent introduction of a
The fraudulent introduction of a measure involves a question of privilege, and
a measure so introduced has been 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 sponsor
thereof in order to be accepted for introduction (Speaker Albert, Feb.
3, 1972, p. 2521).
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
(2) Before consideration of a Senate bill or joint resolution, the
chair of a committee of jurisdiction may submit the statement required
under subparagraph (1) as though the chair were the sponsor of the
Senate bill or joint resolution.
Paragraph (c) was added in the 112th Congress (sec. 2(a)(1), H. Res.
5, Jan. 5, 2011, p. 80). A point of order under this paragraph is not
timely when the relevant measure is not pending (May 16, 2013, p. _).
Sec. 826a. Constitutional authority statement upon
(c)(1) A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless
the sponsor submits for printing in the Congressional Record a statement
citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to
Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution. The
statement shall appear in a portion of the Record designated for that
purpose and be made publicly available in electronic form by the Clerk.
Sec. 826b. United States Code citations.
The House in the
113th through 115th Congresses required, to the extent practicable, an
applicable United States Code citation in the case of an amendatory
instruction in a bill or joint resolution proposing to repeal or amend a
law not codified (sec. 3(i), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2013, p. _; sec. 3(m),
H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2015, p. _; sec. 3(l), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2017, p.
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 31 U.S.C. 1105 they are now included in the budget
submitted 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.