About House Practice

The House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House is a reference source for information on the rules and selected precedents governing the House procedure. This one volume publication was prepared by William Holmes Brown, House Parliamentarian from 1974 to 1994, and was published at the end of the 104th Congress after the Office of the House Parliamentarian made modifications. This reference source was designed to replace the Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives. Periodic preparation by the House parliamentarian of condensed and amplified versions of House precedents is required by Public Law 91-510.


The House Practice is organized into chapters covering fifty-nine subjects of House procedures. These chapters are listed alphabetically. Each chapter opens with an outline of the chapter’s main topics and their House Practice section numbers. Documents are available in ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).


The latest edition reflects the modern practice of the House as of the 108th Congress by integrating the long-established norms of House procedure with the innovations made possible by technological advances and by reforms and disciplines introduced by laws such as the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 and the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, by resolutions such as the Committee Reform Amendments of 1974, and by changes in the House rules adopted at the beginning of recent Congresses, including a recodification of all the standing rules of the House in 1999.


The House Practice is a summary review of selected precedents and not an exhaustive survey of all applicable rulings. The House Rules and Manual and the published volumes of House precedents remain the primary sources for in-depth analysis and authoritative citations. As required by law, the House Practice is a concordance or quick reference guide to those works.


House Practice


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