[House Document 108-93]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



                                     
108th Congress                                                 Document
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     108-93

======================================================================

 
                         HOW OUR LAWS ARE MADE

                          Revised and Updated

                By Charles W. Johnson, Parliamentarian,

                     U.S. House of Representatives




                          Presented by Mr. Ney

                 June 20, 2003.--Ordered to be printed

____________________________________________________________________________
For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Internet: bookstore.gpr.gov  Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; (202) 512�091800  
Fax: (202) 512�092250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402�090001


    H. Con. Res. 139                        Agreed to June 20, 2003

                      One Hundred Eighth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America

                          AT THE FIRST SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the seventh day of 
                    January, two thousand and three

                         Concurrent Resolution

    Resolved by the House of Representative (the Senate 
concurring),

SECTION 1. HOW OUR LAWS ARE MADE.

    (a) In General.--An edition of the brochure entitled ``How 
Our Laws Are Made'', as revised under the direction of the 
Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives in consultation 
with the Parliamentarian of the Senate, shall be printed as a 
House document under the direction of the Joint Committee on 
Printing.
    (b) Additional Copies.--In addition to the usual number, 
there shall be printed the lesser of--
          (1) 550,000 copies of the document, of which 440,000 
        copies shall be for the use of the House of 
        Representatives, 100,000 copies shall be for the use of 
        the Senate, and 10,000 copies shall be for the use of 
        the Joint Committee on Printing; or
          (2) such number of copies of the document as does not 
        exceed a total production and printing cost of 
        $220,794, with distribution to be allocated in the same 
        proportion as described in paragraph (1), except that 
        in no case shall the number of copies be less than 1 
        per Member of Congress.

Attest:
                                             Jeff Trandahl,
                             Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Attest:
                                          Emily J. Reynolds
                                           Secretary of the Senate.
                           EARLIER PRINTINGS

                              ----------                              

                                                                  Number
        Document                                               of copies

1953, H. Doc. 210, 83d Cong. (H. Res. 251 by Mr. Reed)........    36,771

1953, H. Doc. 210, 83d Cong. (H. Res. 251 by Mr. Reed)........   122,732

1955, H. Doc. 210, 83d Cong. (H. Con. Res. 93 by Mr. Willis)..   167,728

1956, H. Doc. 451, 84th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 251 by Mr. Willis)    30,385

1956, S. Doc. 152, 84th Cong. (S. Res. 293 by Senator Kennedy)   182,358

1959, H. Doc. 156, 86th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 95 by Mr. 
    Lesinski).................................................   228,591

1961, H. Doc. 136, 87th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 81 by Mr. Willis).   211,797

1963, H. Doc. 103, 88th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 108 by Mr. Willis)    14,000

1965, H. Doc. 103, 88th Cong. (S. Res. 9 by Senator Mansfield)   196,414

1965, H. Doc. 164, 89th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 165 by Mr. Willis)   319,766

1967, H. Doc. 125, 90th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 221 by Mr. Willis)   324,821

1969, H. Doc. 127, 91st Cong. (H. Con. Res. 192 by Mr. Celler)   174,500

1971, H. Doc. 144, 92d Cong. (H. Con. Res. 206 by Mr. Celler).   292,000

1972, H. Doc. 323, 92d Cong. (H. Con. Res. 530 by Mr. Celler).   292,500

1974, H. Doc. 377, 93d Cong. (H. Con. Res. 201 by Mr. Rodino).   246,000

1976, H. Doc. 509, 94th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 540 by Mr. Rodino)   282,400

1978, H. Doc. 259, 95th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 190 by Mr. Rodino)   298,000

1980, H. Doc. 352, 96th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 95 by Mr. Rodino).   298,000

1981, H. Doc. 120, 97th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 106 by Mr. Rodino)   298,000

1985, H. Doc. 158, 99th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 203 by Mr. Rodino)   298,000

1989, H. Doc. 139, 101st Cong. (H. Con. Res. 193 by Mr. 
    Brooks)...................................................   323,000

1997, H. Doc. 14, 105th Cong. (S. Con. Res. 62 by Senator 
    Warner)...................................................   387,000

2000, H. Doc. 197, 106th Cong. (H. Con. Res. 221 by Mr. 
    Thomas)...................................................   550,000
                                FOREWORD

                              ----------                              


    First published in 1953 by the Committee on the Judiciary 
of the House of Representatives, this 23rd edition of ``How Our 
Laws Are Made'' reflects changes in congressional procedures 
since the 22nd edition, which was revised and updated in 2000. 
This fiftieth anniversary edition was prepared by the Office of 
the Parliamentarian of the U.S. House of Representatives in 
consultation with the Office of the Parliamentarian of the U.S. 
Senate.
    The framers of our Constitution created a strong federal 
government resting on the concept of ``separation of powers.''
    In Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution, the 
Legislative Branch is created by the following language: ``All 
legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress 
of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House 
of Representatives.'' Article I, Section 5, of the Constitution 
provides that: ``Each House may determine the Rules of its 
Proceedings, . . .''.
    Upon this elegant, yet simple, grant of legislative powers 
and rulemaking authority has grown an exceedingly complex and 
evolving legislative process--much of it unique to each House 
of Congress. To aid the public's understanding of the 
legislative process, we have revised this popular brochure. For 
more detailed information on how our laws are made and for the 
text of the laws themselves, the reader should refer to 
government internet sites or pertinent House and Senate 
publications available from the Superintendent of Documents, 
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

                                                Charles W. Johnson.


                    T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I.  Introduction....................................................1
 II.  The Congress....................................................1
III.  Sources of Legislation..........................................4
 IV.  Forms of Congressional Action...................................5
          Bills..................................................     6
          Joint Resolutions......................................     7
          Concurrent Resolutions.................................     7
          Simple Resolutions.....................................     8
  V.  Introduction and Referral to Committee..........................8
 VI.  Consideration by Committee.....................................11
          Committee Meetings.....................................    12
          Public Hearings........................................    13
          Markup.................................................    14
          Final Committee Action.................................    15
          Points of Order With Respect to Committee Hearing 
              Procedure..........................................    16
VII.  Reported Bills.................................................16
          Contents of Reports....................................    17
          Filing of Reports......................................    18
          Availability of Reports and Hearings...................    18
VIII. Legislative Oversight by Standing Committees...................19

 IX.  Calendars......................................................19
          Union Calendar.........................................    20
          House Calendar.........................................    20
          Private Calendar.......................................    20
          Corrections Calendar...................................    21
          Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees............    21
  X.  Obtaining Consideration of Measures............................21
          Unanimous Consent......................................    21
          Special Resolution or ``Rule''.........................    22
          Consideration of Measures Made in Order by Rule 
              Reported From the Committee on Rules...............    23
          Motion to Discharge Committee..........................    23
          Motion to Suspend the Rules............................    24
          Calendar Wednesday.....................................    25
          District of Columbia Business..........................    25
          Questions of Privilege.................................    26
          Privileged Matters.....................................    26
 XI.  Consideration and Debate.......................................27
          Committee of the Whole.................................    27
          Second Reading.........................................    28
          Amendments and the Germaneness Rule....................    29
          The Committee ``Rises''................................    29
          House Action...........................................    30
          Motion to Recommit.....................................    30
          Quorum Calls and Rollcalls.............................    31
          Voting.................................................    32
          Electronic Voting......................................    34
          Pairing of Members.....................................    34
          System of Lights and Bells.............................    34
          Recess Authority.......................................    35
          Live Coverage of Floor Proceedings.....................    35
XII.  Congressional Budget Process...................................36
XIII. Engrossment and Message to Senate..............................37

XIV.  Senate Action..................................................38
          Committee Consideration................................    38
          Chamber Procedure......................................    39
 XV.  Final Action on Amended Bill...................................42
          Request for a Conference...............................    42
          Authority of Conferees.................................    44
          Meetings and Action of Conferees.......................    45
          Conference Reports.....................................    46
          Custody of Papers......................................    49
XVI.  Bill Originating in Senate.....................................50
XVII. Enrollment.....................................................50

XVIII.Presidential Action............................................51
     
          Veto Message...........................................    52
          Line Item Veto.........................................    53
XIX.  Publication....................................................53
          Slip Laws..............................................    54
          Statutes at Large......................................    54
          United States Code.....................................    55
Appendix.........................................................    57


                         HOW OUR LAWS ARE MADE

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    This brochure is intended to provide a basic outline of the 
numerous steps of our federal lawmaking process from the source 
of an idea for a legislative proposal through its publication 
as a statute. The legislative process is a matter about which 
every person should be well informed in order to understand and 
appreciate the work of Congress.
    It is hoped that this guide will enable readers to gain a 
greater understanding of the federal legislative process and 
its role as one of the foundations of our representative 
system. One of the most practical safeguards of the American 
democratic way of life is this legislative process with its 
emphasis on the protection of the minority, allowing ample 
opportunity to all sides to be heard and make their views 
known. The fact that a proposal cannot become a law without 
consideration and approval by both Houses of Congress is an 
outstanding virtue of our bicameral legislative system. The 
open and full discussion provided under the Constitution often 
results in the notable improvement of a bill by amendment 
before it becomes law or in the eventual defeat of an 
inadvisable proposal.
    As the majority of laws originate in the House of 
Representatives, this discussion will focus principally on the 
procedure in that body.

                            II. THE CONGRESS

    Article I, Section 1, of the United States Constitution, 
provides that:

    All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a 
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate 
and House of Representatives.

    The Senate is composed of 100 Members--two from each state, 
regardless of population or area--elected by the people in 
accordance with the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The 
17th Amendment changed the former constitutional method under 
which Senators were chosen by the respective state 
legislatures. A Senator must be at least 30 years of age, have 
been a citizen of the United States for nine years, and, when 
elected, be a resident of the state for which the Senator is 
chosen. The term of office is six years and one-third of the 
total membership of the Senate is elected every second year. 
The terms of both Senators from a particular state are arranged 
so that they do not terminate at the same time. Of the two 
Senators from a state serving at the same time the one who was 
elected first--or if both were elected at the same time, the 
one elected for a full term--is referred to as the ``senior'' 
Senator from that state. The other is referred to as the 
``junior'' Senator. If a Senator dies or resigns during the 
term, the governor of the state must call a special election 
unless the state legislature has authorized the governor to 
appoint a successor until the next election, at which time a 
successor is elected for the balance of the term. Most of the 
state legislatures have granted their governors the power of 
appointment.
    Each Senator has one vote.
    As constituted in the 108th Congress, the House of 
Representatives is composed of 435 Members elected every two 
years from among the 50 states, apportioned to their total 
populations. The permanent number of 435 was established by 
federal law following the Thirteenth Decennial Census in 1910, 
in accordance with Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution. 
This number was increased temporarily to 437 for the 87th 
Congress to provide for one Representative each for Alaska and 
Hawaii. The Constitution limits the number of Representatives 
to not more than one for every 30,000 of population. Under a 
former apportionment in one state, a particular Representative 
represented more than 900,000 constituents, while another in 
the same state was elected from a district having a population 
of only 175,000. The Supreme Court has since held 
unconstitutional a Missouri statute permitting a maximum 
population variance of 3.1 percent from mathematical equality. 
The Court ruled in Kirkpatrick v. Preisler, 394 U.S. 526 
(1969), that the variances among the districts were not 
unavoidable and, therefore, were invalid. That decision was an 
interpretation of the Court's earlier ruling in Wesberry v. 
Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964), that the Constitution requires that 
``as nearly as is practicable one man's vote in a congressional 
election is to be worth as much as another's''.
    A law enacted in 1967 abolished all ``at-large'' elections 
except in those less populous states entitled to only one 
Representative. An ``at-large'' election is one in which a 
Representative is elected by the voters of the entire state 
rather than by the voters in a congressional district within 
the state.
    A Representative must be at least 25 years of age, have 
been a citizen of the United States for seven years, and, when 
elected, be a resident of the state in which the Representative 
is chosen. Unlike the Senate where a successor may be appointed 
by a governor when a vacancy occurs during a term, if a 
Representative dies or resigns during the term, the executive 
authority of the state must call a special election pursuant to 
state law for the choosing of a successor to serve for the 
unexpired portion of the term.
    Each Representative has one vote.
    In addition to the Representatives from each of the States, 
a Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
and Delegates from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, 
Guam, and the Virgin Islands are elected pursuant to federal 
law. The Resident Commissioner, elected for a four-year term, 
and the Delegates, elected for two-year terms, have most of the 
prerogatives of Representatives including the right to vote in 
committees to which they are elected. However, the Resident 
Commissioner and the Delegates do not have the right to vote on 
matters before the House.
    Under the provisions of Section 2 of the 20th Amendment to 
the Constitution, Congress must assemble at least once every 
year, at noon on the third day of January, unless by law they 
appoint a different day.
    A Congress lasts for two years, commencing in January of 
the year following the biennial election of Members. A Congress 
is divided into two sessions.
    The Constitution authorizes each House to determine the 
rules of its proceedings. Pursuant to that authority, the House 
of Representatives adopts its rules on the opening day of each 
Congress. The Senate considers itself a continuing body and 
operates under continuous standing rules that it amends from 
time to time.
    Unlike some other parliamentary bodies, both the Senate and 
the House of Representatives have equal legislative functions 
and powers with certain exceptions. For example, the 
Constitution provides that only the House of Representatives 
originate revenue bills. By tradition, the House also 
originates appropriation bills. As both bodies have equal 
legislative powers, the designation of one as the ``upper'' 
House and the other as the ``lower'' House is not appropriate.
    The chief function of Congress is the making of laws. In 
addition, the Senate has the function of advising and 
consenting to treaties and to certain nominations by the 
President. However under the 25th Amendment to the 
Constitution, both Houses confirm the President's nomination 
for Vice-President when there is a vacancy in that office. In 
the matter of impeachments, the House of Representatives 
presents the charges--a function similar to that of a grand 
jury--and the Senate sits as a court to try the impeachment. No 
impeached person may be removed without a two-thirds vote of 
the Senate. The Congress under the Constitution and by statute 
also plays a role in presidential elections. Both Houses meet 
in joint session on the sixth day of January, following a 
presidential election, unless by law they appoint a different 
day, to count the electoral votes. If no candidate receives a 
majority of the total electoral votes, the House of 
Representatives, each state delegation having one vote, chooses 
the President from among the three candidates having the 
largest number of electoral votes. The Senate, each Senator 
having one vote, chooses the Vice President from the two 
candidates having the largest number of votes for that office.

                      III. SOURCES OF LEGISLATION

    Sources of ideas for legislation are unlimited and proposed 
drafts of bills originate in many diverse quarters. Primary 
among these is the idea and draft conceived by a Member. This 
may emanate from the election campaign during which the Member 
had promised, if elected, to introduce legislation on a 
particular subject. The Member may have also become aware after 
taking office of the need for amendment to or repeal of an 
existing law or the enactment of a statute in an entirely new 
field.
    In addition, the Member's constituents, either as 
individuals or through citizen groups, may avail themselves of 
the right to petition and transmit their proposals to the 
Member. The right to petition is guaranteed by the First 
Amendment to the Constitution. Many excellent laws have 
originated in this way, as some organizations, because of their 
vital concern with various areas of legislation, have 
considerable knowledge regarding the laws affecting their 
interests and have the services of legislative draftspersons 
for this purpose. Similarly, state legislatures may 
``memorialize'' Congress to enact specified federal laws by 
passing resolutions to be transmitted to the House and Senate 
as memorials. If favorably impressed by the idea, a Member may 
introduce the proposal in the form in which it has been 
submitted or may redraft it. In any event, a Member may consult 
with the Legislative Counsel of the House or the Senate to 
frame the ideas in suitable legislative language and form.
    In modern times, the ``executive communication'' has become 
a prolific source of legislative proposals. The communication 
is usually in the form of a message or letter from a member of 
the President's Cabinet, the head of an independent agency, or 
the President himself, transmitting a draft of a proposed bill 
to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 
President of the Senate. Despite the structure of separation of 
powers, Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution imposes an 
obligation on the President to report to Congress from time to 
time on the ``State of the Union'' and to recommend for 
consideration such measures as the President considers 
necessary and expedient. Many of these executive communications 
follow on the President's message to Congress on the state of 
the Union. The communication is then referred to the standing 
committee or committees having jurisdiction of the subject 
matter of the proposal. The chairman or the ranking minority 
member of the relevant committee usually introduces the bill 
promptly either in the form in which it was received or with 
desired changes. This practice is usually followed even when 
the majority of the House and the President are not of the same 
political party, although there is no constitutional or 
statutory requirement that a bill be introduced to effectuate 
the recommendations. The committee or one of its subcommittees 
may also decide to examine the communication to determine 
whether a bill should be introduced. The most important of the 
regular executive communications is the annual message from the 
President transmitting the proposed budget to Congress. The 
President's budget proposal, together with testimony by 
officials of the various branches of the government before the 
Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, is the basis 
of the several appropriation bills that are drafted by the 
Committee on Appropriations of the House.
    Many of the executive departments and independent agencies 
employ legislative counsels who are charged with the drafting 
of bills. These legislative proposals are forwarded to Congress 
with a request for their enactment.
    The drafting of statutes is an art that requires great 
skill, knowledge, and experience. In some instances, a draft is 
the result of a study covering a period of a year or more by a 
commission or committee designated by the President or a member 
of the Cabinet. The Administrative Procedure Act and the 
Uniform Code of Military Justice are two examples of enactments 
resulting from such studies. In addition, congressional 
committees sometimes draft bills after studies and hearings 
covering periods of a year or more.

                   IV. FORMS OF CONGRESSIONAL ACTION

    The work of Congress is initiated by the introduction of a 
proposal in one of four forms: the bill, the joint resolution, 
the concurrent resolution, and the simple resolution. The most 
customary form used in both Houses is the bill. During the 
107th Congress (2001-2002), 8,948 bills and 178 joint 
resolutions were introduced in both Houses. Of the total number 
introduced, 5,767 bills and 125 joint resolutions originated in 
the House of Representatives.
    For the purpose of simplicity, this discussion will be 
confined generally to the procedure on a House of 
Representatives bill, with brief comment on each of the forms.

                                 BILLS

    A bill is the form used for most legislation, whether 
permanent or temporary, general or special, public or private.
    The form of a House bill is as follows:

                                 A BILL

           For the establishment, etc. [as the title may be].
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
          States of America in Congress assembled, That, etc.

    The enacting clause was prescribed by law in 1871 and is 
identical in all bills, whether they originate in the House of 
Representatives or in the Senate.
    Bills may originate in either the House of Representatives 
or the Senate with one notable exception provided for in the 
Constitution. Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution 
provides that all bills for raising revenue shall originate in 
the House of Representatives but that the Senate may propose or 
concur with amendments. By tradition, general appropriation 
bills also originate in the House of Representatives.
    There are two types of bills--public and private. A public 
bill is one that affects the public generally. A bill that 
affects a specified individual or a private entity rather than 
the population at large is called a private bill. A typical 
private bill is used for relief in matters such as immigration 
and naturalization and claims against the United States.
    A bill originating in the House of Representatives is 
designated by the letters ``H.R.'' followed by a number that it 
retains throughout all its parliamentary stages. The letters 
signify ``House of Representatives'' and not, as is sometimes 
incorrectly assumed, ``House resolution''. A Senate bill is 
designated by the letter ``S.'' followed by its number. The 
term ``companion bill'' is used to describe a bill introduced 
in one House of Congress that is similar or identical to a bill 
introduced in the other House of Congress.
    A bill that has been agreed to in identical form by both 
bodies becomes the law of the land only after--
          (1) Presidential approval; or
          (2) failure by the President to return it with 
        objections to the House in which it originated within 
        10 days (Sundays excepted) while Congress is in 
        session; or
          (3) the overriding of a presidential veto by a two-
        thirds vote in each House.
    It does not become law without the President's signature if 
Congress by their final adjournment prevent its return with 
objections. This is known as a ``pocket veto''. For a 
discussion of presidential action on legislation, see Part 
XVIII.

                           JOINT RESOLUTIONS

    Joint resolutions may originate either in the House of 
Representatives or in the Senate--not, as is sometimes 
incorrectly assumed, jointly in both Houses. There is little 
practical difference between a bill and a joint resolution and 
the two forms are often used interchangeably. One difference in 
form is that a joint resolution may include a preamble 
preceding the resolving clause. Statutes that have been 
initiated as bills have later been amended by a joint 
resolution and vice versa. Both are subject to the same 
procedure except for a joint resolution proposing an amendment 
to the Constitution. When a joint resolution amending the 
Constitution is approved by two-thirds of both Houses, it is 
not presented to the President for approval. Following 
congressional approval, a joint resolution to amend the 
Constitution is sent directly to the Archivist of the United 
States for submission to the several states where ratification 
by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states within the 
period of time prescribed in the joint resolution is necessary 
for the amendment to become part of the Constitution.
    The form of a House joint resolution is as follows:

                            JOINT RESOLUTION

                Authorizing, etc. [as the title may be].
   Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
        States of America in Congress assembled, That all, etc.
    The resolving clause is identical in both House and Senate 
joint resolutions as prescribed by statute in 1871. It is 
frequently preceded by a preamble consisting of one or more 
``whereas'' clauses indicating the necessity for or the 
desirability of the joint resolution.
    A joint resolution originating in the House of 
Representatives is designated ``H.J. Res.'' followed by its 
individual number which it retains throughout all its 
parliamentary stages. One originating in the Senate is 
designated ``S.J. Res.'' followed by its number.
    Joint resolutions, with the exception of proposed 
amendments to the Constitution, become law in the same manner 
as bills.

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS

    A matter affecting the operations of both Houses is usually 
initiated by a concurrent resolution. In modern practice, and 
as determined by the Supreme Court in INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 
919 (1983), concurrent and simple resolutions normally are not 
legislative in character since not ``presented'' to the 
President for approval, but are used merely for expressing 
facts, principles, opinions, and purposes of the two Houses. A 
concurrent resolution is not equivalent to a bill and its use 
is narrowly limited within these bounds. The term 
``concurrent'', like ``joint'', does not signify simultaneous 
introduction and consideration in both Houses.
    A concurrent resolution originating in the House of 
Representatives is designated ``H. Con. Res.'' followed by its 
individual number, while a Senate concurrent resolution is 
designated ``S. Con. Res.'' together with its number. On 
approval by both Houses, they are signed by the Clerk of the 
House and the Secretary of the Senate and transmitted to the 
Archivist of the United States for publication in a special 
part of the Statutes at Large volume covering that session of 
Congress.

                           SIMPLE RESOLUTIONS

    A matter concerning the rules, the operation, or the 
opinion of either House alone is initiated by a simple 
resolution. A resolution affecting the House of Representatives 
is designated ``H. Res.'' followed by its number, while a 
Senate resolution is designated ``S. Res.'' together with its 
number. Simple resolutions are considered only by the body in 
which they were introduced. Upon adoption, simple resolutions 
are attested to by the Clerk of the House of Representatives or 
the Secretary of the Senate and are published in the 
Congressional Record.

               V. INTRODUCTION AND REFERRAL TO COMMITTEE

    Any Member, Delegate or the Resident Commissioner from 
Puerto Rico in the House of Representatives may introduce a 
bill at any time while the House is in session by simply 
placing it in the ``hopper'', a wooden box provided for that 
purpose located on the side of the rostrum in the House 
Chamber. Permission is not required to introduce the measure. 
The Member introducing the bill is known as the primary 
sponsor. An unlimited number of Members may cosponsor a bill. 
To prevent the possibility that a bill might be introduced in 
the House on behalf of a Member without that Member's prior 
approval, the primary sponsor's signature must appear on the 
bill before it is accepted for introduction. Members who 
cosponsor a bill upon its date of introduction are original 
cosponsors. Members who cosponsor a bill after its introduction 
are additional cosponsors. Cosponsors are not required to sign 
the bill. A Member may not be added or deleted as a cosponsor 
after the bill has been reported by the last committee 
authorized to consider it, but the Speaker may not entertain a 
request to delete the name of the primary sponsor at any time. 
Cosponsors names may be deleted by their own unanimous consent 
request or that of the primary sponsor. In the Senate, 
unlimited multiple sponsorship of a bill is permitted. 
Occasionally, a Member may insert the words ``by request'' 
after the Member's name to indicate that the introduction of 
the measure is at the suggestion of some other person or 
group--usually the President or a member of his Cabinet.
    In the Senate, a Senator usually introduces a bill or 
resolution by presenting it to one of the clerks at the 
Presiding Officer's desk, without commenting on it from the 
floor of the Senate. However, a Senator may use a more formal 
procedure by rising and introducing the bill or resolution from 
the floor. A Senator usually makes a statement about the 
measure when introducing it on the floor. Frequently, Senators 
obtain consent to have the bill or resolution printed in the 
Congressional Record following their formal statement.
    If any Senator objects to the introduction of a bill or 
resolution, the introduction of the bill or resolution is 
postponed until the next day. If there is no objection, the 
bill is read by title and referred to the appropriate 
committee. If there is an objection, the bill is placed on the 
Calendar.
    In the House of Representatives, it is no longer the custom 
to read bills--even by title--at the time of introduction. The 
title is entered in the Journal and printed in the 
Congressional Record, thus preserving the purpose of the 
custom. The bill is assigned its legislative number by the 
Clerk. The bill is then referred as required by the rules of 
the House to the appropriate committee or committees by the 
Speaker, the Member elected by the Members to be the Presiding 
Officer of the House, with the assistance of the 
Parliamentarian. The bill number and committee referral appear 
in the next issue of the Congressional Record. It is then sent 
to the Government Printing Office where it is printed in its 
introduced form and printed copies are made available in the 
document rooms of both Houses. Printed and electronic versions 
of the bill are also made available to the public.
    Copies of the bill are sent to the office of the chairman 
of the committee to which it has been referred. The clerk of 
the committee enters it on the committee's Legislative 
Calendar.
    Perhaps the most important phase of the legislative process 
is the action by committees. The committees provide the most 
intensive consideration to a proposed measure as well as the 
forum where the public is given their opportunity to be heard. 
A tremendous volume of work, often overlooked by the public, is 
done by the Members in this phase. There are, at present, 19 
standing committees in the House and 16 in the Senate as well 
as several select committees. In addition, there are four 
standing joint committees of the two Houses, with oversight 
responsibilities but no legislative jurisdiction. The House may 
also create select committees or task forces to study specific 
issues and report on them to the House. A task force may be 
established formally through a resolution passed by the House 
or informally through organization of interested Members by the 
House leadership.
    Each committee's jurisdiction is divided into certain 
subject matters under the rules of each House and all measures 
affecting a particular area of the law are referred to the 
committee with jurisdiction over that particular subject 
matter. For example, the Committee on the Judiciary in the 
House has jurisdiction over measures relating to judicial 
proceedings generally, and 17 other categories, including 
constitutional amendments, immigration and naturalization, 
bankruptcy, patents, copyrights, and trademarks. In total, the 
rules of the House and of the Senate each provide for over 200 
different classifications of measures to be referred to 
committees. Until 1975, the Speaker of the House could refer a 
bill to only one committee. In modern practice, the Speaker may 
refer an introduced bill to multiple committees for 
consideration of those provisions of the bill within the 
jurisdiction of each committee concerned. Except in 
extraordinary circumstances, the Speaker must designate a 
primary committee of jurisdiction on bills referred to multiple 
committees. The Speaker may place time limits on the 
consideration of bills by all committees, but usually time 
limits are placed only on additional committees. Additional 
committees are committees other than the primary committee to 
which a bill has been referred, either initially on its 
introduction or sequentially following the report of the 
primary committee. A time limit is placed on an additional 
committee only when the primary committee has reported its 
version to the House.
    Membership on the various committees is divided between the 
two major political parties. The proportion of the Members of 
the minority party to the Members of the majority party is 
determined by the majority party, except that half of the 
members on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct are 
from the majority party and half from the minority party. The 
respective party caucuses nominate Members of the caucus to be 
elected to each standing committee at the beginning of each 
Congress. Membership on a standing committee during the course 
of a Congress is contingent on continuing membership in the 
party caucus that nominated a Member for election to the 
committee. If a Member ceases to be a Member of the party 
caucus, a Member automatically ceases to be a member of the 
standing committee.
    Members of the House may serve on only two committees and 
four subcommittees with certain exceptions. However, the rules 
of the caucus of the majority party in the House provide that a 
Member may be chairman of only one subcommittee of a committee 
or select committee with legislative jurisdiction, except for 
certain committees performing housekeeping functions and joint 
committees.
    A Member usually seeks election to the committee that has 
jurisdiction over a field in which the Member is most qualified 
and interested. For example, the Committee on the Judiciary 
traditionally is composed almost entirely of lawyers. Many 
Members are nationally recognized experts in the specialty of 
their particular committee or subcommittee.
    Members rank in seniority in accordance with the order of 
their appointment to the full committee and the ranking 
majority member with the most continuous service is usually 
elected chairman. The rules of the House require that committee 
chairmen be elected from nominations submitted by the majority 
party caucus at the commencement of each Congress. In the 108th 
Congress, no Member of the House may serve as chairman of the 
same standing committee or of the same subcommittee thereof for 
more than three consecutive Congresses.
    The rules of the House prohibit a committee that maintains 
a subcommittee on oversight from having more than six 
subcommittees with the exception of the Committee on 
Appropriations and the Committee on Government Reform.
    Each committee is provided with a professional staff to 
assist it in the innumerable administrative details involved in 
the consideration of bills and its oversight responsibilities. 
For standing committees, the professional staff is limited to 
30 persons appointed by a vote of the committee. Two-thirds of 
the committee staff are selected by a majority vote of the 
majority committee members and one-third of the committee staff 
are selected by a majority vote of minority committee members. 
All staff appointments are made without regard to race, creed, 
sex, or age. Minority staff requirements do not apply to the 
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct because of its 
bipartisan nature. The Committee on Appropriations has special 
authority under the rules of the House for appointment of staff 
for the minority.

                     VI. CONSIDERATION BY COMMITTEE

    One of the first actions taken by a committee is to seek 
the input of the relevant departments and agencies about a 
bill. Frequently, the bill is also submitted to the General 
Accounting Office with a request for an official report of 
views on the necessity or desirability of enacting the bill 
into law. Normally, ample time is given for the submission of 
the reports and they are accorded serious consideration. 
However, these reports are not binding on the committee in 
determining whether or not to act favorably on the bill. 
Reports of the departments and agencies in the executive branch 
are submitted first to the Office of Management and Budget to 
determine whether they are consistent with the program of the 
President. Many committees adopt rules requiring referral of 
measures to the appropriate subcommittee unless the full 
committee votes to retain the measure at the full committee.

                           COMMITTEE MEETINGS

    Standing committees are required to have regular meeting 
days at least once a month. The chairman of the committee may 
also call and convene additional meetings. Three or more 
members of a standing committee may file with the committee a 
written request that the chairman call a special meeting. The 
request must specify the measure or matter to be considered. If 
the chairman does not call the requested special meeting within 
three calendar days after the filing of the request, to be held 
within seven calendar days after the filing of the request, a 
majority of the members of the committee may call the special 
meeting by filing with the committee written notice specifying 
the date, hour, and the measure or matter to be considered at 
the meeting. In the Senate, the Chair may still control the 
agenda of the special meeting through the power of recognition. 
Committee meetings may be held for various purposes including 
the ``markup'' of legislation, authorizing subpoenas, or 
internal budget and personnel matters.
    A subpoena may be authorized and issued at a meeting by a 
vote of a committee or subcommittee with a majority of members 
present. The power to authorize and issue subpoenas also may be 
delegated to the chairman of the committee. A subpoena may 
require both testimonial and documentary evidence to be 
furnished to the committee. A subpoena is signed by the 
chairman of the committee or by a member designated by the 
committee.
    All meetings for the transaction of business of standing 
committees or subcommittees, except the Committee on Standards 
of Official Conduct, must be open to the public, except when 
the committee or subcommittee, in open session with a majority 
present, determines by record vote that all or part of the 
remainder of the meeting on that day shall be closed to the 
public. Members of the committee may authorize congressional 
staff and departmental representatives to be present at any 
meeting that has been closed to the public. Open committee 
meetings may be covered by the media. Permission to cover 
hearings and meetings is granted under detailed conditions as 
provided in the rules of the House.
    The rules of the House provide that House committees may 
not meet during a joint session of the House and Senate or 
during a recess when a joint meeting of the House and Senate is 
in progress. Committees may meet at other times during an 
adjournment or recess up to the expiration of the 
constitutional term.

                            PUBLIC HEARINGS

    If the bill is of sufficient importance, the committee may 
set a date for public hearings. The chairman of each committee, 
except for the Committee on Rules, is required to make public 
announcement of the date, place, and subject matter of any 
hearing at least one week before the commencement of that 
hearing, unless the committee chairman with the concurrence of 
the ranking minority member or the committee by majority vote 
determines that there is good cause to begin the hearing at an 
earlier date. If that determination is made, the chairman must 
make a public announcement to that effect at the earliest 
possible date. Public announcements are published in the Daily 
Digest portion of the Congressional Record as soon as possible 
after an announcement is made and are often noted by the media. 
Personal notice of the hearing, usually in the form of a 
letter, is sometimes sent to relevant individuals, 
organizations, and government departments and agencies.
    Each hearing by a committee or subcommittee, except the 
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, is required to be 
open to the public except when the committee or subcommittee, 
in open session and with a majority present, determines by 
record vote that all or part of the remainder of the hearing on 
that day shall be closed to the public because disclosure of 
testimony, evidence, or other matters to be considered would 
endanger national security, would compromise sensitive law 
enforcement information, or would violate a law or a rule of 
the House. The committee or subcommittee may by the same 
procedure vote to close one subsequent day of hearing, except 
that the Committees on Appropriations, Armed Services, and the 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and subcommittees 
thereof, may vote to close up to five additional, consecutive 
days of hearings. When a quorum for taking testimony is 
present, a majority of the members present may close a hearing 
to discuss whether the evidence or testimony to be received 
would endanger national security or would tend to defame, 
degrade, or incriminate any person. A committee or subcommittee 
may vote to release or make public matters originally received 
in a closed hearing or meeting. Open committee hearings may be 
covered by the media. Permission to cover hearings and meetings 
is granted under detailed conditions as provided in the rules 
of the House.
    Hearings on the Budget are required to be held by the 
Committee on Appropriations in open session within 30 days 
after its transmittal to Congress, except when the committee, 
in open session and with a quorum present, determines by record 
vote that the testimony to be taken at that hearing on that day 
may be related to a matter of national security. The committee 
may by the same procedure close one subsequent day of hearing.
    On the day set for a public hearing in a committee or 
subcommittee, an official reporter is present to record the 
testimony. After a brief introductory statement by the chairman 
and often by the ranking minority member or other committee 
member, the first witness is called. Members or Senators who 
wish to be heard sometimes testify first out of courtesy and 
due to the limitations on their time. Cabinet officers and 
high-ranking government officials, as well as interested 
private individuals, testify either voluntarily or by subpoena.
    So far as practicable, committees require that witnesses 
who appear before it file a written statement of their proposed 
testimony in advance of their appearance and limit their oral 
presentations to a brief summary of their arguments. In the 
case of a witness appearing in a nongovernmental capacity, a 
written statement of proposed testimony shall include a 
curriculum vitae and a disclosure of certain federal grants and 
contracts.
    Minority party members of the committee are entitled to 
call witnesses of their own to testify on a measure during at 
least one additional day of a hearing.
    Each member of the committee is provided only five minutes 
in the interrogation of each witness until each member of the 
committee who desires to question a witness has had an 
opportunity to do so. In addition, a committee may adopt a rule 
or motion to permit committee members to question a witness for 
a specified period not longer than one hour. Committee staff 
may also be permitted to question a witness for a specified 
period not longer than one hour.
    A transcript of the testimony taken at a public hearing is 
made available for inspection in the office of the clerk of the 
committee. Frequently, the complete transcript is printed and 
distributed widely by the committee.

                                 MARKUP

    After hearings are completed, the subcommittee usually will 
consider the bill in a session that is popularly known as the 
``markup'' session. The views of both sides are studied in 
detail and at the conclusion of deliberation a vote is taken to 
determine the action of the subcommittee. It may decide to 
report the bill favorably to the full committee, with or 
without amendment, or unfavorably, or without recommendation. 
The subcommittee may also suggest that the committee ``table'' 
it or postpone action indefinitely. Each member of the 
subcommittee, regardless of party affiliation, has one vote. 
Proxy voting is no longer permitted in House committees.

                         FINAL COMMITTEE ACTION

    At full committee meetings, reports on bills may be made by 
subcommittees. Bills are read for amendment in committees by 
section and members may offer germane amendments. Committee 
amendments are only proposals to change the bill as introduced 
and are subject to acceptance or rejection by the House itself. 
A vote of committee members is taken to determine whether the 
full committee will report the bill favorably, adversely, or 
without recommendation. If the committee votes to report the 
bill favorably to the House, it may report the bill without 
amendments or may introduce and report a ``clean bill''. 
Committees may authorize the chairman to postpone votes in 
certain circumstances. If the committee has approved extensive 
amendments, the committee may decide to report the original 
bill with one ``amendment in the nature of a substitute'' 
consisting of all the amendments previously adopted, or may 
report a new bill incorporating those amendments, commonly 
known as a clean bill. The new bill is introduced (usually by 
the chairman of the committee), and, after referral back to the 
committee, is reported favorably to the House by the committee. 
A committee may table a bill or not take action on it, thereby 
preventing further action on a bill. This makes adverse reports 
or reports without recommendation to the House by a committee 
unusual. The House also has the ability to discharge a bill 
from committee. For a discussion of the motion to discharge, 
see Part X.
    Generally, a majority of the committee or subcommittee 
constitutes a quorum. A quorum is the number of members who 
must be present in order for the committee to report. This 
ensures participation by both sides in the action taken. 
However, a committee may vary the number of members necessary 
for a quorum for certain actions. For example, a committee may 
fix the number of its members, but not less than two, necessary 
for a quorum for taking testimony and receiving evidence. 
Except for the Committees on Appropriations, the Budget, and 
Ways and Means, a committee may fix the number of its members, 
but not less than one-third, necessary for a quorum for taking 
certain other actions. The absence of a quorum is subject to a 
point of order, an objection that the proceedings are in 
violation of a rule of the committee or of the House, because 
the required number of members are not present.

      POINTS OF ORDER WITH RESPECT TO COMMITTEE HEARING PROCEDURE

    A point of order in the House does not lie with respect to 
a measure reported by a committee on the ground that hearings 
on the measure were not conducted in accordance with required 
committee procedure. However, certain points of order may be 
made by a member of the committee that reported the measure if, 
in the committee hearing on that measure, that point of order 
was (1) timely made and (2) improperly disposed of.

                          VII. REPORTED BILLS

    If the committee votes to report the bill to the House, the 
committee staff writes a committee report. The report describes 
the purpose and scope of the bill and the reasons for its 
recommended approval. Generally, a section-by-section analysis 
is set forth explaining precisely what each section is intended 
to accomplish. All changes in existing law must be indicated in 
the report and the text of laws being repealed must be set out. 
This requirement is known as the ``Ramseyer'' rule. A similar 
rule in the Senate is known as the ``Cordon'' rule. Committee 
amendments also must be set out at the beginning of the report 
and explanations of them are included. Executive communications 
regarding the bill may be referenced in the report.
    If at the time of approval of a bill by a committee, except 
for the Committee on Rules, a member of the committee gives 
notice of an intention to file supplemental, minority, or 
additional views, that member is entitled to not less than two 
additional calendar days after the day of such notice 
(excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays unless the 
House is in session on those days) in which to file those views 
with the clerk of the committee. Those views that are timely 
filed must be included in the report on the bill. Committee 
reports must be filed while the House is in session unless 
unanimous consent is obtained from the House to file at a later 
time or the committee is awaiting additional views.
    The report is assigned a report number upon its filing and 
is sent to the Government Printing Office for printing. House 
reports are given a prefix-designator that indicates the number 
of the Congress. For example, the first House report in the 
108th Congress was numbered 108-1.
    In the printed report, committee amendments are indicated 
by showing new matter in italics and deleted matter in line-
through type. The report number is printed on the bill and the 
calendar number is shown on both the first and back pages of 
the bill. However, in the case of a bill that was referred to 
two or more committees for consideration in sequence, the 
calendar number is printed only on the bill as reported by the 
last committee to consider it. For a discussion of House 
calendars, see Part IX.
    Committee reports are perhaps the most valuable single 
element of the legislative history of a law. They are used by 
the courts, executive departments, and the public as a source 
of information regarding the purpose and meaning of the law.

                          CONTENTS OF REPORTS

    The report of a committee on a measure that has been 
approved by the committee must include: (1) the committee's 
oversight findings and recommendations; (2) a statement 
required by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, if the 
measure is a bill or joint resolution providing new budget 
authority (other than continuing appropriations) or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures; (3) a cost 
estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office whenever the Director has submitted 
that estimate and comparison to the committee prior to the 
filing of the report; and (4) a statement of general 
performance goals and objectives, including outcome-related 
goals and objectives, for which the measure authorizes funding. 
Each report accompanying a bill or joint resolution relating to 
employment or access to public services or accommodations must 
describe the manner in which the provisions apply to the 
legislative branch. Each of these items are set out separately 
and clearly identified in the report.
    With respect to each record vote by a committee, the total 
number of votes cast for, and the total number of votes cast 
against any public measure or matter or amendment thereto and 
the names of those voting for and against, must be included in 
the committee report.
    In addition, each report of a committee on a public bill or 
public joint resolution must contain a statement citing the 
specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to 
enact the law proposed by the bill or joint resolution. 
Committee reports that accompany bills or resolutions that 
contain federal unfunded mandates are also required to include 
an estimate prepared by the Congressional Budget Office on the 
cost of the mandates on state, local, and tribal governments. 
If an estimate is not available at the time a report is filed, 
committees are required to publish the estimate in the 
Congressional Record. Each report also must contain an 
estimate, made by the committee, of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out that bill or joint resolution in the 
fiscal year reported and in each of the five fiscal years 
thereafter or for the duration of the program authorized if 
less than five years. The report must include a comparison of 
the estimates of those costs with any estimate made by any 
Government agency and submitted to that committee. The 
Committees on Appropriations, House Administration, Rules, and 
Standards of Official Conduct are not required to include cost 
estimates in their reports. In addition, the committee's own 
cost estimates are not required to be included in reports when 
a cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office has been submitted prior to the 
filing of the report and included in the report.

                           FILING OF REPORTS

    Measures approved by a committee must be reported by the 
Chairman promptly after approval. If not, a majority of the 
members of the committee may file a written request with the 
clerk of the committee for the reporting of the measure. When 
the request is filed, the clerk must immediately notify the 
chairman of the committee of the filing of the request, and the 
report on the measure must be filed within seven calendar days 
(excluding days on which the House is not in session) after the 
day on which the request is filed. This does not apply to a 
report of the Committee on Rules with respect to a rule, joint 
rule, or order of business of the House or to the reporting of 
a resolution of inquiry addressed to the head of an executive 
department.

                  AVAILABILITY OF REPORTS AND HEARINGS

    A measure or matter reported by a committee (except the 
Committee on Rules in the case of a resolution providing a 
rule, joint rule, or order of business) may not be considered 
in the House until the third calendar day (excluding Saturdays, 
Sundays, and legal holidays unless the House is in session on 
those days) on which the report of that committee on that 
measure has been available to the Members of the House. This 
rule is subject to certain exceptions including resolutions 
providing for certain privileged matters and measures declaring 
war or other national emergency. However, it is in order to 
consider a report from the Committee on Rules on the same day 
it is reported that proposes only to waive this availability 
requirement. If hearings were held on a measure or matter so 
reported, the committee is required to make every reasonable 
effort to have those hearings printed and available for 
distribution to the Members of the House prior to the 
consideration of the measure in the House. Committees are also 
required, to the maximum extent feasible, to make their 
publications available in electronic form. A general 
appropriation bill reported by the Committee on Appropriations 
may not be considered until printed committee hearings and a 
committee report thereon have been available to the Members of 
the House for at least three calendar days (excluding 
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays unless the House is in 
session on those days).

           VIII. LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT BY STANDING COMMITTEES

    Each standing committee, other than the Committees on 
Appropriations and on the Budget, is required to review and 
study, on a continuing basis, the application, administration, 
execution, and effectiveness of the laws dealing with the 
subject matter over which the committee has jurisdiction and 
the organization and operation of federal agencies and entities 
having responsibility for the administration and evaluation of 
those laws.
    The purpose of the review and study is to determine whether 
laws and the programs created by Congress are being implemented 
and carried out in accordance with the intent of Congress and 
whether those programs should be continued, curtailed, or 
eliminated. In addition, each committee having oversight 
responsibility is required to review and study any conditions 
or circumstances that may indicate the necessity or 
desirability of enacting new or additional legislation within 
the jurisdiction of that committee, and must undertake, on a 
continuing basis, future research and forecasting on matters 
within the jurisdiction of that committee. Each standing 
committee also has the function of reviewing and studying, on a 
continuing basis, the impact or probable impact of tax policies 
on subjects within its jurisdiction.
    The rules of the House provide for special treatment of an 
investigative or oversight report of a committee. Committees 
are allowed to file joint investigative reports and to file 
investigative and activities reports after the House has 
completed its final session of a Congress. In addition, several 
of the standing committees have special oversight 
responsibilities. The details of those responsibilities are set 
forth in the rules of the House.

                             IX. CALENDARS

    The House of Representatives has five calendars of 
business: the Union Calendar, the House Calendar, the Private 
Calendar, the Corrections Calendar, and the Calendar of Motions 
to Discharge Committees. The calendars are compiled in one 
publication printed each day the House is in session. This 
publication also contains a history of Senate-passed bills, 
House bills reported out of committee, bills on which the House 
has acted, and other useful information.
    When a public bill is favorably reported by all committees 
to which referred, it is assigned a calendar number on either 
the Union Calendar or the House Calendar, the two principal 
calendars of business. The calendar number is printed on the 
first page of the bill and, in certain instances, is printed 
also on the back page. In the case of a bill that was referred 
to multiple committees for consideration in sequence, the 
calendar number is printed only on the bill as reported by the 
last committee to consider it.

                             UNION CALENDAR

    The rules of the House provide that there shall be:

    A Calendar of the Committee of the Whole House on the state 
of the Union, to which shall be referred public bills and 
public resolutions raising revenue, involving a tax or charge 
on the people, directly or indirectly making appropriations of 
money or property or requiring such appropriations to be made, 
authorizing payments out of appropriations already made, 
releasing any liability to the United States for money or 
property, or referring a claim to the Court of Claims.

    The large majority of public bills and resolutions reported 
to the House are placed on the Union Calendar. For a discussion 
of the Committee of the Whole House, see Part XI.

                             HOUSE CALENDAR

    The rules further provide that there shall be:

    A House Calendar, to which shall be referred all public 
bills and public resolutions not requiring referral to the 
Calendar of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of 
the Union.

    Bills not involving a cost to the government and 
resolutions providing special orders of business are examples 
of bills and resolutions placed on the House Calendar.

                            PRIVATE CALENDAR

    The rules also provide that there shall be:

    A Private Calendar, . . . to which shall be referred all 
private bills and private resolutions.

    All private bills reported to the House are placed on the 
Private Calendar. The Private Calendar is called on the first 
and third Tuesdays of each month. If two or more Members object 
to the consideration of any measure called, it is recommitted 
to the committee that reported it. There are six official 
objectors, three on the majority side and three on the minority 
side, who make a careful study of each bill or resolution on 
the Private Calendar. The official objectors' role is to object 
to a measure that does not conform to the requirements for that 
calendar and prevent the passage without debate of 
nonmeritorious bills and resolutions. Private bills that have 
been reported from committee are only considered under the 
private calendar procedure. Alternative procedures reserved for 
public bills are not applicable for reported private bills.

                          CORRECTIONS CALENDAR

    If a measure pending on either the House or Union Calendar 
is of a noncontroversial nature, it may be placed on the 
Corrections Calendar. The Corrections Calendar was created to 
address specific problems with federal rules, regulations, or 
court decisions that bipartisan and narrowly targeted bills 
could expeditiously correct. After a bill has been favorably 
reported and is on either the House or Union Calendar, the 
Speaker may, after consultation with the Minority Leader, file 
with the Clerk a notice requesting that such bill also be 
placed upon a special calendar known as the Corrections 
Calendar. On the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, the 
Speaker directs the Clerk to call any bill that has been 
printed on the Corrections Calendar. A three-fifths vote of the 
Members voting is required to pass any bill called from the 
Corrections Calendar. A failure to adopt a bill from the 
Corrections Calendar does not necessarily mean the final defeat 
of the bill because it may then be brought up for consideration 
in the same way as any other bill on the House or Union 
Calendar.

              CALENDAR OF MOTIONS TO DISCHARGE COMMITTEES

    When a majority of the Members of the House sign a motion 
to discharge a committee from consideration of a public bill or 
resolution, that motion is referred to the Calendar of Motions 
to Discharge Committees. For a discussion of the motion to 
discharge, see Part X.

                 X. OBTAINING CONSIDERATION OF MEASURES

    Certain measures, either pending on the House and Union 
Calendars or unreported and pending in committee, are more 
important and urgent than others and a system permitting their 
consideration ahead of those that do not require immediate 
action is necessary. If the calendar numbers alone were the 
determining factor, the bill reported most recently would be 
the last to be taken up as all measures are placed on the House 
and Union Calendars in the order reported.

                           UNANIMOUS CONSENT

    The House occasionally employs the practice of allowing 
reported or unreported measures to be considered by the 
unanimous agreement of all Members in the House Chamber. The 
power to recognize Members for a unanimous consent request is 
ultimately in the discretion of the Chair but recent Speakers 
have issued strict guidelines on when such a request is to be 
entertained. Most unanimous consent requests for consideration 
of measures may only be entertained by the Chair when assured 
that the majority and minority floor and committee leaderships 
have no objection.

                     SPECIAL RESOLUTION OR ``RULE''

    To avoid delays and to allow selectivity in the 
consideration of public measures, it is possible to have them 
taken up out of their order on their respective calendar or to 
have them discharged from the committee or committees to which 
referred by obtaining from the Committee on Rules a special 
resolution or ``rule'' for their consideration. The Committee 
on Rules, which is composed of majority and minority members 
but with a larger proportion of majority members than other 
committees, is specifically granted jurisdiction over 
resolutions relating to the order of business of the House. 
Typically, the chairman of the committee that has favorably 
reported the bill requests the Committee on Rules to originate 
a resolution that will provide for its immediate or subsequent 
consideration. Under some circumstances, the Committee on Rules 
may originate a resolution providing for the ``discharge'' and 
consideration of a measure that has not been reported by the 
legislative committee or committees of jurisdiction. If the 
Committee on Rules has determined that the measure should be 
taken up, it may report a resolution reading substantially as 
follows with respect to a bill on the Union Calendar or an 
unreported bill:

    Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution the 
Speaker declares pursuant to rule XVIII that the House resolve 
itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of 
the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R.XXX) entitled, 
etc., and the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed 
with. After general debate, which shall be confined to the bill 
and shall continue not to exceed XXX hours, to be equally 
divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on XXX, the bill shall be read for 
amendment under the five-minute rule. At the conclusion of the 
consideration of the bill for amendment, the Committee shall 
rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as 
may have been adopted, and the previous question shall be 
considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to 
final passage without intervening motion except one motion to 
recommit with or without instructions.

    If the measure is on the House Calendar or the 
recommendation is to avoid consideration in the Committee of 
the Whole, the resolution reads substantially as follows:

    Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it 
shall be in order to consider the bill (H.R. XXX) entitled, 
etc., in the House.

    The resolution may waive points of order against the bill. 
A point of order is an objection that a pending matter or 
proceeding is in violation of a rule of the House. The bill may 
be susceptible to various points of order that may be made 
against its consideration, including an assertion that the bill 
carries a retroactive federal income tax increase, contains a 
federal unfunded mandate, or has not been reported from 
committee properly. At times, the rule may ``self-execute'' 
changes to the bill, that is, incorporate the changes in the 
bill upon adoption of the rule. The rule may also make a 
specified ``manager's amendment'' in order prior to any other 
amendment or may make a ``compromise substitute'' amendment in 
order as original text to replace the version reported from 
committee. When a rule limits or prevents floor amendments, it 
is popularly known as a ``closed rule'' or ``modified closed 
rule.'' However, a rule may not deny the minority party the 
right to offer a motion to recommit the bill with proper 
amendatory or general instructions. For a discussion of the 
motion to recommit, see Part XI.

   CONSIDERATION OF MEASURES MADE IN ORDER BY RULE REPORTED FROM THE 
                           COMMITTEE ON RULES

    When a rule has been reported to the House, it is referred 
to the calendar and if it is to be considered immediately on 
the same legislative day reported, it requires a two-thirds 
vote for its consideration. Normally, however, the rule is on 
the calendar for at least one legislative day and if not called 
up for consideration by the Member who filed the report within 
seven legislative days thereafter, any member of the Committee 
on Rules may call it up as a privileged matter, after having 
given one calendar day notice of the Member's intention to do 
so. The Speaker will recognize any member of the committee 
seeking recognition for that purpose.
    If the House has adopted a resolution making in order a 
motion to consider a bill, and such a motion has not been 
offered within seven calendar days thereafter, such a motion 
shall be privileged if offered by direction of all reporting 
committees having initial jurisdiction of the bill.
    There are several other methods of obtaining consideration 
of bills that either have not been reported by a committee or, 
if reported, for which a rule has not been granted. Two of 
those methods, a motion to discharge a committee and a motion 
to suspend the rules, are discussed below.

                     MOTION TO DISCHARGE COMMITTEE

    A Member may present to the Clerk a motion in writing to 
discharge a committee from the consideration of a public bill 
or resolution that has been referred to it 30 legislative days 
prior thereto. A Member also may file a motion to discharge the 
Committee on Rules from further consideration of a resolution 
providing a special rule for the consideration of a public bill 
or resolution reported by a standing committee, or a special 
rule for the consideration of a public bill or resolution that 
has been referred to a standing committee for 30 legislative 
days. This motion to discharge the Committee on Rules may be 
made only when the resolution has been referred to that 
committee at least seven legislative days prior to the filing 
of the motion to discharge. The motion may not permit 
consideration of nongermane amendments. The motion is placed in 
the custody of the Journal Clerk, where Members may sign it at 
the House rostrum only when the House is in session. The names 
of Members who have signed a discharge motion are made 
available electronically and published in the Congressional 
Record on a weekly basis. When a majority of the total 
membership of the House (218 Members) have signed the motion, 
it is entered in the Journal, printed with all the signatures 
thereto in the Congressional Record, and referred to the 
Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees.
    On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, except 
during the last six days of a session, a Member who has signed 
a motion to discharge that has been on the calendar at least 
seven legislative days may seek recognition and be recognized 
for the purpose of calling up the motion. The motion to 
discharge is debated for 20 minutes, one-half in favor of the 
proposition and one-half in opposition.
    If the motion to discharge the Committee on Rules from a 
resolution prevails, the House shall immediately consider such 
resolution. If the resolution is adopted, the House proceeds to 
its execution. This is the modern practice for utilization of 
the discharge rule.
    If the motion to discharge a standing committee of the 
House from a public bill or resolution pending before the 
committee prevails, a Member who signed the motion may move 
that the House proceed to the immediate consideration of the 
bill or resolution. If the motion is agreed to, the bill or 
resolution is considered immediately under the general rules of 
the House. If the House votes against the motion for immediate 
consideration, the bill or resolution is referred to its proper 
calendar with the same status as if reported by a standing 
committee.

                      MOTION TO SUSPEND THE RULES

    On Monday and Tuesday of each week and during the last six 
days of a session, the Speaker may entertain a motion to 
suspend the rules of the House and pass a public bill or 
resolution. Sometimes the motion is allowed on days other than 
Monday and Tuesday by unanimous consent or a rule from the 
Committee on Rules. For example, the House by rule from the 
Committee on Rules provided for the motion on Wednesdays for 
the remainder of the 108th Congress. Members need to arrange in 
advance with the Speaker to be recognized to offer such a 
motion. The Speaker usually recognizes only a majority member 
of the committee that has reported or has primary jurisdiction 
over the bill. The motion to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill is debatable for 40 minutes, one-half of the time in favor 
of the proposition and one-half in opposition. The motion may 
not be separately amended but may be amended in the form of a 
manager's amendment included in the motion when it is offered. 
Because the rules may be suspended and the bill passed only by 
affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum 
being present, this procedure is usually used only for 
expedited consideration of relatively noncontroversial public 
measures.
    The Speaker may postpone all recorded and yea-nay votes on 
certain questions before the House, including a motion to 
suspend the rules and on passage of bills and resolutions, 
until a specified time or times on that legislative day or the 
next two legislative days. At these times, the House disposes 
of the postponed votes consecutively without further debate. 
After an initial fifteen-minute vote is taken, the Speaker may 
reduce to not less than five minutes the time period for 
subsequent votes. Eliminating intermittent recorded votes on 
suspensions reduces interruptions of committee activity and 
allows more efficient scheduling of voting.

                           CALENDAR WEDNESDAY

    On Wednesday of each week, unless dispensed with by 
unanimous consent or by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the 
Members voting, a quorum being present, the standing committees 
are called in alphabetical order. A committee when named may 
call up for consideration any bill reported by it on a previous 
day and pending on either the House or Union Calendar. The 
report on the bill must have been available for three days and 
must not be privileged under the rules of the House. General 
debate is limited to two hours on any Calendar Wednesday 
measure and must be confined to the subject matter of the 
measure, the time being equally divided between those for and 
those against. An affirmative vote of a simple majority of the 
Members present is sufficient to pass the measure. The purpose 
of this rarely utilized procedure is to provide an alternative 
method of consideration when the Committee on Rules has not 
reported a rule for a specific bill.

                     DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BUSINESS

    On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, after the 
disposition of motions to discharge committees and after the 
disposal of business on the Speaker's table requiring only 
referral to committee, the Committee on Government Reform may 
call up for consideration any District of Columbia business 
reported from that committee. This procedure is rarely utilized 
in the modern House.

                         QUESTIONS OF PRIVILEGE

    House rules provide special privilege to questions of 
privilege. Questions of privilege are classified as those 
questions: (1) affecting the rights of the House collectively, 
its safety, dignity, and the integrity of its proceedings; and 
(2) affecting the rights, reputations, and conduct of Members, 
individually, in their representative capacity. A question of 
privilege has been held to take precedence over all questions 
except the motion to adjourn. Questions of the privileges of 
the House, those concerning the rights of the House 
collectively, take the form of a resolution which may be called 
up by any Member after proper notice. A question of personal 
privilege, affecting the rights, reputation, and conduct of 
individual Members, may be raised from the floor without formal 
notice. Debate on a question of privilege proceeds under the 
hour rule, with debate on a question of the privileges of the 
House divided between the proponent and the leader of the 
opposing party or a designee.

                           PRIVILEGED MATTERS

    Under the rules of the House, certain matters are regarded 
as privileged matters and may interrupt the order of business. 
Conference reports, veto messages from the President, and 
certain amendments to measures by the Senate after the stage of 
disagreement between the two Houses are examples of privileged 
matters. Certain reports from House committees are also 
privileged, including reports from the Committee on Rules, 
reports from the Committee on Appropriations on general 
appropriation bills, printing and committee funding resolutions 
reported from the Committee on House Administration, and 
reports on Member's conduct from the Committee on Standards of 
Official Conduct. Bills, joint resolutions, and motions may 
also take on privileged status as a result of special 
procedures written into statute. The Member in charge of such a 
matter may call it up at practically any time for immediate 
consideration when no other business is pending. Usually, this 
is done after consultation with both the majority and minority 
floor leaders so that the Members of both parties will have 
advance notice.
    At any time after the reading of the Journal, a Member, by 
direction of the Committee on Appropriations, may move that the 
House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on 
the state of the Union for the purpose of considering a general 
appropriation bill. A general appropriation bill may not be 
considered in the House until three calendar days (excluding 
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays unless the House is in 
session on those days) after printed committee reports and 
hearings on the bill have been available to the Members. The 
limit on general debate on such a bill is generally fixed by a 
rule reported from the Committee on Rules.

                      XI. CONSIDERATION AND DEBATE

    Our democratic tradition demands that bills be given 
consideration by the entire membership usually with adequate 
opportunity for debate and the proposing of amendments.

                         COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

    In order to expedite the consideration of bills and 
resolutions, the rules of the House provide for a parliamentary 
mechanism, known as the Committee of the Whole House on the 
state of the Union, that enables the House to act with a quorum 
of less than the requisite majority of 218. A quorum in the 
Committee of the Whole is 100 members. All measures on the 
Union Calendar--those involving a tax, making appropriations, 
authorizing payments out of appropriations already made, or 
disposing of property--must be first considered in the 
Committee of the Whole.
    The Committee on Rules reports a rule allowing for 
immediate consideration of a measure by the Committee of the 
Whole. After adoption of the rule by the House, the Speaker may 
declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole. 
When the House resolves into the Committee of the Whole, the 
Speaker leaves the chair after appointing a Chairman to 
preside.
    The rule referred to in the preceding paragraph also fixes 
the length of the debate in the Committee of the Whole. This 
may vary according to the importance of the measure. As 
provided in the rule, the control of the time is usually 
divided equally between the chairman and the ranking minority 
member of the relevant committee. Members seeking to speak for 
or against the measure may arrange in advance with the Member 
in control of the time on their respective side to be allowed a 
certain amount of time in the debate. Members may also ask the 
Member speaking at the time to yield to them for a question or 
a brief statement. A transcript of the proceedings in the House 
and the Senate is printed daily in the Congressional Record. 
Frequently, permission is granted a Member by unanimous consent 
to revise and extend his remarks in the Congressional Record if 
sufficient time to make a lengthy oral statement is not 
available during actual debate. These revisions and extensions 
are printed in a distinctive type and cannot substantively 
alter the verbatim transcript.
    The conduct of the debate is governed principally by the 
rules of the House that are adopted at the opening of each 
Congress. In the 106th Congress, the rules were recodified for 
simplification and clarity. Jefferson's Manual, prepared by 
Thomas Jefferson for his own guidance as President of the 
Senate from 1797 to 1801, is another recognized authority. The 
House has a long-standing rule that the provisions of 
Jefferson's Manual should govern the House in all applicable 
cases and where they are not inconsistent with the rules of the 
House. The House also relies on an 11-volume compilation of 
parliamentary precedents, entitled Hinds' Precedents and 
Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives, dating 
from 1789 to 1935, to guide its action. A later compilation, 
Deschler-Brown Precedents of the House of Representatives, 
spans 16 volumes and covers 1936 to date. In addition, a 
summary of the House precedents prior to 1959 can be found in a 
single volume entitled Cannon's Procedure in the House of 
Representatives. Procedure in the U.S. House of 
Representatives, fourth edition, as supplemented, and House 
Practice, first published in 1996 and updated in 2003, are more 
recent compilations of the precedents of the House, in summary 
form, together with other useful related material. Also, 
various rulings of the Chair are set out as notes in the 
current House Rules and Manual. Most parliamentary questions 
arising during the course of debate are responded to by a 
ruling based on a precedent of action in a similar situation. 
The Parliamentarian of the House is present in the House 
Chamber in order to assist the Speaker or the Chairman in 
making a correct ruling on parliamentary questions.

                             SECOND READING

    During general debate on a bill, an accurate account of the 
time used on both sides is kept and the Chairman terminates the 
debate when all the time allowed under the rule has been 
consumed. After general debate, the second reading of the bill 
begins. The second reading is a section-by-section reading 
during which time germane amendments may be offered to a 
section when it is read. Under many special ``modified closed'' 
rules adopted by the House, certain bills are considered as 
read and open only to prescribed amendments under limited time 
allocations. Under the normal ``open'' amendment process, a 
Member is permitted five minutes to explain the proposed 
amendment, after which the Member who is first recognized by 
the Chair is allowed to speak for five minutes in opposition to 
it. There is technically no further debate on that amendment, 
thereby effectively preventing filibuster-like tactics. This is 
known as the ``five-minute rule''. However, Members may offer 
an amendment to the amendment, for separate five-minute debate, 
or may offer a pro forma amendment--``to strike out the last 
word''--which does not change the language of the amendment but 
allows the Member five minutes for debate. Each substantive 
amendment and amendment thereto is put to the Committee of the 
Whole for adoption unless the House has adopted a special rule 
``self-executing'' the adoption of certain amendments in the 
Committee of the Whole. The House may, after initially adopting 
an open rule, later alter that rule by unanimous consent to 
establish a ``universe'' or list of amendments to a bill. This 
procedure is most commonly used on general appropriation bills 
because of the volume of amendments.
    At any time after debate has begun on proposed amendments 
to a section or paragraph of a bill under the five-minute rule, 
the Committee of the Whole may by majority vote of the Members 
present close debate on the amendment or the pending section or 
paragraph. However, if debate is closed on a section or 
paragraph before there has been debate on an amendment that a 
Member has caused to be printed in the Congressional Record at 
least one day prior to floor consideration of the amendment, 
the Member who caused the amendment to be printed in the Record 
is given five minutes in which to explain the amendment. Five 
minutes is also given to speak in opposition to the amendment 
and no further debate on the amendment is allowed. Amendments 
placed in the Congressional Record must indicate the full text 
of the proposed amendment, the name of the Member proposing it, 
the number of the bill or amendment to which it will be 
offered, and the point in the bill or amendment thereto where 
the amendment is intended to be offered. These amendments 
appear in the portion of the Record designated for that 
purpose.

                  AMENDMENTS AND THE GERMANENESS RULE

    The rules of the House prohibit amendments of a subject 
matter different from the text under consideration. This rule, 
commonly known as the germaneness rule, is considered the 
single most important rule of the House of Representatives 
because of the obvious need to keep the focus of a body the 
size of the House on a predictable subject matter. The 
germaneness rule applies to the proceedings in the House, the 
Committee of the Whole, and the standing committees. There are 
hundreds of prior rulings or ``precedents'' on germaneness 
available to guide the Chair.

                        THE COMMITTEE ``RISES''

    At the conclusion of the consideration of a bill for 
amendment, the Committee of the Whole ``rises'' and reports the 
bill to the House with any amendments that have been adopted. 
In rising, the Committee of the Whole reverts back to the House 
and the Chairman of the Committee is replaced in the chair by 
the Speaker of the House. The House then acts on the bill and 
any amendments adopted by the Committee of the Whole. If the 
Committee of the Whole rises on motion prior to the conclusion 
of consideration of amendments, the bill must return to the 
Committee of the Whole for subsequent consideration. Thus, the 
simple motion to rise may be used to immediately halt 
consideration of a bill similar to a motion to adjourn in the 
House.

                              HOUSE ACTION

    Debate on a bill in the House is cut off by moving and 
ordering ``the previous question''. All debate is cut off on 
the bill if this motion is carried by a majority of the Members 
voting, a quorum being present, or by a special rule ordering 
the previous question upon the rising of the Committee of the 
Whole. The Speaker then puts the question: ``Shall the bill be 
engrossed and read a third time?'' If this question is decided 
in the affirmative, the bill is read a third time by title only 
and voted on for passage.
    If the previous question has been ordered by the terms of 
the rule on a bill reported by the Committee of the Whole, the 
House immediately votes on whatever amendments have been 
reported by the Committee in the order in which they appear in 
the bill unless voted on en bloc. After completion of voting on 
the amendments, the House immediately votes on the passage of 
the bill with the amendments it has adopted. However, a motion 
to recommit, as described in the next section, may be offered 
and voted on prior to the vote on passage.
    The Speaker may postpone a recorded vote on final passage 
of a bill or resolution or agreement to a conference report for 
up to two legislative days.
    Measures that do not have to be considered in the Committee 
of the Whole are considered in the House in accordance with the 
terms of the rule limiting debate on the measure or under the 
``hour rule''. The hour rule limits the amount of time that a 
Member may occupy in debate on a pending question to 60 
minutes. Generally, the opportunity for debate may also be 
curtailed when the Speaker makes the rare determination that a 
motion is dilatory.
    After passage or rejection of the bill by the House, a pro 
forma motion to reconsider it is automatically made and laid on 
the table. The motion to reconsider is tabled to prohibit this 
motion from being made at a later date because the vote of the 
House on a proposition is not final and conclusive until there 
has been an opportunity to reconsider it.

                           MOTION TO RECOMMIT

    After the previous question has been ordered on the passage 
of a bill or joint resolution, it is in order to offer one 
motion to recommit the bill or joint resolution to a committee 
and the Speaker is required to give preference in recognition 
for that purpose to a minority party Member who is opposed to 
the bill or joint resolution. This motion is normally not 
subject to debate. However, a motion to recommit with 
instructions offered after the previous question has been 
ordered is debatable for 10 minutes, except that the majority 
floor manager may demand that the debate be extended to one 
hour. Whatever time is allotted for debate is divided equally 
between the proponent and opponent of the motion. Instructions 
in the motion to recommit normally take the form of germane 
amendments proposed by the minority to immediately change the 
final form of the bill prior to passage. Instructions may also 
be ``general,'' consisting of nonbinding instructions to the 
committee to take specified actions such as to ``promptly'' 
review the bill with a particular political viewpoint or to 
hold further hearings. Such instructions may not contain 
argument.

                       QUORUM CALLS AND ROLLCALLS

    Article I, Section 5, of the Constitution provides that a 
majority of each House constitutes a quorum to do business and 
authorizes a smaller number than a quorum to compel the 
attendance of absent Members. In order to fulfill this 
constitutional responsibility, the rules of the House provide 
alternative procedures for quorum calls in the House and the 
Committee of the Whole.
    In the absence of a quorum, 15 Members may initiate a call 
of the House to compel the attendance of absent Members. Such a 
call of the House must be ordered by a majority vote. A call of 
the House is then ordered and the call is taken by electronic 
device or by response to the alphabetical call of the roll of 
Members. Absent Members have a minimum of 15 minutes from the 
ordering of the call of the House by electronic device to have 
their presence recorded. If sufficient excuse is not offered 
for their absence, they may be sent for by the Sergeant-at-Arms 
and their attendance secured and retained. The House then 
determines the conditions on which they may be discharged. 
Members who voluntarily appear are, unless the House otherwise 
directs, immediately admitted to the Hall of the House and must 
report their names to the Clerk to be entered on the Journal as 
present. Compulsory attendance or arrest of Members has been 
rare in modern practice.
    The rules of the House provide special authority for the 
Speaker to recognize a Member of the Speaker's choice to move a 
call of the House at any time.
    When a question is put to a vote by the Speaker and a 
quorum fails to vote on such question, if a quorum is not 
present and objection is made for that reason, there is a call 
of the House unless the House adjourns. The call is taken by 
electronic device and the Sergeant-at-Arms may bring in absent 
Members. The yeas and nays on the pending question are at the 
same time considered as ordered and an ``automatic'' recorded 
vote is taken. The Clerk utilizes the electronic system or 
calls the roll and each Member who is present may vote on the 
pending question. If those voting on the question and those who 
are present and decline to vote together make a majority of the 
House, the Speaker declares that a quorum is constituted and 
the pending question is decided as the majority of those voting 
have determined.
    The rules of the House prohibit points of order of no 
quorum unless the Speaker has put a question to a vote.
    The rules for quorum calls are different in some respects 
in the Committee of the Whole. The first time the Committee of 
the Whole finds itself without a quorum during a day the 
Chairman is required to order the roll to be called by 
electronic device, unless the Chairman orders a call of the 
Committee. However, the Chairman may refuse to entertain a 
point of order of no quorum during general debate. If on a 
call, a quorum (100 Members) appears, the Committee continues 
its business. If a quorum does not appear, the Committee rises 
and the Chairman reports the names of the absentees to the 
House. The rules provide for the expeditious conduct of quorum 
calls in the Committee of the Whole. The Chairman may suspend a 
quorum call after 100 Members have recorded their presence. 
Under such a short quorum call, the Committee will not rise and 
proceedings under the quorum call are vacated. In that case, a 
recorded vote, if ordered immediately following the termination 
of the short quorum call, is a minimum of 15 minutes. In the 
alternative, the Chair may choose to permit a full 15 minute 
quorum call, wherein all Members are recorded as present or 
absent, to be followed by a five-minute record vote on the 
pending question. Once a quorum of the Committee of the Whole 
has been established for a day, a quorum call in the Committee 
is only in order when the Committee is operating under the 
five-minute rule and the Chairman has put the pending question 
to a vote. The rules prohibit a point of order of no quorum 
against a vote in which the Committee of the Whole agrees to 
rise. However, an appropriate point of no quorum would be 
permitted against a vote defeating a motion to rise.

                                 VOTING

    There are three methods of voting in the Committee of the 
Whole that are also employed in the House. These are the voice 
vote, the division, and the recorded vote. The yea-and-nay vote 
is an additional method used only in the House, which may be 
automatic if a Member objects to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present.
    To conduct a voice vote the Chair puts the question: ``As 
many as are in favor (as the question may be) say `Aye'. As 
many as are opposed, say `No' ''. The Chair determines the 
result on a comparison of the volume of ayes and noes. This is 
the form in which the vote is ordinarily taken in the first 
instance.
    If it is difficult to determine the result of a voice vote, 
a division may be demanded by a Member or initiated by the 
Chair. The Chair then states: ``As many as are in favor will 
rise and stand until counted''. After counting those in favor 
he calls on those opposed to stand and be counted, thereby 
determining the number in favor of and those opposed to the 
question.
    If any Member requests a recorded vote and that request is 
supported by at least one-fifth of a quorum of the House (44 
Members), or 25 Members in the Committee of the Whole, the vote 
is taken by electronic device. After the recorded vote is 
concluded, the names of those voting and those not voting are 
entered in the Journal. Members have a minimum of 15 minutes to 
be counted from the time the record vote is ordered. The 
Speaker may reduce the period for voting to five minutes on 
subsequent votes in certain situations where there has been no 
intervening debate or business. The Speaker is not required to 
vote unless the Speaker's vote would be decisive.
    The modern practice in the Committee of the Whole is to 
postpone and cluster votes on amendments to maximize efficient 
scheduling of voting. The rules of the House provide the 
Chairman of the Committee of the Whole discretionary authority 
to postpone votes on amendments and to reduce the time for 
voting on amendments to five minutes following a 15-minute vote 
on the first amendment in a series. The Chairman is not allowed 
to postpone votes on matters other than amendments and is 
mindful not to postpone votes where the outcome could be 
prejudicial to the offering of another amendment.
    In the House, if the yeas and nays are demanded, the 
Speaker directs those in favor of taking the vote by that 
method to stand and be counted. The support of one-fifth of the 
Members present is necessary for ordering the yeas and nays. 
When the yeas and nays are ordered or a point of order is made 
that a quorum is not present, the Speaker states: ``As many as 
are in favor of the proposition will vote `Aye'.'' ``As many as 
are opposed will vote `No'.'' The Clerk activates the 
electronic system or calls the roll and reports the result to 
the Speaker, who announces it to the House.
    The rules of the House require a three-fifths vote to pass 
a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that 
contains a specified type of federal income tax rate increase. 
The rules of the House also provide for automatic yeas and nays 
on votes on passage of certain fiscal measures including a 
concurrent resolution on the budget or a general appropriation 
bill.
    The rules prohibit a Member from: (1) casting another 
Member's vote or recording another Member's presence in the 
House or the Committee of the Whole; or (2) authorizing another 
individual to cast a vote or record the Member's presence in 
the House or the Committee of the Whole.

                           ELECTRONIC VOTING

    Recorded votes are usually taken by electronic device, 
except when the Speaker orders the vote to be recorded by other 
methods prescribed by the rules of the House, or in the failure 
of the electronic device to function. In addition, quorum calls 
are generally taken by electronic device. The electronic system 
works as follows: A number of vote stations are attached to 
selected chairs in the Chamber. Each station is equipped with a 
vote card slot and four indicators, marked ``yea'', ``nay'', 
``present'', and ``open'' that are lit when a vote is in 
progress and the system is ready to accept votes. Each Member 
is provided with an encyrpted Vote-ID Card. A Member votes by 
inserting the voting card into any one of the vote stations and 
depressing the appropriate button to indicate the Member's 
choice. If a Member is without a Vote-ID Card or wishes to 
change his vote during the last five minutes of a vote, the 
Member may be recorded by handing a paper ballot to the Tally 
Clerk, who then records the vote electronically according to 
the indicated preference of the Member. The paper ballots are 
green for ``yea'', red for ``nay'', and amber for ``present''. 
The voting machine records the votes and reports the result 
when the vote is completed.

                           PAIRING OF MEMBERS

    The former system of pairing of Members, where a Member 
could arrange in advance to be recorded as being either in 
favor of or opposed to the question by being ``paired'' with 
another absent Member who holds contrary views on the question, 
has largely been eliminated. The rules still allow for ``live 
pairs''. A live pair is where a Member votes as if not paired, 
subsequently withdraws that vote, and then asks to be marked 
``present'' to protect the other Member. The most common 
practice is for absent Members to submit statements for the 
Record stating how they would have voted if present on specific 
votes.

                       SYSTEM OF LIGHTS AND BELLS

    Due to the diverse nature of daily tasks that they have to 
perform, it is not practicable for Members to be present in the 
House or Senate Chamber at every minute that the body is in 
session. Furthermore, many of the routine matters do not 
require the personal attendance of all the Members. A system 
consisting of electric lights and bells or buzzers located in 
various parts of the Capitol Building and House and Senate 
Office Buildings alerts Members to certain occurrences in the 
House and Senate Chambers.
    In the House, the Speaker has ordered that the bells and 
lights comprising the system be utilized as follows:

          1 long ring followed by a pause and then 3 rings and 3 lights 
        on the left--Start or continuation of a notice or short quorum 
        call in the Committee of the Whole that will be vacated if and 
        when 100 Members appear on the floor. Bells are repeated every 
        five minutes unless the call is vacated or the call is 
        converted into a regular quorum call.
          1 long ring and extinguishing of 3 lights on the left--Short 
        or notice quorum call vacated.
          2 rings and 2 lights on the left--15 minute recorded vote, 
        yea-and-nay vote or automatic rollcall vote by electronic 
        device. The bells are repeated five minutes after the first 
        ring.
          2 rings and 2 lights on the left followed by a pause and then 
        2 more rings--Automatic rollcall vote or yea-and-nay vote taken 
        by a call of the roll in the House. The bells are repeated when 
        the Clerk reaches the R's in the first call of the roll.
          2 rings followed by a pause and then 5 rings--First vote on 
        clustered votes. Two bells are repeated five minutes after the 
        first ring. The first vote will take 15 minutes with successive 
        votes at intervals of not less than five minutes. Each 
        successive vote is signaled by five rings.
          3 rings and 3 lights on the left--15 minute quorum call in 
        either the House or in the Committee of the Whole by electronic 
        device. The bells are repeated five minutes after the first 
        ring.
          3 rings followed by a pause and then 3 more rings--15 minute 
        quorum call by a call of the roll. The bells are repeated when 
        the Clerk reaches the R's in the first call of the roll.
          3 rings followed by a pause and then 5 more rings--Quorum 
        call in the Committee of the Whole that may be followed 
        immediately by a five-minute recorded vote.
          4 rings and 4 lights on the left--Adjournment of the House.
          5 rings and 5 lights on the left--Any five-minute vote.
          6 rings and 6 lights on the left--Recess of the House.
          12 rings at 2-second intervals with 6 lights on the left--
        Civil Defense Warning.
          The 7th light indicates that the House is in session.

                            RECESS AUTHORITY

    The House may by vote authorize the Speaker to declare a 
recess under the rules of the House. The Speaker also has the 
authority to declare the House in recess for a short time when 
no question is pending before the House or in the case of an 
emergency.

                   LIVE COVERAGE OF FLOOR PROCEEDINGS

    The rules of the House provide for unedited radio and 
television broadcasting and recording of proceedings on the 
floor of the House. However, the rules prohibit the use of 
these broadcasts and recordings for any political purpose or in 
any commercial advertisement. The rules of the Senate also 
provide for broadcasting and recording of proceedings in the 
Senate Chamber with similar restrictions.

                   XII. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET PROCESS
    The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 
1974, as amended, provides Congress with a procedure 
establishing appropriate spending and revenue levels for each 
year. The congressional budget process, as set out in the 1974 
Budget Act, is designed to coordinate decisions on sources and 
levels of revenues and on objects and levels of expenditures. 
Its basic method is to prescribe the overall size of the fiscal 
pie and the particular sizes of its various pieces. Each year 
the Congress adopts a concurrent resolution imposing overall 
constraints on revenues and spending and distributing the 
overall constraint on spending among groups of programs and 
activities.
    Congress aims to complete action on a concurrent resolution 
on the budget for the next fiscal year by April 15. Congress 
may adopt a later budget resolution that revises the most 
recently adopted budget resolution. One of the mechanisms 
Congress uses to implement the constraints on revenue and 
spending is called the reconciliation process. Reconciliation 
is a multiple-step process designed to bring existing law in 
conformity with the most recently adopted concurrent resolution 
on the budget. The first step in the reconciliation process is 
the language found in a concurrent resolution on the budget 
instructing House and Senate committees to determine and 
recommend changes in laws or bills that will achieve the 
constraints established in the concurrent resolution on the 
budget. The instructions to a committee specify the amount of 
spending reductions or revenue changes a committee must attain 
and leave to the discretion of the committee the specific 
changes to laws or bills that must be made. The subsequent 
steps involve the combination of the various instructed 
committees' recommendations into an omnibus reconciliation bill 
or bills which are reported by the Committee on the Budget or 
by the one committee instructed, if only one committee has been 
instructed, and considered by the whole House. In the Senate, 
reconciliation bills reported from committee are entitled to 
expedited consideration, permitting a majority of Senators, 
rather than sixty, to assure consideration of the bill with 
limited time for amendments.
    The Budget Act maintains that reconciliation provisions 
must be related to reconciling the budget. This principle is 
codified in section 313 of the Budget Act, the so-called Byrd 
Rule, named after Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia. 
Section 313 provides a point of order in the Senate against 
extraneous matter in reconciliation bills. Determining what is 
extraneous is a difficult task for the Senate's Presiding 
Officer. The Byrd Rule may only be waived in the Senate by a 
three-fifths vote and sixty votes are required to overturn the 
presiding officer's ruling.
    Congress aims to complete action on a reconciliation bill 
or resolution by a specified date of each year. After Congress 
has completed action on a concurrent resolution on the budget 
for a fiscal year, it is generally not in order to consider 
legislation that does not conform to the constraints on 
spending and revenue set out in the resolution.
    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, through an 
amendment to the Congressional Budget Act, established 
requirements on committees with respect to measures containing 
unfunded intergovernmental mandates. An unfunded 
intergovernmental mandate is the imposition of a substantial 
financial requirement or obligation on a state, local, or 
tribal government. The Act also established a unique point of 
order to enforce the requirements of the Act with respect to 
intergovernmental mandates in excess of fifty million dollars 
annually. In the House, an unfunded mandate point of order is 
not disposed of by a ruling of the Chair but by the Chair 
putting the question of consideration to the body. The House or 
the Committee of the Whole then decides by vote whether or not 
to proceed with the measure with the alleged mandate contained 
therein.

                XIII. ENGROSSMENT AND MESSAGE TO SENATE

    The preparation of a copy of the bill in the form in which 
it has passed the House can be a detailed and complicated 
process because of the large number and complexity of 
amendments to some bills adopted by the House. Frequently, 
these amendments are offered during a spirited debate with 
little or no prior formal preparation. The amendment may be for 
the purpose of inserting new language, substituting different 
words for those set out in the bill, or deleting portions of 
the bill. It is not unusual to have more than 100 amendments 
adopted, including those proposed by the committee at the time 
the bill is reported and those offered from the floor during 
the consideration of the bill in the Chamber. In some cases, 
amendments offered from the floor are written in longhand. Each 
amendment must be inserted in precisely the proper place in the 
bill, with the spelling and punctuation exactly as it was 
adopted by the House. It is extremely important that the Senate 
receive a copy of the bill in the precise form in which it has 
passed the House. The preparation of such a copy is the 
function of the enrolling clerk.
    In the House, the enrolling clerk is under the Clerk of the 
House. In the Senate, the enrolling clerk is under the 
Secretary of the Senate. The enrolling clerk receives all the 
papers relating to the bill, including the official Clerk's 
copy of the bill as reported by the standing committee and each 
amendment adopted by the House. From this material, the 
enrolling clerk prepares the engrossed copy of the bill as 
passed, containing all the amendments agreed to by the House. 
At this point, the measure ceases technically to be called a 
bill and is termed ``An Act'' signifying that it is the act of 
one body of the Congress, although it is still popularly 
referred to as a bill. The engrossed bill is printed on blue 
paper and is signed by the Clerk of the House. Bills may also 
originate in the Senate with certain exceptions. For a 
discussion of bills originating in the Senate, see Part XVI.

                           XIV. SENATE ACTION

    The Parliamentarian, in the name of the Vice President, as 
the President of the Senate, refers the engrossed bill to the 
appropriate standing committee of the Senate in conformity with 
the rules of the Senate. The bill is reprinted immediately and 
copies are made available in the document rooms of both Houses. 
This printing is known as the ``Act print'' or the ``Senate 
referred print''.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    Senate committees give the bill the same detailed 
consideration as it received in the House and may report it 
with or without amendment. A committee member who wishes to 
express an individual view or a group of Members who wish to 
file a minority report may do so by giving notice, at the time 
of the approval of a report on the measure, of an intention to 
file supplemental, minority, or additional views. These views 
may be filed within three days with the clerk of the committee 
and become a part of the report. When a committee reports a 
bill, it is reprinted with the committee amendments indicated 
by showing new matter in italics and deleted matter in line-
through type. The calendar number and report number are 
indicated on the first and back pages, together with the name 
of the Senator making the report. The committee report and any 
minority or individual views accompanying the bill also are 
printed at the same time.
    All committee meetings, including those to conduct 
hearings, must be open to the public. However, a majority of 
the members of a committee or subcommittee may, after 
discussion in closed session, vote in open session to close a 
meeting or series of meetings on the same subject for no longer 
than 14 days if it is determined that the matters to be 
discussed or testimony to be taken will disclose matters 
necessary to be kept secret in the interests of national 
defense or the confidential conduct of the foreign relations of 
the United States; will relate solely to internal committee 
staff management or procedure; will tend to charge an 
individual with a crime or misconduct, to disgrace or injure 
the professional standing of an individual, or otherwise to 
expose an individual to public contempt, or will represent a 
clearly unwarranted invasion of the privacy of an individual; 
will disclose law enforcement information that is required to 
be kept secret; will disclose certain information regarding 
certain trade secrets; or may disclose matters required to be 
kept confidential under other provisions of law or government 
regulation.

                           CHAMBER PROCEDURE

    The rules of procedure in the Senate differ to a large 
extent from those in the House. The Senate relies heavily on 
the practice of obtaining unanimous consent for actions to be 
taken. For example, at the time that a bill is reported, the 
Majority Leader may ask unanimous consent for the immediate 
consideration of the bill. If the bill is of a noncontroversial 
nature and there is no objection, the Senate may pass the bill 
with little or no debate and with only a brief explanation of 
its purpose and effect. Even in this instance, the bill is 
subject to amendment by any Senator. A simple majority vote is 
necessary to carry an amendment as well as to pass the bill. If 
there is any objection, the report must lie over one 
legislative day and the bill is placed on the calendar.
    Measures reported by standing committees of the Senate may 
not be considered unless the report of that committee has been 
available to Senate Members for at least two days (excluding 
Sundays and legal holidays) prior to consideration of the 
measure in the Senate. This requirement, however, may be waived 
by agreement of the Majority and Minority leaders and does not 
apply in certain emergency situations.
    In the Senate, measures are brought up for consideration by 
a simple unanimous consent request, by a complex unanimous 
consent agreement, or by a motion to proceed to the 
consideration of a measure on the calendar. A unanimous consent 
agreement, sometimes referred to as a ``time agreement'', makes 
the consideration of a measure in order and often limits the 
amount of debate that will take place on the measure and lists 
the amendments that will be considered. The offering of a 
unanimous consent request to consider a measure or the offering 
of a motion to proceed to the consideration of a measure is 
reserved, by tradition, to the Majority Leader.
    Usually a motion to consider a measure on the calendar is 
made only when unanimous consent to consider the measure cannot 
be obtained. There are two calendars in the Senate, the 
Calendar of Business and the Executive Calendar. All 
legislation is placed on the Calendar of Business and treaties 
and nominations are placed on the Executive Calendar. Unlike 
the House, there is no differentiation on the Calendar of 
Business between the treatment of: (1) bills raising revenue, 
general appropriation bills, and bills of a public character 
appropriating money or property; and (2) other bills of a 
public character not appropriating money or property.
    The rules of the Senate provide that at the conclusion of 
the morning business for each ``legislative day'' the Senate 
proceeds to the consideration of the calendar. In the Senate, 
the term ``legislative day'' means the period of time from when 
the Senate adjourns until the next time the Senate adjourns. 
Because the Senate often ``recesses'' rather than ``adjourns'' 
at the end of a daily session, the legislative day usually does 
not correspond to the 24-hour period comprising a calendar day. 
Thus, a legislative day may cover a long period of time--from 
days to weeks, or even months. Because of this and the modern 
practice of waiving the call of the calendar by unanimous 
consent at the start of a new legislative day, it is rare to 
have a call of the calendar. When the calendar is called, bills 
that are not objected to are taken up in their order, and each 
Senator is entitled to speak once and for five minutes only on 
any question. Objection may be interposed at any stage of the 
proceedings, but on motion the Senate may continue 
consideration after the call of the calendar is completed, and 
the limitations on debate then do not apply.
    On any day (other than a Monday that begins a new 
legislative day), following the announcement of the close of 
morning business, any Senator, usually the Majority Leader, 
obtaining recognition may move to take up any bill out of its 
regular order on the calendar. The five-minute limitation on 
debate does not apply to the consideration of a bill taken up 
in this manner, and debate may continue until the hour when the 
Presiding Officer of the Senate ``lays down'' the unfinished 
business of the day. At that point consideration of the bill is 
discontinued and the measure reverts back to the Calendar of 
Business and may again be called up at another time under the 
same conditions.
    When a bill has been objected to and passed over on the 
call of the calendar it is not necessarily lost. The Majority 
Leader, after consulting the Minority Leader, determines the 
time at which the bill will be considered. At that time, a 
motion is made to consider the bill. The motion is debatable if 
made after the morning hour.
    Once a Senator is recognized by the Presiding Officer, the 
Senator may speak for as long as the Senator wishes and loses 
the floor only when the Senator yields it or takes certain 
parliamentary actions that forfeit the Senator's right to the 
floor. However, a Senator may not speak more than twice on any 
one question in debate on the same legislative day without 
leave of the Senate. Debate ends when a Senator yields the 
floor and no other Senator seeks recognition, or when a 
unanimous consent agreement limiting the time of debate is 
operating.
    On occasion, Senators opposed to a measure may extend 
debate by making lengthy speeches or a number of speeches at 
various stages of consideration intended to prevent or defeat 
action on the measure. This is the tactic known as 
``filibustering''. Debate, however, may be closed if 16 
Senators sign a motion to that effect and the motion is carried 
by three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn. Such a 
motion is voted on one hour after the Senate convenes, 
following a quorum call on the next day after a day of session 
has intervened. This procedure is called ``invoking cloture''. 
In 1986, the Senate amended its rules to limit ``post-cloture'' 
consideration to 30 hours. A Senator may speak for not more 
than one hour and may yield all or a part of that time to the 
majority or minority floor managers of the bill under 
consideration or to the Majority or Minority leader. The Senate 
may increase the time for ``post-cloture'' debate by a vote of 
three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn. After the 
time for debate has expired, the Senate may consider only 
amendments actually pending before voting on the bill.
    While a measure is being considered it is subject to 
amendment and each amendment, including those proposed by the 
committee that reported the bill, is considered separately. 
Generally, there is no requirement that proposed amendments be 
germane to the subject matter of the bill except in the case of 
general appropriation bills or where ``cloture'' has been 
invoked. Under the rules, a ``rider'', an amendment proposing 
substantive legislation to an appropriation bill, is 
prohibited. However, this prohibition may be suspended by two-
thirds vote on a motion to permit consideration of such an 
amendment on one day's notice in writing. Debate must be 
germane during the first three hours after business is laid 
down unless determined to the contrary by unanimous consent or 
on motion without debate. After final action on the amendments 
the bill is ready for engrossment and the third reading, which 
is by title only. The Presiding Officer then puts the question 
on the passage and a voice vote is usually taken although a 
yea-and-nay vote is in order if demanded by one-fifth of the 
Senators present. A simple majority is necessary for passage. 
Before an amended measure is cleared for its return to the 
House of Representatives, or an unamended measure is cleared 
for enrollment, a Senator who voted with the prevailing side, 
or who abstained from voting, may make a motion within the next 
two days to reconsider the action. If the measure was passed 
without a recorded vote, any Senator may make the motion to 
reconsider. That motion is usually tabled and its tabling 
constitutes a final determination. If, however, the motion is 
granted, the Senate, by majority vote, may either affirm its 
action, which then becomes final, or reverse it.
    The original engrossed House bill, together with the 
engrossed Senate amendments, if any, or the original engrossed 
Senate bill, as the case may be, is then returned to the House 
with a message stating the action taken by the Senate. Where 
the Senate has adopted amendments, the message requests that 
the House concur in them.
    For a more detailed discussion of Senate procedure, see 
Enactment of a Law, by Robert B. Dove, former Parliamentarian 
of the Senate.

                    XV. FINAL ACTION ON AMENDED BILL

    On their return to the House, the official papers relating 
to the amended measure are placed on the Speaker's table to 
await House action on the Senate amendments. Although rarely 
exercised, the Speaker has the authority to refer Senate 
amendments to the appropriate committee or committees with or 
without time limits on their consideration. If the amendments 
are of a minor or noncontroversial nature, any Member, usually 
the chairman of a committee that reported the bill, may, at the 
direction of the committee, ask unanimous consent to take the 
bill with the amendments from the Speaker's table and agree to 
the Senate amendments. At this point, the Clerk reads the title 
of the bill and the Senate amendments. If there is no 
objection, the amendments are then declared to be agreed to, 
and the bill is ready to be enrolled for presentation to the 
President. If unanimous consent is not obtainable, the few 
bills that do not require consideration in the Committee of the 
Whole are privileged and may be called up from the Speaker's 
table by motion for immediate consideration of the amendments. 
A simple majority is necessary to carry the motion and thereby 
complete floor action on the measure. A Senate amendment to a 
House bill is subject to a point of order that it must first be 
considered in the Committee of the Whole, if, originating in 
the House, it would be subject to that point of order. Most 
Senate amendments require consideration in the Committee of the 
Whole and this procedure by privileged motion is seldom 
utilized.

                        REQUEST FOR A CONFERENCE

    The mere fact that each House may have separately passed 
its own bill on a subject is not sufficient to make either bill 
eligible for conference. One House must first take the 
additional step of amending and then passing the bill of the 
other House to form the basis for a conference. If the 
amendments of the Senate are substantial or controversial, a 
Member, usually the chairman of the committee of jurisdiction, 
may request unanimous consent to take the House bill with the 
Senate amendments from the Speaker's table, disagree to the 
amendments and request or agree to a conference with the Senate 
to resolve the disagreeing votes of the two Houses. In the case 
of a Senate bill with House amendments, the House may insist on 
the House amendments and request a conference. For a discussion 
of bills originating in the Senate, see Part XVI. If there is 
objection, the Speaker may recognize a Member for a motion, if 
offered by the direction of the primary committee and of all 
reporting committees that had initial referral of the bill, to: 
(1) disagree to the Senate amendments and ask for or agree to a 
conference; or (2) insist on the House amendments to a Senate 
bill and request or agree to a conference. This may also be 
accomplished by a motion to suspend the rules with a two-thirds 
vote or by a rule from the Committee on Rules. If there is no 
objection to the request, or if the motion is carried, a motion 
to instruct the managers of the conference would be in order. 
This initial motion to instruct is the prerogative of the 
minority party. The instructions to conferees usually urge the 
managers to accept or reject a particular Senate or House 
provision or to take a more generally described political 
position to the extent possible within the scope of the 
conference. However, such instructions may not contain argument 
and are not binding on House or Senate conferees. After the 
motion to instruct is disposed of, the Speaker then appoints 
the managers, informally known as conferees, on the part of the 
House and a message is sent to the Senate advising it of the 
House action. A majority of the Members appointed to be 
conferees must have been supporters of the House position, as 
determined by the Speaker. The Speaker must appoint Members 
primarily responsible for the legislation and must include, to 
the fullest extent feasible, the principal proponents of the 
major provisions of the bill as it passed the House. The 
Speaker usually follows the suggestion of the committee 
chairman in designating the conferees on the part of the House 
from among the members of the committee with jurisdiction over 
the House or Senate provisions. Occasionally, the Speaker 
appoints conferees from more than one committee and may specify 
the portions of the House and Senate versions to which they are 
assigned. The number is fixed by the Speaker and majority party 
representation generally reflects the ratio for the full House 
committee, but may be greater on important bills. The Speaker 
also has the authority to name substitute conferees on specific 
provisions and add or remove conferees after his original 
appointment. Representation of both major parties is an 
important attribute of all our parliamentary procedures but, in 
the case of conference committees, it is important that the 
views of the House on matters in conference be properly 
represented.
    If the Senate agrees to the request for a conference, a 
similar committee is appointed by unanimous consent by the 
Presiding Officer of the Senate. Both political parties may be 
represented on the Senate conference committee. The Senate and 
House committees need not be the same size but each House has 
one vote in conference as determined by a majority within each 
set or subset of conferees.
    The request for a conference may only be made by the body 
in possession of the official papers. Occasionally, the Senate, 
anticipating that the House will not concur in its amendments, 
votes to insist on its amendments and requests a conference on 
passage of the bill prior to returning the bill to the House. 
This practice serves to expedite the matter because time may be 
saved by the designation of the Senate conferees before 
returning the bill to the House. The matter of which body 
requests the conference is not without significance because the 
body asking for the conference normally acts last on the report 
to be submitted by the conferees and a motion to recommit the 
conference report is not available to the body that acts last.

                         AUTHORITY OF CONFEREES

    The conference committee is sometimes popularly referred to 
as the ``Third House of Congress''. Although the managers on 
the part of each House meet together as one committee they are 
in effect two separate committees, each of which votes 
separately and acts by a majority vote. For this reason, the 
number of managers from each House is largely immaterial.
    The House conferees are strictly limited in their 
consideration to matters in disagreement between the two 
Houses. Consequently, they may not strike out or amend any 
portion of the bill that was not amended by the other House. 
Furthermore, they may not insert new matter that is not germane 
to or that is beyond the scope of the differences between the 
two Houses. Where the Senate amendment revises a figure or an 
amount contained in the bill, the conferees are limited to the 
difference between the two numbers and may neither increase the 
greater nor decrease the smaller figure. Neither House may 
alone, by instructions, empower its managers to make a change 
in the text to which both Houses have agreed.
    When a disagreement to an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute is committed to a conference committee, managers on 
the part of the House may propose a substitute that is a 
germane modification of the matter in disagreement, but the 
introduction of any language in that substitute presenting 
specific additional matter not committed to the conference 
committee by either House is not in order. Moreover, their 
report may not include matter not committed to the conference 
committee by either House. The report may not include a 
modification of any specific matter committed to the conference 
committee by either or both Houses if that modification is 
beyond the scope of that specific matter as committed to the 
conference committee.
    Under a recent reassertion of a Senate rule, Senate 
conferees are bound to consider only those matters that bare a 
certain relevancy to a House or Senate provision in conference.
    The managers on the part of the House are under specific 
guidelines when in conference on general appropriation bills. 
An amendment by the Senate to a general appropriation bill 
which would be in violation of the rules of the House, if such 
amendment had originated in the House, including an amendment 
changing existing law, providing appropriations not authorized 
by law, or providing reappropriations of unexpended balances, 
or an amendment by the Senate providing for an appropriation on 
a bill other than a general appropriation bill, may not be 
agreed to by the managers on the part of the House. However, 
the House may grant specific authority to agree to such an 
amendment by a separate vote on a motion to instruct on each 
specific amendment.

                    MEETINGS AND ACTION OF CONFEREES

    The rules of the House require that one conference meeting 
be open, unless the House, in open session, determines by a 
vote of the yeas and nays that a meeting will be closed to the 
public. When the report of the conference committee is read in 
the House, a point of order may be made that the conferees 
failed to comply with the House rule requiring an open 
conference meeting. If the point of order is sustained, the 
conference report is considered rejected by the House and a new 
conference is deemed to have been requested.
    There are generally four forms of recommendations available 
to the conferees when reporting back to their bodies:
          (1) The Senate recede from all (or certain of) its 
        amendments.
          (2) The House recede from its disagreement to all (or 
        certain of) the Senate amendments and agree thereto.
          (3) The House recede from its disagreement to all (or 
        certain of) the Senate amendments and agree thereto 
        with amendments.
          (4) The House recede from all (or certain of) its 
        amendments to the Senate amendments or its amendments 
        to Senate bill.
    In most instances, the result of the conference is a 
compromise growing out of the third type of recommendation 
available to the conferees because one House has originally 
substituted its own bill to be considered as a single 
amendment. The complete report may be composed of any one or 
more of these recommendations with respect to the various 
amendments where there are numbered amendments. In earlier 
practice, on general appropriation bills with numbered Senate 
amendments, because of the special rules preventing House 
conferees from agreeing to Senate amendments changing existing 
law or appropriations not authorized by law, the conferees 
often found themselves, under the rules or in fact, unable to 
reach an agreement with respect to one or more amendments and 
reported back a statement of their inability to agree on those 
particular amendments. These amendments were acted upon 
separately. This partial disagreement is not practicable where, 
as in current practice, the Senate strikes out all after the 
enacting clause and substitutes its own bill that must be 
considered as a single amendment.
    If they are unable to reach any agreement whatsoever, the 
conferees report that fact to their respective bodies and the 
amendments may be disposed of by motion. Usually, new conferees 
may be appointed in either or both Houses. In addition, the 
Houses may provide a new nonbinding instruction to the 
conferees as to the position they are to take.
    After House conferees on any bill or resolution in 
conference between the two bodies have been appointed for 20 
calendar days and 10 legislative days and have failed to make a 
report, a motion to instruct the House conferees, or discharge 
them and appoint new conferees is privileged. The motion can be 
made only after the Member announces his intention to offer the 
motion and only at a time designated by the Speaker in the 
legislative schedule of the following day. Like the initial 
motion to instruct, the 20-day motion may not contain argument 
and must remain within the scope of conference. In addition, 
during the last six days of a session, it is a privileged 
motion to move to discharge, appoint, or instruct House 
conferees after House conferees have been appointed 36 hours 
without having made a report.

                           CONFERENCE REPORTS

    When the conferees, by majority vote of each group, have 
reached complete agreement or find that they are able to agree 
with respect to some but not all separately numbered 
amendments, they make their recommendations in a report made in 
duplicate that must be signed by a majority of the conferees 
appointed by each body on each provision to which they are 
appointed. The minority of the managers have no authority to 
file a statement of minority views in connection with the 
conference report. The report is required to be printed in both 
Houses and must be accompanied by an explanatory statement 
prepared jointly by the conferees on the part of the House and 
the conferees on the part of the Senate. The statement must be 
sufficiently detailed and explicit to inform Congress of the 
effects of the report on the matters committed to conference. 
The engrossed bill and amendments and one copy of the report 
are delivered to the body that is to act first on the report, 
usually, the body that agreed to the conference requested by 
the other.
    In the Senate, the presentation of a conference report 
always is in order except when the Journal is being read, a 
point of order or motion to adjourn is pending, or while the 
Senate is voting or ascertaining the presence of a quorum. When 
the report is received, the question of proceeding to the 
consideration of the report, if raised, is immediately voted on 
without debate. The report is not subject to amendment in 
either body and must be accepted or rejected as an entirety. If 
the time for debate on the adoption of the report is limited, 
the time allotted must be equally divided between the majority 
and minority party. The Senate, acting first, prior to voting 
on agreeing to the report may by majority vote order it 
recommitted to the conferees. When the Senate agrees to the 
report, its managers are thereby discharged and it then 
delivers the original papers to the House with a message 
advising that body of its action.
    A report that contains any recommendations which extend 
beyond the scope of differences between the two Houses is 
subject to a point of order in its entirety unless that point 
of order is waived in the House by unanimous consent, adoption 
of a rule reported from the Committee on Rules, or the 
suspension of the rules by a two-thirds vote. In the Senate, a 
report exceeding the scope of conference is likewise subject to 
a point of order and the Chair will use a relevancy standard in 
testing the relationship of a targeted provision to matter in 
the House or Senate version.
    The presentation of a conference report in the House is in 
order at any time, except during a reading of the Journal or 
the conduct of a record vote, a vote by division, or a quorum 
call. The report is considered in the House and may not be sent 
to the Committee of the Whole on the suggestion that it 
contains matters ordinarily requiring consideration in that 
Committee. The report may not be received by the House if the 
required joint statement does not accompany it.
    However, it is not in order to consider either: (1) a 
conference report; or (2) a motion to dispose of a Senate 
amendment (including an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute) reported in diasgreement by a conference committee, 
until the third calendar day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and 
legal holidays unless the House is in session on those days) 
after the report and accompanying statement have been filed in 
the House and made available to the Members in the 
Congressional Record. However, these provisions do not apply 
during the last six days of the session. It is also not in 
order to consider a conference report or a motion to dispose of 
a Senate amendment reported in disagreement unless copies of 
the report and accompanying statement, together with the text 
of the amendment, have been available to Members for at least 
two hours before their consideration. By contrast, it is always 
in order to call up for consideration a report from the 
Committee on Rules on the same day reported that proposes only 
to waive the availability requirements for a conference report 
or a Senate amendment reported in disagreement. The time 
allotted for debate on a conference report or motion is one 
hour, equally divided between the majority party and the 
minority party. However, if the majority and minority floor 
managers both support the conference report or motion, one-
third of the debate time must be allotted to a Member who is 
opposed. If the House does not agree to a conference report 
that the Senate has already agreed to, the report may not be 
recommitted to conference. In that situation, the Senate 
conferees are discharged when the Senate agrees to the report. 
The House may then request a new conference with the Senate and 
conferees must be reappointed.
    If a conference report is called up before the House 
containing matter which would be in violation of the rules of 
the House with respect to germaneness if the matter had been 
offered as an amendment in the House, and which is contained 
either: (1) in the Senate bill or Senate amendment to the House 
measure (including a Senate amendment in the nature of a 
substitute for the text of that measure as passed by the House) 
and accepted by the House conferees or agreed to by the 
conference committee with modification; or (2) in a substitute 
amendment agreed to by the conference committee, a point of 
order may be made at the beginning of consideration that 
nongermane matter is contained in the report. The point of 
order may also be waived by a special rule. If the point of 
order is sustained, a motion to reject the nongermane matter 
identified by the point of order is privileged. The motion is 
debatable for 40 minutes, one-half of the time in favor of, and 
one-half in opposition to, the motion. Notwithstanding the 
final disposition of a point of order made with respect to the 
report, or of a motion to reject nongermane matter, further 
points of order may be made with respect to the report, and 
further motions may be made to reject other nongermane matter 
in the conference report not covered by any previous point of 
order which has been sustained. If a motion to reject has been 
adopted, after final disposition of all points of order and 
motions to reject, the conference report is considered rejected 
and the question then pending before the House is whether: (1) 
to recede and concur with an amendment that consists of that 
portion of the conference report not rejected; or (2) to insist 
on the House amendment. If all motions to reject are defeated 
and the House thereby decides to permit the inclusion of the 
nongermane Senate matter in the conference report, then, after 
the allocation of time for debate on the conference report, it 
is in order to move the previous question on the adoption of 
the conference report.
    Similar procedures are available in the House when the 
Senate proposes an amendment to a measure that would be in 
violation of the rule against nongermane amendments, and 
thereafter it is (1) reported in disagreement by a committee of 
conference or (2) before the House and the stage of 
disagreement is reached.
    The numbered amendments of the Senate reported in 
disagreement may be voted on separately and may be adopted by a 
majority vote after the adoption of the conference report 
itself as though no conference had been had with respect to 
those amendments. The Senate may recede from all amendments, or 
from certain of its amendments, insisting on the others with or 
without a request for a further conference with respect to 
them. If the House does not accept the amendments insisted on 
by the Senate, the entire conference process may begin again 
with respect to them. One House may also further amend an 
amendment of the other House until the third degree stage of 
amendment within that House is reached.

                           CUSTODY OF PAPERS

    The custody of the original official papers is important in 
conference procedure because either body may act on a 
conference report only when in possession of the papers. The 
papers are transmitted to the body agreeing to the conference 
and from that body to the managers of the House that asked for 
the conference. The latter in turn carry the papers with them 
to the conference and at its conclusion turn them over to the 
managers of the House that agreed to the conference. The 
managers of the House that agreed to the conference deliver 
them to their own House, that acts first on the report, and 
then delivers the papers to the other House for final action on 
the report. However, if the managers on the part of the House 
agreeing to the conference surrender the papers to the House 
asking for the conference, the report may be acted on first by 
the House asking for the conference.
    At the conclusion of the conference, each group of 
conferees retains one copy of the report that has been made in 
duplicate and signed by a majority of the managers of each 
body. The House copy is signed first by the House managers and 
the Senate copy is signed first by its managers.
    A bill cannot become a law of the land until it has been 
approved in identical form by both Houses of Congress. When the 
bill has finally been approved by both Houses, all the original 
papers are transmitted to the enrolling clerk of the body in 
which the bill originated.

                    XVI. BILL ORIGINATING IN SENATE

    The preceding discussion has described the legislative 
process for bills originating in the House. When a bill 
originates in the Senate, this process is reversed. When the 
Senate passes a bill that originated in the Senate, it is sent 
to the House for consideration unless it is held by unanimous 
consent to become a vehicle for a similar House bill if and 
when passed by the House. The Senate bill is referred to the 
appropriate House committee for consideration or held at the 
Speaker's table at the Speaker's discretion for possible 
amendment following action on a companion House bill. If the 
committee reports the bill to the full House and if the bill is 
passed by the House without amendment, it is ready for 
enrollment. If the House passes an amended version of the 
Senate bill, the bill is returned to the Senate for action on 
the House amendments. The Senate may agree to the amendments or 
request a conference to resolve the disagreement over the House 
amendments or may further amend the House amendments. In 
accordance with the Constitution, the Senate cannot originate 
revenue measures. By tradition, the House also originates 
general appropriation bills. If the Senate does originate a 
revenue measure either as a Senate bill or an amendment to a 
non-revenue House bill, it can be returned to the Senate by a 
vote of the House as an infringement of the constitutional 
prerogative of the House.

                            XVII. ENROLLMENT

    When the bill has been agreed to in identical form by both 
bodies--either: (1) without amendment by the Senate; (2) by 
House concurrence in Senate amendments; (3) by Senate 
concurrence in House amendments; or (4) by agreement in both 
bodies to the conference report--a copy of the bill is enrolled 
for presentation to the President.
    The preparation of the enrolled bill is a painstaking and 
important task because it must reflect precisely the effect of 
all amendments, either by way of deletion, substitution, or 
addition, agreed to by both bodies. The enrolling clerk of the 
House, with respect to bills originating in the House, receives 
the original engrossed bill, the engrossed Senate amendments, 
the signed conference report, the several messages from the 
Senate, and a notation of the final action by the House, for 
the purpose of preparing the enrolled copy. From these 
documents, the enrolling clerk must meticulously prepare for 
presentation to the President the final form of the bill as it 
was agreed to by both Houses. On occasion, as many as 500 
amendments have been adopted, each of which must be set out in 
the enrollment exactly as agreed to, and all punctuation must 
be in accord with the action taken.
    The enrolled bill is printed on parchment paper and 
certified by the Clerk of the House stating that the bill 
originated in the House of Representatives. A bill originating 
in the Senate is examined and certified by the Secretary of the 
Senate. A House bill is then examined for accuracy by the 
Clerk. When he is satisfied with the accuracy of the bill, he 
attaches a slip stating that it finds the bill truly enrolled 
and sends it to the Speaker of the House for signature. All 
bills, regardless of the body in which they originated, are 
signed first by the Speaker and then by the Vice President of 
the United States, who, under the Constitution, serves as the 
President of the Senate. The President pro tempore of the 
Senate may also sign enrolled bills. The Speaker of the House 
may sign enrolled bills whether or not the House is in session. 
The President of the Senate may sign bills only while the 
Senate is actually sitting but advance permission is normally 
granted to sign during a recess or after adjournment. If the 
Speaker or the President of the Senate is unable to sign the 
bill, it may be signed by an authorized Member of the 
respective House. After both signatures are affixed, a House 
bill is returned to the Clerk for presentation to the President 
for action under the Constitution. A Senate bill is presented 
to the President by the Secretary of the Senate.

                       XVIII. PRESIDENTIAL ACTION

    Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution provides in part 
that--

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of 
Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, 
be presented to the President of the United States.

    In actual practice, the Clerk, or the Secretary of the 
Senate when the bill originated in that body, delivers the 
original enrolled bill to a clerk at the White House and 
obtains a receipt. The fact of the delivery is then reported to 
the House by the Clerk. Delivery to a White House clerk has 
customarily been regarded as presentation to the President and 
as commencing the 10-day constitutional period for presidential 
action.
    Copies of the enrolled bill usually are transmitted by the 
White House to the various departments interested in the 
subject matter so that they may advise the President on the 
issues surrounding the bill.
    If the President approves the bill, he signs it and usually 
writes the word ``approved'' and the date. However, the 
Constitution requires only that the President sign it.
    The bill may become law without the President's signature 
by virtue of the constitutional provision that if the President 
does not return a bill with objections within 10 days 
(excluding Sundays) after it has been presented to the 
President, it becomes law as if the President had signed it. 
However, if Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, 
it does not become law. This is known as a ``pocket veto''; 
that is, the bill does not become law even though the President 
has not sent his objections to the Congress. The Congress has 
interpreted the President's ability to pocket veto a bill to be 
limited to final adjournment ``sine die'' of a Congress where 
Congress has finally prevented return by the originating House 
and not to interim adjournments or first session adjournments 
where the originating House of Congress through its agents is 
able to receive a veto message for subsequent reconsideration 
by that Congress when it reconvenes. The extent of pocket veto 
authority has not been definitively decided by the courts.
    Notice of the signing of a bill by the President is sent by 
message to the House in which it originated and that House 
informs the other, although this action is not necessary for 
the act to be valid. The action is also noted in the 
Congressional Record.
    A bill becomes law on the date of approval or passage over 
the President's veto, unless it expressly provides a different 
effective date.

                              VETO MESSAGE

    By the terms of the Constitution, if the President does not 
approve the bill ``he shall return it, with his Objections to 
that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter 
the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to 
reconsider it''. A bill returned with the President's 
objections, need not be voted on at once when laid before the 
House since the vetoed bill can be postponed, referred back to 
committee, or tabled before the question on passage is pending. 
A vetoed bill is always privileged until directly voted upon, 
and a motion to take it from the table or from committee is in 
order at any time.
    Once the relevant Member moves the previous question on the 
question of override, the question is then put by the Speaker 
as follows: ``Will the House on reconsideration agree to pass 
the bill, the objections of the President to the contrary 
notwithstanding?'' Under the Constitution, a vote by the yeas 
and nays is required to pass a bill over the President's veto. 
The Clerk activates the electronic system or calls the roll 
with those in favor of passing the bill answering ``Aye'', and 
those opposed ``No''. If fewer than two-thirds of the Members 
present vote in the affirmative, a quorum being present, the 
bill is rejected, and a message is sent to the Senate advising 
that body of the House action. However, if two-thirds vote in 
the affirmative, the bill is sent with the President's 
objections to the Senate, unless that body has acted first, 
together with a message advising it of the action in the House.
    The procedure in the Senate is the same as a two-thirds 
affirmative vote is also necessary to pass the bill over the 
President's objections. If the Senate joins the House and votes 
two-thirds in the affirmative to pass the bill, the measure 
becomes the law of the land notwithstanding the objections of 
the President, and it is ready for publication as a binding 
statute.

                             LINE ITEM VETO

    From 1997 until it was declared unconstitutional in 1998, 
the Line Item Veto Act provided the President authority to 
cancel certain individual items contained in a bill or joint 
resolution that he had signed into law. The law allowed the 
President to cancel only three types of fiscal items: a dollar 
amount of discretionary budget authority, an item of new direct 
spending, and a tax change benefiting a class of 100 or fewer. 
While the Act has not been repealed, the Supreme Court in 
Clinton v. City of New York, 118 S. Ct. 2091 (1998), struck 
down the Line Item Veto Act as unconstitutional.

                            XIX. PUBLICATION

    One of the important steps in the enactment of a valid law 
is the requirement that it shall be made known to the people 
who are to be bound by it. There would be no justice if the 
state were to hold its people responsible for their conduct 
before it made known to them the unlawfulness of such behavior. 
In practice, our laws are published immediately upon their 
enactment so that the public will be aware of them.
    If the President approves a bill, or allows it to become 
law without signing it, the original enrolled bill is sent from 
the White House to the Archivist of the United States for 
publication. If a bill is passed by both Houses over the 
objections of the President, the body that last overrides the 
veto transmits it. It is then assigned a public law number, and 
paginated for the Statutes at Large volume covering that 
session of Congress. The public and private law numbers run in 
sequence starting anew at the beginning of each Congress and 
are prefixed for ready identification by the number of the 
Congress. For example, the first public law of the 108th 
Congress is designated Public Law 108-1 and the first private 
law of the 108th Congress is designated Private Law 108-1. 
Subsequent laws of this Congress also will contain the same 
prefix designator.

                               SLIP LAWS

    The first official publication of the statute is in the 
form generally known as the ``slip law''. In this form, each 
law is published separately as an unbound pamphlet. The heading 
indicates the public or private law number, the date of 
approval, and the bill number. The heading of a slip law for a 
public law also indicates the United States Statutes at Large 
citation. If the statute has been passed over the veto of the 
President, or has become law without the President's signature 
because he did not return it with objections, an appropriate 
statement is inserted instead of the usual notation of 
approval.
    The Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and 
Records Administration prepares the slip laws and provides 
marginal editorial notes giving the citations to laws mentioned 
in the text and other explanatory details. The marginal notes 
also give the United States Code classifications, enabling the 
reader immediately to determine where the statute will appear 
in the Code. Each slip law also includes an informative guide 
to the legislative history of the law consisting of the 
committee report number, the name of the committee in each 
House, as well as the date of consideration and passage in each 
House, with a reference to the Congressional Record by volume, 
year, and date. A reference to presidential statements relating 
to the approval of a bill or the veto of a bill when the veto 
was overridden and the bill becomes law is included in the 
legislative history as a citation to the Weekly Compilation of 
Presidential Documents.
    Copies of the slip laws are delivered to the document rooms 
of both Houses where they are available to officials and the 
public. They may also be obtained by annual subscription or 
individual purchase from the Government Printing Office and are 
available in electronic form. Section 113 of title 1 of the 
United States Code provides that slip laws are competent 
evidence in all the federal and state courts, tribunals, and 
public offices.

                           STATUTES AT LARGE

    The United States Statutes at Large, prepared by the Office 
of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records 
Administration, provide a permanent collection of the laws of 
each session of Congress in bound volumes. The latest volume 
containing the laws of the first session of the 107th Congress 
is number 115 in the series. Each volume contains a complete 
index and a table of contents. A legislative history appears at 
the end of each law. There are also extensive marginal notes 
referring to laws in earlier volumes and to earlier and later 
matters in the same volume.
    Under the provisions of a statute originally enacted in 
1895, these volumes are legal evidence of the laws contained in 
them and will be accepted as proof of those laws in any court 
in the United States.
    The Statutes at Large are a chronological arrangement of 
the laws exactly as they have been enacted. The laws are not 
arranged according to subject matter and do not reflect the 
present status of an earlier law that has been amended. The 
laws are organized in that manner in the code of laws.

                           UNITED STATES CODE

    The United States Code contains a consolidation and 
codification of the general and permanent laws of the United 
States arranged according to subject matter under 50 title 
headings, largely in alphabetical order. It sets out the 
current status of the laws, as amended, without repeating all 
the language of the amendatory acts except where necessary. The 
Code is declared to be prima facie evidence of those laws. Its 
purpose is to present the laws in a concise and usable form 
without requiring recourse to the many volumes of the Statutes 
at Large containing the individual amendments.
    The Code is prepared by the Law Revision Counsel of the 
House of Representatives. New editions are published every six 
years and cumulative supplements are published after the 
conclusion of each regular session of the Congress. The Code is 
also available in electronic format on CD-ROM and the Internet.
    Twenty-four of the 50 titles have been revised and enacted 
into positive law, and one title has been eliminated by 
consolidation with another title. Titles that have been revised 
and enacted into positive law are legal evidence of the law and 
may be updated by direct amendment. Eventually all the titles 
will be revised and enacted into positive law.


                            A P P E N D I X

                 SELECT LIST OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS

Constitution of the United States of America
    Analysis and Interpretation, with annotations of cases 
decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 28, 
2002; prepared by Congressional Research Service, Library of 
Congress, Johnny H. Killian, George A. Costello, Kenneth R. 
Thomas, co-editors: Senate Document 103-6 (1996); updated 
Senate Document 107-27 (2002).
House Rules and Manual
    Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of 
Representatives of the United States, prepared by Charles W. 
Johnson, Parliamentarian of the House, House Document 107-284 
(2003). New editions are published each Congress.
Senate Manual
    Containing the rules, orders, laws, and resolutions 
affecting the business of the United States Senate; Jefferson's 
Manual, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, 
Constitution of the United States, etc., prepared under the 
direction of Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. New 
editions are published each Congress.
Hinds' and Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives
    Including references to provisions of the Constitution, 
laws, and decisions of the Senate, by Asher C. Hinds. Vols. 1-5 
(1907).
    Vols. 6-8 (1935), as compiled by Clarence Cannon, are 
supplementary to vols. 1-5 and cover the 28-year period from 
1907 to 1935, revised up to and including the 73d Congress.
    Vols. 9-11 (1941) are index-digest to vols. 1-8.
Deschler-Brown Precedents of the United States House of Representatives
    Including references to provisions of the Constitution and 
laws, and to decisions of the courts, covering the period from 
1928 to date, by Lewis Deschler, J.D., D.J., M.P.L., LL.D., 
Parliamentarian of the House (1928-1974), Wm. Holmes Brown, 
Parliamentarian of the House (1974-1994).
    Vols. 1-16 have been published, additional volumes in 
preparation.
Cannon's Procedure in the House of Representatives
    By Clarence Cannon, A.M., LL.B., LL.D., Member of Congress, 
sometime Parliamentarian of the House, Speaker pro tempore, 
Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, Chairman of the 
Committee on Appropriations, etc.
House Practice, A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the 
        House
    By Wm. Holmes Brown, Parliamentarian of the House (1974-
1994); updated 2003 by Charles W. Johnson, Parliamentarian of 
the House (1994-present).
Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives, Fourth Edition (1982) 
        (1987 Supp.)
    By Lewis Deschler, J.D., D.J., M.P.L., LL.D., 
Parliamentarian of the House (1928-1974), and Wm. Holmes Brown, 
Parliamentarian of the House (1974-1994).
Senate Procedure
    By Floyd M. Riddick, Parliamentarian Emeritus of the 
Senate, Alan S. Frumin, Parliamentarian of the Senate: Senate 
Document No. 101-28 (1992).
Calendars of the House of Representatives and History of Legislation
    Published each day the House is in session; prepared under 
the direction of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Committee Calendars
    Published periodically by most of the standing committees 
of the House of Representatives and Senate, containing the 
history of bills and resolutions referred to the particular 
committee.
Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions
    A brief synopsis of public bills and resolutions, and 
changes made therein during the legislative process; prepared 
by American Law Division, Congressional Research Service, 
Library of Congress.
Congressional Record
    Proceedings and debates of the House and Senate, published 
daily, and bound with an index and history of bills and 
resolutions at the conclusion of each session of the Congress. 
The record of debates prior to 1874 was published in the Annals 
of Congress (1789-1824), The Register of Debates (1824-1837), 
and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873). Debates from 1774-1873 
are available electronically from a website maintained by the 
Library of Congress.
Journal of the House of Representatives
    Official record of the proceedings of the House, published 
at the conclusion of each session under the direction of the 
Clerk of the House.
Journal of the United States Senate
    Official record of the proceedings of the Senate, published 
at the conclusion of each session under the direction of the 
Secretary of the Senate.
United States Statutes at Large
    Containing the laws and concurrent resolutions enacted, and 
reorganization plans and proclamations promulgated during each 
session of the Congress, published annually under the direction 
of the Archivist of the United States by the Office of the 
Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, 
Washington, D.C. 20408.
    Supplemental volumes: Tables of Laws Affected, Volumes 70-
84 (1956-1970), Volumes 85-89 (1971-1975), containing tables of 
prior laws amended, repealed, or patently affected by 
provisions of public laws enacted during that period.
    Additional parts, containing treaties and international 
agreements other than treaties, published annually under the 
direction of the Secretary of State until 1950.
United States Code
    The general and permanent laws of the United States in 
force on the day preceding the commencement of the session 
following the last session the legislation of which is 
included: arranged in 50 titles; prepared under the direction 
and supervision of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of 
Representatives. New editions are published every six years and 
cumulative supplements are published annually.
Federal Register
    Presidential Proclamations, Executive Orders, and federal 
agency orders, regulations, and notices, and general documents 
of public applicability and legal effect, published daily. The 
regulations therein amend the Code of Federal Regulations. 
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. 20408.
Code of Federal Regulations
    Cumulates in bound volumes the general and permanent rules 
and regulations of Federal agencies published in the Federal 
Register, including Presidential documents. Each volume of the 
Code is revised at least once each calendar year and issued on 
a quarterly basis. Published by the Office of the Federal 
Register, National Archives and Records Administration, 
Washington, D.C. 20408.
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
    Containing statements, messages, and other presidential 
materials released by the White House during the preceding 
week, published every Monday by the Office of the Federal 
Register, National Archives and Records Administration, 
Washington, D.C. 20408.
History of the United States House of Representatives
    Prepared by Congressional Research Service, Library of 
Congress, House Document 103-324.
The Senate, 1789-1989, Addresses on the History of the United States 
        Senate, Vol. 1
    By Senator Robert C. Byrd, Senate Document No. 100-20 
(1988).
Historical Almanac of the United States Senate
    By Senator Bob Dole, Senate Document No. 100-35 (1989).