A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Michael L. Koempel Senior Specialist in American National Government Judy Schneider Specialist on the Congress March 7, 2012 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R42395 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Summary One of the majority party’s prerogatives is writing House rules and using its numbers to effect the chamber’s rules on the day a new House convenes. The House must adopt rules at the convening of each Congress. Although a new House largely adopts the chamber rules that existed in the previous Congress, it also adopts changes to those rules. Institutional and political developments during the preceding Congress inform rules changes that a party continuing in the majority might make. Those same developments, perhaps over the whole time that a party was in the minority, inform rules changes when the minority party wins enough seats to become the majority party and organize the House. This report analyzes only rules changes made on the opening day of the 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses, with references in footnotes to other selected legislation and actions that also affected House rules during these Congresses. Freestanding legislation such as the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, the gift resolution, and the annual budget resolutions changed House rules in consequential ways. Changes made by Democrats after they took majority control in the 110th Congress and by Republicans after they took majority control in the 112th Congress reflected critiques of the other party’s management of the House. Democrats emphasized changes to ethics rules and laws in their new majority in the 110th Congress, and Republicans emphasized changes to legislative procedures in their new majority in the 112th Congress. Both parties addressed budget policymaking, in both rules changes and special orders. Most standing rules, however, did not change, either at all or substantially, since they reflected decades of experience with majority control of the House. Rules facilitate the majority’s organization and operation of the House; they do not dictate to party leaders and others how to run the House—their policy goals or procedural and political strategy—or determine what outcomes can be achieved. This report is the second in a series on House rules changes at the beginning of a Congress. It will be updated to reflect changes in the rules in future Congresses so long as Republicans are in the majority; a third report in the series will be introduced whenever party control changes. For changes in the 104th through the 109th Congresses, see CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. Congressional Research Service A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Contents Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 1 Democratic Critique from the 104th Congress to the 109th Congress............................................... 3 Ethics ......................................................................................................................................... 3 Legislative Management ........................................................................................................... 6 Republican Critique in 110th and 111th Congresses........................................................................ 13 Democrats’ Proposed Rules Changes, 112th Congress................................................................... 16 Rules Changes Affecting Committees ........................................................................................... 16 Structure and Organization ...................................................................................................... 17 Assignments and Size........................................................................................................ 17 Chairmanships/Term Limitations ...................................................................................... 17 Committee Creation or Retention...................................................................................... 17 Committee Names ............................................................................................................. 18 Jurisdiction ........................................................................................................................ 19 Subcommittees .................................................................................................................. 20 Procedure................................................................................................................................. 21 Committee Reports............................................................................................................ 21 Depositions........................................................................................................................ 22 Earmarks ........................................................................................................................... 22 Meetings, Restrictions on.................................................................................................. 22 Openness ........................................................................................................................... 23 Oversight ........................................................................................................................... 24 Referral.............................................................................................................................. 24 Subpoena Enforcement ..................................................................................................... 24 Voting ................................................................................................................................ 25 Witnesses........................................................................................................................... 25 Staff and Funding .................................................................................................................... 25 Funding ............................................................................................................................. 25 Rules Changes Affecting the Chamber and Floor.......................................................................... 25 Admission to and Use of the Chamber.................................................................................... 26 Appropriations Measures......................................................................................................... 27 Bill Introductions..................................................................................................................... 27 Reserved Bill Numbers ..................................................................................................... 28 Budget Process ........................................................................................................................ 28 Calendar Wednesday ............................................................................................................... 28 Commemorative Legislation ................................................................................................... 28 Conference............................................................................................................................... 29 Continuity of Congress............................................................................................................ 29 Decorum in the Chamber......................................................................................................... 30 Electronic Devices............................................................................................................. 30 Deficit Control......................................................................................................................... 30 Delegates and Resident Commissioner ................................................................................... 31 Discharge Petitions.................................................................................................................. 32 Earmarks.................................................................................................................................. 32 Gender References................................................................................................................... 33 Layover/Public Availability..................................................................................................... 33 Congressional Research Service A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Medicare Trigger ..................................................................................................................... 34 Public Debt Ceiling ................................................................................................................. 34 Recommit, Motion to............................................................................................................... 34 Special Order Speeches ........................................................................................................... 35 Unfunded Mandates................................................................................................................. 35 Voting ...................................................................................................................................... 35 Postponing Consideration ................................................................................................. 36 Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation........................................................................... 37 110th Congress ......................................................................................................................... 37 111th Congress.......................................................................................................................... 38 112th Congress ......................................................................................................................... 39 Rules Changes Affecting the Administration of the House ........................................................... 44 111th Congress.......................................................................................................................... 44 112th Congress ......................................................................................................................... 44 Rules Changes Affecting Ethics Standards.................................................................................... 45 110th Congress ......................................................................................................................... 45 111th Congress.......................................................................................................................... 48 112th Congress ......................................................................................................................... 48 Concluding Observations............................................................................................................... 49 Tables Table 1. Selected Special Orders on Budgetary Legislation.......................................................... 43 Contacts Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 52 Congressional Research Service A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Introduction A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress is the second of a series of reports on rules changes adopted by the House at the beginning of a new Congress. By practice, the majority party organizes the House. It elects its Speaker, chairs its committees, holds majorities on its committees, selects its officers, and manages its legislative agenda. One of the majority’s prerogatives is writing the House’s rules and using its majority status to effect the chamber’s rules on the day the new House convenes. Although each new House largely adopts the chamber rules that existed in the previous Congress, each new House also adopts changes to those rules. It is a feature of the House, but not of the Senate, that it adopts rules at the convening of each Congress.1 The first report in this series, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes from the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress,2 examined the sources of the extensive rules changes made when Republicans won the majority in the House after 40 years of Democratic control and presented the Republicans’ critique of Democratic management of the House. It then grouped the changes made in rules resolutions from the six Congresses in which the Republicans organized the House into five broad areas—committees, chamber and floor, budget legislation, administration of the House, and ethics standards. These five broad areas were further subdivided, with the changes grouped by subject or by Congress and explained. This second report in the series picks up with the new Democratic majority in the 110th and 111th Congresses and the Republican majority in the 112th Congress. It first presents the Democratic critique of Republican management of the House during the 104th through the 109th Congresses and the Republican critique of Democratic management of the House during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This report then groups changes made in rules resolutions from the 110th through 112th Congresses into five broad subject areas—committees, chamber and floor, budgetary legislation, administration of the House, and ethics standards. These five broad areas are again further subdivided, with the changes grouped by subject or Congress and explained. The two principal parts of this report reflect its two principal purposes. The first part analyzes the critique by Democrats of Republican management of the House through the 109th Congress and the critique by Republicans of Democratic management of the House in the 110th and 111th Congresses. In drafting House rules when it took the majority, each party drew on its critique. The first purpose of the report is to examine these sources of House rules changes. The second part of the report organizes changes made in the three rules resolutions, and briefly explains the changes in layman’s terms. These changes were included in the rules resolutions adopted at the beginning of the 110th through 112th Congresses, special orders adopted in conjunction with the rules resolutions, and Speakers’ policy announcements made at the convening of each of these Congresses.3 The major topical headings for this part of the report are 1 The Constitution empowers the House and Senate to make their rules: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings....” U.S. Const. art. I, § 5, cl. 2. 2 CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. 3 The rules resolution in the 110th Congress was H.Res. 6; the rules resolutions in the 111th and 112th Congresses were numbered H.Res. 5. Debate on rules packages (including the text of the resolutions containing the rules changes, section-by-section explanations, and other materials inserted by Members) and the Speaker’s announcements appeared (continued...) Congressional Research Service 1 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • “Rules Changes Affecting Committees” • “Rules Changes Affecting the Chamber and Floor” • “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation” • “Rules Changes Affecting the Administration of the House” • “Rules Changes Affecting Ethics Standards” Each of these major headings is further subdivided by topic or by Congress. The second purpose of the report is to catalogue and briefly explain by topic—regardless of the location of a topic in one or more rules—specific changes to House rules affecting committees or the House floor in the 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses. Changes affecting budget legislation, House administration, and ethics are arranged by Congress. This report will be updated to reflect changes in the rules in future Congresses so long as Republicans are in the majority; a third report in the series will be introduced whenever party control changes. This report supplements the official cumulation of rules changes, the House Rules and Manual.4 This volume, printed in each Congress to reflect adoption of a rules resolution, contains the provisions of House rules. For each rule, it also contains the House parliamentarian’s notes describing changes to the rule (or to specific clauses within a rule) and decisions of presiding officers and the House based upon the rule. Rules in the House Rules and Manual are arranged by rule number.5 Citations in this report are only to a clause of a rule at the time a change was made; rules numbers are stable from Congress to Congress and clause numbers are also generally stable. Changes to the numbering of clauses, paragraphs, and subparagraphs may be found in the parliamentarian’s notes. This report does not describe all of the actions taken during each Congress that effected permanent and temporary organizational, procedural, administrative, and other changes in the operation of the House. Since the report’s purpose is to catalogue the changes made at the convening of a new House, it examines all rules changes and special orders in the biennial rules resolutions. In addition to changes made through rules resolutions, such changes are also made (...continued) in the Congressional Record as follows: (1) H.Res. 5 (special rule) and H.Res. 6 (110th Congress rules): “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 4, 2007), pp. 7-40, and January 5, 2007, pp. 276-301. Speaker’s announcements: “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 5, 2007), pp. 273-274. (2) H.Res. 5 (111th Congress rules): “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H6-H20. Speaker’s announcements: “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H22-H24. (3) H.Res. 5 (112th Congress rules): “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H7-H27. Speaker’s announcements: “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H29-H31. 4 Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States, [number] Congress, prepared by [name], parliamentarian, [number] Cong., 2nd sess., H.Doc. [number] (Washington, DC: GPO, [year]). (Hereinafter House Rules and Manual.) 5 For information on the House Rules and Manual, see CRS Report 98-262, House Rules Manual: Summary of Contents, by Judy Schneider. Congressional Research Service 2 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress through freestanding legislation and as provisions of bills or resolutions, and in report language on legislation and in joint explanatory statements accompanying conference reports.6 Legislative branch appropriations bills and budgetary legislation contain organizational, procedural, and other changes that are temporary or permanent. So-called fast-track or expedited House procedures are included in legislation that otherwise addresses a policy matter.7 Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rules and decisions also had an impact on how specific House rules (such as rules on suspension of the rules and on committee assignment limits) were implemented.8 In a few instances in this report, changes made by means other than a House rules resolution are described, where necessary to understand changes made in one or more rules resolutions. References to selected freestanding bills and resolutions are nonetheless provided in footnotes throughout the report. Between the 110th and 112th Congresses, some committees were created and others were abolished, and some committees’ names were changed. In this report, the names of committees appear as they existed in the specific Congress referenced. Democratic Critique from the 104th Congress to the 109th Congress The Democratic critique of the Republicans’ management of the House during the Republican majority (104th Congress (1995-1997) through the 109th Congress (2005-2007)) was principally based on two broad concerns. The first—ethics—was a theme throughout the time Republicans held the majority, and Democrats moved quickly when they took majority control in the 110th Congress to change ethics rules and pass new ethics laws. The second—legislative management of the House—was most fully expressed in the 109th Congress, although Democrats made incremental rather than extensive rules changes when they held the majority in the 110th and 111th Congresses. Ethics9 In the 104th Congress (1995-1997), Democrats offered rules changes that included a new gift rule10 and regulated and limited Members’ copyright royalty income.11 In the 105th Congress 6 For a history of attempts at broad-based changes to House rules in the modern era, some implemented and some not implemented, see CRS Report RL31835, Reorganization of the House of Representatives: Modern Reform Efforts, by Judy Schneider, Christopher M. Davis, and Betsy Palmer. 7 For an explanation of expedited procedures, see CRS Report RL30599, Expedited Procedures in the House: Variations Enacted Into Law, by Christopher M. Davis. See also “Legislative Procedures Enacted in Law” in the current House Rules and Manual. 8 Additional party guidance might also exist in a Congress. For example, in the 112th Congress, Majority Leader Eric Cantor promulgated “Legislative Protocols for the 112th Congress,” available at http://majorityleader.gov/protocols; and the Republican Conference adopted a standing order effective for the 112th Congress stating that it was a conference policy that no Member request an earmark, available at http://www.gop.gov/about/rules?standing-ordersfor-the-112th. 9 An explanation of the majority’s decisions that were the subject of Democratic motions are explained in CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. 10 In the prior 103rd Congress (1993-1995), House and Senate conferees negotiated a compromise on gift legislation (S. (continued...) Congressional Research Service 3 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress (1997-1999), a principal issue in debate over the House rules package was the time allowed for the Standards of Official Conduct Committee (now the Ethics Committee) to complete its deliberations on ethics violations admissions by Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Republican rules package provided an end date of January 21, 1997; a Democratic proposal would have removed the time limit.12 In the 106th Congress (1999-2001), Democrats proposed adding a new clause to the Code of Ethics to disallow a Member from intervening in the hiring or dismissal of individuals by lobbying firms or other entities based on an individual’s political affiliation, and another new clause to prohibit a member of the leadership from threatening lobbying firms or other entities on the scheduling of legislation based on an entity’s political contributions. These changes were directed in part at perceptions about the so-called K Street Project.13 A Democratic motion related to the rules resolution for the 107th Congress did not address ethics issues. In the 108th Congress, the Republican rules package incorporated into House rules the provisions of H.Res. 168 (105th Congress), a bipartisan agreement on the operation of the Standards of Official Conduct Committee under which the House had operated in the 105th, 106th, and 107th Congresses. 14 However, the rules package also made three changes to ethics rules that the (...continued) 349, H.Rept. 103-750). While the House agreed to the conference report on the gift legislation, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on it. 11 Speaker-designate Newt Gingrich signed a $4.5 million book contract in late 1994 with a publishing house owned by Rupert Murdoch, who had been lobbying Congress on broadcasting deregulation favorable to Fox Broadcasting. For background, see “Incoming Speaker Gingrich Focus of Investigation,” Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1994, vol. L (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1995), pp. 54-55. The Democratic motion to commit the special rule for the rules resolution may be found at “Making in Order Immediate Consideration of House Resolution Adopting the Rules of the House of Representatives for the 104th Congress,” Congressional Record, vol. 141, part 1 (January 4, 1995), pp. 457-460. The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 141, part 1 (January 4, 1995), pp. 526-529. 12 For background, see “Gingrich Weakened by Ethics Case,” Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1997, vol. LIII (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1998), pp. 1-11 – 1-15. Prior to consideration of the rules resolution for the 105th Congress, a Member made a motion to elect an interim Speaker pending completion of the Standards Committee’s work. The clerk of the House ruled that the election of the Speaker was a matter of the highest privilege, and an appeal of her ruling was tabled. “Election of Speaker,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 1 (January 7, 1997), pp. 115-116. The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 1 (January 7, 1997), p. 139. 13 See, for example, Rep. Chet Edwards, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 145, part 1 (January 6, 1999), p. 227. For background information on the K Street Project, see Peter H. Stone, “One Hammer, Plenty of Nails,” National Journal, vol. 31, no. 24, June 12, 1999, pp. 1598-1599; and Gebe Martinez with Jackie Koszczuk, “Tom DeLay: ‘The Hammer’ That Drives the House GOP,” CQ Weekly, vol. 57, no. 23, June 5, 1999, pp. 1322-1328. The Democrats’ proposed amendment to the rules resolution, which was not in order after the previous question was moved, may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 145, part 1 (January 6, 1999), p. 232. 14 Agreed to in the House September 18, 1997. Continued in operation for the 106th Congress by sec. 3(c) of H.Res. 5, agreed to in the House January 6, 1999, and in the 107th Congress by sec. 3(a) of H.Res. 5, agreed to in the House January 3, 2001. H.Res. 168 originated with the Bipartisan Ethics Reform Task Force. See “Creation of the Bipartisan Task Force to Review Ethics Process,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 2 (February 12, 1997), pp. 2058-2059; and “Establishing Bipartisan Task Force on Reform of Ethics Process,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 2 (February 12, 1997), p. 2059. Congressional Research Service 4 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Democratic motion to commit sought to eliminate. These changes allowed limited income from the practice of medicine by Members who were doctors or dentists, permitted gifts of perishable food to House offices, and exempted so-called charity travel from the gift rule under certain conditions.15 The Republican rules package for the 109th Congress (2005-2007) made changes to procedures of the Standards of Official Conduct Committee, which Democrats attacked as “gutting the ethical standards” of the House.16 While Republicans defended these changes as guaranteeing a right to counsel as a Member would have in a court and as presuming the innocence of a Member,17 Democrats countered that the changes would reduce the ethics committee to a “paper tiger.”18 Democrats also criticized rules changes that were dropped from the Republican rules package shortly before its submission to the House, for example, allowing a Member under indictment to continue to serve in a leadership position.19 Democrats sought to strike a provision that dismissed ethics complaints after 45 days if neither the chair nor ranking minority member of the Standards Committee placed on the agenda the issue of establishing an investigative subcommittee, and also sought to prohibit a Member from engaging in employment negotiations with a person who had legislative interests in the current or previous Congress before committees on which the Member served.20 Democratic and public criticism of changes adopted in the rules package continued, and the House in April 2005 reinstated the ethics rules as they previously existed.21 Democrats in the course of the 109th Congress also put forward several programs for changes to ethics standards and practices. In June 2006, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the Democrats’ “New Direction for America,” which contained a section titled “Honest Leadership and Open Government.” The items in this section included • banning gifts and travel from lobbyists, and prohibiting travel on corporate jets; • doubling the “cooling-off period” for lobbying to two years for Members, congressional staff, and executive branch officials, and eliminating floor privileges for former Members who are lobbyists; • requiring lobbyists to disclose campaign contributions and client fees, increasing the frequency of filings and allowing only electronic filing, requiring certification that no ethics rules violation occurred, and imposing criminal penalties; • prohibiting Members from pressing lobbying firms over hiring decisions; • requiring Members to disclose outside employment negotiations;22 and 15 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 149, part 1 (January 7, 2003), p. 19. 16 Rep. James P. McGovern, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 151, part 1 (January 4, 2005), p. 51. 17 Rep. David Dreier, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 151, part 1 (January 4, 2005), p. 49. 18 Rep. Louise Slaughter, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 151, part 1 (January 4, 2005), p. 50. 19 Ibid. 20 “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 151, part 1 (January 4, 2005), p. 65 (amendment to rules resolution, which was not in order after the previous question was moved) and p. 66 (motion to commit). 21 H.Res. 241, adopting H.Res. 240, agreed to in the House April 27, 2005. 22 See also H.Res. 686 (109th Cong.), discussed below under Legislative Management, which contained one ethics provision prohibiting a Member serving on a committee from negotiating future employment with a person who had a direct interest in legislation before that committee in the current or preceding Congress. Congressional Research Service 5 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • allowing only open conference committee meetings; allowing conferees to vote on all agreements made in a conference; requiring disclosure of all earmarks; and ensuring the posting of conference reports electronically for 24 hours before House consideration.23 In addition, Democratic Representatives David Obey, Barney Frank, David Price, and Tom Allen unveiled a House rules reform package in December 2005, which they introduced as H.Res. 659 in January 2006 with more than 125 Democratic co-sponsors, including Democratic Leader Pelosi and Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer.24 Provisions of this resolution related to ethics standards and practices included • disallowing a Member or congressional staff member from accepting travel unless the individual obtained from the sponsor declarations stating that no lobbyists would participate in the travel or meetings, the sponsor did not engage in lobbying, the sponsor did not employ lobbyists, and the travel was not financed by a corporation unless through contributions deductible under the Internal Revenue Code and disclosed in the declaration; • requiring a former Member seeking to be present on the House floor to file a written declaration that the former Member had no financial interest in the legislation under consideration and that the former Member would not advocate while on the floor on any matter before the House; • prohibiting a Member from conditioning an earmark request from another Member based on that Member’s vote; and • disallowing a Member from seeking an earmark unless the Member declared the existence or lack of existence of a financial interest or of control.25 Legislative Management26 Democrats on three occasions from the 104th through the 109th Congresses, in proposed amendments or motions to commit related to rules resolutions with the commencement of new Congresses, sought a rule requiring party ratios for each committee and subcommittee to reflect the party ratio of the House. Democrats made this proposal in the 104th (1995-1997), 107th (20012003), and 108th (2003-2005) Congresses.27 23 Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, “A New Direction for America,” June 16, 2006, available at http://web.archive.org/web/20080731063814re_/www.speaker.gov/pdf/thebook.pdf. (Hereinafter “A New Direction for America.”) 24 For background, see the Members’ December 5, 2005, presentation at the Center for American Progress, at http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2005/12/b593305ct1660151.html. 25 H.Res. 659 (109th Cong.), introduced January 31, 2006, and referred to the Committee on Rules and in addition to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. 26 An explanation of the majority’s decisions that were the subject of Democratic motions are explained in CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. 27 For data on this matter in the modern congressional era, see CRS Report R41605, Committee Rules in the House on Legislative Activities: Planning for the 112th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel, Judy Schneider, and Brian P. J. Tabit. The Democratic motion to commit the 104th Congress rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 141, part 1 (January 4, 1995), pp. 526-529. The Democratic motion to commit the 107th (continued...) Congressional Research Service 6 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Democrats also periodically proposed changes in rules resolutions that would have affected the consideration of legislation with a budgetary impact. In the 104th Congress, a motion to commit included a proposal to allow individual votes on Budget Act waivers to be included in special rules.28 A proposed amendment in the 105th Congress (1997-1999) would have struck from the rules resolution a provision requiring a “dynamic estimate” of major tax legislation, another provision restricting the content of appropriations bills and amendments to them,29and a third provision strengthening the right of the majority leader to move that the Committee of the Whole rise and report at the end of the amendment process for an appropriation bill.30 In the 106th Congress (1999-2001), the Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution proposed a pay-as-you-go rule applicable to revenue and direct spending.31 In the 108th Congress (2003-2005), the Democratic motion to commit proposed to strike a provision of the rules resolution that replaced a “tax complexity analysis” that was to appear in Ways and Means Committee reports on legislation with a “macroeconomic impact analysis.”32 Democrats’ proposed amendments to rules resolutions and their motions to commit regularly sought to eliminate procedural changes included in rules resolutions. In the 105th Congress, their amendment would have struck from the resolution provisions allowing oversight reports in committee to be considered as read if they were available to committee members for 24 hours, requiring nongovernmental witnesses to disclose federal contracts or grants they or their employer received in the current and two previous fiscal years, allowing committees to adopt a rule on extended questioning time for hearings, and reducing to two days from three the time allowed to file views for inclusion in committee reports.33 (...continued) Congress rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 147, part 1 (January 3, 2001), p. 35. The Democratic motion to commit the 108th Congress rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 149, part 1 (January 7, 2003), p. 19. 28 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 141, part 1 (January 4, 1995), pp. 526-529. 29 The prohibition on changes to existing law was expanded in the rules resolution to include “a provision making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation.” Sec. 18 of H.Res. 5, agreed to in the House January 7, 1997. An explanation of this change inserted in the Congressional Record stated: “[I]t would make clear that the Appropriations Committee could not report, nor could an amendment be considered by the House, that makes the availability of funds contingent upon the receipt or possession of information by the funding authority if such information is not required by existing law. This is designed to prohibit the consideration of so-called ‘made-known’ provisions and amendments which in the past have been used a technical loophole to circumvent the prohibition on legislating in an appropriations measure.” Rep. Gerald Solomon, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 1 (January 7, 1997), p. 128. For discussion of legislating on appropriations bills, see CRS Report R41634, Limitations in Appropriations Measures: An Overview of Procedural Issues, by Jessica Tollestrup. 30 The Democratic amendment to the rules resolution, which was not in order after the previous question was moved, may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 1 (January 7, 1997), pp. 137-138. 31 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 145, part 1 (January 6, 1999), p. 233. 32 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 149, part 1 (January 7, 2003), p. 19. 33 The Democratic amendment to the rules resolution, which was not in order after the previous question was moved, may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 143, part 1 (January 7, 1997), pp. 137-138. Congressional Research Service 7 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress The Democrats’ proposed amendment in the 106th Congress would have granted voting rights in the Committee of the Whole to the Delegate from the District of Columbia and have reformulated how legislation was drafted so that changes to existing law would be more readily discernible.34 The Democratic motion to commit in the 108th Congress sought to strike changes to House rules in the Republicans’ rules resolution: allowing committees to adopt a rule to postpone certain votes; permitting a motion to instruct conferees during a conference after both 20 calendar days and, as added by the rules resolution, 10 legislative days had tolled; and temporarily extending to Wednesdays the days on which motions to suspend the rules would be in order. The motion to commit also for the first time (in the time frame covered by this report and the preceding rules changes report) tackled some of the procedures that have come to be identified in recent years by both Democrats and Republicans as transparency issues in the legislative process: honoring the House rule on the availability of conference reports, reducing the number of waivers in special rules, decreasing the number of measures to be considered under the suspension of the rules procedure, allowing more amendments and alternatives to measures considered pursuant to special rules, granting a larger number of open special rules, and allowing more minority-party amendments under structured rules.35 In the 109th Congress (2005-2007), Democrats included just one transparency issue in their motion to commit: proposing the requirement of a two-thirds vote on a special rule that proposed to waive the three-day layover of a measure or conference report.36 The House in the 109th Congress also moved to address the issue of how to continue legislative activities in the event of “catastrophic circumstances” where many Members of the House might be dead or disabled, a concern heightened in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the delivery of anthrax-laced mail to congressional offices in October 2001. The majority’s rules resolution included procedures and conditions for establishing a quorum based on a “provisional number of the House.” A Democratic Member raised a constitutional point of order against the rules resolution when it was called up for consideration, objecting to the inclusion of the provisional quorum rules on the grounds that it violated Article 1, Section 2, Clause 4 of the Constitution (related to filling House vacancies by election). The House decided on a question of consideration to go forward with the rules resolution.37 In the course of the 109th Congress, Democrats criticized Republican’s legislative management of the House and made several wide-ranging proposals for change. In May 2006, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced the House Democrats’ “New House Principles: A Congress for All Americans.” In June, Leader Pelosi released the Democrats’ “New Direction for America.” Both documents contained proposals related to the legislative management of the House: • “There should be regular consultations among the elected leaders of both parties to discuss scheduling, administration and operations of the House.” 34 The Democrats’ proposed amendment to the rules resolution, which was not in order after the previous question was moved, may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 145, part 1 (January 6, 1999), p. 232. 35 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 149, part 1 (January 7, 2003), p. 19. 36 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 151, part 1 (January 4, 2005), p. 66. 37 Ibid., pp. 44-47. Congressional Research Service 8 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • “The House should have a predictable, professional, family-friendly schedule that allows the legislative process to proceed in a manner that ensures timely and deliberate dispensation [sic] of the work of the Congress.” • “Regular meetings between Chairs and Ranking Members of committees and staffs should be held.” • “The Minority should control at least one-third of committee budgets and office space.”38 Democratic Members began speaking often in the 109th Congress about the need for “regular order” and “transparency” in the House’s consideration of legislation, and introduced resolutions to change House rules to that effect.39 In both “A New Direction for America” and “New House Principles,” there were proposals or principles regarding the legislative management of the House, which had implications for regular order and transparency: • “Bills should be developed following full hearings and open subcommittee and committee markups, with appropriate referrals to other committees. Members should have at least 24 hours to examine a bill prior to consideration at the subcommittee level.” • “Bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full, and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the Minority the right to offer its alternatives, including a substitute.” • “Members should have at least 24 hours to examine bill and conference report text prior to floor consideration. Rules governing floor debate must be reported before 10 p.m. for a bill to be considered the following day.” • “Floor votes should be completed within 15 minutes, with the customary 2minute extension to accommodate Members’ ability to reach the House Chamber to cast their votes. No vote shall be held open in order to manipulate the outcome.” • “House-Senate conference committees should hold regular meetings (at least weekly) of all conference committee Members. All duly-appointed conferees should be informed of the schedule of conference committee activities in a timely manner and given ample opportunity for input and debate as decisions are made toward final bill language.” • “The Suspension Calendar [sic] should be restricted to non-controversial legislation, with minority-authored legislation scheduled in relation to the party ratio in the House.” • “Our New Direction is committed to ‘Pay As You Go’ budgeting—no more deficit spending. We are committed to auditing the books and subjecting every facet of federal spending to tough budget discipline and accountability, forcing 38 Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, “New House Principles: A Congress for All Americans,” press release, May 25, 2006, available at http://web.archive.org/web/20061012100316/democraticleader.house.gov/press/articles.cfm? pressReleaseID=1634 (hereinafter “New House Principles”); and “A New Direction for America.” 39 See, for example, H.Res. 688 (109th Cong.). Republican Members also introduced resolutions requiring additional transparency. See, for example, H.Res. 709 (109th Cong.). Congressional Research Service 9 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress the Congress to choose a new direction and the right priorities for all Americans.”40 Earlier in the 109th Congress, in “Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy,” a document prepared by the House Rules Committee minority staff, committee Ranking Member Louise M. Slaughter presented a number of recommendations, stating, Adopting these modest recommendations would in no way diminish the majority’s ability to move their agenda through the House in a timely way. But they would represent a good first step in restoring to the U.S. House of Representatives, the “People’s House,” the deliberative process that House Republicans used to support, that is, “the full and free airing of conflicting opinions through hearings, debates, and amendments for the purpose of developing and improving legislation deserving of the respect and support of the people.”41 (Emphasis in original, quoting a Republican statement from 1994.) The bulk of the “Broken Promises” report criticized the types of special rules that had been employed (e.g., the number of minority amendments made in order and the number of closed rules) and the conditions under which they had been reported from the Rules Committee (e.g., frequent use of emergency meetings that were allowed by the Rules Committee’s rules). The report concluded with five recommendations: • “Open up the process by allowing more serious amendments”—“ ... [The Republican leadership] should allow ... serious amendments that enjoy the support of a ‘substantial number of Members’ to come to the House floor for debate and up-or-down votes....” • “Allow more bills to be considered under open rules”—“ ... increase the percentage of bills [the Republican leadership] allows to be debated under an open rules process, and decrease the percentage of bills it jams through the House under closed rules....” • “More Consideration of Major, Controversial Legislation and Fewer Suspension Bills”—“Instead of using the suspension of the rules procedure to crowd out debate on major legislation, the Republican leadership … should expand both debate time and quantity of amendments on bills it considers under special rules by restricting suspensions to Mondays and Tuesdays.” • “Fewer late-night or early-morning ‘emergencies’ and more regular order”— “The House Rules Committee should only use the ‘emergency meeting’ procedure in [a] small number of cases.... Regular order should be the rule, not the exception....” • “Give Members three days to read conference reports”—“The Rules Committee and Republican leadership should end its practice of granting ‘blanket waivers’ to conference reports....”42 40 “A New Direction for America,” p. 24; and “New House Principles.” Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, “Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy,” compiled by the House Rules Committee Minority Office, March 8, 2005, p. 44, available at http://www.citizen.org/documents/Broken_Promises.pdf (hereinafter “Broken Promises”). 42 Ibid., pp. 45-46. 41 Congressional Research Service 10 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Representative Slaughter and the other Democratic members of the Rules Committee— Representatives James McGovern, Alcee Hastings, and Doris Matsui—also introduced a resolution (H.Res. 686) to “restore transparency, accountability, and oversight.”43 The resolution proposed to change House rules in a number of ways: • requiring disclosure of scope violations in a conference report, prohibiting special rules from waiving points of order against such violations, and providing for disposition of scope violations by a question of consideration;44 • prohibiting a special rule that waives the three-day layover rule applicable to conference reports, and allowing disposition of a point of order against such a waiver by a question of consideration; • prohibiting the consideration of a conference report if certain procedures were violated, with disposition of a point of order by a question of consideration; • requiring a roll-call vote on final agreement of conferees to a conference report, and publication of that vote in the joint explanatory statement; • changing to 24 hours from one day the layover rule applicable to House special rules; • requiring publication in the Congressional Record of the names of Members voting or changing votes after a roll-call vote has proceeded for more than 30 minutes; • prohibiting consideration under the suspension of the rules procedure of a measure authorizing or appropriating more than $100 million, and exhorting the Speaker to schedule an equal number of measures under this procedure sponsored by majority and minority Members; • repealing the Gephardt rule for changing the statutory debt limit; • allowing a minority amendment to a special rule when offered on the House floor; and • requiring 24-hour notice of a unanimous consent agreement to alter a special rule adopted by the House. As also already noted, Democratic Representatives David Obey, Barney Frank, David Price, and Tom Allen unveiled a House rules reform package in December 2005, which they introduced as H.Res. 659 in January 2006.45 Provisions of the resolution related to the legislative management of the House included • limiting roll-call votes to 20 minutes unless both parties’ floor managers or leaders agreed to a longer time for voting; 43 H.Res. 686 (109th Cong.), introduced February 16, 2006, and referred to the Committee on Rules and in addition to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. 44 Scope of differences is: “The limits within which a conference committee is permitted to resolve the disagreements between the two houses on a measure.” Walter Kravitz, Congressional Quarterly’s American Congressional Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2001), pp. 225-226. 45 H.Res. 659 (109th Cong.), introduced January 31, 2006, and referred to the Committee on Rules and in addition to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. For background, see the Members’ December 5, 2005, presentation at the Center for American Progress, at http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2005/12/b593305ct1660151.html. Congressional Research Service 11 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • allowing the chair or ranking minority member of a committee to offer the committee-reported version of legislation as a preferential amendment if a special rule makes another version in order; • a rule waiving points of order against a measure must waive the same points of order against an amendment requested by the minority leader; • printed copies of a measure to be considered pursuant to a special rule and of conference reports must be available 24 hours before the House may begin consideration; • the House may not go to conference with the Senate on an appropriations bill unless the Senate expressed its differences in the form of numbered amendments; • conference discussion of disagreements must occur in an open meeting, and House conferees must vote by record vote in an open meeting on the conference agreement; • the House may not consider a conference report that “differs in a material way” from the agreement approved by House conferees; • the House may not consider a reconciliation measure that would increase the size of the budget deficit, unless agreed to by the majority and minority leaders and by a vote of two-thirds of the House; • extending Budget Act points of order to unreported legislation considered by the House; • disallowing a bill or conference report containing revenue provisions from being filed until the Joint Committee on Taxation had identified tax expenditures in the measure; and • prohibiting the House from adjourning sine die unless “during at least 20 weeks of the session, a quorum call or recorded vote was taken on at least 4 of the weekdays….”46 Congressional procedures and practices were also an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. As a presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama made an address in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on September 22, 2008, articulating reform issues, including what he termed “political reform”; he mentioned these proposals subsequently at other events. Candidate Obama addressed some matters that affected the rules and practices of Congress: As President, I will make it impossible for Congressmen or lobbyists to slip pork-barrel projects or corporate welfare into laws when no one is looking because, when I am President, meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public. No more secrecy.... When there’s a bill that ends up on my desk as President, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it, so that you know what your government’s doing.... When there’s a tax bill being debated in Congress, you will know the names of the corporations that would benefit and how much money they would get, and we will put every corporate tax break and every pork-barrel project online for every American to see. You will 46 Ibid. Congressional Research Service 12 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress know who asked for them, and you can decide whether your Representative is actually representing you.47 Presidential candidate Senator John McCain made congressional earmarks an issue in the 2008 campaign and proposed their elimination.48 Republican Critique in 110th and 111th Congresses Democratic control of the House was brief compared to Democratic control before the 104th Congress and to Republican control from the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress.49 Democratic leaders nonetheless established patterns of practice that Republicans critiqued, campaigned on, and eventually responded to when they claimed the majority in the 112th Congress. In the 110th Congress, Republicans sought through two procedural means to change the special rule providing for consideration of the rules resolution. First, they proposed an amendment to the special rule, which was not in order once the previous question was moved. The amendment proposed to write into House rules the legislative components of the Democrats’ New House Principles, as explained above. Second, Republicans offered a motion to commit the rules resolution in order to add three prohibitions on special rules that were intended to protect changes Republicans had made during their majority. These prohibitions would have disallowed special rules from waiving the automatic yeas and nays on appropriations measures, measures increasing federal income tax rates, and concurrent resolutions on the budget; the requirement for a threefifths vote on a measure increasing federal income tax rates; and the disallowance of retroactive federal income tax rate increases.50 In the 111th Congress, Republicans again sought to preserve in House rules some of the changes they had made in House rules during their majority. They offered a motion to commit the rules resolution to retain term limits on committee chairs, which the Democratic rules resolution proposed to eliminate. The Republicans’ motion would also have struck changes to the House rule concerning the motion to recommit proposed in the Democratic rules resolution.51 47 Videos and transcripts of the speech are available on various websites. For a transcript, see, for example, John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online] (Santa Barbara, CA: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database)), at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=84331#axzz1;4kXVbXO. 48 See, for example, the second presidential debate, Oct.ober7, 2008; transcript available at http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/second-presidential-debate.html; and Andrew Taylor, “Obama, Clinton join McCain vs. earmarks,” Associated Press, available at http://www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/ 2008-03-10-2861889130_x.htm. 49 Democratic control in the 110th Congress (2007-2009) coincided with the past two years of Republican President George W. Bush’s term; Democratic control in the 111th Congress (2009-2011) coincided with the first two years of Democratic President Barack Obama’s term. 50 “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 4, 2007), pp. 18-19. Although Republicans did not seek to delete from the rules resolution voting rights in the Committee of the Whole for the Delegates and Resident Commissioner, they made points of order and parliamentary inquiries during the 110th Congress related to Delegates’ and the Resident Commissioner’s votes. The points of order and parliamentary inquiries through May 2008 were catalogued in CRS Report RL34570, Record Voting in the House of Representatives: Issues and Options, by Michael L. Koempel, Jacob R. Straus, and Judy Schneider. 51 “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H19-H20. See discussion of rules changes to the motion to recommit below at “Recommit, Motion to” and, in preceding Congresses, in CRS (continued...) Congressional Research Service 13 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Republicans’ principal critique during the 110th and 111th Congresses concerned the majority leadership’s limiting of opportunities for Member input in the manner in which Democratic leaders managed the House floor, a criticism Democrats had also made of Republican legislative management of the House during the Republican majority. Republicans criticized the number of bills (or legislative texts) that were brought to the floor without committee consideration, the limited number of amendments allowed under structured rules, the number of closed rules, use of procedures that obviated the opportunity to offer the motion to recommit, and the replacement of conference consideration by amendments between the houses.52 Republicans also criticized the Rules Committee’s Democratic majority for their procedural implementation of the majority leadership’s legislative strategy: They have rewritten much of the major legislation passed by this Congress, sometimes in the middle of the night. They engineered the exclusion of opposing viewpoints. They steered around the regular legislative process to support a majority driven by partisan concerns.53 When the Democratic leadership in 2009 moved to end the consideration of general appropriations bills under open special rules or the open amendment process allowed by House rules, the event triggered additional Republican criticism of Democrats’ legislative management of the House. They argued that a “central tenet of the [appropriations process] was that every member would have the opportunity to bring their issue before the House….”54 Republicans also complained regularly on the House floor of receiving legislative proposals at the last minute.55 In addition, both Democratic and Republican Members introduced resolutions to change House rules for the purpose of increasing transparency and adherence to regular order in the legislative management of the House.56 Republican leaders looked ahead as the 2010 elections drew near to describe how they might manage the House should their party be the majority. In speaking to the American Enterprise (...continued) Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. 52 See, for example, Committee on Rules Republicans, “House Rules Republicans Release New Report ‘Wipe Out: How the Democratic Majority Abandoned Its Promises of Openness and Civility’,” news release, October 21, 2008, available at http://rules-republicans.house.gov/News/Read.aspx?ID=169. The report and a slide show are available at http://rules-republicans.house.gov/ShortTopics/Read.aspx?ID=278. See also Republican Study Committee, “Democrat Majority blocked 85% of Republican Amendments Submitted to the Rules Committee,” policy brief, October 2010, available at http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/UploadedFiles/PB_101510_Amendments.pdf. 53 Committee on Rules Republicans, “The Wrong Way Congress: How the Democratic Majority Took America in the Wrong Direction with the Wrong Bills in the Wrong Way and the Wrong Time,” September 2010, p. 1, available at http://rules-republicans.house.gov/media/PDF/WrongWayCongress-Final-WEB.pdf. See also “Irregular Order,” editorial, The Washington Post, January 12, 2009, p. A12, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ content/article/2009/01/11/AR2009011101958_pf.html. 54 Committee on Rules Republicans, “Opportunities Lost: The End of the Appropriations Process,” July 2009, p. 1, available at http://rules-republicans.house.gov/media/PDF/OpportunitiesLost_fnl.pdf. 55 See, for example, Rep. David Dreier, remarks in the House, “”Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendments to H.R. 3590, Servicemembers Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4872, Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 156, March 21, 2010, p. H1835. 56 See, for example, H.Res. 216 and H.Res. 1360 (111th Cong.). Congressional Research Service 14 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Institute for Public Policy Research, Republican Leader John A. Boehner proposed a return to the House’s regular order for developing and considering legislation: • allow more floor debate and amendments, with a presumption that legislation will be considered under an open rule; • make committee-reported legislation the legislative vehicle for floor debate and amendment; • follow House layover rules for legislation; and • require committees to give sufficient notice of measures to be marked up, to webcast proceedings and post transcripts online, and to promptly post online amendments adopted and votes cast.57 Leader Boehner observed in his speech: Woodrow Wilson once said that ‘Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, while Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work.’ If Wilson went from committee room to committee room today, he might take that statement back. Because the truth is, much of the work of committees has been co-opted by the leaderships. In too many instances, we no longer have legislators; we just have voters.58 Similarly, Republican Whip Eric Cantor wrote about the centrality of committee work: The legislative agenda ought to reflect the importance of hearings and oversight. Setting aside specific time each week for committees to meet without interruption from floor activities ... would provide a protected, regular time for committees to conduct their important business.59 In addressing “transparency” in committee proceedings, Republican Leader Boehner drew on his experience as a committee chair: At Education and Workforce, we operated with a set of transparency rules that encouraged deliberation and limited problems: First, we gave at least three days notice on all bills. Actually, we normally went above and beyond this standard, giving about a week’s notice on each bill, but three days was the rule. That gave Members plenty of time to gain an appropriate depth of knowledge and scrub each bill for potential landmines.60 57 Rep. John A. Boehner, “Congressional Reform and ‘The People’s House’,” speech to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, September 30, 2010; available at http://www.aei.org/event/100308#doc. (Hereinafter, “Congressional Reform,” September 30, 2010). See also Republican Majority in Congress, “Pledge to America,” September 23, 2010, available at http://www.gop.gov/pledge. 58 Ibid. 59 Rep. Eric Cantor, “Delivering on Our Commitment,” statement in support of candidacy for majority leader, November 3, 2010, available at http://web.archive.org/web/20101103225644/http://republicanwhip.house.gov/ Majority/Cantor.pdf. (Hereinafter, “Delivering on Our Commitment.”) 60 “Congressional Reform,” September 30, 2010. Congressional Research Service 15 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Democrats’ Proposed Rules Changes, 112th Congress The 2010 elections again resulted in a switch in majority in the House. In response to the Republican rules package for the 112th Congress, Democrats proposed an amendment to the rules resolution, which could not be offered after the previous question was moved. This amendment would have overturned the rules resolution provision exempting the extension of certain tax laws from the operation of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act. The ranking member-designate of the Budget Committee argued, [T]his plan guts the existing pay-as-you-go rule that limits mandatory spending and tax breaks that add to our deficits. It also creates a mechanism to do an end run against the payas-you-go law recently signed by President Obama that will limit increases in our national debt. …[T]he rule being proposed…eliminates provisions that say you can’t add to the deficit by creating special interest tax breaks. The proposal before us eliminates that limitation.61 Earlier, after the rules resolution had been called up, the Delegate from the District of Columbia made a motion to refer the resolution to a select committee to study the constitutionality of the provision deleting Delegates’ voting rights in the Committee of the Whole from House rules. The House voted to table the motion.62 Finally, a Democratic Member offered a motion to commit the House rules resolution to add a requirement that a Member make a decision on participation in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program within 15 days of taking office and that the Member’s choice be publicly disclosed.63 Rules Changes Affecting Committees The following section identifies changes made to the committee system on opening day of the 110th, 1111th, and 112th Congresses, pursuant to the resolutions adopting amendments to the rules of the House and establishing special orders, and pursuant to the Speaker’s announcements. The section is organized around three topics: (1) structure and organization, including committee chairmanships and committee assignments, committee jurisdiction, and subcommittees; (2) procedure, including committee meetings, committee reports, oversight, and voting; and (3) staff and funding.64 61 Rep. Chris Van Hollen, remarks in the House, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H19. 62 Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, remarks in the House, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H10-H11. 63 The Democratic motion to commit the rules resolution may be found at “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, p. H26. 64 Historical information on committee structure and organization and an analysis of committee procedures appears in CRS Report R41501, House Legislative Procedures and House Committee Organization: Options for Change in the 112th Congress, by Judy Schneider and Michael L. Koempel. Congressional Research Service 16 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Structure and Organization65 Assignments and Size66 In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 established the size of the Intelligence Committee at not more than 20 members, of which not more than 12 could be from the same party.67 (Amended clause 11 of Rule X.) Chairmanships/Term Limitations68 In the 111th Congress, H.Res. 5 struck the chair term limit from House rules.69 (Amended clause 5 of Rule X.) In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 restored the standing committee chair term limit: service in not more than three consecutive Congresses as a committee or subcommittee chair, not counting service for part of a Congress. The change included an exemption from the term limit for the Rules Committee chair; the Rules chair had also been exempted from the prior term limit.70 (Amended clause 5 of Rule X.) Budget Committee In the 111th Congress, H.Res. 5 allowed a Member to serve a second consecutive term as chair or ranking minority member of the Budget Committee, even if in doing so the Member would exceed the limit on service on the committee. (Amended clause 5 of Rule X.) Committee Creation or Retention As part of its committee expense resolution in the 110th Congress, the House created a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.71 The select committee was not given 65 For information on the structure and organization of congressional committees, see CRS Report RS20794, The Committee System in the U.S. Congress, by Judy Schneider. 66 For information on the assignment process to House committees, see CRS Report 98-151, House Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments, by Judy Schneider; and CRS Report 98-367, House Committees: Assignment Process, by Judy Schneider. 67 By a freestanding resolution in the 111th Congress, the House had established the size of the Intelligence Committee at no more than 22 members, of which not more than 13 could be members of one party. H.Res. 97, agreed to in the House January 28, 2009. 68 For information on how chairs and ranking minority members are chosen in the House, see CRS Report RS21165, House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures, by Judy Schneider. 69 Chair term limits was a major reform made in the 104th Congress. See CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. Changes beginning in the 104th Congress in how the parties select their chairs now probably have more effect on chair tenure than a stated term limit. See CRS Report RS21165, House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures, by Judy Schneider. 70 See CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. 71 H.Res. 202 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 8, 2007. Congressional Research Service 17 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress legislative authority, but was charged with investigating and making recommendations “to reduce the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of energy and achieve substantial and permanent reductions in emissions and other activities that contribute to climate change and global warming.”72 In the rules resolution for the 111th Congress, H.Res. 5, the House adopted a standing order continuing the existence of the select committee in the 111th Congress. H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress also continued the existence of two commissions (the House Democracy Assistance Commission73 and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission).74 It also continued the existence of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). OCE had been created in the previous Congress to review allegations of misconduct against Members, officers, and employees of the House; to conduct an investigation pursuant to criteria included in the office’s establishing resolution; and, pursuant to criteria in the establishing resolution, to refer its recommendations to the Standards of Official Conduct Committee.75 Separate orders contained in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress: continued the existence but changed the name of the House Democracy Assistance Commission to the House Democracy Partnership; and continued the existence of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission with the following changes for the 111th Congress: • In addition to collaborating with the staff of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the commission could collaborate with the staff of other relevant committees; and • The commission was entitled, through the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to use the same House resources as the Committee on Foreign Affairs was entitled to use. Another separate order also continued the Office of Congressional Ethics. Committee Names H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress changed the names of five committees (amendments to Rule X): • Education and Labor, from Education and Workforce, • Foreign Affairs, from International Relations, • Natural Resources, from Resources, • Oversight and Government Reform, from Government Reform, and • Science and Technology, from Science. 72 H.Res. 202, § 4(c). Established by H.Res. 135 (109th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 14, 2005, and re-established by H.Res. 24 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House January 30, 2007. 74 Established by H.Res. 1451 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House September 24, 2008. 75 Established by H.Res. 895 (110th Cong.), which was deemed adopted with the adoption of H.Res. 1031 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 11, 2008. See CRS Report R40760, House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures, by Jacob R. Straus. 73 Congressional Research Service 18 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress changed the names of three committees (amendments to Rule X): • Education and the Workforce, from Education and Labor, • Ethics, from Standards of Official Conduct, and • Science, Space, and Technology, from Science and Technology. Jurisdiction 110th Congress References in the jurisdiction of the Intelligence Committee in Rule X, clause 11 were made consistent by H.Res. 6 with changes in the organization of intelligence agencies pursuant to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.76 For example, “Director of National Intelligence” replaced “Director of Central Intelligence” at several places in clause 11. The Speaker’s announced policies for the 110th Congress did not include the previous Speaker’s statement on jurisdictional issues, principally related to the memorandum of understanding between the Energy and Commerce and Financial Services Committees and referrals to the thennew Homeland Security Committee.77 111th Congress An addition was made to the oversight authority of the Homeland Security Committee in H.Res. 5 so that the committee’s oversight extended to all government programs and organizations related to homeland security that “fall within [the committee’s] primary legislative jurisdiction.” The change was intended to clarify that agencies’ operating programs within the committee’s legislative jurisdiction have a reporting relationship with it, in addition to their reporting relationship with other committees.78 (Amended clause 3 of Rule X.) The House Administration Committee gained jurisdiction over the “management of services” provided to the House by the architect of the Capitol. Services of the architect within the jurisdiction of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee remained with that committee. (Amended clause 4 of Rule X.) 76 P.L. 108-458; 118 Stat. 3638 (2004). The chairs of the Homeland Security Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also entered into a memorandum of understanding for the 110th Congress pertaining to the committees’ jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Coast Guard, and port security. “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 4, 2007), p. 16. 77 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 153, part 1 (January 5, 2007), pp. 273274. 78 For background on the creation and jurisdiction of the Homeland Security Committee, see CRS Report RL32711, Homeland Security: Compendium of Recommendations Relevant to House Committee Organization and Analysis of Considerations for the House, and 109th and 110th Congresses Epilogue, by Michael L. Koempel. Congressional Research Service 19 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress 112th Congress H.Res. 5 assigned a new duty to the House Administration Committee—to promulgate standards for making House and House committee documents publicly available.79 (Amended clause 4 of Rule X.) H.Res. 5 further provided that, if a document was available in electronic form at a location designated by the committee, the document would be considered available to Members as required by House rules.80 (Added new clause 3 to Rule XXIX.) A separate order provided an interim order pending the promulgation of regulations by the committee. The interim order stated that posting on the Committee on Rules website would serve the publicly available requirement for the House floor and each committee’s majority website would serve that purpose for a committee. The rules resolution also added to the jurisdiction of the Armed Services Committee: “Cemeteries administered by the Department of Defense.” The Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s jurisdiction over veterans’ cemeteries was not affected. (Amended clause 1 of Rule X.) Subcommittees81 In the 110th Congress, H.Res. 6 contained a special rule making in order the consideration of a resolution “to enhance intelligence oversight authority.” The House subsequently adopted H.Res. 35, creating a Select Intelligence Oversight Panel of the Committee on Appropriations, on January 9, 2007.82 A separate order in H.Res. 6 also authorized three committees to have more subcommittees than permitted by House rules. The Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee were each allowed not more than seven subcommittees, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was allowed not more than six subcommittees. A separate order in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress again allowed the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees to have not more than seven subcommittees each and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to have not more than six subcommittees. The House in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress eliminated the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel of the Appropriations Committee.83 (Struck a portion of clause 4 of Rule X.) 79 U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “House Administration Adopts New Posting Standards for House Documents,” news release, December 16, 2011, available at [http://cha.house.gov/press-release/houseadministration-adopts-new-posting-standards-house-documents. The standards are available at http://cha.house.gov/ member-services/electronic-posting-standards, or as a PDF document at http://cha.house.gov/sites/ republicans.cha.house.gov/files/documents/member_services_docs/electronic_posting_standards.pdf. 80 U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “Clerk Launches New Site for House Documents,” news release, January 17, 2012, available at http://cha.house.gov/press-release/clerk-launches-new-site-housedocuments. The website is located at http://docs.house.gov/. 81 For information on House subcommittees, see CRS Report 98-544, Subcommittees in the House of Representatives, by Judy Schneider; and CRS Report 98-610, House Subcommittees: Assignment Process, by Judy Schneider. Regarding changes to the subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee, see CRS Report RL31572, Appropriations Subcommittee Structure: History of Changes from 1920-2011, by Jessica Tollestrup. 82 For background on creation of the panel, see Patrick Yoest and Tim Starks, “Senate to Begin Work on Sept. 11 Panel Legislation Following House Action,” CQ Today, vol. 43, no. 6, January 10, 2007, p. 3. 83 For background on the panel’s termination, see Tim Starks, “Plan to eliminate House Panel Raises budgetary (continued...) Congressional Research Service 20 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress A separate order in H.Res. 5 also allowed the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs each to have not more than seven subcommittees and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to have not more than six subcommittees. Procedure84 Committee Reports85 H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress exempted the Committee on Rules from the requirement of including recorded committee votes in its reports. (Amended clause 3 of Rule XIII.) Committee reports were to contain a list of earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the reported measure or a statement that the measure did not contain these provisions. (For an explanation of this requirement, see “Earmarks” below in this section.) H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress struck the requirement for a committee report on a bill and joint resolution to cite specific power granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the measure. (Amended clause 3 of Rule XIII.) (See “Bill Introductions,” below, for the new requirement for a constitutional authority statement to accompany the introduction of bills and joint resolutions.) H.Res. 5 also repealed the exemption for the Rules Committee to including recorded committee votes in reports, begun in the 110th Congress. (Amended clause 3 of Rule XIII.) The rules resolution also changed the requirement for one activity report in each Congress from each committee to a requirement for four activity reports in each Congress from each committee. The rules resolution also adapted the existing provision on filing an activity report after the sine die adjournment of a Congress to apply to the sine die adjournment of the first session of a Congress and the sine die adjournment of the second session of a Congress, or December 15, whichever occurs first. (Amended clause 1 of Rule XI.) (See “Oversight,” below, for an explanation of this change.) This change followed another accountability initiative included in committee funding resolutions in the 111th and 112th Congresses. (See “Staff and Funding” below.) (See also “112th Congress” under “Jurisdiction” above.) (...continued) Oversight Questions,” CQ Today, vol. 47, no. 1, January 5, 2011, p. 9. 84 For information on committee markups and hearings, see CRS Report R41605, Committee Rules in the House on Legislative Activities: Planning for the 112th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel, Judy Schneider, and Brian P. J. Tabit; and CRS Report R41083, House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider. Regarding hearings, see CRS Report 98-317, Types of Committee Hearings, by Valerie Heitshusen; and CRS Report 98-339, House Committee Hearings: Scheduling and Notification, by Christopher M. Davis. 85 For information on House committee reports, see CRS Report 98-169, House Committee Reports: Required Contents, by Judy Schneider. Congressional Research Service 21 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Depositions The House in H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress authorized the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to adopt a rule allowing and regulating the taking of depositions by committee members or counsel. The committee’s rule could require a deponent’s oath or affirmation, and the rule must ensure “equitable” treatment for minority committee members and counsel. (Amended clause 4 of Rule X.) H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress added a new provision to the 110th Congress change to require a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to be present to take a deposition, unless the deponent waived this requirement. (Amended clause 4 of Rule X.) Earmarks H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress required a committee of jurisdiction or a conference committee to provide a list of earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits contained in a bill or joint resolution that was reported, was not reported, an amendment in the nature of a substitute or other committee amendment, or conference report for the measure to be in order for consideration by the House. If the measure contained no earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits, then a statement attesting to that fact was required to be provided. Earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits were defined in the rule change. In general, an earmark was defined as a provision or report language included at a Member’s request that targeted an expenditure to a specific entity “other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive award process.” In general, a limited tax or tariff benefit was defined as a provision benefitting 10 or fewer entities. Members were to request earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in writing to committees, disclosing information specified in the new rule, and committees were required to retain these written requests.86 (Added clause 9 to Rule XXI.) Regarding the points of order to enforce this rules change against legislation and special rules, see “Earmarks” under “Rules Changes Affecting the Chamber and Floor” or “110th Congress” under “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation.” (See also “110th Congress” under “Rules Changes Affecting Ethics Standards” regarding changes in ethics rules related to earmarks.) Meetings, Restrictions on H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress required a three-day notice of a committee meeting. Previously, notice requirements applicable to meetings were included in committees’ rules, with most committees opting for 24 or 48 hours’ notice. Notice of a hearing, under House rules, remained at 86 For further discussion of the rules change, see CRS Report RL34149, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 110th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr., and CRS Report RS22866, Earmark Disclosure Rules in the House: Member and Committee Requirements, by Megan Suzanne Lynch. The Democratic Caucus during its majority in the 111th Congress banned earmarks for for-profit entities. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, “Pelosi Statement on House Appropriations Committee Ban on For-Profit Earmarks,” news release, March 10, 2010, available at http://www.democraticleader.gov/news/press?id=1581; and U.S. House, Committee on Appropriations, “Appropriations Committee Bans For-Profit Earmarks,” news release, March 10, 2010, available at http://democrats.appropriations.house.gov/images/stories/pdf/2010_Earmark_Reforms_Release-3.10.2010.pdf.The Republican Conference after gaining the majority in the House adopted a “standing order” effective for the 112th Congress stating that it was a conference policy that no Member request an earmark, available at http://www.gop.gov/ about/rules?standing-orders-for-the-112th. Congressional Research Service 22 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress one week. The amendment in H.Res. 5 also applied two exceptions to the new meetings notice requirement; these exceptions already applied to hearings notices. First, a chair with the concurrence of the ranking minority member could determine that there was good cause to start a meeting sooner, and, second, a committee by majority vote, a quorum being present, agreed to meet sooner. The amendment also clarified that announcements of hearings and meetings were to be printed in the Daily Digest of the Congressional Record and be made available in electronic form. The Committee on Rules was exempted from the operation of this rule. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) Openness H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress established in House rules that the text of legislation to be marked up be made publicly available in electronic form at least 24 hours before a markup meeting.87 House committees had previously set their own standards for the time in advance that text would be made available and how it would be made available. Most committees had a 24-hour availability rule. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) (See also “112th Congress” under “Jurisdiction” above.) The rules resolution also required a three-day notice of a committee meeting, which is explained above under “Meetings, Restrictions on.” H.Res. 5 also required any record vote taken in committee to be publicly available through electronic posting within 48 hours of the vote’s occurrence. The previous rule required only that record votes be kept in a committee’s office and be available there to the public. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) H.Res. 5 similarly required the text of any amendment adopted in committee to be publicly available through electronic posting within 24 hours of the amendment’s adoption. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) The rules resolution also required committees to make their rules publicly available by electronic posting, in addition to their publication in the Congressional Record, within 30 days of a chair’s election at the beginning of a Congress. The previous rule required publication in the Congressional Record with 30 days of a committee’s election. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) The rules resolution required that committees provide audio and video coverage of their hearings and meetings “in a manner that allows the public to easily listen to and view the proceedings,” and to maintain these audio and video recordings so that they are “easily accessible” to the public.88 (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) In the past, some committees had more or less 87 The section-by-section summary accompanying H.Res. 5 contained this explanation of the text referred to by the rule: “[I]f the committee is considering a committee print, or the chair of a committee intends to use an amendment in the nature of a substitute as the base text for purposes of further amendment, circulation of that text will satisfy this requirement.” Rep. David Dreier, remarks in the House, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, p. H13. 88 The Library of Congress was subsequently announced as the site for committee Webcasting and archives and for archiving of earlier committee proceedings. U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “LOC Launches New Site to Webcast Committee Proceedings,” news release, February 2, 2012, available at http://cha.house.gov/press-release/loc-launches-new-site-webcast-house-committee-proceedings. The Library’s website is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/video/house-committee. Congressional Research Service 23 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress consistently Webcast their proceedings; others had done so intermittently or not at all. C-SPAN provided many committee meetings and hearings on its channels and its website. Committees did not consistently preserve their Webcasts. H.Res. 5 also deleted references to the photographic units of the Associated Press and United Press International in its rule on admitting photographers to committee hearings and meetings. (Amended clause 4 of Rule XI.) Oversight89 The House in H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress authorized the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to adopt a rule allowing and regulating the taking of depositions by Members or counsel, as explained above at “Depositions.” The House in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress also changed the requirement—for one activity report in each Congress from each committee—to a requirement for four activity reports in each Congress from each committee, to be filed not more than 30 days after June 1 and December 1 of each year. The rules resolution also adapted the existing provision on filing an activity report after the sine die adjournment of a Congress to apply to the sine die adjournment of the first session of a Congress and the sine die adjournment of the second session of a Congress, or December 15, whichever occurs first. (Amended clause 1 of Rule XI.) This change followed another accountability initiative included in committee funding resolutions in the 111th and 112th Congresses. (See “Staff and Funding” below.) The summary of a committee’s oversight plan that had been required to be included in an annual activity was, under the amendment, to be included in a committee’s first activity report of a Congress. This rules resolution also added to the list of subjects for committees to include in their oversight plans. The addition covered cutting or eliminating programs, including mandatory spending programs, that are “inefficient, duplicative, outdated, or more appropriately administered by State or local governments.” (Amended clause 2 of Rule X.) Referral (See “Jurisdiction” above.) Subpoena Enforcement H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress in a separate order authorized the Judiciary Committee and the House general counsel to continue the lawsuit that followed on the House holding former White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriett Miers in contempt of Congress. Bolten and Miers had failed to comply with Judiciary Committee subpoenas related to the committee’s investigation of the firing of several U.S. attorneys. The separate order sought to provide continuity for enforcing subpoenas that expired at the end of the 110th Congress. It also contained deposition procedures for the committee.90 89 For information on congressional oversight processes, powers, and resources, see CRS Report RL30240, Congressional Oversight Manual, by Todd Garvey et al. 90 For background, see Bennett Roth, “House Adopts Package of Rule Changes,” CQ Weekly, vol. 67, no. 2, January 12, 2009, pp. 75-76; and Keith Perine and Caitlin Webber, “House Holds Bush Aides in Contempt, Readies Civil Lawsuit for Compliance,” CQ Weekly, vol. 66, no. 7, February 18, 2008, p. 442. Congressional Research Service 24 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Voting H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress exempted the Committee on Rules from the requirement of including recorded votes on amendments and reporting in its committee reports. (Amended clause 3 of Rule XIII.) In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 required any record vote taken in committee to be publicly available through electronic posting within 48 hours of the vote’s occurrence. The previous rule required only that record votes be kept in a committee’s office and be available there to the public. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) H.Res. 5 repealed the exemption to including votes in reports, begun in the 110th Congress, for the Rules Committee. (Amended clause 3 of Rule XIII.) Witnesses H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress required truth-in-testimony statements to be made publicly available, with certain personal information redacted, by electronic posting within one day of a witness’s appearance. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XI.) Staff and Funding Funding In the 111th Congress, the House Administration Committee included a provision in the committee funding resolution (not the rules resolution) holding committees accountable for their spending by requiring them to attend a hearing at the beginning of the second session.91 The provision was included again in the 112th Congress committee funding resolution.92 Rules Changes Affecting the Chamber and Floor The following section identifies changes made to operations of the House floor on the opening day of 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses, pursuant to the resolutions amending the rules of the House and establishing special orders, and pursuant to the Speaker’s policy announcements.93 While the use of closed and structured special rules has been central to the minority party’s critique of the majority’s floor management for nearly four decades, the type of special rule used to govern House proceedings for a specific piece of legislation (and therefore the degree of deliberation on the House floor) is largely a matter of majority desires, not of standing House 91 Sec. 3(c) of H.Res. 279 (111th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 31, 2009. Sec. 3(c) of H.Res. 147 (112th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 17, 2011. 93 For a description of rules changes affecting the chamber and floor made at the beginning of the 111th Congress, see CRS Report R40509, House Rules Changes in the 111th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings, by Megan Suzanne Lynch and Elizabeth Rybicki. For a description of rules changes affecting the chamber and floor made at the beginning of the 112th Congress, see CRS Report R41711, House Rules Changes in the 112th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings , by Elizabeth Rybicki. There is not a comparable report for the 110th Congress. 92 Congressional Research Service 25 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress rules. The House through changes to its standing rules, nonetheless, allows or prohibits specified provisions in special rules. Rules changes in the 110th through 112th Congresses affecting the chamber and floor have sought to enhance the integrity of proceedings in addressing matters such as admission to the chamber, earmarks, and voting. Rules changes have also addressed consideration of budgetary legislation, which are discussed in this section and the next section. The House has continued to change rules affecting voting in the Committee of the Whole by the Delegates and the Resident Commissioner.94 Admission to and Use of the Chamber In the 110th Congress, the Speaker revised the existing policy regarding floor privileges for former Members, former Delegates, Resident Commissioners, parliamentarians of the House, elected officers of the House, and minority employees nominated as elected officers of the House to accommodate the changes to clause 4 of Rule IV made in the 109th Congress with the adoption of H.Res. 648.95 The Speaker in the 111th Congress clarified the application of clause 3 of rule I, which granted the Speaker control of the Hall of the House, and clause 1 of rule IV, which specified that the Hall of the House was to be used only for the legislative business of the House, for caucus and conference meetings of its Members, and for such ceremonies as the House might agree to conduct there. When the House was adjourned, the Speaker’s policy stated, the House was on “static display,” and no audio and video recording or “transmitting devices” were allowed so that sound or images from the chamber would not serve as a backdrop for activities that are not proceedings but that “might be taken to carry the imprimatur of the House.”96 In stating these policies, the Speaker sought to address situations like the use of the chamber to discuss energy policy during the August 2008 recess.97 In H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress, outdated references to specific media entities were deleted. The portion of Rule VI that allowed the Speaker to reserve one seat each on the floor for reporters from the Associated Press and United Press International was deleted. A further technical change was made limiting to “not more than one” the number of representatives of each press association the Speaker could admit to the floor, instead of “one additional.” Similarly the portion of the rule that previously limited floor access, at the Speaker’s discretion, to one representative each of the National Broadcasting Company, Columbia Broadcasting Company, and the American Broadcasting Company was amended to allow access to “not more than one representative” of media outlets as the Speaker may allow. 94 For an analysis of special rules and other floor actions, see CRS Report R41501, House Legislative Procedures and House Committee Organization: Options for Change in the 112th Congress, by Judy Schneider and Michael L. Koempel. For an overview of House floor proceedings, see CRS Report 95-563, The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction, by Christopher M. Davis. 95 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 5, 2007), pp. 273-274. H.Res. 648 (109th Cong.), agreed to in the House February 1, 2006. (See CRS Report RL33610, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 104th Congress through the 109th Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider.) 96 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H22-H24. 97 For background, see “House Dems turn out the lights but GOP keeps talking,” Politico LIVE, August 1, 2008, at http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0808/House_Dems_turn_out_out_the_light_but_GOP_keep_talking.html. Congressional Research Service 26 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress This rules resolution also amended Rule IV (Hall of the House) to disallow the Speaker from entertaining a unanimous consent request or motion to suspend the first five clauses of Rule IV, pertaining to use of and admittance to the House chamber. Previously, only the first two clauses (specifically addressing use of the House for the conduct of legislative business and caucus or conference meetings and specifically naming officials entitled to access) were subject to this prohibition. (Amended clause 2(b) of Rule IV.) Speaker Boehner deleted text characterizing the use of the chamber during a previous August recess that had prompted Speaker Pelosi’s statement on the rules governing the proper use of the Hall of the House. Speaker Boehner’s announced policy was otherwise unchanged from the earlier policy.98 Appropriations Measures99 (See also “Earmarks” below.) H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress created a point of order against an appropriations measure that provided spending authority from the Highway Trust Fund (excluding any transfers from the General Fund of the Treasury) for any purpose other than for those activities authorized for the highway or mass transit programs. This point of order replaced a rule that prevented the Appropriations Committee from setting spending levels lower than those authorized in surface transportation law. The rules change sought to ensure that taxes collected to support the Highway Trust Fund were not diverted to other uses.100 (Amended clause 3 of Rule XXI.) Bill Introductions101 (See also “Commemorative Legislation” below.) In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 required the introduction of a bill or joint resolution to be accompanied by a statement citing the constitutional power granted Congress to enact the measure. These statements are to be printed in the Congressional Record. The chair of the committee of jurisdiction could submit such a statement for a Senate bill or joint resolution prior to its consideration in the House.102 (Amended clause 7 of Rule XII.) (For a concomitant change in the requirement for a constitutional authority statement in committee reports, see “Committee Reports” above.) 98 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H29-H31. For an introduction to the appropriations process in Congress, see CRS Report 97-684, The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction, by Jessica Tollestrup. 100 For an explanation of this rules change, see CRS Report R41926, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 112th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr. 101 For information on legislative forms, see CRS Report 98-728, Bills, Resolutions, Nominations, and Treaties: Characteristics, Requirements, and Uses, by Richard S. Beth; CRS Report 98-706, Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used, by Richard S. Beth; and CRS Report 98-458, Introducing a House Bill or Resolution, by Betsy Palmer. 102 See CRS Report R41711, House Rules Changes in the 112th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings , by Elizabeth Rybicki; and CRS Report R41548, Sources of Constitutional Authority and House Rule XII, Clause 7(c), by Kenneth R. Thomas. 99 Congressional Research Service 27 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Reserved Bill Numbers A separate order in H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress reserved the first 10 bill numbers for assignment by the Speaker for the duration of the 110th Congress. A separate order in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress reserved the first 10 bill numbers for assignment by the Speaker for the duration of the 111th Congress. A separate order in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress reserved the first 10 bill numbers for assignment by the Speaker and the second 10 bill numbers for assignment by the minority leader, both for the duration of the 112th Congress. Budget Process Within this section, see “Appropriations Measures,” above, or “Deficit Control,” “Earmarks,” “Medicare Trigger,” “Public Debt Ceiling,” and “Unfunded Mandates,” below. These topics as well as others concerning budgetary legislation are all also addressed in the next section, “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation.” Calendar Wednesday Calendar Wednesday was a procedure available each Wednesday, whereby committees could call up measures on the House or Union Calendar lacking privilege.103 The occurrence or use of the Calendar Wednesday procedure in the modern House had been rare, but it would automatically occur unless dispensed with, normally by unanimous consent. H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress reformed the Calendar Wednesday procedure to require a committee to request its scheduling, eliminating the need for the House each week to prevent its occurrence. If requested by a committee, the procedure would be available only to the requesting committee. A rules change also eliminated a prohibition applicable to the Rules Committee reporting a special rule waiving Calendar Wednesday.104 (Amended clause 6 of Rule XV and deleted clause 6 of Rule XIII.) Commemorative Legislation A change to the Republican Conference rules in the 112th Congress had a significant effect on commemorative legislation that had been commonly considered by the House under the suspension of the rules procedure.105 The change made in conference rules stated that the Speaker should not schedule a bill or resolution that “expresses appreciation, commends, congratulates, celebrates, recognizes the accomplishments of, or celebrates the anniversary of, an entity, event, 103 Privilege is “An attribute of a…measure…that gives it priority status for consideration.” Walter Kravitz, Congressional Quarterly’s American Congressional Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2001), p. 188. 104 For an explanation of procedures under Calendar Wednesday before and after the change, see CRS Report R40509, House Rules Changes in the 111th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings, by Megan Suzanne Lynch and Elizabeth Rybicki. 105 “Commemorative” was defined by the 104th Congress as “…a remembrance, celebration, or recognition for any purpose through the designation of a specified period of time.” (House Rule XII, cl. 5) Members, however, were able to draft similar legislation that did not fit the definition, and legislation in this form was routinely considered on the House floor under the suspension of the rules procedure. Congressional Research Service 28 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress group, individual, institution, team or government program; or acknowledges or recognizes a period of time for such purposes.”106 Democrats and Republicans alike had criticized the floor time the House consumed in the consideration of such measures.107 Conference108 H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress amended the existing one-sentence rule that “a meeting of each conference committee shall be open to the public” by adding openness goals that House managers “should endeavor to ensure”: (1) all House conferees have notice of meetings and a “reasonable opportunity” to attend; (2) all provisions in disagreement be open to discussion at any meeting; and (3) signed conference papers containing an agreement not be changed without opportunity for House conferees to reconsider their decision to sign or not sign. It is not yet clear whether these goals are enforceable by a point of order or are exhortations to House managers. The rule was also amended to require that conferees be provided with a complete copy of the conference agreement at one place and at one time to sign or not sign. (Amended clause 12 of Rule XXII.) H.Res. 6 also contained a new provision stating that it was not in order for the House to consider a conference report, in which the conference text varied (other than by clerical change) from “action of the conferees on all of the differences between the two Houses” as acknowledged by signing or not signing the conference report and joint explanatory statement.109 (Added new clause 13 to Rule XXII.) Continuity of Congress H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress authorized the chair of the Committee of the Whole, when notified of an imminent threat to the House’s safety, to declare an emergency recess subject to the call of the chair. The change eliminated potential confusion over whether the Committee of the Whole would need to rise (to return to the House sitting as the House) so that the Speaker could declare an emergency recess. (Amended clause 12 of Rule I.) 106 Rule 28 of the “Rules of the House Republican Conference for the 112th Congress,” available at http://www.gop.gov/about/rules?rule-28. 107 Rep. Louise Slaughter, “Broken Promises,” p. 45; and Rep. Eric Cantor, “Delivering on Our Commitment.” 108 For information on the conference process and the process of amendments between the houses, see CRS Report 98696, Resolving Legislative Differences in Congress: Conference Committees and Amendments Between the Houses, by Elizabeth Rybicki. 109 This change was meant to address the possibility of adding to or changing items in a conference report after conferees had reached agreement, but without the conferees’ knowledge. An example frequently cited at the time was that of an earmark for the so-called Coconut Road interchange on I-75 in Florida (H.R. 3; P.L. 109-59). See Charlie Whitehead, “Bonita will benefit for Coconut Road I-75 exit,” Naples News, August 24, 2005, available at http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2005/aug/24/ndn_bonita_will_benefit_from_coconut_road_i_75_exi; and Elizabeth Wright, “Coconut Road earmark investigation gains major momentum in Congress,” Naples News, April 15, 2008, available at http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/apr/15/coconut-road-earmark-investigation-gains-major-mom. Congressional Research Service 29 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Decorum in the Chamber Electronic Devices Elaborating on the prohibition on the receiving and making of wireless telephone calls within the chamber, the Speaker in the 111th Congress further clarified that “telephone headsets” should not be worn within the chamber.110 The House in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress changed its rule to proscribe only “use of a mobile electronic device that impairs decorum.” The change shifted the rule from prohibiting specific devices to the manner in which electronic devices were used on the House floor, although the change provided the Speaker with sufficient flexibility to ban specific devices. (Amended clause 5 of Rule XVII.) Regarding the use of mobile electronic devices, the Speaker in his announced policies reminded Members of the prohibition on use of those devices that “impair decorum,” as provided in Rule XVII, clause 5. The Speaker noted that electronic tablet devices do not constitute personal computers for the purpose of the rule and thus could be used “unobtrusively” within the chamber. However, no device could be used for still photography or for audio or video recording.111 Deficit Control (See also “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation” below.) H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress prohibited the House from considering a budget resolution, an amendment to it, or a conference report on it that contained reconciliation directives that would have the effect of reducing the surplus or increasing the deficit over 6- and 11-year time frames.112 (Added clause 7 to Rule XXI.) H.Res. 6 added to House rules a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) provision, which prohibited consideration of any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report, the provisions of which affecting direct spending or revenues would have the net effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus for either a 6- or 11-year period. The rule provided direction on how the effect of a measure on the surplus or deficit was to be calculated.113 (Added clause 10 to Rule XXI.) In the 111th Congress, the House in H.Res. 5 made the following changes to clause 10 of Rule XXI, the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rule:114 110 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H22-H24. “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H29-H31. 112 For an explanation of 110th Congress budget rules changes, see CRS Report RL34149, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 110th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr.; and CRS Report RL33818, Federal Budget Process Reform in the 110th Congress: A Brief Overview, by Robert Keith. 113 Ibid. 114 In addition, Congress in the 111th Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Statutory Pay-As-YouGo Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-139; 124 Stat. 8 (2010)). 111 Congressional Research Service 30 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • Aligned the PAYGO rules of the House with those of the Senate so that both houses used the same CBO baselines; • Permitted one House-passed measure to be used to pay for spending in a separate House-passed measure as long as the two were linked at the engrossment stage; • Exempted provisions expressly designated as emergency from a point of order under Rule XXI, clause 10;115 and • Required the chair to put a question of consideration with respect to bills, joint resolutions, amendments made in order as original text by a special order of business, conference reports, or amendments between the Houses that contain a provision designated as emergency for the purposes of PAYGO principles. H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress established a point of order against considering a concurrent resolution on the budget, or an amendment to it, or a conference report on it that contained reconciliation directives that would have the effect of a net increase in direct spending over 6- and 11-year time periods. This rule previously disallowed reconciliation instructions that would have the effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus.116 (Amended clause 7 of Rule XXI.) H.Res. 5 also replaced the pay-as-you-go rule with a cut-as-you-go rule. While the House had prohibited consideration of any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report if “the provisions of such measure affecting direct spending and revenues have the net effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus,” the House in the 112th Congress prohibited consideration of these legislative vehicles “if the provisions of such measure have the net effect of increasing mandatory spending.”117 (Emphasis added) (Amended clause 10 of Rule XXI.) H.Res. 5 also provided that the chair of the Committee on the Budget (as opposed to the committee itself) could provide “authoritative guidance” on the budgetary impact of legislation. This change recognized in rules what had become practice, where the House’s presiding officer needed to seek information from the Budget Committee in determining whether a legislative provision violated a budget enforcement rule: such information was provided by the committee chair.118 (Added clause 4 to Rule XXIX.) Delegates and Resident Commissioner H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress deleted rules provisions allowing Delegates and the Resident Commissioner to chair or vote in the Committee of the Whole. The House in the 110th Congress 115 The section-by-section analysis inserted in the Congressional Record included guidelines for what measures may receive “emergency designation,” although these guidelines do not appear in the text of the rules resolution and do not appear to be binding. Rep. Louise Slaughter, remarks in the House, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H11-H12. 116 For an explanation of changes to budget rules made by the 112th Congress, see CRS Report R41926, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 112th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr. 117 Ibid. 118 Ibid. Congressional Research Service 31 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress had granted these rights in the Committee of the Whole to Delegates and the Resident Commissioner.119 (Amended clause 3 of Rule III and clauses 1 and 6 of Rule XVIII.) Discharge Petitions120 In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 changed the discharge rule to indicate that it was the names of signatories rather than the actual signatures of Members that the clerk should make available. (Amended clause 2 of Rule XV and clause 13 of Rule XVIII.) Earmarks121 H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress required a committee of jurisdiction or a conference committee to provide a list of earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits (as defined in the rule) contained in a bill or joint resolution that was reported, was not reported, an amendment in the nature of a substitute or other committee amendment, or conference report for the measure to be in order for consideration by the House. If the measure contained no earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits, then a statement attesting to that fact was required to be provided. If the measure was reported, the list or statement was to appear in the committee report. If the measure was not reported, the list or statement was to be printed in the Congressional Record. A point of order would lie against consideration of a measure only in the absence of the list or statement. A point of order was also allowed against a special rule waiving the requirement for the list or statement, which would be disposed of on a question of consideration, debatable for 10 minutes by the Member making the point of order and 10 minutes by an opponent. (Added clause 9 to Rule XXI.) (See “Earmarks” under “Rules Changes Affecting Committees,” above, and “110th Congress” under “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation” and “110th Congress” under “Rules Changes Affecting Ethics Standards,” both below.) The House in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress amended clause 9 of rule XXI to require the joint explanatory statement of a conference report accompanying a regular general appropriation bill to list all earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits not committed to conference by either house, or to include a statement that neither the conference report nor the joint explanatory statement contained such earmarks or limited tax or tariff benefits. This requirement could not be waived by a special rule. A point of order raised under this change would be disposed of by a 119 H.Res. 78 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House January 24, 2007. (See also above, “Democrats’ Proposed Rules Changes, 112th Congress.”) For information on prerogatives in the House for Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, see CRS Report RL33824, The Constitutionality of Awarding the Delegate for the District of Columbia a Vote in the House of Representatives or the Committee of the Whole, by Kenneth R. Thomas; CRS Report R40170, Parliamentary Rights of the Delegates and Resident Commissioner From Puerto Rico, by Christopher M. Davis; and CRS Report R41711, House Rules Changes in the 112th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings , by Elizabeth Rybicki. 120 For information on the House discharge rule, see CRS Report 97-552, The Discharge Rule in the House: Principal Features and Uses, by Richard S. Beth. 121 For information on changes in rules affecting earmarks, see CRS Report RL34462, House and Senate Procedural Rules Concerning Earmark Disclosure, by Sandy Streeter. Changes made during the 110th Congress are explained in CRS Report RL34149, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 110th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr.; and CRS Report RL33818, Federal Budget Process Reform in the 110th Congress: A Brief Overview, by Robert Keith. Congressional Research Service 32 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress question of consideration. (This amendment to clause 9 codified in House rules H.Res. 491, adopted in the 110th Congress.)122 (See “111th Congress” below, under “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation.”) Gender References H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress amended House rules to change masculine nouns, pronouns, and possessives to gender-neutral language. So, for example, “chair” was substituted for “chairman,” and subsequent references to the Speaker as “he” or “his” were changed to “the Speaker” or “the Speaker’s.” Layover/Public Availability In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 contained a new layover requirement applicable to unreported legislation. Under the change, it would not be in order to consider on the floor a bill or joint resolution that had not been reported from committee until the third day after it had been available to Members. The existing three-day layover rule had applied only to the required report on committee-reported legislation.123 Since the route to floor consideration for an unreported measure is normally via the suspension of the rules procedure or a special rule, leadership’s restraint in making an unreported measure available for three days before floor consideration would probably be of greater impact than the rules change itself.124 (Added a new clause 11 to Rule XXI.) In support of House layover rules in the Internet Age, H.Res. 5 also assigned a new duty to the House Administration Committee—to promulgate standards for making House and House committee documents publicly available.125 (Amended clause 4 of Rule X.) H.Res. 5 further provided that, if a measure or matter was available in electronic form at a location designated by the committee, the item would be considered available to Members as required by House rules.126 A requirement of “availability” under the rules was previously met only by printed items. (Added a new clause 3 to Rule XXIX.) A separate order provided an interim order pending the promulgation of regulations by the committee. The interim order stated that posting on the 122 The House in the 110th Congress, on June 18, 2007, had adopted H.Res. 491, creating a point of order for the duration of that Congress against a conference report on a general appropriations bill that was not accompanied by a list of earmarks not committed to conference by either house. A special rule could not waive this requirement. A point of order under H.Res. 491 was disposed of on a question of consideration. 123 See CRS Report RS22015, Availability of Legislative Measures in the House of Representatives (The “Three-Day Rule”), by Elizabeth Rybicki. 124 The rules change and its relationship to other rules and practices is discussed in CRS Report R41711, House Rules Changes in the 112th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings , by Elizabeth Rybicki. 125 U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “House Administration Adopts New Posting Standards for House Documents,” news release, December 16, 2011, available at http://cha.house.gov/press-release/houseadministration-adopts-new-posting-standards-house-documents. The standards are available at http://cha.house.gov/ member-services/electronic-posting-standards, or as a PDF document at http://cha.house.gov/sites/ republicans.cha.house.gov/files/documents/member_services_docs/electronic_posting_standards.pdf. 126 U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “Clerk Launches New Site for House Documents,” news release, January 17, 2012, available at http://cha.house.gov/press-release/clerk-launches-new-site-housedocuments. The website is located at http://docs.house.gov/. Congressional Research Service 33 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Committee on Rules website would serve the publicly available requirement for the House floor and each committee’s majority website would serve that purpose for a committee. Medicare Trigger A separate order included in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress rendered inoperative for the 111th Congress a rule incorporated into the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The separate order allowed the President to submit a measure to respond to a “Medicare funding warning” (the so-called Medicare trigger) issued by Medicare trustees, as required by the law, but voided the expedited procedures that required the House to act on the measure.127 Public Debt Ceiling128 In the 112th Congress, the Gephardt rule was deleted. (Repealed Rule XXVIII.)129 (See “112th Congress” below, under “Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation.”) Recommit, Motion to130 In the 111th Congress, H.Res. 5 restricted motions to recommit with instructions only to a form of direction to report back an amendment “forthwith.” This change precluded other forms of instructions, such as to report back “promptly” or to undertake other actions, for example, to hold hearings. While minority Members over the years had normally offered “forthwith” instructions, the minority in the 110th Congress frequently offered motions to recommit to instruct a committee to “promptly” report an amendment. This form of instruction sent the measure back to committee, was advisory, and did not immediately bring an amendment before the House. The majority objected to this practice and changed the rule in the 111th Congress.131 The change for the first time also allowed 10 minutes of debate on a motion to recommit without instructions (also called a “straight” motion to recommit). Previously, 10 minutes of debate had been available only on a motion to recommit with instructions. A Member could thereby use debate on a motion to recommit without instructions to argue for specific action on the measure by the committee to which the measure would be returned.132 (Amended clause 2 of Rule XIX.) 127 P.L. 108-173, §§ 801-803; 117 Stat. 2066, 2357-2363 (2003). Senate procedures appear in sec. 804. For an explanation of the Medicare trigger, see CRS Report RS22796, Medicare Trigger, by Hinda Chaikind and Christopher M. Davis. For background, see Bennett Roth, “House Adopts Package of Rule Changes,” CQ Weekly, vol. 67, no. 2, January 12, 2009, pp. 75-76. The House had disabled these expedited procedures in the 110th Congress as well in adopting H.Res. 1368 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House July 24, 2008. For background, see Drew Armstong, “House Adopts Measure Waiving Medicare Trigger,” CQ Weekly, vol. 66, no. 30, July 28, 2008, p. 2061. 128 For an explanation of the Gephardt rule and of congressional procedures related to debt legislation, see CRS Report RL31913, Developing Debt-Limit Legislation: The House’s “Gephardt Rule”, by Bill Heniff Jr.; and CRS Report RS21519, Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview, by Bill Heniff Jr. 129 Rule XXVIII was listed in the rules resolution as “reserved” but contained no text. 130 For an explanation of the motion to recommit, see CRS Report 98-383, Motions to Recommit in the House, by Betsy Palmer. 131 See, for example, Don Wolfensberger, “Minority’s Motion to Recommit Should Not Be Curtailed,” Roll Call, November 12, 2007, available at http://www.rollcall.com/issues/53_58/-20936-1.html. 132 For a discussion of the rules change, see CRS Report R40509, House Rules Changes in the 111th Congress Affecting (continued...) Congressional Research Service 34 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Special Order Speeches133 In the 110th Congress, the special order policies included in previous Speakers’ announcements were not included in the Speaker’s announced policies for the 110th Congress.134 In the 111th Congress, the Speaker reintroduced the previous policy on special order speeches, allowing five-minute speeches and then up to four hours of longer speeches, two hours allocated to the majority and two hours to the minority.135 The Speaker in his announced policies for the 112th Congress stated that any special-order speech was to conclude by 10 o’clock in the evening (rather than midnight). The Speaker further specified that the second hour of each party’s two-hour period for special-order speeches would be divided into two 30-minute periods and that recognition during the party’s first hour and each 30-minute period would alternate initially and then subsequently between the parties each day. Five-minute special order speeches were in order until February 1, 2011.136 Unfunded Mandates137 In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 struck the clause authorizing a motion to strike an unfunded mandate from a bill considered in the Committee of the Whole. Under the repealed clause, such an amendment was in order unless specifically precluded by the terms of a special rule. (Struck clause 11 of Rule XVIII.) Voting138 A provision in H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress sought to ensure that recorded votes were closed in a timely manner without manipulating a vote’s duration to achieve a specific outcome. A sentence (...continued) Floor Proceedings, by Megan Suzanne Lynch and Elizabeth Rybicki. 133 For information on non-legislative debate, see CRS Report RL30136, Special Order Speeches: Current House Practices, by Judy Schneider; and CRS Report RS21174, Special Order Speeches and Other Forms of Non-Legislative Debate in the House, by Betsy Palmer. 134 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 5, 2007), pp. 273-274. 135 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H22-H24. 136 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H29-H31. In a separate unanimous consent request, Majority Leader Eric Cantor provided parameters for morning hour debate, where Members are allowed to speak for up to five minutes each. Rep. Eric Cantor, “Making in Order Morning-Hour Debate,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 5, 2011, pp. H28-H29. 137 In the 104th Congress, Congress enacted and the President signed the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (P.L. 104-4; 109 Stat. 48 (1995)). It defined a federal mandate as a law or regulation that imposed a legally binding duty on state, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector. A point of order in the House or Senate would lie against reported legislation imposing a mandate exceeding applicable thresholds unless spending authority exceeding the mandate’s costs was provided. See CRS Report R40957, Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues, by Robert Jay Dilger and Richard S. Beth; and CRS Report RS20058, Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Summarized, by Keith Bea and Richard S. Beth. 138 For information on voting in the House, see CRS Report 98-228, House Voting Procedures: Forms and Requirements, by Walter J. Oleszek. Congressional Research Service 35 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress was added to clause 2 of Rule XX: “A record vote by electronic device shall not be held open for the sole purpose of reversing the outcome of such vote.”139 Existing language in the Speaker’s announced policies noting that the chair would have the full support of the Speaker in striving to close each electronic vote as quickly as possible was removed. New language stating that Members would be given a “reasonable amount” of time in which to accurately record their votes was introduced, while retaining the existing statement that Members in the House well would not be prevented from voting.140 The sentence about holding open a vote for the sole purpose of reversing an outcome was repealed in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress.141 (Amended clause 2 of Rule XX.) The Speaker in the 111th Congress continued existing policy regarding the timely conduct of votes, but added that presiding officers should look to the clerk for certification that a vote tally was complete and accurate.142 The repeal of the rules provision on holding votes open and the inclusion of new language in the Speaker’s announced policies was a response to the recommendations of the Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007, detailed in H.Rept. 110-885. In the 112th Congress, H.Res. 5 allowed the chair of the Committee of the Whole to reduce the time for recorded votes on amendments to not less than two minutes after a 15-minute recorded vote. The previous rule allowed the chair to reduce voting time to five minutes, although the House had on occasion authorized the chair of the Committee of the Whole to hold two-minute votes. (Amended clause 6 of Rule XVIII.) Postponing Consideration In the 111th Congress, H.Res. 5 provided permanent authority to the Speaker to postpone consideration of a measure, called up pursuant to a special rule, once the previous question had been ordered on it. The House had previously granted such authority to the Speaker in individual special rules. In the absence of this authority, the House, once the previous question was ordered, would be required to continue consideration of the measure through “re-votes” on amendments 139 This sentence was the subject of numerous parliamentary inquiries and several points of order in the 110th Congress. On August 3, 2007, in response to one Democratic presiding officer’s decision to end a vote at a particular juncture, the House subsequently approved the creation of a select committee to investigate the possibility of “irregularities” in the conduct of that vote. (H.Res. 363 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House August 3, 2007.) The investigation resulted in a recommendation to the House that the rule be repealed. The Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007, in its unanimously adopted report, indicated that the change was made with a “noble intent,” but it was “difficult to enforce” and a “catalyst for raw anger.” U.S. Congress, House, Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007, Final Report and Summary of Activities, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., H.Rept. 110-885 (Washington: GPO, 2008), pp. 22-24. See also the discussion of the electronic voting system and of voting in the House in CRS Report RL34366, Electronic Voting System in the House of Representatives: History and Evolution, by Jacob R. Straus (out of print; available from the author); and in CRS Report RL34570, Record Voting in the House of Representatives: Issues and Options, by Michael L. Koempel, Jacob R. Straus, and Judy Schneider. 140 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 1 (January 5, 2007), pp. 273-274. 141 For additional explanation of the rules change, see CRS Report R40509, House Rules Changes in the 111th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings, by Megan Suzanne Lynch and Elizabeth Rybicki. 142 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H22-H24. Congressional Research Service 36 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress adopted in the Committee of the Whole, a motion to recommit, and a vote on final passage.143 (Amended clause 1 of Rule XIX.) Rules Changes Affecting Budgetary Legislation144 This section of the report explains or lists rules and separate orders related to budgetary legislation that were included in the rules resolutions for the 110th through the 112th Congresses. Separate orders that were common to two or three of these Congresses are shown in Table 1.145 Other sources of change to the consideration of budgetary legislation, such as the annual concurrent resolution on the budget that is often a source of permanent or temporary changes in the budget process, have not been analyzed.146 Other process changes may have been included in appropriations acts and other freestanding legislation;147 those changes are not discussed in this report. 110th Congress This section describes budget process-related amendments to the rules of the House adopted in H.Res. 6 by the 110th Congress.148 In addition, separate orders that were common to the 110th Congress and either or both the 111th and 112th Congresses are shown in Table 1. 143 For a discussion of this rules change, see CRS Report R40509, House Rules Changes in the 111th Congress Affecting Floor Proceedings, by Megan Suzanne Lynch and Elizabeth Rybicki. 144 For an explanation of the congressional budget process, see CRS Report 98-721, Introduction to the Federal Budget Process, coordinated by Bill Heniff Jr. 145 For an analysis of the rules changes made in the 110th Congress that affected budgetary legislation, see CRS Report RL34149, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 110th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr. For an analysis of such rules changes made in the 112th Congress, see CRS Report R41926, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 112th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr. There is not a comparable report for the 111th Congress. 146 Permanent or temporary changes to budget process rules are regularly included in the annual concurrent resolutions on the budget. For data on and an analysis of concurrent resolutions on the budget, see CRS Report RL30297, Congressional Budget Resolutions: Historical Information, by Bill Heniff Jr. and Justin Murray. The budget resolutions that passed at least the House in the 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses are as follows: (1) 110th Congress: H.Con.Res. 99 (FY2008), conference report adopted by both the House and the Senate May 17, 2007; and H.Con.Res. 312 (FY2009), conference report adopted by both the House and the Senate June 5, 2008. (2) 111th Congress: H.Con.Res. 85 (FY2010), conference report adopted by both the House and the Senate April 29, 2009. For FY2011, the House agreed July 1, 2010, to a “budget enforcement resolution,” H.Res. 1493. (3) 112th Congress: H.Con.Res. 34 (FY2012), agreed to in the House April 15, 2011; motion to proceed to consider the resolution defeated in the Senate May 25, 2011. 147 The legislative branch appropriations acts adopted during these three Congresses are as follows: (1) Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2008, P.L. 110-161, Div. H; 121 Stat. 1844, 2218 (2007); (2) Omnibus Appropriations Act, FY2009, P.L. 111-8, Div. G; 123 Stat. 524, 812 (2009); (3) Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, FY2010, P.L. 111-68, Div. A; 123 Stat. 2023 (2009); (4) Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, FY2011, P.L. 112-10, Title IX; 125 Stat. 38. 170 (2011); (5) Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2012, P.L. 112-74, Div. G; 125 Stat. 786 (2011). 148 For an analysis of the rules changes made in the 110th Congress that affected budgetary legislation, see CRS Report (continued...) Congressional Research Service 37 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • Prohibited the House from considering a budget resolution, an amendment to it, or a conference report on it that contained reconciliation instructions that would have the effect of reducing the surplus or increasing the deficit over 6- and 11year time frames. (Added clause 7 to Rule XXI.) • Applied Budget Act points of order to measures considered pursuant to a special rule, whether or not a measure was reported by committee. Points of order applied to measures as reported, made in order for the purpose of amendment, or on which the previous question was ordered. (Added clause 8 to Rule XXI.) • H.Res. 6 in the 110th Congress required a committee of jurisdiction or a conference committee to provide a list of earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits (as defined in the rule) contained in a bill or joint resolution that was reported, was not reported, an amendment in the nature of a substitute or other committee amendment, or conference report for the measure to be in order for consideration by the House. If the measure contained no earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits, then a statement attesting to that fact was required to be provided. If the measure was reported, the list or statement was to appear in the committee report. If the measure was not reported, the list or statement was to be printed in the Congressional Record. A point of order would lie against consideration of a measure in the absence of the list or statement. A point of order was also allowed against a special rule waiving the requirement for the list or statement, which would be disposed of on a question of consideration, debatable for 10 minutes by the Member making the point of order and 10 minutes by an opponent. (Added clause 9 to Rule XXI.) (See also “110th Congress” under “Rules Changes Affecting Ethics Standards” below.) • Added a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) provision, which prohibited consideration of any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report, the provisions of which affecting direct spending or revenues would have the net effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus for either a 6 or 11-year period. The rule provided direction on how the effect of a measure on the surplus or deficit was to be calculated. (Added clause 10 to Rule XXI.) 111th Congress This section describes budget process-related amendments to the rules of the House adopted in H.Res. 5 by the 111th Congress. In addition, separate orders that were common to the 111th Congress and either or both the 110th and 112th Congresses are shown in Table 1. The House in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress amended clause 9 of rule XXI to require the joint explanatory statement of a conference report to accompany a regular general appropriation bill to list all earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits not committed to conference by either house, or to include a statement that neither the conference report nor the joint explanatory statement contained such earmarks or limited tax or tariff benefits. This requirement could not be (...continued) RL34149, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 110th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr.; CRS Report RL34015, Congressional Budget Actions in 2007, by Bill Heniff Jr.; and CRS Report RL33818, Federal Budget Process Reform in the 110th Congress: A Brief Overview, by Robert Keith. Congressional Research Service 38 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress waived by a special rule. A point of order raised under this change would be disposed of by a question of consideration. (This amendment to clause 9 codified in House rules H.Res. 491, adopted in the 110th Congress.149) In addition, the House made the following changes to clause 10 of Rule XXI, the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rule:150 • Aligned the PAYGO rules of the House with those of the Senate so that both houses used the same CBO baselines; • Permitted one House-passed measure to be used to pay for spending in a separate House-passed measure so long as the two were linked at the engrossment stage; • Exempted provisions expressly designated as emergency from a point of order under Rule XXI, clause 10;151 and • Required the chair to put a question of consideration with respect to bills, joint resolutions, amendments made in order as original text by a special order of business, conference reports, or amendments between the Houses which contain a provision designated as emergency. H.Res. 5 also allowed a Member to serve a second consecutive term as chair or ranking minority member of the Budget Committee, if in doing so the Member would exceed the limit on service on the committee. (Amended clause 5 of Rule X.) 112th Congress This section describes budget process-related amendments to the rules of the House adopted in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress.152 In addition, separate orders that were common to the 112th Congress and either or both the 110th and 111th Congresses are shown in Table 1. • Established a point of order against considering a concurrent resolution on the budget, or an amendment to it, or a conference report on it that contained reconciliation directives that would have the effect of a net increase in direct spending over the period covered by the budget resolution. This rule previously disallowed reconciliation directives that would have the effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus. (Amended clause 7 of Rule XXI.) 149 The House in the 110th Congress, on June 18, 2007, had adopted H.Res. 491, creating the same point of order for the duration of that Congress against a conference report on a general appropriations bill that was not accompanied by a list of earmarks not committed to conference by either house. A special rule could not waive this requirement. A point of order under H.Res. 491 would be disposed of on a question of consideration. 150 In addition, Congress in the 111th Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Statutory Pay-As-YouGo Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-139; 124 Stat. 8 (2010)). 151 The section-by-section analysis inserted in the Congressional Record included guidelines for what measures may receive “emergency designation,” although these guidelines do not appear in the text of the rules resolution and do not appear to be binding. Rep. Louise Slaughter, remarks in the House, “Rules of the House,” Congressional Record, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, pp. H11-H12. 152 For an analysis of these rules changes, see CRS Report R41926, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 112th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr. Congressional Research Service 39 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress • Replaced the pay-as-you-go rule with a cut-as-you-go rule. While the House had prohibited consideration of any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report if “the provisions of such measure affecting direct spending and revenues have the net effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus,” the House in the 112th Congress prohibited consideration of these legislative vehicles “if the provisions of such measure have the net effect of increasing mandatory spending” over 6-year and 11-year periods. (Emphasis added) (Amended clause 10 of Rule XXI.) • Provided that the chair of the Committee on the Budget (as opposed to the committee itself) could provide “authoritative guidance” to the presiding officer on the budgetary impact of legislation, codifying practice. Where the House’s presiding officer needed to seek information from the Budget committee in determining whether a legislative provision violated a budget enforcement rule, the chair, in practice, had provided that information in the committee’s behalf. (Added clause 4 to Rule XXIX.) • Repealed the Gephardt rule providing for the automatic engrossment of a joint resolution to adjust the public debt limit when a concurrent resolution on the budget was adopted by Congress. This rule allowed the House to avoid a direct vote on legislation to adjust the debt limit.153 (Repealed Rule XXVIII but reserved it without text.) • Created a point of order against an appropriations measure (or amendments) that provided spending authority from the Highway Trust Fund (excluding any transfers from the General Fund of the Treasury) for any purpose other than for those activities authorized for the highway or mass transit programs. This point of order replaced a rule that prevented the Appropriations Committee from setting spending levels lower than those authorized in surface transportation law. The rules change sought to ensure that taxes collected to support the Highway Trust Fund were not diverted to other uses, although an appropriations measure or amendment could reduce spending below authorized levels. (Repealed clause 3 of Rule XXI.) • Struck the clause authorizing a motion to strike an unfunded mandate from a bill considered in the Committee of the Whole. Under the repealed clause, such an amendment was in order unless specifically precluded by the terms of a special rule. (Struck clause 11 of Rule XVIII.) The following are selected separate orders adopted by the 112th Congress in its rules resolution. Other separate orders related to budgetary legislation appear in Table 1. • Instructed the chair of the Committee on the Budget, until adoption of a concurrent resolution on the budget for FY2012, not to include those bills, joint resolutions, amendments thereto, or conference reports thereon that provided new budget authority, but that were designated as emergency provisions in calculating 153 For explanation of the Gephardt rule, see CRS Report RS21519, Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview, by Bill Heniff Jr.; and CRS Report RL31913, Developing Debt-Limit Legislation: The House’s “Gephardt Rule”, by Bill Heniff Jr. Congressional Research Service 40 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress their budget effects pursuant to titles III and IV of the Congressional Budget Act and the Rules of the House. • Exempted new budget authority or outlays for “contingency operations directly related to the global war on terrorism” from being counted for purposes of titles III and IV of the Congressional Budget Act. • Authorized the chair of the Committee on the Budget, pending adoption of a concurrent resolution on the budget for FY2012, to adjust budget aggregates for any measure reported by the Committee on Ways and Means that reduced revenues if the measure did not increase the deficit over the period FY2011FY2021. • Prohibited advance appropriations that, in an aggregate amount, exceeded $28,852,000,000 in new budget authority for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 and were for a program or activity not contained in “Accounts Identified for Advance Appropriations” published in the Congressional Record. Also, exempted were programs of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the Medical Services, Medical Support and Compliance, and Medical Facilities accounts of the Veterans Health Administration.154 • Directed that the joint explanatory statement accompanying the conference report on any concurrent resolution on the budget to include, in its section 302(a) allocations under the Congressional Budget Act, discretionary administrative expenses of the Social Security Administration and of the Postal Service. Receipts and disbursements of the Social Security trust funds and the Postal Service Fund remained “off-budget.” • Prohibited consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee (other than the Committee on Appropriations), or an amendment thereto or a conference report thereon, that increased mandatory spending more than $5,000,000,000 in four consecutive 10-year windows within a 40-year period. • Authorized the chair of the Committee on the Budget, prior to the adoption of a budget resolution for FY2012, to exempt the budgetary effects of certain measures in providing estimates of such legislation under clause 4 of Rule XXIX for purposes of budget enforcement under budget laws or House rules. Measures that could be exempted: (1) extension of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, (2) extension of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, (3) repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title 1 and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, (4) reform of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, 154 For an explanation of advance appropriations, see CRS Report RS20441, Advance Appropriations, Forward Funding, and Advance Funding, by Sandy Streeter. Congressional Research Service 41 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress (5) reform of both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, and the payment rates and related parameters in accordance with section 1848 of the Social Security Act, (6) adjustments to the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amounts, (7) extension of the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax provisions of title III of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, (8) providing a 20% deduction in income to small businesses, and (9) implementation of trade agreements. A measure would not be exempt if it (1) increased the deficit over the period of fiscal years 2011 through 2021, or (2) increased revenues over the period of fiscal years 2011 through 2021, other than by repealing or modifying the individual mandate, or modifying subsidies to purchase health insurance. • Authorized the chair of the Committee on the Budget to take into consideration these exemptions and adjustments for the purpose of determining budgetary effects under the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. • Established that general appropriation bills considered in the Committee of the Whole must include a “spending reduction account” as the last section of the bill. • Allowed amendments in the Committee of the Whole to transfer funds to the spending reduction account, even if the amendment is to a portion of an appropriations bill not yet read for amendment. • Disallowed amendments to change the amount in the spending reduction account, except amendments that transfer funds to it, thereby essentially precluding consideration of an amendment to restore funding that had previously been cut. • Prohibited amendments that proposed a net increase in budget authority. Table 1 includes certain separate orders adopted by the 110th House that were continued by the 111th Congress House or 112th Congress House or both. Congressional Research Service 42 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Table 1. Selected Special Orders on Budgetary Legislation Included in Rules Resolutions, 110th–112th Congresses Provision 110th House 111th House 112th House References to resolutions and joint resolutionsa A point of order under section 303 of CBAb Certain compensation not new entitlement authorityc Providing basis for budget enforcement pending adoption of budget resolutionf d e Enforcing 302(b) limits in Committee of the Wholeg Source: Created by the authors. N.B.: Explanations of these special orders may be found in CRS Report RL34149, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 110th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr.; and CRS Report R41926, House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Made at the Beginning of the 112th Congress, by Bill Heniff Jr. There is not a comparable report for the 111th Congress. a. During this Congress, references in Section 306 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to a “resolution” will be construed in the House of Representatives as references to a “joint resolution.” This measure first appeared as a special order in the 107th Congress and was continued by the 108th and 109th Congresses. b. During this Congress, a point of order under section 303 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 lies against text made in order as an original bill or joint resolution for the purpose of amendment or against text on which the previous question is ordered directly to passage. This special order ensured that the prohibition on the consideration of budgetary legislation before Congress agrees to a budget resolution is followed. c. During this Congress, a provision in a bill or joint resolution, an amendment thereto, or a conference report thereon, that establishes prospectively for a federal office or position a specified or minimum level of compensation to be funded by annual discretionary appropriations would not be considered as providing new entitlement authority under section 401 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. This special order was also included in rules resolutions in the 106th through the 109th Congresses. d. The chairman’s allocations may be found at Rep. John Spratt, Jr., “Allocation of Spending Authority to House Committees,” Congressional Record, vol. 153, part 3 (February 6, 2007), pp. 3160–3161. e. The chairman’s allocations may be found at Rep. Paul Ryan, letter to the House, “Communication from the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget Regarding Interim Budget Allocations and Aggregates for Fiscal Years 2011-2015,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, February 11, 2011, pp. H720-H721. f. Congress, having not passed a budget resolution for FY2007 by the start of the 110th Congress, the special order in the rules resolution designated the provisions of H.Con.Res. 376 of the 109th Congress, as adopted by the House, to have force and effect in the House until the 110th Congress passed a concurrent resolution on the budget for FY2008. The House instructed the chair of the Committee on the Budget to publish the Congressional Budget Act Section 302(a) allocations to accompany such a resolution and “Accounts Identified for Advance Appropriations,” as referred to in Section 401(b) of H.Con.Res. 376. (See table note d.)The 111th Congress did not pass a concurrent resolution on the budget for FY2011, although the House had passed a “budget enforcement resolution” (H.Res. 1493, 111th Cong.). The 112th Congress, therefore, instructed the chair of the Committee on the Budget to publish both the aggregates and Congressional Research Service 43 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress allocations contemplated by section 301 of the Congressional Budget Act and allocations contemplated by Section 302(a) of that act, among other, related provisions. (See table note e.) g. During this Congress, with some exceptions, a motion that the Committee of the Whole rise and report an appropriations bill to the House is not in order if the bill, as amended, exceeds an applicable allocation of new budget authority under Section 302(b) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as estimated by the Committee on the Budget. The separate order, first included in the 109th Congress rules resolution, allows a Member to make a point of order against the motion to rise and report, which, if sustained, requires the chair to submit the question of whether to rise and report to a vote, debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between a proponent and an opponent. If the Committee of the Whole votes in the affirmative, the Committee rises and reports. If the Committee votes in the negative, it considers an amendment to bring the measure into compliance with Section 302(b) allocations. The amendment is debatable for ten minutes. Rules Changes Affecting the Administration of the House This section of the report explains or lists rules and separate orders related to the administration of the House that were included in the rules resolutions for the 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses. Many administrative changes also took place with the exercise of authority delegated to the Committee on House Administration and to House officers, by order of the Speaker, through entities such as the House Office Building Commission, and in legislation such as the legislative branch appropriations bills. With few exceptions, these changes are not discussed here. 111th Congress The House in H.Res. 5 in the 111th Congress expanded the jurisdiction of the Committee on House Administration to include services provided to the House by the architect of the Capitol, excluding services within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. (Amended clause 4 of Rule X.) The rules resolution also clarified the inspector general’s authority to conduct audits for “nontraditional audit work…in the areas of business process improvements, services to enhance the efficiency of House support operations, and risk management assessments” and to “implement guidance and standards” published by the Government Accountability Office.155 (Amended clause 6 of Rule II.) 112th Congress The House in H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress directed the Committee on House Administration to establish standards for making documents publicly available in electronic form.156 (See “Jurisdiction” and “Openness” under “Rules Changes Affecting Committees” above.) The rules resolution also required that committees provide audio and video coverage of their hearings and 155 Rep. Louise Slaughter, “Section-by-Section of Rules Changes—111th Congress,” insert, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 155, January 6, 2009, p. H11. 156 U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “Clerk Launches New Site for House Documents,” news release, January 17, 2012, available at http://cha.house.gov/press-release/clerk-launches-new-site-housedocuments. The website is located at http://docs.house.gov/. Congressional Research Service 44 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress meetings “in a manner that allows the public to easily listen to and view the proceedings,” and to maintain these audio and video recordings so that they are “easily accessible” to the public.157 (See “Openness” under “Rules Changes Affecting Committees” above.) In H.Res. 5 in the 112th Congress, outdated references to specific media entities were deleted. (See “Admission to and Use of the Chamber” under “Rules Changes Affecting the Chamber and Floor” and “Openness” under “Rules Changes Affecting Committees,” both above.) An order of business was also included in H.Res. 5 that authorized the Speaker to entertain motions to suspend the rules on Thursday, January 6 to reduce the costs of House operations. Pursuant to this authorization, the House subsequently considered and approved H.Res. 22.158 Later in the 112th Congress, the Speaker and Democratic leader announced the end of the House page program after the August 2011 recess.159 Rules Changes Affecting Ethics Standards The 110th Congress, in particular, was the source of numerous additions and changes to ethics rules and laws. This report analyzes the rules, special orders, and Speaker’s announcements at the convening of a Congress and not all of the actions taken during the 110th, 111th, or 112th Congresses.160 (For changes affecting the structure of the Ethics Committee, see “Structure and Organization” under “Rules Changes Affecting Committees” above.) 110th Congress The House adopted extensive changes to its ethics rules in the 110th Congress, and subsequently passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which President George W. Bush 157 The Library of Congress was subsequently announced as the site for committee Webcasting and archives and for archiving of earlier committee proceedings. U.S. Congress, House, Committee on House Administration, “LOC Launches New Site to Webcast Committee Proceedings,” news release, February 2, 2012, available at http://cha.house.gov/press-release/loc-launches-new-site-webcast-house-committee-proceedings. The Library’s website is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/video/house-committee. 158 “Resolution to Cut Congress’s Budget,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 157, January 6, 2011, pp. H62H68. Among its spending limitations, the resolution limited spending in 2011 by Member, leadership, and committee offices to 95% of the amounts authorized in 2010. 159 The leadership’s Dear Colleague letter may be found at http://e-dearcolleague.house.gov/details.aspx?65141. The page program had been the subject of debate in recent Congresses. As a consequence of the investigation initiated after a Member’s relationship with House pages came to light, Congress in the 110th Congress enacted and President George W. Bush signed into law the House Page Board Revision Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-2; 121 Stat. 4 (2007)). For background, see U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Investigation of Allegations Related to Improper Conduct Involving Members and Current or Former House Pages, 109th Cong., 2nd sess., H.Rept. 109-733 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2006); CRS Report 98-758, Pages of the United States Congress: History, Legislation in the 112th Congress, and Program Administration, by R. Eric Petersen; and CRS Report RL33685, Pages of the United States Congress: History, Background Information, and Proposals for Change, by Mildred Amer. 160 For information on ethics rules and laws applicable to the House, see CRS Report 98-15, House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction, by Jacob R. Straus; CRS Report RL30764, Enforcement of Congressional Rules of Conduct: An Historical Overview, by Jacob R. Straus; and CRS Report R40760, House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures, by Jacob R. Straus. Congressional Research Service 45 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress signed into law September 14, 2007,161 and created the Office of Congressional Ethics.162 The ethics rules changes in H.Res. 6 addressed these issues: • A Member could not influence a private entity’s employment decision or practice on the basis of political affiliation by taking or withholding an official act, or threatening to do so, or by influencing another’s official act, or by offering or threatening to do so. The provision was intended to address, among other actions, a Member’s attempt to influence hiring decisions by lobbying entities and associations, based on applicants’ political affiliation. (Adding a new clause 13 to Rule XXIII.) • A Member, officer, or employee of the House could not knowingly accept a gift from a lobbyist or foreign agent or a private entity that retained or employed lobbyists or foreign agents, except as allowed by the House gift rule (clause 5 of Rule XXV). The provision was intended to disallow Members, officers, and employees from accepting lobbyist gifts under most instances.163 (Amended clause 5 of Rule XXV.) • A gift of a ticket to a sporting or entertainment event was to be valued at face value so long as the face value reflected the price at which the issuer offered the ticket for sale. The change sought to ensure that gifts of tickets were appropriately valued. (Amended clause 5 of Rule XXV.) • A gift of privately funded travel was prohibited if it was offered by a lobbyist or foreign agent or a private entity retaining or employing lobbyists or foreign agents. Two exemptions were also provided, without regard to the prohibition on a connection to lobbyists: (1) privately funded travel by a higher education institution, and (2) privately funded travel to a one-day event, exclusive of travel time or an overnight stay.164 (Amended clause 5 of Rule XXV.) • A Member, officer, or employee could not accept privately funded travel from an entity that retained or employed lobbyists or foreign agents unless a lobbyist’s or agent’s participation in the “planning, organization, request, or arrangement of the trip is de minimis.” Before accepting a gift of travel, a Member, officer, or employee must submit a written certification signed by the provider of the gift of travel to the Standards of Official Conduct Committee. The rule detailed the content of the certification, including attesting that the travel was not financed by a lobbyist or foreign agent, that the travel was not planned, organized, requested, 161 P.L. 110-81; 121 Stat. 735 (2007). See CRS Report RL34166, Lobbying Law and Ethics Rules Changes in the 110th Congress, by Jack Maskell. See also CRS Report RL31126, Lobbying Congress: An Overview of Legal Provisions and Congressional Ethics Rules, by Jack Maskell; and CRS Report RL34377, Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007: The Role of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate, by Jacob R. Straus. 162 Established by H.Res. 895 (110th Cong.), which was deemed adopted with the adoption of H.Res. 1031 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 11, 2008. This office was created to provide an entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against Members, officers, and employees of the House; to conduct an investigation pursuant to criteria included in the office’s establishing resolution; and, pursuant to criteria in the establishing resolution, to refer its recommendations to the Standards of Official Conduct Committee. See CRS Report R40760, House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures, by Jacob R. Straus. 163 See CRS Report RS22566, Acceptance of Gifts by Members and Employees of the House of Representatives Under New Ethics Rules of the 110th Congress, by Jack Maskell. 164 The rules change also allowed a two-night stay, if approved by the Ethics Committee on a case-by-case basis, if necessary for the Member to participate in the one-day event. Congressional Research Service 46 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress or arranged by a lobbyist or foreign agent, and that the traveler would not be accompanied by a lobbyist or foreign agent. Prior approval of the travel needed to be obtained from the Standards of Official Conduct Committee. Expenses must be disclosed to the clerk of the House within 15 days of the completion of travel, and the clerk was directed to make authorizations, certifications, and disclosures available for public inspection. (Amended clause 5 of Rule XXV.) • Members were barred from using personal, official, or campaign funds to pay for travel on a “non-governmental airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire.” The purpose of this provision was to prohibit Members from traveling on privately owned aircraft, but continue to allow them to use commercial charters.165 (Added a new clause 15 of Rule XXIII.) • The Standards of Official Conduct Committee was directed to develop guidelines on the “reasonableness of an expense or expenditure” for officially connected travel and regulations on information to be submitted in seeking committee approval. The new provision described the factors that the guidelines were to address, and required the committee to adopt the guidelines and regulations annually. (Amended clause 5 of Rule XXV.) • Additional disclosure related to travel was required. Information to be filed with the clerk after travel was to include a description of meetings and events attended. (Amended clause 5 of Rule XXV.) • The Standards of Official Conduct Committee was directed to offer annual ethics training to every Member, officer, and employee. New officers and employees were required to obtain ethics training within 60 days of employment, and all officers and employees designated as covered by this provision were directed to certify by January 31 of each year that they had received ethics training within the previous year.166 (Amended clause 3 of Rule XI.) Two changes to House ethics rules involved earmarks and limited tax and tariff benefits. First, a Member was prohibited from conditioning the inclusion in legislation of an earmark or limited tax or tariff benefit on a vote cast by another Member. Second, Members were required to request earmarks and limited tax and tariff benefits in writing and to provide information specified in the new rule. Among the information required was a certification that neither the requesting Member nor the Member’s spouse had a financial interest in the earmark or limited tax or tariff benefit. (Added new clauses 16 and 17 of Rule XXIII.) In the 110th Congress, in recognition of changes to clause 4 of Rule IV, the Speaker revised the application of the existing policy regarding floor privileges for former Members to include former Delegates, Resident Commissioners, parliamentarians of the House, elected officers of the House, and minority employees nominated as elected officers of the House. The Speaker added an individual’s status as a registered lobbyist or foreign agent, regardless of interest in the matter 165 This provision was subsequently amended by H.Res. 363 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House May 2, 2007. H.Res. 363 added exceptions to the rule, such as for a plane owned or leased by a Member. 166 The House also adopted a resolution that required the Standards of Official Conduct Committee to empanel an investigative subcommittee within 30 days of a Member’s indictment, or the filing of criminal charges against a member, or to submit to the House an explanation of why it has not empanelled an investigative subcommittee. H.Res. 451 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House June 5, 2007. Congressional Research Service 47 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress before the House, to the list of conditions for which former Members and officials would be denied entry to the Hall of the House or its adjacent rooms.167 A separate order included in H.Res. 6 disallowed access to House exercise facilities by former Members and former officers and their spouses if an individual was a lobbyist or foreign agent. The House Administration Committee was authorized to promulgate regulations.168 111th Congress Pursuant to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, the House renumbered two of its rules and inserted a new Rule XXVII.169 This rule required disclosure of post-service employment negotiations by Members, officers, and certain staff. An amendment to this new rule was included in H.Res. 5 so that the disclosure requirement applied to lameduck Members until their service ended. A separate order also continued the existence of the Office of Congressional Ethics.170 Another separate order in H.Res. 5 continued H.Res. 451 (110th Congress) in effect in the 111th Congress.171 Another separate order included in H.Res. 5 disallowed access to House exercise facilities by former Members and former officers and their spouses if an individual was a lobbyist or foreign agent. The House Administration Committee was authorized to promulgate regulations.172 112th Congress H.Res. 5 renamed the Standards of Official Conduct Committee as the Ethics Committee. A separate order included in H.Res. 5 again extended the existence of the Office of Congressional Ethics, providing, in addition, that it would be treated as a standing committee with regard to committee staff.173 167 “Announcement by the Speaker,” Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 153, part 1 (January 5, 2007), pp. 273274. The Speaker’s policy implemented the changes to Rule IV made by H.Res. 648 (109th Cong.), agreed to in the House February 1, 2006. 168 The House had adopted H.Res. 648 (109th Cong.) February 1, 2006, establishing a special order (not a change to House rules) barring former Members and others from the use of House exercise facilities. The separate order included in H.Res. 6 continued this provision of H.Res. 648 for the 110th Congress. 169 P.L. 110-81; 121 Stat. 735, 751-752 (2007). In addition to changes to statutory law, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act made changes to other House rules, including Rule XXIII (lobbying by consultants’ firms) and Rule XXV (lobbying contacts by the spouse of a Member who is a registered lobbyist). It also imposed duties on the clerk of the House. 170 Established by H.Res. 895 (110th Cong.), which was deemed adopted with the adoption of H.Res. 1031 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 11, 2008. See CRS Report R40760, House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures, by Jacob R. Straus. 171 H.Res. 451 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House June 5, 2007. Following the indictment of Rep. William Jefferson, the House adopted H.Res. 451 providing that the Standards of Official Conduct Committee convene an investigative subcommittee within 30 days or, if it does not empanel such as subcommittee, report to the House on its decision. 172 The House had adopted H.Res. 648 (109th Cong.) February 1, 2006, establishing a special order barring former Members and others from the use of House exercise facilities. The separate order included in H.Res. 5 continued this provision of H.Res. 648 for the 111th Congress. Congressional Research Service 48 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Another separate order in H.Res. 5 continued H.Res. 451.174 Another separate order included in H.Res. 5 disallowed access to House exercise facilities by former Members and former officers and their spouses if an individual was a lobbyist or foreign agent, the same separate order as included in the 111th Congress. The House in the 112th Congress again adopted a separate order in H.Res. 5 governing access to the exercise facilities of the House, first adopted in the 110th Congress. The House Administration Committee was authorized to promulgate regulations.175 Concluding Observations Changes made by Democrats after they took majority control of the House in the 110th Congress and by Republicans after they took majority control in the 112th Congress reflected, in part, critiques of the other party’s management of the House. Democrats emphasized changes to ethics rules and laws in their new majority in the 110th Congress, and Republicans emphasized changes to legislative procedures in their new majority in the 112th Congress. Both parties addressed budget policymaking, in both rules changes and special orders. The Jack Abramoff scandal in particular put on public trial the interactions between lobbyists on the one hand and Members and congressional staff on the other.176 The new majority in the 110th Congress responded with many changes to House ethics rules and with new law. Calls during the 111th Congress for more transparency generally and for more time to review legislation to be brought to the floor led to changes in the House’s rules in the 112th Congress, such as posting electronically the legislative text to be considered on the House floor, and to changes in the House’s legislative management, such as some open or modified open rules and some structured rules that allowed more amendments and a new schedule that included five-day work weeks with regular week-long district work periods. Most standing rules, however, did not change, either at all or substantially, when Democrats or Republicans became the majority since the rules reflected decades of experience with majority control of the House. Rules facilitate the majority’s organization and operation of the House; they do not dictate to party leaders and others how to run the House—their policy goals or procedural and political strategy—or determine what outcomes can be achieved. Rules changes do not necessarily enable a majority to pass legislation, to keep all the party’s Members together, to work (...continued) 173 Established by H.Res. 895 (110th Cong.), which was deemed adopted with the adoption of H.Res. 1031 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House March 11, 2008. See CRS Report R40760, House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures, by Jacob R. Straus. 174 H.Res. 451 (110th Cong.), agreed to in the House June 5, 2007. Following the indictment of Rep. William Jefferson, the House adopted H.Res. 451 providing that the Standards of Official Conduct Committee convene an investigative subcommittee within 30 days or, if it does not empanel such as subcommittee, report to the House on its decision. 175 The House had adopted H.Res. 648 (109th Cong.) February 1, 2006, establishing a special order barring former Members and others from the use of House exercise facilities. The separate order included in H.Res. 5 continued this provision of H.Res. 648 for the 112th Congress. 176 For background, see, for example, Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi, “The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff,” The Washington Post, December 29, 2005, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ article/2005/12/28/AR2005122801588.html. Congressional Research Service 49 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress smoothly with the minority, to achieve the same outcomes as the other body, or to either deliver on or counteract voter sentiments. In managing the House in the last decade, each party’s majority needed to accommodate an assertive range of its Members’ perspectives, and to balance the need to govern with the demand of an emboldened minority to be heard. Consequently, the number of open—and modified open—special rules decreased and the number of structured rules increased, a third day for the consideration of legislation by suspension of the rules was added, fewer days were spent in session, more competition over jurisdiction between committees occurred, some measures passed by the House could not pass the Senate, and convening conferences between the chambers declined in favor of resolving differences through amendments between the houses. The motion to recommit was used to broadcast a message as well as to offer an alternative. The majority leadership’s influence over committee agendas and role in drafting or redrafting of major legislation to be considered on the floor continued to increase. On the one hand, party leadership has increased its control of committees and committee agendas, for example, by leadership’s control of the selection of chairs and ranking minority members. On the other hand, there has been less political overlap between the parties so that leaders may need to look exclusively in their own caucus or conference to build a majority on key votes,177 and leaders are better positioned than committee chairs to know what legislative provisions will create those majorities. The churning in the House’s membership also contributed to leadership’s influence over legislation. Turnover brings new energy and ideas to the House, and reflects “an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people” that “frequent elections…[secure],”as Madison explained about the nature of the House of Representatives in The Federalist Papers (no. 52). So much turnover in such a large body as the House, however, favors the centralizing efforts of leadership. During the 109th Congress and in the 2006 election, 60 new Members were elected. During the 110th Congress and in the 2008 election, 67 new Members were elected. During the 111th Congress and in the 2010 election, 105 new Members were elected. In the 112th Congress, as of February 1, 2012, 54 of 192 Democratic Members were elected for the first time in the 2006 election or after, and 119 of 242 Republican Members were elected for the first time in the 2006 election or after. The average length of service in the House is now five terms. The work of a Representative has also continued to evolve, which, in turn, has meant Members have favored efficiency and decision making in floor proceedings so that they have time for their committee work, campaign fund raising, and representational work. The latter has expanded with the ubiquity of information technology, whereby most Members now participate in several social media platforms and must respond rapidly to developments within a relentlessly continuous news cycle. Members also want to maximize the representational time they spend in their districts 177 In a speech commemorating the centenary of the Cannon speakership, former Speaker Dennis Hastert articulated a set of principles that guided him as Speaker. One principle was “to please a majority of your majority.” Speaker Hastert explained: The job of Speaker is not to expedite legislation that runs counter to the wishes of the majority of his majority. …On each piece of legislation, I actively seek to bring our party together. I do not feel comfortable scheduling any controversial legislation unless I know we have the votes on our side first. U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Printing, The Cannon Centenary Conference: The Changing Nature of the Speakership, Walter Oleszek, ed., 108th Cong., 2nd sess., H.Doc. 108-204 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2004), p. 62. Congressional Research Service 50 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress meeting with constituents, participating in district events, and attending to their political interests, which have included home-state redistricting in conjunction with the 2010 census. The Washington-district schedule put in place in the 112th Congress has allowed Members time to visit schools, work sites, local government offices, and other places in their districts during those places’ regular business hours. Regardless of the extensive rules changes in the House since the 104th Congress, the House remains one of the two independent political institutions of Congress, designed to be so by the Framers. Interest balances interest, as noted in The Federalist Papers (no. 10), and unless there is majority political will—not necessarily a party majority but a majority of Members of each house—to take an action, such as make a specific law, that action will not happen. One role of Congress is to make law, but its larger role is to winnow the proposals about what should be law—because some proposals are bad ideas or lack public support or offend a constituency or cost too much or are impractical or are for some other reason unable to generate the needed majorities. Chamber rules allow opportunities for all Members to participate at all stages of the legislative process, in both chambers, building on the Framers’ system. Looking ahead to the 113th Congress and beyond, rules changes are likely to be incremental rather than extensive with either a Democratic or Republican majority. A package of rules changes presented by the majority party would take into consideration the size of the party majority. The changes would need to balance that fact, and protect minority prerogatives, against the need to govern. A House majority party would also need to consider majority control of the Senate as it contemplates a rules package. The House majority party might contemplate the party arrangements and the effectiveness of the President and Congress over the past 30 years. President Reagan began with a Republican Senate and Democratic House and ended with a Democratic Congress. President George H.W. Bush held office with a Democratic Congress. President Clinton entered office with a Democratic Congress and served most of his two terms with a Republican Congress. President George W. Bush served through 2006 with only a Republican Congress, except for a portion of the 107th Congress when Democrats controlled the Senate. President Obama enjoyed Democratic control of both houses of Congress for two years, but faced a Republican House and narrower Democratic Senate majority in the next two years. Presidents have succeeded and failed with their major policy initiatives under each arrangement.178 The rules of the House do not exist to achieve a specific legislative result. They are available to all Members and to any majority or minority. Many factors besides party control, and the party’s use of rules, affect the congressional environment. To look back in history, Speaker Thomas Bracken Reed could be said to have created the modern, majority-minority House with his rulings, but he could not have contemplated how a very strong Speaker like Joseph Cannon would use the Speakership to dominate the House. The Corrections Calendar was announced with great fanfare when it was created in 1995; it had long been moribund when it was terminated in the rules package for the 109th Congress. The consideration of legislation under suspension of the rules was a minor, relatively infrequent procedure 40 years ago; now motions to suspend the rules are in order Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays when the House is in session. The 178 For a study examining divided government, see David R. Mayhew, Divided We Govern: Party Control, Lawmaking, and Investigations, 1946-2002 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005). Congressional Research Service 51 A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress Congressional Budget Act of 1974 called for two budget resolutions each year; the procedure was impractical and hugely time consuming and was abandoned.179 The House rules—the common language of the House—are very important components of governance, and they exist for all Members and all majorities and minorities to use. Author Contact Information Michael L. Koempel Senior Specialist in American National Government mkoempel@crs.loc.gov, 7-0165 Judy Schneider Specialist on the Congress jschneider@crs.loc.gov, 7-8664 179 Exogenous developments also affect Congress. For example, the installation of air conditioning in the Capitol complex after World War II made it thinkable to spend the summer and fall in Washington, DC; the jet plane and the growth of air travel made it possible for most Members to go home weekends and to have their families live at home rather than in the Washington, DC, area; and the Web, e-mail, and other information technology advances have connected every Member and his or her staff with the Member’s constituents (and anyone else) to receive and send communications. Congressional Research Service 52