Special Rules in the House of Representatives

Order Code 96-938 GOV CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Special Rules in the House of Representatives Updated February 27, 2003 -name redacted-, -name redacted-, and -name redactedSenior Specialist in the Legislative Process Government and Finance Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress Special Rules in the House of Representatives Summary The House Rules Committee enables the House to debate and vote on major legislation that is not privileged for floor consideration and that cannot pass by unanimous consent or under suspension of the rules. The Committee reports resolutions, known as rules or special rules, to make individual bills in order for floor action and to affect the procedures for debating, amending, and voting on the bills, usually in Committee of the Whole. Open rules do not restrict the germane floor amendments that Members can propose. Closed rules generally prohibit all floor amendments, except perhaps for those recommended by the standing committee with jurisdiction over the bill. Restrictive rules, sometimes called modified open or modified closed rules, limit opportunities for offering floor amendments, usually by identifying the specific amendments that are to be in order. The Rules Committee also may report rules with “queen-of-the-hill” or “self-executing” provisions that set aside some of the regular procedures and prohibitions of the legislative process. In addition, special rules can waive points of order against bills and amendments. Conference reports usually receive rules only or primarily to waive points of order. The Rules Committee can devise a resolution to address, create, or avoid almost any parliamentary situation. However, each of its resolutions must be debated and adopted by majority vote on the House floor. Thus, the House first considers the proposed rule on a bill before beginning consideration of that bill under the terms and conditions of the rule. This report was originally written by -name redacted-, a former Senior Specialist in the Legislative Process at CRS. This contents of this report, and the examples cited herein, reflect the practices of the House with regard to special rules at the time it was written. It will be updated to reflect any changes in House practice. EveryCRSReport.com The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a federal legislative branch agency, housed inside the Library of Congress, charged with providing the United States Congress non-partisan advice on issues that may come before Congress. EveryCRSReport.com republishes CRS reports that are available to all Congressional staff. The reports are not classified, and Members of Congress routinely make individual reports available to the public. Prior to our republication, we redacted names, phone numbers and email addresses of analysts who produced the reports. We also added this page to the report. We have not intentionally made any other changes to any report published on EveryCRSReport.com. CRS reports, as a work of the United States government, are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Any CRS report may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without permission from CRS. However, as a CRS report may include copyrighted images or material from a third party, you may need to obtain permission of the copyright holder if you wish to copy or otherwise use copyrighted material. Information in a CRS report should not be relied upon for purposes other than public understanding of information that has been provided by CRS to members of Congress in connection with CRS' institutional role. EveryCRSReport.com is not a government website and is not affiliated with CRS. We do not claim copyright on any CRS report we have republished.