Order Code 98-437 GOV
Updated January 11, 2005
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Calendars of the House of Representatives
Christopher M. Davis
Analyst in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
In the House of Representatives, the term “calendar” has two related meanings. This
fact sheet, one of a series of fact sheets on legislative process, explains calendars and their
use in the House of Representatives.1
First, “calendar” refers to several lists of measures and motions that are (or soon will
become) eligible for consideration on the House floor. When a House committee reports
a measure, it is placed on one of these calendars. If a measure is not on one of the
calendars, either it is awaiting action by one or more House committees to which it was
referred, or it is being held “at the Speaker’s table” in anticipation that the House may
agree to consider it, perhaps by unanimous consent, without first referring it to committee.
Second, “calendar” also refers to the document that contains these lists and other
information about the status of legislation. The full title of this document is Calendars
of the United States House of Representatives and History of Legislation. The calendar
is printed daily and distributed within the House. The most recent daily issue of the
calendar is available online at [http://www.congress.gov/schedules/hlegis.html].
The front cover of the calendar gives (1) the dates on which each session of the
current Congress convened and adjourned sine die; (2) the number of days the House
actually has met during the current session; (3) the date and time at which the House is
next scheduled to meet, and any special procedures that are in order on that day; and (4)
any special orders — concerning special order speeches and morning hour debates, for
example — to which the House has agreed.
The remainder of the calendar presents:
Lists of measures that are on the Union Calendar, the House Calendar,
or the Private Calendar. In general, authorization, appropriations, and
tax bills are placed on the Union Calendar when they are reported from
committee. All public bills and resolutions that are not placed on the
This report was written by Stanley Bach, formerly a Senior Specialist in the Legislative Process
at CRS. Dr. Bach has retired, but the other listed author updated the report and is available to
answer questions concerning its contents.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Union Calendar are placed instead on the House Calendar. Private bills,
affecting specific individuals or entities, are placed on the Private
Calendar when reported from committee. On each of these three
calendars, bills are listed in the order in which they were reported. Each
list includes, in addition to the number and title of each bill, (1) the date
on which the bill was reported and the Member reporting it; (2) the
committee that ordered it reported; and (3) the number of the written
committee report accompanying the bill.
A list of any motions to discharge committees that have received the
required signatures of 218 Members and that are awaiting action by the
Lists of public laws and private laws that have been enacted during the
current Congress, giving for each the public or private law number and
the corresponding House or Senate measure number.
A legislative history of bills and resolutions that have been reported to
or considered by either or both houses of Congress. There are separate
sections for House bills, House joint resolutions, House concurrent
resolutions, House resolutions, and each of the same four kinds of Senate
measures. Within each section, the measures are listed in numerical
order. The entry for each measure presents the dates on which various
stages of the legislative process took place — for example, the dates on
which the bill was reported from committee in the House, the date on
which it later passed the Senate, and the date it became law. Also
included are the numbers of relevant House and Senate reports, and the
rollcall tally, if any, by which the House or Senate passed or defeated the
measure. This is one convenient place to determine the current status of
a measure on which some legislative action has occurred.
A list of measures that one House committee has reported and that the
Speaker also has referred to one or more other committees for a limited
period of time.
A list of bills in conference, with the dates on which each house agreed
to go to conference and the names of the House and Senate conferees.
A calendar for each month of the year, showing the days on which the
House was in session, and indicating the total number of days to date on
which the House has met. Calendars published during the second session
of a Congress include corresponding information for the first session.
A chart that depicts the legislative history and current status of major
bills, including appropriations bills, considered during the current
session. For calendars published during the second session of a
Congress, a comparable chart shows the legislative history and current
status of major bills during the first session.
Calendars that are printed on Monday of each week, or on the first day that the
House was in session during the week, contain three additional features: (1) information
on bills through conference — that is, measures on which conference committees have
completed action; (2) an alphabetical index of the short titles of pending bills; and (3) and
a subject index of the House and Senate measures that are listed in the section of the
calendar on the history of bills and resolutions.
The final edition of the calendar that is published at the end of each Congress
contains still more useful information, including lists of measures that became law and
measures that the President vetoed, and statistical data comparing the workload of the
Congress with prior Congresses.