Guide to Committee Activity Reports: Purpose, Rules, and Contents

All House committees and most Senate committees are required to prepare reports each Congress detailing their activities.

These committee activity reports provide a historical record of a committee’s legislative and oversight actions. They may serve as an introduction to the work of the individual committees, and, in many cases, they also provide information that is otherwise either not aggregated in one place or not available elsewhere.

The committee activity reports are required by the rules of the House (House Rule XI, clause 1(d)) and Senate (Senate Rule XXVI, clause 8(b)). The reporting requirement dates to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 (2 U.S.C. §190d).

Each report covers the activities for one Congress. In odd-numbered years, House reports are to be filed by January 2, while Senate reports are to be filed by March 31.

This report includes a discussion of the types of information that may be included in the activity reports, variations across reports and time, and the filing process.

A table provides a comparison of the committee activity reports and other congressional publications, including the types of information found in each as well as their timeframe for coverage and publication. For example, the activity reports may be more likely to provide discussion, analysis, or statistics than committee calendars (if published). They also provide a retrospective accounting of the actions taken by a particular committee, while House authorization and oversight plans, for example, provide information on prospective or planned actions.

The appendix lists activity reports issued by the House and Senate committees covering the 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses.

Guide to Committee Activity Reports: Purpose, Rules, and Contents

February 15, 2018 (R45104)
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Contents

Summary

All House committees and most Senate committees are required to prepare reports each Congress detailing their activities.

These committee activity reports provide a historical record of a committee's legislative and oversight actions. They may serve as an introduction to the work of the individual committees, and, in many cases, they also provide information that is otherwise either not aggregated in one place or not available elsewhere.

The committee activity reports are required by the rules of the House (House Rule XI, clause 1(d)) and Senate (Senate Rule XXVI, clause 8(b)). The reporting requirement dates to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 (2 U.S.C. §190d).

Each report covers the activities for one Congress. In odd-numbered years, House reports are to be filed by January 2, while Senate reports are to be filed by March 31.

This report includes a discussion of the types of information that may be included in the activity reports, variations across reports and time, and the filing process.

A table provides a comparison of the committee activity reports and other congressional publications, including the types of information found in each as well as their timeframe for coverage and publication. For example, the activity reports may be more likely to provide discussion, analysis, or statistics than committee calendars (if published). They also provide a retrospective accounting of the actions taken by a particular committee, while House authorization and oversight plans, for example, provide information on prospective or planned actions.

The appendix lists activity reports issued by the House and Senate committees covering the 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses.


Guide to Committee Activity Reports: Purpose, Rules, and Contents

Overview and Introduction

Both the House and Senate have adopted rules requiring their committees to produce regular reports of their activities.

Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 1(d)(1), each House standing committee is to submit a report to the House no later than January 2 of each odd-numbered year detailing its activities during the closing Congress.1

Pursuant to Senate Rule XXVI, paragraph 8(b), each Senate standing committee—with the exception of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Budget Committee—is to submit its report to the Senate no later than March 31 of each odd-numbered year, covering activities for the previous Congress.2

As a record of a committee's legislative and oversight actions, the reports may provide valuable information for Members of Congress and their staff interested in learning more about a Member's new committee assignments or committee activities in certain subject areas. The reports may also be a useful tool for new committee staff to learn about recent actions.

More broadly, the activity reports provide a public record of the actions of congressional committees as well as insight into the role of committees in congressional legislative oversight. In many cases, they also provide information that is otherwise either not aggregated in one place or not available elsewhere. The variations in the reports also illuminate some of the differences in committees, including their internal structure, norms, and operations.

This CRS report will address

  • the purpose and history of these reports, including their predecessors;
  • required contents of the reports;
  • House and Senate Rules regarding the filing of reports;
  • a discussion of the types of information that may be included;
  • variations in the organization of the reports among committees;
  • provisions related to the inclusion of supplemental, minority, additional, or dissenting views;
  • additional historical changes to House and Senate Rules regarding the reports, including recent changes to frequency of the reports in the House and the 1974 revisions to the list of committees required to prepare activity reports; and
  • the differences between the committee activity reports and other congressional publications, including committee calendars, House and Senate calendars, the Résumé of Congressional Activity, and the House Document Repository at docs.house.gov. Table 1 provides examples of the types of information found in each publication as well as their timeframe for coverage and publication.

Finally, the Appendix lists activity reports issued by House and Senate committees covering activities of the 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses.

Purpose and History

The development of committee activity reports is closely tied to congressional reform and reorganization efforts more generally.

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 reorganized the House and Senate committee system, including the number and jurisdiction of congressional committees and their authorities, roles, and responsibilities. Section 136 of the act provided for a predecessor to the current committee activity report requirement, stating that3

each standing committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the subject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee; and, for that purpose, shall study all pertinent reports and data submitted to the Congress by the agencies in the executive branch of the Government.

Following the enactment of this law, many committees regularly published reports outlining their activities, either as committee prints or committee reports.4

In the late 1960s, Congress considered further revisions to the committee system.5 This internal congressional examination culminated in the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970. Pursuant to this act, the "continuous watchfulness" function of committees was transformed to one providing for "legislative review."6 The act called for each standing committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives to7

review and study, on a continuing basis, the application, administration, and execution of those laws, or parts of laws, the subject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of that committee.

The 1970 act also formalized the requirement for periodic activity reports. A report accompanying the legislation summarized the linkage between the new role for committees and the reporting requirement, stating that8

the intent of this requirement of a report every two years is to provide the House with an additional means of appraising the results of the legislation which it has approved and to emphasize the importance of the legislative review function of the House standing committees.

The requirement for these reports, which appears at 2 U.S.C. §190d, was subsequently incorporated into the House and Senate Rules.

Required Contents of the Reports

House Rules for the 115th Congress state that the committee activity reports are to include9

  • separate sections summarizing the committee's legislative and oversight activities conducted pursuant to House Rule X and House Rule XI;10
  • a summary of the committee's oversight and authorization plans, which are required by House Rule X, clause 2(d);11
  • a summary of the actions taken and recommendations made with respect to these authorization and oversight plans;
  • a summary of any additional oversight activities undertaken by a committee and any recommendations made or related actions; and
  • a delineation of any hearings held on the topics of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. Pursuant to clause 2 of House Rule XI,12 committees are required "to hold at least one hearing during each 120-day period" on these topics. The hearings are to focus in particular on reports from inspectors general or the Comptroller General of the United States and programs or operations that are considered "high-risk."13

Senate Rules do not specifically address required contents, other than to say that the reports are to cover activities carried out under Senate Rule XXVI(8)(a).14 This paragraph states that,15

(a) In order to assist the Senate in—

(1) its analysis, appraisal, and evaluation of the application, administration, and execution of the laws enacted by the Congress, and

(2) its formulation, consideration, and enactment of such modifications of or changes in those laws, and of such additional legislation, as may be necessary or appropriate, each standing committee (except the Committees on Appropriations and the Budget), shall review and study, on a continuing basis the application, administration, and execution of those laws, or parts of laws, the subject matter of which is within the legislative jurisdiction of that committee....

Filing the Reports

Both the House and Senate reports cover an entire Congress and are to be filed each odd-numbered year.

Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 1(d)(1), reports are to be filed by January 2.16 A House chair may file the report after the sine die adjournment17 or after December 15 of an even-numbered year, whichever occurs first.18 The report is filed with the Clerk of the House. House Rules do not require committee approval of the report, although a copy of the report must be available to each committee member for at least seven calendar days.19 House committee activity reports generally include a letter of transmittal from the chair of the committee to the Clerk. One committee—the House Ethics Committee, which is comprised of an equal number of Members from the majority and minority party pursuant to House Rule X—generally has included a transmittal letter signed by both the chair and ranking minority member. A few committees have included in their transmittal letters a disclaimer indicating the "document is intended as a general reference tool, and not as a substitute for the hearing records, reports, and other committee files."20

Pursuant to Senate Rule XXVI, paragraph 8(b), reports are to be filed by March 31. As stated above, the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Budget Committee are exempt from this requirement.21 In addition to the other standing committees, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also regularly files these reports. Committees sometimes have filed a report late or not at all, and it is not clear how the Senate Rule requiring activity reports could be enforced by the full Senate.

Additionally, House and Senate committees are required to adopt their own rules. While these rules cannot conflict with the chamber rules, the committee rules may further address the filing process for activity reports.22

Additional Contents and Variations

The activity reports are as varied as the committees that produce them. Across committees, they may differ in organization, level of detail, and information covered. These variations also appear across time, as individual chairs may influence the priorities of their committees. Consequently, comparisons across committees or across time using information only found in these reports may be challenging.

Organization

Some reports are organized by topic, while others are organized by full committee and subcommittee activities. Additional organizational or administrative variations in activity reports include whether or not they contain

  • an overview or history of the committee,
  • a foreword from the committee chair,
  • a table of contents,
  • information on subcommittee jurisdictions and memberships, and
  • listings of names and titles of senior or other staff.

Inclusion of Supplemental, Minority, Additional, or Dissenting Views

Pursuant to House Rules, House committee activity reports are to include "any supplemental, minority, additional, or dissenting views submitted by a member of the committee."23 The frequency with which these additional views appear varies greatly across committees. For example, activity reports from the Committees on Homeland Security, on Rules, on Education and the Workforce, and on House Administration contained additional views in at least 9 of the possible 15 reports issued since the 104th Congress. Conversely, a number of committees—for example, the Committees on Appropriations, Intelligence, Ethics, Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Small Business—rarely, if ever, contained these views during the same period. The length of additional views has also varied, from a few sentences to more than 50 pages.24

Senate Rules do not address the inclusion of additional views in activity reports. Their inclusion appears to be infrequent.25

Types of Information Included and Presentation

Aside from the required contents addressed in the House and Senate Rules, broad discretion is given to each committee in preparing its own report.

The committee activity reports vary in their level of detail in describing oversight activities and hearings. Some committees provide lists of these actions, while others provide lengthy descriptions, analysis, and appendices. Relatedly, while many provide lists of documents, correspondence, or publications, some contain full-text reproductions. These variations are evident in the varying lengths of these reports—for example, House activity reports for the 114th Congress ranged in length from 22 pages to 485 pages; Senate activity reports that have been submitted as of the date of this report range from 20 pages to 130 pages.

The activity reports provide an overview of a variety of issues within the committee's jurisdiction. They may also address actions taken and work produced by the individual committees, including, for example,26

  • committee publications, including information on published and unpublished hearings;
  • public statements and press releases;
  • "Dear Colleague" letters issued by the committee chair;
  • committee resolutions. The use of committee resolutions may vary by committee, but they may include internal committee agreements concerning the adoption of committee rules, authorization and oversight plans, or the committee organization. Committees may also consider resolutions that are specific to their jurisdictional responsibilities;27
  • correspondence to or from executive branch or other officials, including related presidential messages and proclamations;
  • a copy or summary of the committee's "views and estimates," which addresses budgetary matters within its jurisdiction.28 Some committees also include minority comments on the "views and estimates";
  • memoranda clarifying jurisdictional agreements between committees;29
  • information on Member or staff travel, including locations visited, issues investigated, or conferences or other events attended;
  • conference committee appointments;
  • approval by the committee of consultant contracts;
  • information on committee witnesses, arranged by hearing or by category (e.g., congressional, executive branch, nongovernmental, and foreign);
  • activities specific to the Senate, for Senate committees (i.e., consideration of treaties and nominations);
  • activities specific to roles and responsibilities of certain committees or pursuant to various laws (for example, advice and guidance from the House or Senate Committee on Ethics; information on waivers of House Rules, the Budget Act, or the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act by the House Committee on Rules;30 and participation in international conferences and "Committee-Hosted Dignitary Meetings" by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs);
  • petitions and memorials submitted to the committee;
  • investigations conducted by the committee;
  • support provided by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), including reports requested or issued and related high-risk areas identified;
  • special studies or task forces;
  • information on examinations into "waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement";31
  • information on regulatory review efforts; and
  • publications prepared separately by the majority or minority members or staff of the committee.32

Some reports also include tabular information and statistical summaries of committee meetings, including the number of days or pages of hearings, and the number of field hearings, joint hearings, closed hearings, business meetings, markup sessions, or witnesses.

Others include tables providing information on legislation considered by the committee, including the total number of bills and resolutions referred to the committee, reported, and passed by the chamber, or enacted into law.

Additional Rules Changes Affecting Activity Reports

Recent Changes to Frequency in the House of Representatives: 112th-114th Congresses

Generally, since 1970, one committee activity report has been required each Congress.

The House recently experimented with increasing the frequency of these reports, before reverting to the prior practice of one report, issued at the end of each Congress. More specifically, the House Rules have provided for

  • one report per Congress (92nd –111th Congresses);
  • biannual reports, totaling four reports each Congress (112th Congress);
  • annual reports, totaling two reports each Congress (113th Congress); and
  • one report per Congress (114th and 115th Congresses).33

1974 Revisions to Committees Required to Prepare Activity Reports

Pursuant to House Rule XI, the requirement for activity reports has applied to all House committees since the 94th Congress (1975-1976).34 From the enactment of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 until the 94th Congress, the House Committees on Appropriations, House Administration, Rules, Ethics (formerly Standards of Official Conduct), and Budget (upon its establishment in 1974)35 were exempt from the requirement that committees file activity reports. These committees had originally been exempted from the 1970 act, according to the accompanying House report, "because ... their respective areas of jurisdiction do not embrace legislative areas of the type contemplated by the legislative review provisions of the revised clause ... The inclusion of these committees within the purview of that clause would, therefore, be meaningless."36 The exception was removed with the adoption of H.Res. 988 (93rd Congress), the Committee Reform Amendments of 1974, on October 8, 1974.

An exemption from the reporting requirement for the Senate Budget Committee was added to Senate Rule XXVI, paragraph 8(b), upon the creation of the committee in 1974.37

Committee Activity Reports Compared to Other Congressional Publications

In addition to the committee activity reports, the House and Senate each produce a number of other publications that document their activities. These publications vary in their frequency, content, scope (e.g., coverage of the entire chamber or only certain committees), and how they are issued (e.g., as committee reports, committee documents, House or Senate documents, printing in the Congressional Record, or online-only availability). Table 1 provides a brief comparison of selected publications.

The committee activity reports, compared to the other publications, may be more likely to provide discussion, analysis, or statistics. They also aggregate selected types of information about a committee in one place. They also differ from some of the other publications since they provide a retrospective accounting of the actions taken by a particular committee, rather than information on prospective, planned, or ongoing actions.

Table 1. Committee Activity Reports and Other Selected Congressional Publications: Frequency, Content, Rules, and Other Information

Title or Description of Publication

Frequency of Publication

Prepared or Maintained by

Examples of Information Included

Rules,
If Any

Other Information (Publication Type or Link)

House and Senate Committee Activity Reports

Once per Congress, by January 2 (House) or by March 31 (Senate) of an even-numbered year

Individual committees in the House and Senate

Committee rules, membership, actions, and activities. Contents vary by committee, but may also have discussion, analysis, statistics, or documents.

Required by House Rule XI and Senate Rule XXVI

Issued as committee reportsa

House Authorization and Oversight Plans

Once per Congress (Not later than February 15 of the first session of a Congress)

Individual committees in the Houseb

Planned review and legislative activities within each committee's jurisdiction

Required by House Rule X

Compilation issued as a committee reportc

House Committee Reports

Monthly

Individual committees in the House

May include information on expenses, staff, travel, and detailees.

d

Available onlined

House and Senate Committee Calendars

Once per Congresse

Issued by some individual committees in the House and Senatef

Committee rules, membership, legislation referred (may be arranged by type, and indicate actions or disposition), and lists of meetings and documents prepared by or referred to the committee

May be issued as House or Senate printsf

House Calendarg

Each day the House is in session, with a final calendar each session

Prepared under the direction of the Clerk of the House

Special Orders agreed to by the House, lists of legislation or motions eligible for consideration, lists of public and private laws enacted during that Congress, additional legislative history on bills reported, considered, or in conference

h

Senate Calendar of Business (Legislative Calendar)i

Each day the Senate is in session, with a final calendar each session

Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Unanimous consent agreements, Senate and committee membership, lists of legislation eligible for floor consideration, notices by a Senator of an intent to object to proceeding, conference committee information (including conferees), and the status of appropriations bills

h

Senate Executive Calendar j

Each day the Senate is in session

Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Treaties and nominations that are reported by committees, "privileged" nominations, and notices by a Senator of an intent to object to proceeding

 

h

Résumé of Congressional Activity

Monthly, with a final edition at the end of each session of Congress

Prepared under the direction of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate and includes information on both chambers

1. Days in session

2. Time in session

3. Number of pages in the Congressional Record

4. Number of bills introduced, reported, passed, and enacted

5. Number of votes

6. Disposition of Executive Nominations

Published in the Congressional Record k

U.S. House of Representatives Document Repository at docs.house.gov

Continuous

Maintained by the Clerk of the Housel

1. Text of legislation to be considered by the House and its committees

2. Committee documents including for example: committee rules; hearing information; and supporting documents like notices, statements, and adopted amendments

Required by House Rule X and XXIX and standards adopted by the Committee on House Adminm

Online since the 113th Congress

Source: Compilation by CRS. For additional information, see CRS Report R43434, Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources, by [author name scrubbed], [author name scrubbed], and [author name scrubbed].

Notes:

a. Available at https://www.congress.gov/. Not all committees appear to have filed reports by the deadline in all Congresses.

b. The House Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Ethics, and the Committee on Rules are exempt from this requirement.

c. For example, U.S. Congress, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Authorization and Oversight Plans for all House Committees, 115th Cong., 1st sess., March 29, 2017, H.Rept. 115-69 (Washington: GPO, 2017). They may also be issued by individual committees in prints or reports.

d. The Committees' Congressional Handbook (https://cha.house.gov/handbooks/committee-handbook) states: "Each Committee must submit to the Committee on House Administration, by the 18th of each month, an original and one copy of a report signed by the Committee Chair on the activities of the Committee during the preceding month." It also specifies items for inclusion. The reports for the 115th Congress are available at https://cha.house.gov/legislation/committee-reports/115th.

e. One exception is the Committee on Rules, which has traditionally published its Journal and History of Legislation each session, rather than for each Congress.

f. Current practice regarding the issuance of calendars, which is not required by the House and Senate Rules, varies across committees. Those calendars that are issued as committee prints are available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CPRT.

g. For additional information, see CRS Report 98-437, Calendars of the House of Representatives, by [author name scrubbed].

h. Available at https://www.senate.gov/reference/Index/Calendars_schedules.htm and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CCAL.

i. For additional information, see CRS Report 98-429, The Senate's Calendar of Business, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

j. For additional information, see CRS Report 98-438, The Senate's Executive Calendar, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

k. Available since 1947, at https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/two_column_table/Resumes.htm and http://library.clerk.house.gov/resume.aspx.

l. According to the website, content for the "Bills to be considered on the House Floor" section is provided by the House majority leader's office and the Committee on Rules. House standing and select committees provide content for the "committee repository" section (http://docs.house.gov/committee/Help.aspx).

m. In particular, House Rule X, Clause 4(d)(1)(E), House Rule XXIX, Clause 3; and Committee on House Administration, Standards for the Electronic Posting of House and Committee Documents & Data (https://cha.house.gov/member-services/electronic-posting-standards).

Appendix. List of Activity Reports

Table A-1. Senate Committee Activity Reports Issued Since the 111th Congress

covering activities since the 110th Congress

Committee

111th

112th

113th

114th

115th

Armed Services

S.Rept. 111-5

S.Rept. 112-2

S.Rept. 113-10

S.Rept. 114-7

S.Rept. 115-207

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

S.Rept. 111-17

S.Rept. 112-7

S.Rept. 113-2

 

 

Budgeta

 

 

 

S.Rept. 114-31

 

Commerce, Science, and Transportation

 

 

S.Rept. 113-206

S.Rept. 114-50

S.Rept. 115-18

Energy and Natural Resources

S.Rept. 111-8

S.Rept. 112-4

S.Rept. 113-4

S.Rept. 114-6

S.Rept. 115-10

Finance

S.Rept. 111-13

S.Rept. 112-11

S.Rept. 113-5

S.Rept. 114-9

S.Rept. 115-25

Foreign Relations

S.Rept. 111-12

S.Rept. 112-10

S.Rept. 113-8

S.Rept. 114-178

S.Rept. 115-22

Homeland Security and Government Affairs

S.Rept. 111-360

S.Rept. 112-193

S.Rept. 113-115

S.Rept. 114-33

S.Rept. 115-12

Intelligence (Select)

S.Rept. 111-6

S.Rept. 112-3

S.Rept. 113-7

S.Rept. 114-8

S.Rept. 115-13

Judiciary

S.Rept. 111-11

S.Rept. 112-5

S.Rept. 113-6

S.Rept. 114-10

S.Rept. 115-19

Rules and Administration

 

S.Rept. 112-8

S.Rept. 113-11

S.Rept. 114-11

S.Rept. 115-20

Small Business

S.Rept. 111-2

S.Rept. 112-6

S.Rept. 113-33

S.Rept. 114-252

S.Rept. 115-33

Veterans' Affairs

 

 

S.Rept. 113-125

S.Rept. 114-156

S.Rept. 115-17

Source: CRS search of congress.gov https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

Notes: While CRS attempted to locate all activity reports, searching by committee names and using keyword searches, additional reports may exist. As stated above, other committee publications, including committee calendars, may document the activities of Senate committees. Committees for which CRS did not identify activity reports since the 111th Congress are not listed in the table. As stated above, reports covering the activities in one Congress are generally filed early in the next Congress. For example, the reports filed in the 115th Congress would cover activities of the 114th Congress.

a. The Senate Budget Committee, as well as the Senate Appropriations Committee, is exempt from the filing requirement.

Table A-2. House Committee Activity Reports Issued Since the 110th Congress

Committee

110th

111th

112th (1st)

112th (2nd)

112th (3rd)

112th (4th)

113th (1st)

113th (2nd)

114th

Agriculture

H.Rept. 110-933

H.Rept. 111-703

H.Rept. 112-122

H.Rept. 112-340

H.Rept. 112-574

H.Rept. 112-749

H.Rept. 113-308

H.Rept. 113-679

H.Rept. 114-896

Appropriations

H.Rept. 110-932

H.Rept. 111-700

H.Rept. 112-145

H.Rept. 112-354

H.Rept. 112-570

H.Rept. 112-748

H.Rept. 113-315

H.Rept. 113-724

H.Rept. 114-902

Armed Services

H.Rept. 110-942

H.Rept. 111-710

H.Rept. 112-123

H.Rept. 112-359

H.Rept. 112-575

H.Rept. 112-744

H.Rept. 113-309

H.Rept. 113-714

H.Rept. 114-885

Budget

H.Rept. 110-928

H.Rept. 111-704

H.Rept. 112-147

H.Rept. 112-358

H.Rept. 112-543

H.Rept. 112-713

H.Rept. 113-306

H.Rept. 113-680

H.Rept. 114-897

Education and
Workforcea

H.Rept. 110-923

H.Rept. 111-696

H.Rept. 112-133

H.Rept. 112-338

H.Rept. 112-569

H.Rept. 112-714

H.Rept. 113-313

H.Rept. 113-725

H.Rept. 114-904

Energy and Commerce

H.Rept. 110-937

H.Rept. 111-706

H.Rept. 112-125

H.Rept. 112-337

H.Rept. 112-561

H.Rept. 112-746

H.Rept. 113-305

H.Rept. 113-716

H.Rept. 114-906

Ethicsb

H.Rept. 110-938

H.Rept. 111-707

H.Rept. 112-739

 

 

 

H.Rept. 113-323

H.Rept. 113-727

H.Rept. 114-910

Financial Services

H.Rept. 110-929

H.Rept. 111-702

H.Rept. 112-121

H.Rept. 112-355

H.Rept. 112-559

H.Rept. 112-742

H.Rept. 113-311

H.Rept. 113-722

H.Rept. 114-903

Foreign Affairs

H.Rept. 110-939

H.Rept. 111-713

H.Rept. 112-126

H.Rept. 112-350

H.Rept. 112-552

H.Rept. 112-743

H.Rept. 113-318

H.Rept. 113-728

H.Rept. 114-898

Homeland Security

H.Rept. 110-940

H.Rept. 111-699

H.Rept. 112-127

H.Rept. 112-351

H.Rept. 112-522

H.Rept. 112-730

H.Rept. 113-314

H.Rept. 113-719

H.Rept. 114-907

House Administration

H.Rept. 110-924

H.Rept. 111-715

H.Rept. 112-137

H.Rept. 112-360

H.Rept. 112-571

H.Rept. 112-738

H.Rept. 113-312

H.Rept. 113-721

H.Rept. 114-901

Intelligence (Permanent Select)

 

 

H.Rept. 112-134

H.Rept. 112-353

H.Rept. 112-560

H.Rept. 112-733

H.Rept. 113-310

H.Rept. 113-717

H.Rept. 114-881

Judiciary

H.Rept. 110-941

H.Rept. 111-712

H.Rept. 112-119

H.Rept. 112-352

H.Rept. 112-562

H.Rept. 112-747

H.Rept. 113-301

H.Rept. 113-682

H.Rept. 114-895

Natural Resources

H.Rept. 110-925

H.Rept. 111-701

H.Rept. 112-132

H.Rept. 112-346

H.Rept. 112-572

H.Rept. 112-752

H.Rept. 113-307

H.Rept. 113-720

H.Rept. 114-886

Oversight and Government Reform

H.Rept. 110-930

H.Rept. 111-705

H.Rept. 112-128

H.Rept. 112-349

H.Rept. 112-568

H.Rept. 112-740

H.Rept. 113-303

H.Rept. 113-734

H.Rept. 114-909

Rules

H.Rept. 110-931

H.Rept. 111-714

H.Rept. 112-129

H.Rept. 112-357

H.Rept. 112-567

H.Rept. 112-751

H.Rept. 113-317

H.Rept. 113-726

H.Rept. 114-905

Science, Space, and Technologyc

H.Rept. 110-935

H.Rept. 111-698

H.Rept. 112-112

H.Rept. 112-347

H.Rept. 112-555

H.Rept. 112-745

H.Rept. 113-302

H.Rept. 113-681

H.Rept. 114-884

Small Business

H.Rept. 110-926

H.Rept. 111-695

H.Rept. 112-146

H.Rept. 112-339

H.Rept. 112-554

H.Rept. 112-729

H.Rept. 113-304

H.Rept. 113-684

H.Rept. 114-880

Transportation and Infrastructure

H.Rept. 110-936

H.Rept. 111-711

H.Rept. 112-124

H.Rept. 112-348

H.Rept. 112-573

H.Rept. 112-718

H.Rept. 113-316

H.Rept. 113-718

H.Rept. 114-899

Veterans' Affairs

H.Rept. 110-927

H.Rept. 111-697

H.Rept. 112-120

H.Rept. 112-341

H.Rept. 112-547

H.Rept. 112-706

H.Rept. 113-300

H.Rept. 113-659

H.Rept. 114-879

Ways and Means

H.Rept. 110-934

H.Rept. 111-708

H.Rept. 112-130

H.Rept. 112-356

H.Rept. 112-556

H.Rept. 112-750

H.Rept. 113-319

H.Rept. 113-723

H.Rept. 114-887

Source: CRS search of congress.gov and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

Notes: While CRS attempted to locate all activity reports, searching by committee names and using keyword searches, additional reports may exist. As stated above, generally, since 1970, one report has been required each Congress. The Rules of the House adopted for the 112th and 113th Congresses experimented with increasing the frequency of these reports, before reverting to the prior practice of one report per Congress in the 114th Congress (H.Res. 5, January 5, 2011, sec. 2(e)(13); H.Res. 5, January 3, 2013, sec. 2(a); H.Res. 5, January 6, 2015, sec. 2(a)(4).)

a. Formerly named the Committee on Education and Labor during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

b. Formerly named the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

c. Formerly named the Committee on Science and Technology during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist on the Congress ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

[author name scrubbed], Information Research Specialist, and Lara Chausow, formerly a CRS Research Assistant, contributed to the compilation of information for this report.

Footnotes

1.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has also filed a report for many, but not all, Congresses.

2.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also regularly files these reports.

3.

Ch. 753, August 2, 1946, 60 Stat. 832. This was later incorporated into the House Rules ("Adoption of the Rules for the Eighty-Third Congress," Congressional Record, vol. 99 (January 3, 1953), p. 19).

4.

See, for example, U.S. Congress, House Committee on Government Operations, Activities Report of the House Committee on Government Operations, 83rd Congress, committee print, 83rd Cong., December 1954 (Washington: GPO, 1955); and U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Government Operations, Activities of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, 83rd Cong., 2nd sess., January 18, 1954, S.Rept. 852 (Washington: GPO, 1954). At least one committee issued a compilation of these pre-1970 Reorganization Act reports: U.S. Congress, House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Compilation of Activity Reports of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (80th Through 91st Congresses) Together with Historical Data Concerning the Committee, committee print, 91st Cong., April 1971 (Washington: GPO, 1971).

5.

S. 355, Section 105, as referred to the House Committee on Rules, March 9, 1967; H.R. 18039, Section 103, as referred to the House Committee on Rules, June 20, 1968. For a discussion of reform efforts, see CRS Report RL32112, Reorganization of the Senate: Modern Reform Efforts, by [author name scrubbed] et al., and CRS Report RL31835, Reorganization of the House of Representatives: Modern Reform Efforts, by [author name scrubbed], [author name scrubbed], and [author name scrubbed].

6.

P.L. 91-510, October 26, 1970, 84 Stat. 1156.

7.

Ibid.

8.

U.S. Congress, House Committee on Rules, Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, report to accompany H.R. 17654, 91st Cong., 2nd sess., June 17, 1970, H.Rept. 91-1215 (Washington: GPO, 1970), p. 74.

9.

House Rule XI, clause 1(d)(1). The Rules related to activity reports have been periodically revised. In addition to some of the changes described below, according to the House Manual, "Clerical and stylistic changes were effected when the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress (H.Res. 5, January 6, 1999, p. 47)," and "in the 112th Congress, the paragraph was rewritten entirely to clarify late-session filing ... (sec. 2(e)(13), H.Res. 5, January 5, 2011, p. 80)." For rules changes affecting frequency, see "Additional Rules Changes Affecting Activity Reports."

10.

This requirement for separate sections was first adopted in the 104th Congress.

11.

The requirement that committees adopt an oversight plan was first included in the rules for the 104th Congress. According to the "Section-by-Section Analysis of House Rules Resolution" inserted into the Congressional Record, "the intent of [the oversight reform] section [is] to ensure that committees make a more concerted, coordinated and conscientious effort to develop meaningful oversight plans at the beginning of each Congress and to follow-through on their implementation, with a view to examining the full range of the laws under their jurisdiction over a period of five Congresses" (Congressional Record, January 4, 1995, p. H35). The House Rules adopted for the 115th Congress added references to the newly required authorization plans, in addition to previously required oversight plans. According to a section-by-section analysis of the rules change posted by the House Rules Committee and inserted into the Congressional Record:

The plan must include a list of unauthorized programs and agencies within their jurisdiction that have received funding in the prior fiscal year, or in the case of a permanent authorization, has not received a comprehensive review by the committee in the prior three Congresses. The subsection requires committees to describe each program or agency that is intended to be authorized in the current Congress or next Congress, and a description of oversight to support reauthorization in the current Congress. The subsection also requires recommendations, if any, for moving such programs or agencies from mandatory to discretionary funding (Congressional Record, January 3, 2017, p. H12).

The oversight and authorization plans are to be submitted no later than February 15 in the first session of a Congress. The plans are submitted simultaneously to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Committee on House Administration, and the Committee on Appropriations. The Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Ethics, and the Committee on Rules are exempt from this requirement. The plans are compiled as a House report. For example, U.S. Congress, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Authorization and Oversight Plans for all House Committees, 115th Cong., 1st sess., March 29, 2017, H.Rept. 115-69 (Washington: GPO, 2017).

12.

The requirement for hearings related to waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement was adopted during the 111th Congress when the House agreed to H.Res. 40 on January 14, 2009. The resolution also amended clause 1 of House Rule XI to require that the activity reports "delineate any hearings held pursuant to" this new language (clauses 2(n), (o), and (p)). This language was incorporated in the House Rules in subsequent Congresses.

13.

For example, the Government Accountability Office maintains a "High Risk List" at http://www.gao.gov/highrisk/overview.

14.

Senate Rule XXVI, paragraph 8(b).

15.

U.S. Congress, Senate, Standing Rules of the Senate, Revised to January 24, 2013, 113th Cong., November 4, 2013, S.Doc. 113-18 (Washington: GPO, 2013), p. 35. Available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-113sdoc18/pdf/CDOC-113sdoc18.pdf.

16.

House activity reports, therefore, are often numerically among the last House reports filed each Congress. The Senate activity reports, conversely, are numerically often—but not always—among the earlier Senate reports filed each Congress. As part of a congressional reform effort in 1974, the House Select Committee on Committees considered the requirement that committees file the activity reports by January 2. One Member suggested that since committee activities could continue through that day (pursuant to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified January 23, 1933, the terms of Senators and Representatives begin at noon on the 3rd day of January), the committees could be provided with additional time to file their reports. Committee Chairman Richard Bolling and others, however, reminded their colleagues that "We are not a continuing body," and that imposing such a requirement on future Congresses may be problematic. The January 2 deadline remained unchanged (U.S. Congress, House Select Committee on Committees, Committee Reform Amendments of 1974, 93rd Cong., 2nd sess. (Washington: GPO, 1974), p. 618).

17.

A sine die adjournment is "an adjournment that ends an annual session." For additional information, see CRS Report R42977, Sessions, Adjournments, and Recesses of Congress, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

18.

The rules adopted for the 112th Congress (H.Res. 5, January 5, 2011) added the reference to December 15 of an even-numbered year. The effect is to allow the report to be filed before sine die adjournment when the House continues to meet past December 15.

19.

This clause was added by H.Res. 5, January 7, 1997, p. 121. One committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, has traditionally indicated in the transmittal letter the date the report was circulated to Members and whether or not minority views were received. For example, see H.Rept. 114-904. Sometimes, a committee has formally resolved to approve the activity report during a business meeting (for example, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, December 11, 2014, business meeting, http://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=102794; and, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, December 1, 2016, http://intelligence.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=755).

20.

For example, see the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure report for the 114th Congress (H.Rept. 114-899) and the House Committee on Science report for the 105th Congress (H.Rept. 105-847).

21.

The exception for the Senate Appropriations Committee was included in the 1970 act, with the Senate Budget Committee added to this paragraph when the committee was established with the enactment of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344). The Senate Budget Committee, however, did file a report for the 113th Congress (S.Rept. 114-31).

22.

For example, see rules of the House Committees on Agriculture, Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Armed Services, and Committee on Homeland Security. For House committee rules, see U.S. Congress, House Committee on Rules, Rules Adopted by the Committees of the House of Representatives, committee print, 115th Cong., 1st sess., RCP 115-35 (Washington: GPO, 2017). For Senate committee rules, see U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, Authority and Rules of Senate Committees, 2017-2018, 115th Cong., 1st sess., S.Doc. 115-4 (Washington: GPO, 2017).

23.

A prior version of this clause, which addressed "supplemental, minority, or additional" views, was expanded to include "dissenting" views in the 114th Congress (H.Res. 5, 114th Congress).

24.

For example: U.S. Congress, House Committee on Homeland Security, Report on the Legislative and Oversight Activities, 112th Cong., 2nd sess., December 27, 2012, H.Rept. 112-730 (Washington: GPO, 2012), pp. 376-426.

25.

The following reports, however, did include additional views: S.Rept. 114-178, from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; S.Rept. 114-8 and S.Rept. 113-7, both from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and S.Rept. 112-6, from the Senate Committee on Small Business.

26.

List compiled from CRS survey of activity reports issued since the 104th Congress.

27.

For example, some Committee on House Administration reports include references to resolutions adopted approving franked mail allowances for the standing and select committees, allocating funding for certain committees from the Reserve Fund, or amending internal House regulations governing, for example, shared employees, the student loan repayment program, or revising the Members' Congressional Handbook. In addition, for example, a House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure report lists "Committee Resolutions (Authorizing the General Services Administration Capital Investment and Leasing Program)" (H.Rept. 114-899), while a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works report lists "committee resolutions for public buildings" (S.Rept. 107-100). The House Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Homeland Security have used committee resolutions to adopt committee rules and appoint staff (U.S. Congress, House Committee on Armed Services, Organizational Meeting for the 115th Congress, 115th Cong., 1st sess., January 12, 2017 (Washington: GPO, 2017); and H.Rept. 114-907). The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship report for the 115th Congress also listed "Sense of the Committee" resolutions (S.Rept. 115-33).

28.

These are required pursuant to Section 310(d) of the Congressional Budget Act. P.L. 93-944, 88 Stat. 307, July 12, 1974; House Rule X, clause 4(f)(1) and 11(c)(3). The "views and estimates" are to be submitted to the respective budget committees no later than six weeks after the President's budget is submitted or by a date requested by the Committee on the Budget. In addition to potential references in the activity reports, the "views and estimates" often are printed in the committee report accompanying the budget resolution or compiled as a separate committee print. For additional information, see CRS Report 98-512, Formulation and Content of the Budget Resolution, by [author name scrubbed]

29.

For example, some of the House Financial Services Committee activity reports provide information on a memorandum of understanding between the chairmen of the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Energy and Commerce (for example, H.Rept. 112-355).

30.

The reporting requirement for waived points of order under the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act was included in P.L. 104-4 (March 22, 1995, 109 Stat. 63; 2 U.S.C. 1514).

31.

As stated above, pursuant to clause 2 of House Rule XI, House committees are required "to hold at least one hearing during each 120-day period" on these topics. The hearings are to focus in particular on reports from inspectors general or the Comptroller General of the United States and programs or operations that are considered "high-risk."

32.

For example, the House Budget Committee regularly lists separate majority and minority caucus publications.

33.

H.Res. 5, January 5, 2011, Section 2(e)(13); H.Res. 5, January 3, 2013, Section 2(a); H.Res. 5, January 6, 2015, Section 2(a)(4). According to the "Section-By-Section Analysis" of the House Rules changes for the 112th Congress inserted into the Congressional Record, the provision was "intended to provide the House with more frequent updates regarding the oversight and legislative activities of the committees" (Congressional Record, January 5, 2011, p. H14). See also CRS Report R42395, A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

34.

U.S. Congress, House, Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives, 113th Cong., 2nd sess., H.Doc. 113-181 (Washington: GPO, 2015), pp. 549-551.

35.

The House and Senate Budget Committees were established with the enactment of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, P.L. 93-344, July 12, 1974, 88 Stat. 301.

36.

U.S. Congress, House Committee on Rules, Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, report on H.R. 17654, 91st Cong., 2nd sess., June 17, 1970, H.Rept. 91-1215 (Washington: GPO, 1970), p. 74. See also 2 U.S.C. §190d(c).

37.

P.L. 93-344, July 12, 1974, 88 Stat. 331.