Thursday, 23 June 2011
"Any member in the House of Representatives may introduce a bill at any time while the House is in session by simply placing it in the “hopper” at the side of the Clerk's desk in the House Chamber. The sponsor's signature must appear on the bill. A public bill may have an unlimited number of co-sponsoring members. The bill is assigned its legislative number by the Clerk and referred to the appropriate committee by the Speaker, with the assistance of the Parliamentarian. The bill is then printed in its introduced form."
The "hopper" is attached to the side of the Clerk's desk - The term derives from a funnel-shaped storage bin filled from the top and emptied from the bottom, which is often used to house grain or coal. The photograph above is of the hopper used between 1991 to 2003. See if you can spot the current hopper next time you watch the House live on C-SPAN