Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Rules Committee

Old friends of 'Washminster' will know that I have a particular interest in the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives. I enjoy watching the committee in action (sadly, I can normally only do this online  - the Committee Hearings Archive is available here. However, I do go to watch in person when I'm in Washington DC).

The Committee has two roles - it is responsible for overseeing and proposing amendments to the Rules of the House of Representatives. One of the main items of business on the first day of a new Congress is a debate and a vote on rules amendments.

It's other role is to grant 'rules' to draft legislation - which, if adopted, govern how a the debate on that particular draft legislation is conducted. (or as more elegantly put in the CQ's 'American Congressional Dictionary' - "a privileged resolution reported by the Rules Committee that provides methods and conditions for floor consideration of a measure or, rarely, several measures...With few exceptions, major non privileged bills are taken up under the terms of such resolutions.")

The website of the Rules Committee can be found at https://rules.house.gov. If you are interested in the working of the House of Representatives, this is a website well worth visiting. It's "Parliamentary Bootcamp" is an excellent course in the rules and practices of the House. There are also links to the House Manual and House Rules (note - we are awaiting the editions for the 115th Congress - but the amendments to the Rules adopted can be found here. and a section-by-section analysis here.)


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