Tuesday 13 May 2008

The Rules Committee

This afternoon (US time) I am hoping to attend a meeting of the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives. This is a very powerful and important committee, which has three main functions. It is chrged with overseeing and amending the House Rules; oversees the observance of the rules - and "Reports Special Rules" Since 1883 this has been its primary role.

These 'Special Rules' govern the length of time for debate in the main chamber; which members will control debate on the floor; and which amendments - and even points of order - can be raised and debated.

The Committee has its own website which sets out the work it does: http://www.rules.house.gov/

Of particular interest is the paper on the committee available at http://www.rules.house.gov/lpp/rules_committee.pdf
The Committee Chairwoman is Congresswoman Louise M Slaughter, who represents the 28th District in New York State. The District covers part of the shoreline of Lake Ontario, and part of the City of Rochester.