Sunday 20 September 2009

House Committee Documents and Reports

(Reproduced from House of Representatives Committee on Rules Legislative Process Program)

Documents produced by the standing committees of the House are useful resources. During each Session of a Congress, every standing committee produces a “Journal and History of Legislation” or a “Calendar of Business” and at least once each Congress a “Survey of Activities”.

These documents provide some or all of the following information: a list of the legislation acted on by the committee, a list of legislation referred to the committee, an official Membership list, votes cast in committee, a statistical profile of activities, a history of the committee, its jurisdiction, oversight plan, a list of printed publications and a variety of other information.

These Documents can usually be found on the committee’s website ( http://www.house.gov/house/CommitteeWWW.shtml) or through another government source such as the Government Printing Office (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/).

Committees also prepare reports to file with the House. These reports accompany legislation referred to the committee and marked up by it. These reports often contain an explanation or summary of the legislation, background, an explanation as to the need for the legislation, committee votes, a list of earmarks, a Ramseyer (a detailed description of how the legislation will change current law), and minority views. House Rules require many of these things to be included in any report accompanying a bill.