The Rules of each chamber of Congress require that Committees make public their activities during a Congress. This takes the form of “Activities Reports” and generally lists actions like bills they have considered, hearings held, and documents published. This page concentrates on the Budget Committees reports, though other committees, in particular the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, House Ways and Means, and Senate Finance Committees also have important aspects of their activities during the year which impact and are guided by Budget Law.
House Rules Requirements
Rules of the House of Representatives
Rule XI, §790 Activities Reports
Procedures of Committees and Unfinished Business
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(d)(1) Not later than January 2 of each odd§ 790. Activity reports. numbered year, a committee shall submit to the House a report on the activities of that committee.
(2) Such report shall include—
(A) separate sections summarizing the legislative and oversight activities of that committee under this rule and rule X during the Congress;
(B) a summary of the oversight plans submitted by the committee under clause 2(d) of rule X;
(C) a summary of the actions taken and recommendations made with respect to the oversight plans specified in subdivision (B);
(D) a summary of any additional oversight activities undertaken by that committee and any recommendations made or actions taken thereon; and
(E) a delineation of any hearings held pursuant to clauses 2(n), (o), or (p) of this rule.
(3) After an adjournment sine die of the last regular session of a Congress, or after December 15 of an even-numbered year, whichever occurs first, the chair of a committee may file the report described in subparagraph (1) with the Clerk at any time and without approval of the committee, provided that—
(A) a copy of the report has been available to each member of the committee for at least seven calendar days; and
(B) the report includes any supplemental, minority, additional, or dissenting views submitted by a member of the committee.
The provisions of paragraph (d)(1) were first made requirements of the rules in the 92d Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan. 22, 1971, p. 144, incorporating the provisions of sec. 118(b) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1140)), and effective on January 3, 1975 (H. Res. 988, 93d Cong., Oct. 8, 1974, p. 34470), exemptions from the reporting requirements for the Committees on Appropriations, the Budget, House Administration, Rules, and Ethics (formerly Standards of Official Conduct) were removed, so the paragraph from that point applied to all committees. The 104th Congress added what is now subparagraph (2) to require that activity reports include separate sections on legislative and oversight activities, including a summary comparison of oversight plans and eventual recommendations and actions (sec. 203(b), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 467). What is now subparagraph (3) was added in the 105th Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan. 7, 1997, p. 121). Clerical and stylistic changes were effected when the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). In the 111th Congress, the House amended subparagraph (2) to require the inclusion of hearings under paragraphs (n), (o), and (p) of this clause in the oversight section of activities reports (H. Res. 40, Jan. 14, 2009, p. 757), and eliminated a gender-based reference (sec. 2(l), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. 7). In the 112th Congress, the paragraph was rewritten entirely to clarify late-session filing and to increase from biennial to semiannual the frequency of reports (sec. 2(e)(13), H. Res. 5, Jan. 5, 2011, p. 80), which was reduced to annual in the 113th Congress (sec. 2(a), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2013, p. ___) and back to biennial in the 114th Congress (sec. 2(a)(4), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2015, p. ___). Subparagraph (3)(B) was amended in the 114th Congress to include dissenting views to mirror an amendment to clause 2(l) (sec. 2(a)(5), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2015, p. ___).
Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, the Committee on Rules is required to include in its activity report a separate item identifying all waivers of points of order relating to Federal mandates, listed by bill or joint resolution number and subject matter (sec. 107(b), P.L. 104–4; 109 Stat. 63).
[House Rules and Manual, H. Doc. 113–181 (113th Congress, 2d Session) §790, pp. 549-551.]
House Budget Committee