Organizing Resolutions for the House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is not a “continuing body” in the terms of Parliamentarian construction. This means that it has a limited time span over which it exists, and then upon that period’s expiration, it ceases to be an institution. It then convenes and reestablishes itself as a new “Congress”. In doing so it adopts rules to govern the House for the period of the Congress, which under the U.S. Constitution lasts two years. The House does not recreate a new different set of rules for each Congress but rather re-adopts the rules from the previous Congress, and then amends those as necessary and votes to approve them in the form of a House Resolution.
Below are these simple House Resolutions, with two exceptions, each is numbered as “H. Res. 5” of each Congress. At the beginning of the 104th Congress and the 110th Congress, the “organizing resolution” was numbered as H. Res. 6.
The main components of these organizing resolutions are as follows: 1) The resolving clause adopts the rules of the previous Congress; 2) the second section sets forth the amendments, if any are deemed necessary, to those rules; 3) the third section set out “Separate Orders”, which are tantamount to the Standing Rules, but these are more limited in that they are not readopted through the resolving clause of the next Congress and hence are not reestablished unless specific provision is made for them.
Additional sections may be added with miscellaneous subject matter.
Congressional Record Citations
- H. Res. 5 (115th Congress): 163 Cong. Rec. H7-H28, Jan. 3, 2017
- H. Res. 5 (114th Congress): 161 Cong. Rec. H7-H28, Jan. 6, 2015
- H. Res. 5 (113th Congress): 159 Cong. Rec. H6-H22, Jan. 3, 2013
- H. Res. 5 (112th Congress): 157 Cong. Rec. H7-H27, Jan. 5, 2011
- H. Res. 5 (111th Congress): 155 Cong. Rec. H6-H20, Jan. 6, 2009
- H. Res. 6 (110th Congress) 153 Cong. Rec. H19-H39, H62-H85, Jan. 4-5, 2007
- H. Res. 5 (110th Congress): 153 Cong. Rec. H6-H19, Jan. 4, 2007
- H. Res. 5 (109th Congress): 151 Cong. Rec. H7-H31, Jan. 4, 2005
- H. Res. 5 (108th Congress): 149 Cong. Rec. H7-H20,Jan. 7, 2003
- H. Res. 5 (107th Congress):147 Cong. Rec. H6-H18, Jan. 3, 2001
- H. Res. 5 (106th Congress): 145 Cong. Rec. H6-H205, Jan. 6, 1999
- H. Res. 5 (105th Congress): 143 Cong. Rec. H8-H27, Jan. 7, 1997
- H. Res. 6 (104th Congress): 141 Cong. Rec. H38, H39-H90, Jan. 4, 1995
- H. Res. 5 (104th Congress): 141 Cong. Rec. H9-23, Jan. 4, 1995
- H. Res. 5 (103rd Congress): 139 Cong. Rec. H5-H34, H34-H47, H47-H54, Jan. 5, 1993