Cyclopedia

“Rise and Report” Point of Order

Summary

A “Rise and Report” Point of Order may be raised against a motion to proceed to the final consideration of an appropriation bill if its spending level exceeds its limit (it’s “302(b) suballocation“). A “motion to rise” is made when the House of Representatives is in “the committee of the whole”, which is formally a committee of the entire House in which most debate occurs on legislation. When debate concludes, in order to move to a final vote, the Committee of the Whole must “rise and report” what has been debated. In the 109th Congress, a resolution reported from the Committee on Rules included a separate section that established this point of order (applicable during that Congress) [see below Parliamentarian’s Note].  In order for the Committee of the Whole to report a general appropriation exceeded that applicable section 302(b) suballocation, the measure must come back into compliance.

Parliamentarian’s Note: As noted, this point of order was applicable only during the 109th Congress. However, in the 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses [BCR Note: This also applied the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses], the same point of order was carried as a separate order in the resolution adopting the rules of the House for those Congresses. See 157 Cong. Rec. H9 [Daily Ed.], 112th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 5, 2011 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(a)(4)); 155 Cong. Rec. 9, 111th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 6, 2009 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(a)(4)); and 153 Cong. Rec. 24, 110th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 4, 2007 (H. Res. 5, sec. 511(a)(4)). The procedural provisions triggered upon sustaining this point of order operate in a similar manner to the question of consideration (see Deschler-Brown Precedents Ch. 29 § 5, supra): the chairman of the Committee of the Whole puts the question, ‘‘Shall the Committee of the Whole rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted notwithstanding that the bill exceeds its allocation of new budget authority under section 302(b)?’’ Such question is debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided between the proponent and an opponent. If decided in the negative, only one proper amendment is in order — debatable for 10 minutes and not subject to a demand for a division of the question — and certain pro forma amendments. It should also be noted that this point of order lies against a motion to rise and report a non-compliant bill. A special order of business resolution reported by the Committee on Rules for the consideration of a bill may specify that the Committee automatically rise (without motion) to report the bill back to the House upon the completion of all debate and consideration of any permitted amendments [see below BCR Note]. Such a special order of business prevents any opportunity to raise this point of order. For an example thereof, see 155 Cong. Rec. 16078, 16079, 111th Cong. 1st Sess., June 24, 2009 (H. Res. 573).

[Footnote #1;  from Deschler’s Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives, Volume 18, Chapter 41, §11.23, p. 214.]

[BCR Note: This “automatic rise and report” is reflected by this language from H. Res. 573 (111th Congress): “At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted.”]


Providing for the “Rise and Report Point of Order”

On April 28, 2005, the House adopted a provision in H.Res. 248 (109th Congress) establishing providing for a separate point of order in the Committee of the Whole against a motion to “rise and report” a general appropriations bill if the measure, as amended, would breach the applicable 302(b) allocation. This “rise and report” point of order was included in the organizing resolutions, in the 110th through 115th Congresses. see Section 3(e)(2) of H.Res. 5 (115th Congress)). See the House Organizing Resolutions form more information. 

Section 3(f) of H. Res. 5 (115th Congress) included the following:

(f) Point of Order Against Motion To Rise And Report.—

(1) During the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, except as provided in paragraph (3), a motion that the Committee of the Whole rise and report a bill to the House shall not be in order if the bill, as amended, exceeds an applicable allocation of new budget authority under section 302(b) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as estimated by the Committee on the Budget.

(2) If a point of order under paragraph (1) is sustained, the Chair shall put the question: “Shall the Committee of the Whole rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted notwithstanding that the bill exceeds its allocation of new budget authority under section 302(b) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974?”. Such question shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by a proponent of the question and an opponent but shall be decided without intervening motion.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply—

(A) to a motion offered under clause 2(d) of rule XXI; or

(B) after disposition of a question under paragraph (2) on a given bill.

(4) If a question under paragraph (2) is decided in the negative, no further amendment shall be in order except—

(A) one proper amendment, which shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole; and

(B) pro forma amendments, if offered by the chair or ranking minority member of the Committee on Appropriations or their designees, for the purpose of debate.


Enforcement of Rise and Report Point of Order

The point of order was written with a failsafe mechanism to allow the House Leadership to circumvent it should it become convenient: If the motion to rise is made by the Majority Leader of the House, then the point of order is not applicable. The Majority Leader, however, has chosen not to exercise this authority. 

Specifically the point of order states that it “shall not apply—

“(A) to a motion offered under clause 2(d) of rule XXI; “

This exception reads as follows:

§1040. Motion to rise and report as preferential to amendments.

(d) After a general appropriation bill has been read for amendment, a motion that the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted shall, if offered by the Majority Leader or a designee, have precedence over motions to amend the bill. If such a motion to rise and report is rejected or not offered, amendments proposing limitations not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation or proposing germane amendments that retrench expenditures by reductions of amounts of money covered by the bill may be considered.

Another way that has been prepared, should it be necessary, is an amendment to be offered should the bill under consideration be in breach of its section 302(b) suballocation (likely though an adopted amendment) cutting all amounts of budget authority by a percentage sufficient for it to bring the overall total of the bill to be in compliance with the suballocation.


References

CRS – House Rules Changes Affecting Floor Procedures in the 109th Congress(RL32772) February 15, 2005

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