House Rules and Manual
The “House Rules Manual” is generally referred to as the “Rules and Manual of the House of Representatives” such as in the resolution authorizing the printing of its revised version, which occurs each new Congress.
This document includes the fundamental references for the procedures used in the House of Representatives. These include the U.S. Constitution, selected components of Jefferson’s Manual; the Rules of the House (as most recently approved); the relevant law, and provisions tantamount to the Rules of the House. It also includes pertinent decisions of the Speakers and other presiding officers of the House and Committee of the Whole interpreting the rules and other procedural authority used in the House of Representatives.
Each rule of the House of Representatives is included on this site. Though all are important in the operations of the House, certain rules, such as rule XXI, have more importance in Congressional Budget Process.
Preface from the Manual of the 114th Congress
The House Rules and Manual contains the fundamental source material for parliamentary procedure used in the House of Representatives: the Constitution of the United States; applicable provisions of Jefferson’s Manual; Rules of the House (as of the date of this preface); provisions of law and resolutions having the force of Rules of the House; and pertinent decisions of the Speakers and other presiding officers of the House and Committee of the Whole interpreting the rules and other procedural authority used in the House of Representatives.
The rules for the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress were adopted on January 6, 2015, when the House agreed to House Resolution 5. In addition to a series of changes to various standing rules, House Resolution 5 included separate free-standing orders constituting procedures to be followed in the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress. Explanations of the changes to the standing rules appear in the annotations following each rule in the text of this Manual.
In the One Hundred Sixth Congress, the House adopted a recodification of the Rules of the House. For an explanation of the recodified format, see the Preface and other introductory matter for the House Rules and Manual for the One Hundred Sixth Congress (H. Doc. 105–358).
The substantive changes in the standing rules made by House Resolution 5 of the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress included:
(1) authority for the Speaker to modify, within the three-day constitutional limit, any order for the time of the convening of the House during short adjournments when warranted by the public interest and authority for the Speaker to name a designee to exercise this and related convening authorities (clause 12 of rule I);
(2) affirmative establishment of, and conferral of the imprimatur of the House in all litigation to, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (clause 8 of rule II);
(3) reinstatement of the requirement that that the Committee on House Administration provide policy direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (clause 4(a) of rule II; clause 4(d) of rule X);
(4) expansion of the jurisdiction of the Committee on Appropriations to include specified loan obligations and loan guarantees (clause 1(b) of rule X);
(5) expansion of the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary to include criminalization (clause 1(l) of rule X); (6) adjustment of the size and ratio of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (clause 11(a) of rule X); (7) reduction in frequency of committee activity reports from annually to biennially (clause 1(d) of rule XI);
(8) transfer of the requirement for committees to adopt written rules regarding audio and visual coverage from clause 4 of rule XI to clause 2 of rule XI to merge with the general requirement for written committee rules (clause 2(a) of rule XI; clause 4(f) of rule XI);
(9) expansion of committee hearing witness disclosure requirements to include certain foreign government information and contraction to matter relating to the hearing in question (clause 2(g)(5) of rule XI);
(10) requirement for new Members, Delegates, and Resident Commissioners to receive ethics training from the Committee on Ethics (clause 3(a) of rule XI);
(11) restriction on the Committee on Ethics taking an action denying a constitutional right (clause 3(s) of rule XI);
(12) restriction on use of committee broadcast material conformed to the restriction on floor broadcast material (clause 4(b) of rule XI);
(13) expansion of the Ramseyer rule to include the entire text of a section of a statute proposed to be repealed or amended (clause 3(e) of rule XIII);
(14) expansion of various cost estimates to include macroeconomic data and repeal of requirement that reports on tax bills contain a macroeconomic analysis (clause 3(h) of rule XIII; clause 8 of rule XIII)
(15) elimination of the point of order against consideation of a general appropriation bill if printed hearings thereon are not available (clause 4(c) of rule XIII); and
(16) extension of time before further motions to instruct conferees may be offered from 20 to 45 calendar days and from 10 to 25 legislative days (clause 7 of rule XXII).
Citations in this edition refer to:
(1) Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States (volumes I through V) and Cannon’s Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States (volumes VI through VIII), by volume and section (e.g., V, 5763; VIII, 2852);
(2) Deschler’s Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (volumes 1 through 9), Deschler-Brown Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (volumes 10 through 16), Deschler-Brown-Johnson Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (volume 17), and Deschler-Brown-Johnson-Sullivan Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (volume 18), by chapter and section (e.g., Deschler, ch. 26, § 79.7; Deschler-Brown, ch. 28, § 4.26);
(3) the Congressional Record, by date and page (e.g., Jan. 29, 1986, p. 684);
(4) House Practice (2011), by chapter and section (e.g., House Practice, ch. 1, § 2);
(5) Deschler-Brown Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives (4th edition and 1987 supplement), by chapter and section (e.g., Procedure, ch. 5, § 8.1);
(6) the United States Code, by title and section (e.g., 2 U.S.C. 287); and
(7) the United States Reports, by volume and page (e.g., 395 U.S. 486).
Readers are invited to refer to the prefaces of Hinds’, Cannon’s, and Deschler’s Precedents (Volumes I, VI, and 1, respectively) for comprehensive overviews by those editors of the procedural history of the House of Representatives from 1789 to 1976. Volume 18 of Deschler-Brown-Johnson-Sullivan Precedents also features a commentary by former Parliamentarian Charles W. Johnson, III, noting procedural highlights during his affiliation with the House.
All of the members of the Office of the Parliamentarian – Ethan Lauer, Jay Smith, Anne Gooch, Kyle Jones, Severin Randall, Brian Cooper, Lloyd Jenkins, Monica Rodriguez, and Kristen Donahue, as well as Charles Johnson, Max Spitzer, Andrew Neal, Catherine Moran, and Bryan Feldblum – worked diligently to annotate the decisions of the Chair and other parliamentary precedents of the 113th Congress and of the 114th Congress to the date of publication of this edition. Their contributions, and their devotion to the pursuit of excellence in the procedural practices of the House, are gratefully acknowledged. Particular appreciation goes to Ethan Lauer for his initiative and steady hand in managing the project. Finally, we recognize Carrie Wolf for her dedication and professionalism in service to the office.
Thomas J. Wickham, JR.
May 21, 2015