House Rules and Manual
House Rule V
House Rule VII
House Rule VI
OFFICIAL REPORTERS AND NEWS MEDIA GALLERIES
§685. Reporters of debates and committee stenographers.
1. Subject to the direction and control of the Speaker, the Clerk shall appoint, and may remove for cause, the official reporters of the House, including stenographers of committees, and shall supervise the execution of their duties.
HOUSE RULES AND MANUAL NOTES
Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former clause 1 of rule XXXIV (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). From 1874 until March 1, 1978, the appointment and removal of the official reporters, and the manner of the execution of their duties, was vested in the Speaker (V, 6958); effective March 1, 1978 (H. Res. 959, Jan. 23, 1978, p. 431) those responsibilities were vested in the Clerk, subject to the direction and control of the Speaker.
The reporters of debates have played an important role in the evolution of the system by which the House compiles a daily verbatim report of its proceedings, made by its own corps of reporters (V, 6959). Since these reporters have become officers of the House a correction of the Congressional Record has been held a question of privilege (V, 7014–7016). The House has directed the Clerk to provide a copy of the audio backup file of a committee deposition made by the reporters to the prosecuting attorney in a criminal proceeding (Feb. 17, 2012, p. __).
§686. Rules relating to Congressional Record.
The arrangement, style, etc., of the Congressional Record is prescribed by the Joint Committee on Printing pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 901, 904 (see also VIII, 3500). The rules of the Joint C4ing exceptions: (a) Excerpts from letters, telegrams, or articles presented in connection with a speech delivered in the course of debate; (b) communications from State legislatures; (c) addresses or articles by the President and the Members of his Cabinet, the Vice President, or a Member of Congress. (3) The official reporters of the House or Senate or the Director of the Government Publishing Office shall return to the Member of the respective House any matter submitted for the Congressional Record which is in contravention of these provisions.
HOUSE SUPPLEMENT TO “LAWS AND RULES FOR PUBLICATION OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD”—EFFECTIVE AUGUST 12, 1986
1. Extensions of Remarks in the daily Congressional Record.—When the House has granted leave to print (1) a newspaper or magazine article, or (2) any other matter not germane to the proceedings, it shall be published under Extensions of Remarks. This rule shall not apply to quotations which form part of a speech of a Member, or to an authorized extension of his own remarks: Provided, That no address, speech, or article delivered or released subsequently to the sine die adjournment of a session of Congress may be printed in the Congressional Record. One-minute speeches delivered during the morning business of Congress shall not exceed 300 words. Statements exceeding this will be printed following the business of the day.
x2. Any extraneous matter included in any statement by a Member, either under the 1-minute rule or permission granted to extend at this point, will be printed in the “Extensions of Remarks” section, and that such material will be duly noted in the Member’s statement as appearing therein.
3. Under the general leave request by the floor manager of specific legislation only matter pertaining to such legislation will be included as per the request. This, of course, will include tables and charts pertinent to the same, but not newspaper clippings and editorials.
x4. In the makeup of the portion of the Record entitled “Extensions of Remarks,” the Director of the Government Publishing Office shall withhold any Extensions of Remarks which exceed economical press fill or exceed production limitations. Extensions withheld for such reasons will be printed in succeeding issues, at the direction of the Director of the Government Publishing Office, so that more uniform daily issues may be the end result and, in this way, when both Houses have a short session the makeup would be in a sense made easier so as to comply with daily proceedings, which might run extremely heavy at times.
5. The request for a Member to extend his or her remarks in the body of the Record must be granted to the individual whose remarks are to be inserted.
6. All statements for “Extensions of Remarks,” as well as copy for the body of the Congressional Record must be submitted on the Floor of the House to the Official Reporters of Debates and must carry the actual signature of the Member. Extensions of Remarks will be accepted up to 15 minutes after adjournment of the House. To insure printing in that day’s proceedings, debate transcripts still out for revision must be returned to the Office of Official Reporters of Debates, Room HT–60, the Capitol, (1) by 5 p.m., or 2 hours following adjournment, whichever occurs later; or (2) within 30 minutes following adjournment when the House adjourns at 11 p.m., or later.
7. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XVII of the Rules of the House, the Congressional Record shall be a substantially verbatim account of remarks made during the proceedings of the House, subject only to technical, grammatical, and typographical corrections authorized by the Member making the remarks involved. Unparliamentary remarks may be deleted only by permission or order of the House. Consistent with rule 9 of the Joint Committee on Printing Rules, any revision shall consist only of technical, grammatical, or typographical corrections of the original copy and shall not include deletions of correct material, substitutions for correct material, or additions of new subject matter. By obtaining unanimous consent to revise and extend, a Member will be able to relax the otherwise strict prohibition contained in clause 8 of rule XVII only in two respects: (1) to revise by technical, grammatical, and typographical corrections; and (2) to extend remarks in a distinctive type style to follow the remarks actually uttered. In no event would the actually uttered remarks be removable.
§687. Substantially verbatim account.
The requirement of rule 7 of the supplemental rules that the Congressional Record be a substantially verbatim account of remarks actually rendered was included in clause 8(a) of rule XVII (formerly clause 9 of rule XIV) in the 104th Congress, with the prescription that that rule constitute a standard of conduct under clause 3(a)(2) of rule XI (formerly clause 4(e)(1)(B) of rule X) (sec. 213, H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 468). Under clause 8 of rule XVII, remarks actually delivered may not be deleted and remarks inserted must appear in distinctive type (Jan. 4, 1995, p. 541). The Speaker has instructed the Official Reporters of Debates to adhere strictly to the requirement of rule 7 of the supplemental rules (Mar. 2, 1988, p. 2963; Feb. 3, 1993, p. 1980).
Words spoken by a Member not under recognition are not included in the Congressional Record (V, 6975–6978; VIII, 3466, 3471; Oct. 11, 2011, p. __) and a Member should not expect the official reporters to transcribe such remarks (Jan. 24, 2011, p. 583) or the remarks of two Members speaking simultaneously (Oct. 11, 2011, p. __; Speaker Boehner, Jan. 23, 2012, p. __; Speaker Boehner, Feb. 26, 2013, p. __; Speaker Boehner, Mar. 25, 2014, p. __; Speaker Boehner, Feb. 25, 2015, p. __). For example the Record does not include remarks uttered: (1) after a Member has been called to order (July 29, 1994, p. 18609); (2) when a Member fails to heed the gavel at the expiration of time for debate (May 22, 2003, p. 12965; Oct. 2, 2003, p. 23950; July 25, 2012, p. __); (3) when a Member interrupts another during debate without being yielded to (Feb. 15, 2012, p. __) or otherwise recognized (as on a point of order) (Speaker O’Neill, Feb. 7, 1985, p. 2229). Remarks held irrelevant by the Chair may be removed from the Record by unanimous consent only (Mar. 20, 2002, p. 3663).
In response to a parliamentary inquiry, the Chair advised that when the Pledge of Allegiance is delivered as the third element of the daily order of business, the Record reflects the pledge in its statutory form (Apr. 27, 2004, pp. 7588, 7600). The Chair announced the Record-printing policy regarding remarks in debate uttered in languages other than English, to deny transcription in the foreign language (unless a transcript is provided in a language that the Government Publishing Office can print) and to require Members to submit translations for distinctive printing in the Record in English as a revision of remarks (Mar. 4, 1998, p. 2535; see also Feb. 25, 2003, p. 4402; Mar. 15, 2013, p. __).
Under long practice and applicable precedents and guidelines, the Chair has refined rulings on points of order in the Record in order to clarify them without changing their substance, including those sustained by the House on appeal (Feb. 19, 1992, p. 2461; see H. Res. 230, 99th Cong., July 31, 1985, p. 21783, and H. Rept. 99–228). In accordance with existing accepted practices, the Speaker customarily made such technical or parliamentary corrections or insertions in the transcript of a ruling or statement by the Chair as may have been necessary to conform to rule, custom, or precedent (see H. Res. 330, 101st Cong., Feb. 7, 1990, p. 1515, and report of House Administration task force on Record inserted by Speaker Foley, Oct. 27, 1990, p. 37124). In the 104th Congress the Speaker ruled that the requirement of clause 8 of rule XVII (formerly clause 9 of rule XIV) that the Record be a substantially verbatim account of remarks made during House proceedings extended to statements and rulings of the Chair (Jan. 20, 1995, p. 1866).
The Congressional Record is for the proceedings of the House and Senate only, and matters not connected therewith are rigidly excluded (V, 6962). It is not, however, the official record, that function being fulfilled by the Journal (IV, 2727). Because the Record is maintained as a substantially verbatim account of the proceedings of the House (44 U.S.C. 901), the Speaker will not entertain a unanimous-consent request to give a special-order speech “off the Record” (June 24, 1992, p. 16131). As a general principle the Speaker has no control over the Record (V, 6984, 7017).
The traditional practice to allow Members, with the approval of the House and under conditions set forth by the Joint Committee on Printing, to revise remarks before publication in the Congressional Record (V, 6971, 7024; VIII, 3500) should be interpreted in light of clause 8 of rule XVII and rule 7 of the supplemental rules of the Joint Committee on Printing, which require the Record to be a substantially verbatim account of remarks made during House proceedings (see §686, supra, and §§967, 968, infra). In any event, a Member should not change the notes of the Member’s own speech in such a way as to affect the remarks of another without bringing the correction to the attention of that Member (V, 6972; VIII, 3461) because such alterations require authorization by the House (VIII, 3463, 3497). Where a Member so revised his remarks as to affect the import of words uttered by another Member, the House corrected the Record (V, 6973). A Member is not entitled to inspect the reporter’s notes of remarks that do not contain reflections on that Member, delivered by another Member and withheld for revision (V, 6964).
§688. Relations of the Committee of the Whole to the Congressional Record.
As a general rule the Committee of the Whole has no control over the Congressional Record (V, 6986); but the chairman in the preservation of order may direct the exclusion of disorderly words spoken by a Member after a call to order (V, 6987). In a case wherein a letter read in Committee involved a breach of privilege, the Committee reported the matter to the House for action, and the House struck the letter from the Record (V, 6986). The chair of the Committee of the Whole does not determine the privileges of a Member under a general leave to print in the Record, that being for the House alone (V, 6988). The Committee of the Whole may neither grant a general leave to print, although for convenience it does permit individual Members to extend their remarks (V, 7009, 7010; VIII, 3488–3490; Aug. 31, 1965, p. 22385), nor permit the inclusion of extraneous material (Jan. 23, 1936, p. 950; Feb. 1, 1937, p. 656; Sept. 19, 1967, p. 26032).
§689. Correction of the Congressional Record.
Although the House controls the Congressional Record, the Speaker with the assent of the House laid down the principle that words spoken by a Member in order might not be changed by the House, because this would be determining what a Member should utter on the floor (V, 6974; VI, 583; VIII, 3469, 3498). Neither should one House strike matter placed in the Record by permission of the other House (V, 6966). But the House may correct the speech of one of its Members so that it may record faithfully what was actually said (V, 6972). Similarly, a motion to correct the Record has been entertained to allow a Member to print in a subsequent edition of the daily Record the correct text of an amendment offered on a previous day and that had been substantially misprinted in the daily Record for the day on which it was offered (Deschler, ch. 5, §18.6). In addition, privileged motions have been permitted to correct the Record as follows: (1) striking unparliamentary words inserted in the Record (Deschler, ch. 5, §17); (2) correcting the Record where the remarks of one Member have been attributed to another (Deschler, ch. 5, §§18.1, 18.2); (3) correcting the Record where a Member has improperly altered his remarks during an exchange of colloquy with another Member (Deschler, ch. 5, §18.9). Mere typographical errors in the Record or ordinary revisions of a Member’s remarks do not give rise to privileged motions for the correction of the Record (Apr. 25, 1985, p. 9419), because such changes for the permanent edition of the Record may be made without the permission of the House (Deschler, ch. 5, §19) (subject to clause 8 of rule XVII). The House does not change the Record merely to show what a Member should have said during debate (Deschler, ch. 5, §18).
Furthermore, the Speaker declines to entertain unanimous-consent requests to correct the Record on a vote taken by electronic device, based upon the presumed accuracy of the electronic system and the ability and responsibility of each Member to verify votes (Feb. 6, 1973, p. 3558; Apr. 18, 1973, p. 13081; Dec. 3, 1974, p. 37897). It also has been held that a Member may not, in a controversy over a proposed correction of the Record as to a matter of business, demand as a matter of right the reading of the reporter’s notes (V, 6967; VIII, 3460).
The accuracy and propriety of reports in the Congressional Record constitute questions of the privileges of the House (see §704, infra). Subject to the requirements of rule IX, a motion or resolution for the correction of the Record that involves a question of privilege may be made properly after the reading and approval of the Journal (V, 7013; VIII, 3496), is not in order pending the approval of the Journal (V, 6989), and may not be raised until the Record has appeared (V, 7020). A correction of the Record that involves a motion and a vote is recorded in the Journal (IV, 2877). A resolution directing the placement of an asterisk in the Record to note alleged inaccuracies in a State of the Union address (but not alleging improper transcription of that address) was held not to constitute a question of privilege (Oct. 20, 2003, pp. 25255, 25256). Propositions to make corrections are sometimes considered by the Committee on House Administration.
§690. Unparliamentary remarks and the Congressional Record.
Where a Member had uttered disorderly words on the floor without challenge, the House decided that it was not precluded from action when the words, after being withheld for revision, appeared in the Record, and struck them (V, 6979, 6981; VI, 582; VIII, 2538, 3463, 3472). The House also has ordered stricken printed speeches condemned as unparliamentary for reflections on Members, committees of the House, the House itself (V, 7017), and the Senate (V, 5129). In the 101st Congress a resolution presented as a question of privilege was adopted to direct the Committee on House Administration to report with respect to certain unauthorized deletions from the Record. A task force of that committee recommended that deletion of unparliamentary remarks be permitted only by consent of the House and not by the Member uttering the words under authority to revise and extend (Oct. 27, 1990, p. 37124). That recommendation has been incorporated into the Rules of the House (clause 8(b) of rule XVII). In debating a resolution to strike from the Record disorderly language a Member may not read the language (V, 7004); but it was held that as part of a personal explanation relating to matter excluded as out of order a Member might read the matter, subject to a point of order if the reading should develop anything in violation of the rules of debate (V, 5079). A resolution to omit from the Record certain remarks merely declared by the Member offering the resolution to be out of order is not privileged (V, 7021). A motion to strike unparliamentary words from the Record is privileged (see §961, infra), although a question of privilege may not subsequently arise therefrom (V, 7023; VI, 596).
§692. “Leave to print” in the Congressional Record.
The practice of inserting in the Congressional Record speeches not actually delivered on the floor has developed by consent of the House as the membership has increased and it has become difficult at times for every Member to fully debate public questions on the floor (V, 6990–6996, 6998–7000). The House, in granting such leave to print, stipulates that it be exercised without unreasonable freedom (V, 7002, 7003). For example: (1) a Member with permission to insert one matter may not insert another (V, 7001; VIII, 3462, 3479, 3480); (2) a Member may not insert statements and letters of others unless the leave granted specifies such matter as extraneous (VIII, 3475, 3481), whether the extension be under general leave for all Members or individual; (3) although a Member may not request leave to insert the remarks of another Member (see supplemental rule 5 of the “Laws and Rules for Publication of the Congressional Record”), the House may grant general leave for all Members to insert remarks (Mar. 19, 2012, p. __); (4) a Member may not insert that which would not have been in order if uttered on the floor, and the House may exclude such insertion in whole or in part (V, 7004–7008; VIII, 3495; Oct. 2, 1992, p. 30709; Sept. 27, 1996, p. 25633); (5) a Member may not insert the individual votes of Members on a question of which the yeas and nays have not been entered on the Journal (V, 6982). The principle that a Member shall not be called to order for words spoken in debate if business has intervened does not apply to a case where leave to print has been violated (V, 7005). Neither the House nor the Committee of the Whole may permit the insertion of an entire colloquy between two or more Members not actually delivered (Aug. 10, 1982, pp. 20266, 20267; Oct. 3, 1985, p. 26028; Dec. 15, 1995, p. 37133; July 31, 2012, p. __; June 5, 2013, p. __). This prohibition does not apply to the insertion of remarks spoken in debate in the Senate in the form of a colloquy (Mar. 7, 2006, p. 2791) given the form of clause 1 of rule XVII as adopted in the 109th Congress.
The House, and not the Speaker, determines what liberty shall be allowed to a Member who has leave to extend remarks (V, 6997–7000; VIII, 3475), whether or not a copyrighted article shall be printed therein (V, 6985), as to an alleged abuse of the leave to print (V, 7012; VIII, 3474), or as to a proposed amendment (V, 6983). General leave to print may be granted only by the House, although in the Committee of the Whole a Member, by unanimous consent, may be given leave to extend remarks (V, 7009, 7010; VIII, 3488–3490), though such leave should be granted only in connection with remarks actually delivered and relevant to the bill; and the extension under such circumstances should be brief (Speaker Longworth, Mar. 18, 1926, p. 5854).
Where a Member abused a leave to print on the last day of the session, the House at the next session condemned the abuse and declared the matter not a legitimate part of the official debates (V, 7017). An abuse of leave to print gives rise to a question of privilege (V, 7005–7008, 7011; VIII, 3163, 3491, 3495), and a resolution or motion to expunge from the Record in such a case is offered as a question of privilege (V, 7012; VIII, 3475, 3491). An inquiry by the House as to an alleged abuse of the leave to print does not necessarily entitle the Member implicated to the floor on a question of privilege (V, 7012). Clause 8 of rule XVII (formerly clause 9 of rule XIV) requires substantive remarks inserted under leave to revise and extend to be printed in distinctive type and precludes deletion under such permission of words actually uttered (Jan. 4, 1995, p. 541).
A motion that a Member be permitted to extend remarks in the Record is not privileged (Feb. 8, 1950, p. 1661), and under the rules of the Joint Committee on Printing, one Member cannot obtain permission for other individual Members to extend their remarks (rule 5 of House Supplement, §686, supra).
Where extraneous material proposed to be inserted in the body or in the Extension of Remarks portion of the Record exceeds two Record pages, the rules of the Joint Committee on Printing require that the Member state an estimate of printing cost when permission is requested to make the insertion (Feb. 12, 1962, p. 2207; May 24, 1972, p. 18653). It is the Member’s responsibility and not that of the Chair to ascertain the cost of printing extraneous material and obtaining consent of the House when necessary (Feb. 11, 1994, p. 2245). As indicated in supplemental rule 3 of the Laws and Rules for Publication of the Congressional Record, the general leave request of the floor manager permits matter pertaining to specific legislation, including tables and charts but not newspaper clippings and editorials. The Clerk normally does not require a cost estimate for charts and tables admitted under general leave that exceed two Record pages.
The former rules of the Joint Committee on Printing for publication of the Record, effective March 1, 1978, required the identification by “bullet” symbols of statements or insertions no part of which were actually delivered in debate (Feb. 20, 1978, p. 3676). Where the House permitted all Members leave to revise and extend their remarks on a certain subject, those Members who actually spoke during the debate could revise their remarks to appear as if actually delivered, but Members’ statements no part of which were spoken were preceded and followed by a “bullet” symbol (Nov. 15, 1983, p. 32729). In the 99th Congress, the House adopted a resolution requesting the Joint Committee on Printing to adopt temporary rules to require distinctive type styles to replace the bulleting of remarks not actually spoken in debate (H. Res. 230, July 31, 1985, p. 21783), and also adopted a resolution requesting that those rules be made permanent (H. Res. 514, Aug. 12, 1986, p. 20980). Under regulations of the Joint Committee on Printing, remarks delivered or inserted under leave to revise and extend in connection with a “one-minute speech” made before legislative business are printed after legislative business if exceeding 300 words (Speaker O’Neill, Apr. 5, 1978, p. 8846; §686, supra).
Based upon several unauthorized insertions of extensions of remarks in the Record, the Speaker announced that henceforth all extensions of remarks must be signed by the Member submitting them (Aug. 15, 1974, p. 28385). The House by unanimous consent may grant permission for all Members to extend their remarks and to include extraneous material within the established limits in that section of the Congressional Record entitled “Extensions of Remarks” for a session (e.g., Jan. 6, 1999, p. 247) or a Congress (e.g., Jan. 4, 2007, p. 42).
News media galleries
§693. Unofficial reporters in the press gallery and on the floor.
2. A portion of the gallery over the Speaker’s chair, as may be necessary to accommodate representatives of the press wishing to report debates and proceedings, shall be set aside for their use. Reputable reporters and correspondents shall be admitted thereto under such regulations as the Speaker may prescribe from time to time. The Standing Committee of Correspondents for the Press Gallery, and the Executive Committee of Correspondents for the Periodical Press Gallery, shall supervise such galleries, including the designation of its employees, subject to the direction and control of the Speaker. The Speaker may admit to the floor, under such regulations as the Speaker may prescribe, not more than one representative of each press association.
HOUSE RULES AND MANUAL NOTES
Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former clause 2 of rule XXXIV. When it was transferred to this clause, it also was amended to reflect the existing practice of including the Periodical Press Gallery under the ambit of the rule (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). This provision was first adopted in 1857 and has been amended from time to time (V, 7304; VIII, 3642; Jan. 3, 1953, p. 24; Jan. 22, 1971, p. 144; Jan. 5, 2011, p. 80). A gender-based reference was eliminated in the 111th Congress (sec. 2(l), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. 7). See also Consumers Union v. Periodical Correspondents’ Association, 515 F.2d 1341 (D.C. Cir. 1975), cert. den. 423 U.S. 1051 (1976) (action in enforcing correspondents’ association regulations is within legislative immunity granted by the Speech or Debate Clause).
§694. Unofficial reporters in the radio gallery and on the floor.
3. A portion of the gallery as may be necessary to accommodate reporters of news to be disseminated by radio, television, and similar means of transmission, wishing to report debates and proceedings, shall be set aside for their use. Reputable reporters and correspondents shall be admitted thereto under such regulations as the Speaker may prescribe. The Executive Committee of the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Galleries shall supervise such gallery, including the designation of its employees, subject to the direction and control of the Speaker. The Speaker may admit to the floor, under such regulations as the Speaker may prescribe, not more than one representative of each media outlet.
HOUSE RULES AND MANUAL NOTES
Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former clause 3 of rule XXXIV (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). This provision was first adopted on April 20, 1939 (p. 4561) and has been amended from time to time (May 30, 1940, p. 7208; Jan. 22, 1971, p. 144; Jan. 5, 2011, p. 80). A gender-based reference was eliminated in the 111th Congress (sec. 2(l), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. 7).
House Rule V
House Rule VII
[HBC § 356]