Thursday, January 3, 2013

Digest for H.Res. 5

113th Congress, 1st Session

H.Res. 5

Rules Package for the 113th Congress

Date  January 2, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact Kimberly Betz

On Thursday, January 3, 2013, the House is scheduled to adopt H. Res. 5 – House Rules for the 113th Congress. At the beginning of a Congress, the House must not only constitute itself, but must also approve rules. 

A newly elected House typically adopts the rules of the previous Congress with specific amendments. The proposed rules are offered in the form of a House resolution, which is considered under “general parliamentary law” which is interpreted to include the rules of the previous Congress (CRS RL 30725).

H. Res. 5 provides that the Rules of the 112th Congress are the Rules of the 113th Congress, with the following amendments and orders: 

  1. The frequency of committee activity reports is reduced from four times per Congress to two times per Congress, and end of session reports are allowed through January 2 of each year.
  2. The Chair is authorized to reduce the time from five minutes to not less than two minutes for a vote after a quorum call in the Committee of the Whole, and the Speaker is authorized to reduce the time for a vote on any question under consideration by the Committee of the Whole.
  3. The jurisdiction of the Committee on Homeland Security is clarified to include general management of the Department of Homeland Security. The jurisdiction of the Committee on Natural Resources is clarified to reflect terminology used by Departments of State and Interior.
  4. The current nepotism rule is expanded to prohibit Members from employing their grandchildren.
  5. Restrictions on the use of private aircraft by House members are amended to conform to Senate rules. Members are allowed to pay their pro rata share of a flight based on the fair market value of the flight, and may use personal or official funds to do so.
  6. The requirement for printing Member Financial Disclosures is eliminated, due to the online disclosure requirement under the STOCK Act.
  7. The prohibition on any former Members, former officers, or spouses who are registered lobbyists from accessing House exercise facilities is continued.
  8. The provisions in H. Res. 451 (110th Congress) directing the Committee on Ethics to empanel investigative subcommittees within 30 days after a Member is indicted or criminal charges are filed are continued.
  9. Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would limit the ability of the House in considering recommendations from the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) are eliminated.
  10. Section 306 of the Budget Act (which prohibits consideration of legislation within the Budget Committee’s jurisdiction unless referred to or reported by the Budget Committee) is clarified to only apply to bills and joint resolutions, and not to simple or concurrent resolutions.
  11. Section 303 point of order (requiring adoption of budget resolution before consideration of budget-related legislation) is applicable to text made in order as an original bill by a special rule.
  12. The Committee of the Whole is prevented from rising to report a bill that exceeds the 302(b) subcommittee allocations as estimated by the Budget Committee.
  13. The current House Budget Resolution spending authority will be in effect until a budget for FY14 is adopted.
  14. The Spending Reduction Accounts provided in appropriations bills are continued, allowing Members to rescind funds in the bill under consideration via the amendment process. The overall discretionary spending cap would remain unaffected.
  15. The Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs are allowed up to seven subcommittees each, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is allowed up to six subcommittees.
  16. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is authorized to continue litigation to enforce a subpoena against the Attorney General regarding the “Fast and Furious” incidents.
  17. The following entities are reauthorized: Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, House Democracy Partnership, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and the Office of Congressional Ethics.
  18. The Speaker is allowed to recognize Members for the reading of the Constitution on any legislative day through January 15, 2013.
  19. The Speaker is allowed to reduce votes on all motions to recommit to not less than 5 minutes.
  20. For any bill reported by a committee, the accompanying report must include an estimate of the number of directed rule-makings in the accompanying legislation.
  21. Committee reports must include provisions of current law that surround modifications if doing so is useful to enable the intent and effect of the amendment to be clearly understood.
  22. Legislative counsel and others who draft legislation are required to include parallel citations to U.S. Code when they are available.
  23. Any standing committee of the House may request GAO to complete an analysis of legislation referred to that committee to assess whether it creates duplicative or overlapping federal programs. Bill reports must disclose the establishment of any known duplicative federal program.
  24. Budget resolutions are required to contain information about the historical and projected growth of means-tested and non-means-tested direct spending.
  25. Miscellaneous technical and conforming amendments.

On January 5, 2011, the House passed H. Res. 5, the House Rules for the 112th Congress, by a vote of 240-191.

 House rules for 112th House of Representatives

 House Calendar for 113th congress

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