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Legislative Activities - House Documents

Rules of The House of Representatives of The United States

RULE II: OTHER OFFICERS AND OFFICIALS

Elections

1. There shall be elected at the commencement of each Congress, to continue in office until their successors are chosen and qualified, a Clerk, a Sergeant-at-Arms, a Chief Administrative Officer, and a Chaplain. Each of these officers shall take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and for the true and faithful exercise of the duties of his office to the best of his knowledge and ability, and to keep the secrets of the House. Each of these officers shall appoint all of the employees of his department provided for by law. The Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Chief Administrative Officer may be removed by the House or by the Speaker.

Clerk

2.(a) At the commencement of the first session of each Congress, the Clerk shall call the Members, Delegates, and Resident Commissioner to order and proceed to record their presence by States in alphabetical order, either by call of the roll or by use of the electronic voting system. Pending the election of a Speaker or Speaker pro tempore, the Clerk shall preserve order and decorum and decide all questions of order, subject to appeal by a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner.

(b) At the commencement of every regular session of Congress, the Clerk shall make and cause to be delivered to each Member, Delegate, and the Resident Commissioner a list of the reports that any officer or Department is required to make to Congress, citing the law or resolution in which the requirement may be contained and placing under the name of each officer the list of reports he is required to make.

(c) The Clerk shall— (1) note all questions of order, with the decisions thereon, the record of which shall be appended to the Journal of each session;
(2) enter on the Journal the hour at which the House adjourns; (3) complete the distribution of the Journal to Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner, together with an accurate and complete index, as soon as possible after the close of a session; and (4) send a copy of the Journal to the executive of and to each branch of the legislature of every State as may be requested by such State officials.

(d)(1) The Clerk shall attest and affix the seal of the House to all writs, warrants, and subpoenas issued by order of the House and certify the passage of all bills and joint resolutions. (2) The Clerk shall examine all bills, amendments, and joint resolutions after passage by the House and, in cooperation with the Senate, examine all bills and joint resolutions that have passed both Houses to see that they are correctly enrolled and forthwith present those bills and joint resolutions that originated in the House to the President in person after their signature by the Speaker and the President of the Senate, and report to the House the fact and date of their presentment.

(e) The Clerk shall cause the calendars of the House to be distributed each legislative day.

(f) The Clerk shall— (1) retain in the library at the Office of the Clerk for the use of the Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioner, and officers of the House, and not to be withdrawn therefrom, two copies of all the books and printed documents deposited there; and (2) deliver to any Member, Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner an extra copy of each document requested by that Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner that has been printed by order of either House of Congress in any Congress in which the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner served.

(g) The Clerk shall provide for his temporary absence or disability by designating an official in the Office of the Clerk to sign all papers that may require the official signature of the Clerk and to perform all other official acts that the Clerk may be required to perform under the rules and practices of the House, except such official acts as are provided for by statute. Official acts performed by the designated official shall be under the name of the Clerk. The designation shall be in writing and shall be laid before the House and entered on the Journal.

(h) The Clerk may receive messages from the President and from the Senate at any time when the House is not in session.

(i)(1) The Clerk shall supervise the staff and manage the office of a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who has died, resigned, or been expelled until a successor is elected. The Clerk shall perform similar duties in the event that a vacancy is declared by the House in any congressional district because of the incapacity of the person representing such district or other reason. Whenever the Clerk is acting as a supervisory authority over
such staff, he shall have authority to terminate employees and, with the approval of the Committee on House Administration, may appoint such staff as is required to operate the office until a successor is elected.(2) For 60 days following the death of a former Speaker, the Clerk shall maintain on the House payroll, and shall supervise in the same manner, staff appointed under House Resolution 1238, Ninety-first Congress (as enacted into permanent law by chapter VIII of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1971) (2 U.S.C. 31b–5).

(j) In addition to any other reports required by the Speaker or the Committee on House Administration, the Clerk shall report to the Committee on House Administration not later than 45 days following the close of each semiannual period ending on June 30 or on December 31 on the financial and operational
status of each function under the jurisdiction of the Clerk. Each report shall include financial statements and a description or explanation of current operations, the implementation of new policies and procedures, and future plans for each function.

(k) The Clerk shall fully cooperate with the appropriate offices and persons in the performance of reviews and audits of financial records and administrative operations.

Sergeant-at-Arms

3. (a) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall attend the House during its sittings and maintain order under the direction of the Speaker or other presiding officer.
The Sergeant-at-Arms shall execute the commands of the House, and all processes issued by authority thereof, directed to him by the Speaker.

(b) The symbol of the office of the Sergeant-at-Arms shall be the mace, which shall be borne by him while enforcing order on the floor.

(c) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall enforce strictly the rules relating to the privileges of the Hall of the House and be responsible to the House for the official
conduct of his employees.

(d) The Sergeant-at-Arms may not allow a person to enter the room over the Hall of the House during its sittings; and from 15 minutes before the hour of the meeting of the House each day until 10 minutes after adjournment, he shall see that the floor is cleared of all persons except those privileged to remain.

(e) In addition to any other reports required by the Speaker or the Committee on House Administration, the Sergeant-at-Arms shall report to the Committee on House Administration not later than 45 days following the close of each semiannual period ending on June 30 or on December 31 on the financial and operational status of each function under the jurisdiction of the Sergeant-at-Arms. Each report shall include financial statements and a description or explanation of current operations, the implementation of new policies and procedures, and future plans for each function.

(f) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall fully cooperate with the appropriate offices and persons in the performance of reviews and audits of financial records and administrative operations.

Chief Administrative Officer

4. (a) The Chief Administrative Officer shall have operational and financial responsibility for functions as assigned by the Committee on House Administration and shall be subject to the oversight of the Committee on House Administration.

(b) In addition to any other reports required by the Committee on House Administration, the Chief Administrative Officer shall report to the Committee on House Administration not later than 45 days following the close of each semiannual period ending on June 30 or December 31 on the financial and operational status of each function under the jurisdiction of the Chief Administrative Officer. Each report shall include financial statements and a description or explanation of current operations, the implementation of new policies and procedures, and future plans for each function.

(c) The Chief Administrative Officer shall fully cooperate with the appropriate offices and persons in the performance of reviews and audits of financial records and administrative operations.

Chaplain

5. The Chaplain shall offer a prayer at the commencement of each day’s sitting of the House.

Office of Inspector General

6. (a) There is established an Office of Inspector General.

(b) The Inspector General shall be appointed for a Congress by the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader, acting jointly.

(c) Subject to the policy direction and oversight of the Committee on House Administration, the Inspector General shall only— (1) conduct periodic audits of the financial and administrative functions of the House and of joint entities; (2) inform the officers or other officials who are the subject of an audit of the results of that audit and suggesting appropriate curative actions; (3) simultaneously notify the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, and the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on House Administration in the case of any financial irregularity discovered in the course of carrying out responsibilities under this clause; (4) simultaneously submit to the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, and the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on House Administration a report of each audit conducted under this clause; and (5) report to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct information involving possible violations by a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House of any rule of the House or of any law applicable to the performance of official duties or the discharge of official responsibilities that may require referral to the appropriate Federal or State authorities under clause 3(a)(3) of rule XI.

Office of the Historian

7. There is established an Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives. The Speaker shall appoint and set the annual rate of pay for employees of the Office of the Historian.

Office of General Counsel

8. There is established an Office of General Counsel for the purpose of providing legal assistance and representation to the House. Legal assistance and
representation shall be provided without regard to political affiliation. The Office of General Counsel shall function pursuant to the direction of the Speaker, who shall consult with a Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which shall include the majority and minority leaderships. The Speaker shall appoint and set the annual rate of pay for employees of the Office of General Counsel.