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Art & History

The House Chamber

Official Proceedings

Below the rostrum, official reporters transcribe the debates and actions for publication in the official proceedings of the House as part of the Congressional Record, published daily by the Government Printing Office (GPO). Other legislative clerks at the rostrum read and record House bills, amendments, and messages. They verify the tally of recorded votes, keep the official Journal of the House and prepare the final copies of the bills passed by the House.

The Parliamentarian

The Parliamentarian, the Speaker's advisor on appropriate procedure, helps in the interpretation of the House Rules. Since House debate is strictly limited, a timekeeper sits to the Speaker's left. Pages, high-school-aged students, are seen throughout the Chamber delivering messages to Members.

The Press Gallery

The Press Gallery, the area above the rostrum with wooden benches, is reserved for members of the accredited media. The remaining gallery space is open to the public upon presentation of a gallery pass obtained from a Member of Congress or an officer of the House.

In 1977, the House inaugurated a television broadcast system that made possible gavel-to-gavel coverage of its daily proceedings.

Previously, the House only allowed certain special proceedings to be televised, such as the President's Address on the State of the Union. For daily business, House-operated remote control cameras in the Gallery now provide the feed for broadcast distribution. The House continues to allow network pool cameras in the Chamber for coverage of Presidential addresses.

Continue exhibit

The Press Gallery

The Press Gallery

House Broadcast

House Broadcast


Office of the Clerk - U.S. Capitol, Room H154, Washington, DC 20515-6601
(202) 225-7000 | info.clerkweb@mail.house.gov