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11/2/2009 - Parliamentary BootCamp
Basic Training: The House Calendar, Journal, and Congressional Record
Tracking legislation in the House has become much easier since the advent of computerized databases such as the Legislative Information System and Thomas. However, the printed documents which contain much of the in-formation in those databases are still printed and circulated every day. The House Calendar provides the current status of legislation in the House; the House Journal is a history of legislative activity and a requirement of the Constitution; and the Congressional Record is a transcript of each day’s proceedings in the House. While the online databases provide easy access to a great deal of information about the status of bills, using the original documents can provide a different perspective on activities in the House.
6/1/2009 - Parliamentary BootCamp
Basic Training: Resolutions of Inquiry and Discharge Petitions
With the increasingly structured nature of floor consideration, it is even harder for the Members of the minority party to gain the opportunity to vote on their alternatives. However, there are two parliamentary tools available to Members under the House Rules which can be used to highlight issues and bring them to the floor.A resolution of inquiry is a resolution directed at obtaining information from an executive branch agency. A discharge petition is a petition maintained by the Clerk which, when signed by a majority of House Members, can discharge a committee from the further consideration of the object of the petition. These two tools — whether used individually or in conjunction — can provide a way for minority members to highlight issues when committees are reluctant to entertain them.
5/4/2009 - Parliamentary BootCamp
Basic Training: Open Rules and the Appropriations Process
A bill considered under an open rule is considered under the basic rules of the House. An open rule usually only provides waivers of points of order against the bill and its consideration, considers the base bill as read, and establishes a period of general debate. Amendments are handled under the basic rules of the House. The most common kinds of bills handled under an open rule are appropriations bills. However, since the second session of the 110th Congress, the Democratic majority has relied on "modified-open" or "open with pre-printing" rules for the consideration of appropriations measures, significantly restricting the ability of Members to offer amendments to the bills.
4/17/2009 - Parliamentary BootCamp
Basic Training: The Reconciliation Process
Discretionary spending is traditionally controlled through the targets set out in the budget resolution, and applied to the individual appropriations and authorization bills. In order to control mandatory spending, the budget process uses the reconciliation process. The reconciliation process makes it easier for Congress to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution. As an optional procedure, reconciliation has not been used in every year that the congressional budget process has been in effect.
3/24/2009 - Parliamentary BootCamp
Basic Training: The Germaneness Rule
The basic element of the germaneness rule is the requirement that an amendment address the same subject as the underlying bill. The purpose of the rule is to provide for the orderly consideration of amendments to bills and resolutions by requiring a relationship between the amendment and the matter being amended. If the amendment and the underlying provision are not related, the amendment is subject to a point of order and cannot be offered.
Parliamentary BootCamp| Floor Manual
Parliamentary BootCamp Floor Manual
Committee on Rules - Republicans U.S. House of Representatives 1627 Longworth Building Washington, D.C. 20515 PHONE: (202) 225-9191 FAX: (202) 225-6763 EMAIL: Rules.Rs@mail.house.gov