Announcements

Jul 7, 2020 Announcement

July 7, 2020

AMENDMENT PROCESS FOR

H.R. 6395—William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

Dear Colleague:                          

The Committee on Rules is likely to meet the week of July 13 to grant a rule that may provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of H.R. 6395 - William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Additionally, the Committee on Rules has temporarily modified its process for accepting amendment submissions in order to accommodate fully remote work.

Any Member wishing to offer an amendment must submit a searchable electronic copy of the amendment, which should be provided by the Office of Legislative Counsel, via the Rules Committee’s website by 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2020. After submitting the amendment via the linked form, please follow the instructions in the automated confirmation email to finalize your submission. Amendments will only be considered submitted upon Committee receipt of the follow-up e-mail confirmation reply—please do not bring physical copies of amendments to the Rules Committee in person. Please note that staff must be on the House network, either physically or remotely via virtual private network (VPN), in order to access the online submission form.

Members should draft their amendments to the text of Rules Committee Print 116-57, showing the text of H.R. 6395, as ordered reported by the Committee on Armed Services, and which is available on the Rules Committee website.

Members should use the Office of Legislative Counsel to ensure that their amendments are drafted in the most appropriate format. Members should also check with the Congressional Budget Office for a preliminary assessment of their amendments’ budgetary effects. Finally, Members should check with the Office of the Parliamentarian and the Committee on the Budget to be certain their amendments comply with the rules of the House and the Congressional Budget Act. If you have any questions, please contact Lori Ismail of the Committee staff at 202-225-9091.

Sincerely,

James P. McGovern

Chairman

Committee on Rules

 

Jun 25, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules will meet on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT via Cisco Webex on the following measures:

  • H.R. 2—INVEST in America Act [Moving Forward Act]

 

 

**PLEASE NOTE:

  • This proceeding will be streamed live on rules.house.gov. Information will be provided separately to Members on how to join via the Cisco Webex platform.

  • Members intending to testify during this meeting should notify the Rules Committee of their interest in order to receive instructions on how to participate.

Jun 22, 2020 Announcement

June 22, 2020

AMENDMENT PROCESS FOR

H.R. 2—Moving Forward Act

Dear Colleague:                          

The Committee on Rules is likely to meet the week of June 29 to grant a rule that may provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of H.R. 2 - Moving Forward Act. Additionally, the Committee on Rules has temporarily modified its process for accepting amendment submissions in order to accommodate fully remote work.

Any Member wishing to offer an amendment must submit a searchable electronic copy of the amendment, which should be provided by the Office of Legislative Counsel, via the Rules Committee’s website by 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 25, 2020. After submitting the amendment via the linked form, please follow the instructions in the automated confirmation email to finalize your submission. Amendments will only be considered submitted upon Committee receipt of the follow-up e-mail confirmation reply—please do not bring physical copies of amendments to the Rules Committee in person. Please note that staff must be on the House network, either physically or remotely via virtual private network (VPN), in order to access the online submission form.

Members should draft their amendments to the text of Rules Committee Print 116-54, showing the text of H.R. 2, as ordered reported by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, with modifications, and which is available on the Rules Committee website.

Members should use the Office of Legislative Counsel to ensure that their amendments are drafted in the most appropriate format. Members should also check with the Congressional Budget Office for a preliminary assessment of their amendments’ budgetary effects. Finally, Members should check with the Office of the Parliamentarian and the Committee on the Budget to be certain their amendments comply with the rules of the House and the Congressional Budget Act. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Delaney of the Committee staff at 202-225-9091.

Sincerely,

James P. McGovern

Chairman

Committee on Rules

 

Jun 24, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules will also meet during its ongoing meeting on the following emergency measure, with consideration not beginning before 3:00 PM:

  • H.R. 7301—Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020

 


 

The Committee on Rules will meet on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT via Cisco Webex on the following measures:

  • H.R. 7120—George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020
  • H.R. 1425—State Health Care Premium Reduction Act [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act]
  • H.R. 51—Washington, D.C. Admission Act
  • H.R. 5332—Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019
  • H.J. Res. 90—Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to "Community Reinvestment Act Regulations".

 

**PLEASE NOTE:

  • This proceeding will be streamed live on rules.house.gov. Information will be provided separately to Members on how to join via the Cisco Webex platform.

  • Members intending to testify during this meeting should notify the Rules Committee of their interest in order to receive instructions on how to participate.

Jun 22, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules will meet on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT via Cisco Webex on the following measures:

  • H.R. 7120—George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020
  • H.R. 1425—State Health Care Premium Reduction Act [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act]
  • H.R. 51—Washington, D.C. Admission Act
  • H.R. 5332—Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019
  • H.J. Res. 90—Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to "Community Reinvestment Act Regulations".

 

**PLEASE NOTE:

  • This proceeding will be streamed live on rules.house.gov. Information will be provided separately to Members on how to join via the Cisco Webex platform.

  • Members intending to testify during this meeting should notify the Rules Committee of their interest in order to receive instructions on how to participate.

May 26, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules will meet on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 9:00 AM on the following emergency measure:

  • Senate Amendments to H.R. 6172—USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020
    • Rule Hearing on Cisco Webex; followed by

    • Rule Markup in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building

 

**PLEASE NOTE:

  • This proceeding will be streamed live on https://rules.house.gov/. Information will be provided separately to Members on how to join the Rule Hearing via the Cisco Webex platform.

  • Members intending to testify during the Rule Hearing should notify the Rules Committee of their interest in order to receive instructions on how to participate.

  • The Committee on Rules is following guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) and the House Sergeant at Arms. The OAP recommends all individuals maintain 6-foot social distance spacing as much as practicable when in the Capitol Complex. Additionally, the OAP recommends the use of a face covering by in-person attendees of this proceeding.

May 12, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules will meet on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 11:00 AM in 1100 Longworth House Office Building on the following measures:

  • H. Res. ___—Authorizing remote voting by proxy in the House of Representatives and providing for official remote committee proceedings during a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus, and for other purposes.  [Original Jurisdiction Hearing and Markup, Rule]
  • H.R. ___—The Heroes Act.  [Rule]

 

**PLEASE NOTE: Members intending to testify during the original jurisdiction hearing portion of this meeting should notify the Rules Committee of their interest. The Committee on Rules is following guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) and the House Sergeant at Arms. The OAP recommends all individuals maintain 6-foot social distance spacing as much as practicable when in the Capitol Complex. Additionally, the OAP recommends the use of a face covering by attendees of this proceeding, including witnesses.

May 13, 2020 Announcement

Resolution Introduced to Ensure Congress Can Continue its Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic

May 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

This is an extraordinary time. We have lost tens of thousands of our fellow citizens to a terrible virus, and many more are suffering economically. This is not a time for Congress to be on the sidelines. Our institution needs to be able to fully function precisely at moments like this.

Conversations examining how Congress can better respond to emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic have been ongoing for months. I have personally spoken to dozens of Democrats and dozens of Republicans, and I have been educated by those conversations. As you know, Speaker Pelosi recently formed a bipartisan task force as part of this effort to reach a compromise on temporary emergency rules. I was honored to join Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), my friend Rules Committee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK), Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL) on this effort. We met for the last several weeks discussing how to respond to the crisis.

While the task force did not reach a consensus on the whole package, we were able to incorporate several Republican ideas that have strengthened our proposal, particularly in regards to hearings and floor voting. It is my hope that we will see bipartisan support for this resolution to ensure Congress can continue to legislate during the pandemic while adhering to public health guidelines. We must seriously consider the health and safety of those we represent, and the people who work with us. And I am convinced we have crafted a resolution that does just that, while at the same time respecting the traditions of our institution.

Legislating nearly always involves physically gathering together in one place, but if nothing else the world has learned over these past few difficult months that people need to be able to do their work in novel ways in times of emergency. Congress is no exception. We have to use the tools at our disposal to adapt – if only on a temporary basis. Legislatures around the country and the world have come to that conclusion, and it is time for us to do the same.

Our proposal, which I expect we will vote on this week, would temporarily allow committees to conduct their official business remotely and would allow transparent remote proxy voting on the House Floor for Members unable to travel to the Capitol. Importantly – and based on several members’ feedback – we are not allowing general proxy. Each vote cast, including procedural votes, must be explicitly directed by the member.

The resolution also directs the chair of the House Administration Committee in consultation with the Ranking Member to study the feasibility of using technology to vote remotely in the House, and to provide certification upon a determination that there is operable and secure technology for remote voting. This would provide a path forward for Members to cast their votes remotely using secure technology during a public health emergency should that prove to be a better option in the future.

While no legislation is perfect, this proposal takes into account the varied opinions of countless members. It was developed in consultation with Constitutional scholars, healthcare professionals, the Parliamentarians, and technological experts. It addresses many of our colleagues’ concerns while ensuring that Congress can conduct oversight on recently passed legislation as well as fulfill its ongoing legislative duties, like funding the government and further responding to COVID-19.

In normal times, we work best when we work together, face-to-face, and side-by-side; however, this is an extraordinary time and we must adapt, just as past Congresses have done before us. No one knows what the future will bring, but our ability to continue legislating must remain beyond question.

For details on our proposal, you can find the text of the resolution here and a summary here. Finally, below are answers to some common questions I have received.

Thank you for your continued advice and counsel amid this terrible crisis. Please continue to share your ideas with me on this or any other matter.

Thank you for all your work,

                         James P. McGovern

                         Chairman

                         Committee on Rules

 

Remote Voting by Proxy:

Q: Will remote voting by proxy be a permanent change to the House rules? Would we continue to use it post-pandemic?

A: No. We would temporarily implement remote voting by proxy through a special order resolution that would allow the Speaker to put the process in place for 45 days during a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus. The authority could be renewed or extended as needed through the end of the 116th Congress.

Q: Can we modify this process later, improve upon it, or get rid of it altogether?

A: Yes. The process can be modified later, but it cannot be extended past the end of this Congress without further action. 

Q. Can I vote remotely by proxy immediately after the House adopts this resolution?

A: No. The resolution and accompanying regulations lay out what must occur in order to trigger this system, including the Sergeant-at-Arms notifying the Speaker of an ongoing public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus and a 24-hour notice period before final passage votes so that Members may secure proxies. These important steps cannot be completed on the same day the House adopts the resolution.

Q: How will I select my proxy?

A: It will be up to you to determine who your proxy will be; however, no Member can hold more than ten proxies. We will coordinate with the Democratic Whip’s office and the rest of Democratic Leadership to ensure that Members receive guidance and assistance navigating the process of securing a proxy. I hope that my Republican colleagues will do the same.

Q: What does the process look like to designate a proxy?

A: To vote remotely by proxy, you must first submit a signed letter to the Clerk authorizing another Member to vote on your behalf. The letter should be emailed to the Clerk’s office from a House account. There will be at least 24-hours’ notice before any final passage vote to ensure you have time to do so. We will send detailed instructions outlining the process after the vote on the resolution on Friday.

Q: Can I revoke or change my proxy?

A: Yes. You can revoke your proxy with a subsequent letter to the Clerk or by simply showing up to vote in person and you can change your proxy with a letter to the Clerk.

Q: What happens if there are unexpected votes like a motion to adjourn or votes for which text wasn’t available, such as an MTR?

A: The House would hold the vote open for sufficient time to allow you to send voting instruction to your proxy. You should ensure that you are available to respond quickly to a vote notice any time the House is in session.

Q: How will votes be taken?

A: Members serving as proxies would first announce from the floor during the vote how each Member who has designated them as a proxy will vote.

Members serving as proxies would then vote using well cards, writing “by proxy” next to the voting Member’s name, and votes would be announced as the cards are received by the tally clerks. Without exact direction from you, your proxy cannot cast a vote on your behalf.

Q: How will floor debate work?

A: Floor debate would work as normal and would depend on how the bill is being considered (e.g. by unanimous consent, under suspension, or under a rule). Deliberation would occur in the chamber. If you have a statement on a bill but aren’t physically present, you can put your remarks in the record under general leave using the new electronic system established with the Clerk’s office.

Q: With remote voting by proxy, would a quorum of Members need to be present in the Chamber for the vote?

A: Members voting by proxy would count towards a quorum.

Q: Will Delegates be able to vote using this new system?

A: The same House rules that apply under current practice with respect to Delegate voting will apply in any remote voting system. 

Q: How will my vote appear if I vote remotely by proxy?

A: Votes would appear as normal in the vote tally, and a list of Members who took those votes by proxy will appear following the list of yeas and nays in the Congressional Record.

Q: What if the proxy misses vote?

A: If a Member agrees to serve as a proxy, it is their duty to appear for votes. Members are responsible for watching the floor proceedings and ensuring their proxy voted correctly on their behalf – each vote will be announced twice, once by the proxy before casting the vote and once by the clerk. If your proxy appears to be missing a vote, you need to alert floor staff as soon as possible and before the vote closes.

Remote Voting Through Technology:

Q: Does this resolution allow for the House to vote remotely on the floor through technology during the public health emergency?

A: Yes, in the future if the technology is certified by the House Administration Committee. The resolution directs the chair of the House Administration Committee, in consultation with the ranking member, to study the feasibility of using technology to vote remotely in the House and to provide certification upon a determination that there is operable and secure technology for remote voting on the floor.

Q: Would we have to vote again after this determination is made?

A: No, as long as it was made during this session of Congress. A vote on this resolution would temporarily allow remote voting through technology once the chair of the House Administration Committee provides the certification, the chair of the Rules Committee issues regulations, and the Speaker notifies the House she is authorizing remote voting to be used during the public health emergency.

Virtual Committee Proceedings:

Q: Is this a permanent change?

A: No. This authority is temporary and lasts for the duration of a 45-day period during a public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus, which can be renewed or extended. Also, this is not a change to the standing rules of the House, but rather it is a standing order of the House being put in place for the duration of this session.

Q: What platform will committees use to conduct remote proceedings?

A: The resolution does not specify technology that must be used; however, the platform must be approved by the CAO.

Q: Can committees operate completely remotely?

A: Yes. Under this resolution, committees can hold hearings, markups, depositions and other business meetings with every Member participating from a separate location or under a hybrid approach with some Members participating remotely.

Q: Can committees choose not to operate remotely?

A: Committees are required to ensure the ability of members to participate remotely, to the greatest extent practicable. However, committees are not required to hold entirely remote proceedings and they must meet certain benchmarks before conducting remote markups.

Q: Will committees be provided with uniform guidance on how to hold remote proceedings?

A: In addition to the requirements included in the resolution itself, remote proceedings will be governed by regulations that Chairman McGovern will submit to the Congressional Record providing committees with specific, uniform instruction on conducting remote proceedings.

Apr 22, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules will meet on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 5:30 PM in 1100 Longworth House Office Building on the following emergency measure:

  • H. Res. 935—Establishing a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis as a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.  

 

 

**PLEASE NOTE: Members intending to testify should notify the Rules Committee of their interest as soon as possible. The Committee on Rules is following guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) and the House Sergeant at Arms. The OAP recommends all individuals maintain 6-foot social distance spacing as much as practicable when in the Capitol Complex. Additionally, the OAP recommends the use of a face covering by attendees of this proceeding, including witnesses.

Apr 22, 2020 Announcement

The Committee on Rules is expected to meet as early as 5:30pm today.

However, the Committee on Rules' consideration of the following measure is cancelled:

  • H. Res. ___—Authorizing remote voting by proxy in the House of Representatives and providing for official remote committee proceedings during a designated pandemic emergency, and for other purposes.  [Original Jurisdiction Hearing and Markup, Rule]

 


 

The Committee on Rules will meet on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 5:00 PM in 1100 Longworth House Office Building on the following emergency measure:

  • H. Res. ___—Authorizing remote voting by proxy in the House of Representatives and providing for official remote committee proceedings during a designated pandemic emergency, and for other purposes.  [Original Jurisdiction Hearing and Markup, Rule]

 

**PLEASE NOTE: Members intending to testify during the original jurisdiction hearing portion of this meeting should notify the Rules Committee of their interest. The Committee on Rules is following guidelines developed in consultation with the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) and the House Sergeant at Arms. The OAP recommends all individuals maintain 6-foot social distance spacing as much as practicable when in the Capitol Complex. Additionally, the OAP recommends the use of a face covering by attendees of this proceeding, including witnesses.

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