July 20, 2020
AMENDMENT PROCESS FOR
H.R. 7617 – Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2021
The Committee on Rules is likely to meet the week of July 27 to grant a rule that may provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of H.R. 7617 – Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2021. Additionally, the Committee on Rules has temporarily modified its process for accepting amendment submissions in order to accommodate fully remote work. To help ensure Members draft their amendments properly and promptly, please see the following guidance:
- Members must draft their amendments to Rules Committee Print 116-60, which contains the text of H.R. 7617 (Defense), H.R. 7667 (Commerce, Justice, Science), H.R. 7613 (Energy and Water Development), H.R. 7668 (Financial Services and General Government), H.R. 7669 (Homeland Security), H.R. 7614 (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education), and H.R. 7616 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development), as reported by the Committee on Appropriations with modifications, and which is available on the Rules Committee website.
- When submitting an amendment, Members must identify which division the amendment modifies.
- 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 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 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.
- The rule will follow the prior practice of preventing amendments, offsets, or transfers between divisions. It is the Committee’s intent that amendments affecting more than one division of the bill will not be made in order. For example, amendments may not transfer funds from an account in the Defense division to an account in the Homeland Security division.
- Limitation, “reach-back,” and across-the-board cut amendments intended to affect multiple divisions, must be submitted as separate amendments to each division. Any amendment that would traditionally come at the end of a bill should be drafted to the end of the relevant division.
- Members should use the Office of Legislative Counsel to ensure that their amendments are drafted in the most appropriate format. To help expedite drafting requests, drafting templates can be found on the Rules Committee website. If the Office of Legislative Counsel is unable to provide their drafting services before the submission deadline, Members may submit amendments written using the posted templates. Members are urged to re-submit any such amendment as a revision upon receipt of a formal draft from the Office of Legislative Counsel.
- Members should also check with the Committee on Appropriations for technical and subject matter expertise and the Congressional Budget Office for a preliminary assessment of their amendment’s budgetary effect. Additionally, Members should consult 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. At times of particularly high-volume amendment drafting, these offices may not be able to provide guidance before the submission deadline—Members may submit unreviewed amendments to the Committee.
- The Rules Committee does not intend to make in order amendments that are in violation of House rules or budget rules and would require a waiver.
If you have any questions, please contact the Committee staff at 225-9091.
James P. McGovern