The Committee on Rules is likely to meet the week of July 24th to grant a rule that may provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of H.R. 3219, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018 [Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018].
I am committed to a structured process that allows for ample debate while ensuring we can deliver to the American people the legislative solutions they deserve. I would also like to ensure that Members are prepared to draft amendments efficiently on the front end of the process to increase the likelihood of seeing their ideas made in order for consideration on the House floor. To that end, please see the following guidance:
- Members must submit a searchable electronic copy of the amendment, via the Rules Committee’s website. They must also submit 30 hard copies of the amendment, one copy of a brief explanation of the amendment, and an amendment login form to the Rules Committee in room H-312 of the Capitol by 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 24, 2017. Both electronic and hard copies must be received by the date and time specified. It is essential that all amendments be received by the deadline to ensure proper consideration.
- Members must draft their amendments to Rules Committee Print 115-30, which contains the text of H.R. 3219, H.R. 3162, H.R. 2998, and H.R. 3266 as reported by the Committee on Appropriations (with modifications), which is available on the Rules Committee website. Members must identify which division they are amending.
- Like H.R. 1 in the 112th Congress, the rule will follow the prior practice of preventing amendments, offsets, or transfers between bills—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 Energy and Water division.
- Each division will contain a spending reduction account. Any transfer to the spending reduction account must be drafted to the spending reduction account contained in the relevant division.
- If a Member would like to offer a limitation amendment, a “fetch-back” amendment, or a retrenchment that is intended to affect multiple divisions, he or she must submit 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, the Office of Legislative Counsel has provided drafting templates, which can be found on the Rules Committee website.
- Members should also check with the Congressional Budget Office and the Committee on Appropriations for a preliminary assessment of their amendments’ budgetary effects—all amendments must be budget authority and outlay neutral.
- 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. The committee does not intend to provide waivers of points of order against amendments made in order for consideration on the House floor.
If you have any questions, please contact myself or Karas Gross of the Committee staff at 225-9191.