Basic Training — Open Rules and Appropriations Bills

Jul 11, 2011

downloadWhen describing an amendment process for a bill, particularly one provided by a “rule” reported by the Committee on Rules, it is often articulated in terms of being “open” or “closed.” The more open the amendment process, the closer it is to the default rules of the House: any Member may offer any germane amendment, amendments are debated under the “five-minute rule,” and are otherwise subject to the basic rules of the House and the Committee of the Whole. The most common kinds of bills debated under open amendment structure are the annual appropriations bills, although recently efforts have been made to again handle some authorizing bills under open or modified-open rules.