While most Members, committees, and staffers refer to "markups" of legislation—the vernacular used to reference a committee meeting—the House Rules only recognize two broad kinds of official committee events: hearings and meetings.
Under the House rules, committees gather for two purposes: hearings, where they take testimony from witnesses and gather facts, and meetings, where committees conduct business like marking up legislation or reports, issuing subpoenas, or taking other “collegial” action.
For any Member, new or veteran, the operation of the House floor can seem confusing.
On January 5, 2011, the House adopted H. Res. 5, the rules package for the 112th Congress. This package executed changes in the standing rules of the House, and put in place numerous standing orders for this Congress.
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 information in those databases are still printed and circulated every day.