Calendars of the House of Representatives
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
n the House of Representatives, the term “calendar” has two related meanings. This report,
one of series of reports on legislative process, explains calendars and their use in the House of 1
First, “calendar” refers to several lists of measures and motions that are (or soon will become)
eligible for consideration on the House floor. When a House committee reports a measure, it is
placed on one of these calendars. If a measure is not on one of the calendars, either it is awaiting
action by one or more House committees to which it was referred, or it is being held “at the
Speaker’s table” in anticipation that the House may agree to consider it, perhaps by unanimous
consent, without first referring it to committee.
Second, “calendar” also refers to the document that contains these lists and other information
about the status of legislation. The full title of this document is Calendars of the United States
House of Representatives and History of Legislation. The calendar is printed daily and distributed
within the House. The most recent daily issue of the calendar is available online at
The front cover of the calendar gives (1) the dates on which each session of the current Congress
convened and adjourned sine die; (2) the number of days the House actually has met during the
current session; (3) the date and time at which the House is next scheduled to meet, and any
special procedures that are in order on that day; and (4) any special orders—concerning special
order speeches and morning hour debates, for example—to which the House has agreed.
The remainder of the calendar presents:
• Lists of measures that are on the Union Calendar, the House Calendar, or the
Private Calendar. In general, authorization, appropriations, and tax bills are
placed on the Union Calendar when they are reported from committee. All public
bills and resolutions that are not placed on the Union Calendar are placed instead
on the House Calendar. Private bills, affecting specific individuals or entities, are
placed on the Private Calendar when reported from committee. On each of these
three calendars, bills are listed in the order in which they were reported. Each list
includes, in addition to the number and title of each bill, (1) the date on which the
bill was reported and the Member reporting it; (2) the committee that ordered it
reported; and (3) the number of the written committee report accompanying the
• A list of any motions to discharge committees that have received the required
signatures of 218 Members and that are awaiting action by the House.
• Lists of public laws and private laws that have been enacted during the current
Congress, giving for each the public or private law number and the
corresponding House or Senate measure number.
• A legislative history of bills and resolutions that have been reported to or
considered by either or both houses of Congress. There are separate sections for
House bills, House joint resolutions, House concurrent resolutions, House
resolutions, and each of the same four kinds of Senate measures. Within each
1 This report was written by Stanley Bach, formerly a Senior Specialist in the Legislative Process at CRS. Dr. Bach has
retired, but the other listed author updated the report and is available to answer questions concerning its contents.
section, the measures are listed in numerical order. The entry for each measure
presents the dates on which various stages of the legislative process took place—
for example, the dates on which the bill was reported from committee in the
House, the date on which it later passed the Senate, and the date it became law.
Also included are the numbers of relevant House and Senate reports, and the
rollcall tally, if any, by which the House or Senate passed or defeated the
measure. This is one convenient place to determine the current status of a
measure on which some legislative action has occurred.
• A list of measures that one House committee has reported and that the Speaker
has referred to one or more other committees for a limited period of time.
• A list of bills in conference, with the dates on which each house agreed to go to
conference and the names of the House and Senate conferees.
• A calendar for each month of the year, showing the days on which the House was
in session, and indicating the total number of days to date on which the House
has met. Calendars published during the second session of a Congress include
corresponding information for the first session.
• A chart that depicts the legislative history and current status of major bills,
including appropriations bills, considered during the current session. For
calendars published during the second session of a Congress, a comparable chart
shows the legislative history and current status of major bills during the first
Calendars that are printed on Monday of each week, or on the first day that the House was in
session during the week, contain three additional features: (1) information on bills through
conference—that is, measures on which conference committees have completed action; (2) an
alphabetical index of the short titles of pending bills; and (3) and a subject index of the House and
Senate measures that are listed in the section of the calendar on the history of bills and
The final edition of the calendar that is published at the end of each Congress contains still more
useful information, including lists of measures that became law and measures that the President
vetoed, and statistical data comparing the workload of the Congress with prior Congresses.
Christopher M. Davis
Analyst on the Congress and Legislative Process