Senate Manual: A Guide to Its Contents
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
he Senate Manual is one of the Senate’s official reference volumes; it contains the
standing rules, standing orders, resolutions, laws, and procedures affecting the Senate’s
business. Also included in the Manual are the Constitution of the United States as well as T
several other historic documents and selected historical data. For more information on
congressional processes, see http://www.crs.gov/products/guides/guidehome.shtml.
The topics covered by the Manual are organized into numbered sections. The indexes cite section
numbers rather than page numbers. The Manual is prepared by the Senate Committee on Rules
and Administration. It is usually published each Congress as Senate document number one. The
most recent edition is S.Doc. 107-1 (an update of the manual is being prepared).
A topical guide to the Manual’s contents follows.
Standing Rules of the Senate. Contains the text of the Senate’s 43 standing rules, together with
footnotes indicating changes since 1979. A list of the standing rules precedes the text, and an
index to the rules follows the text.
Standing Orders. Furnishes the text of nonstatutory standing orders affecting Senate business
that have been adopted over the years, in the form of resolutions or by unanimous consent, that
are currently in effect. Subject headings and citations to the source of the orders are provided.
Senate Wing of the Capitol and Senate Office Buildings. Provides the rules regulating the
Senate wing of the Capitol and Senate office buildings that have been adopted by the Committee
on Rules and Administration (Senate Rule XXXIII). These rules regulate the use of the Senate
side of the Capitol, including the Senate chamber, restaurants, press galleries and other galleries,
as well as the Senate office buildings.
Impeachment Trials. Specifies the rules of procedure for the Senate to try an impeachment
presented by the House. The rules cover such issues as how evidence is gathered by the Senate,
summoning and rights of the respondent (the person being tried), the role of the Senate’s
presiding officer, and examination of witnesses.
Conferences and Conference Reports. Contains a compilation of rules and precedents relative
to conference committees, including requests for a conference; appointment, instruction, and
authority of conferees; preparation and Senate consideration of conference reports; and form of
the accompanying joint explanatory statement. An index is included.
General and Permanent Laws. Presents excerpts from the U.S. Code containing laws relating to
the Senate. These provisions cover a broad range of subjects including election of Senators;
organization of Congress; compensation of Members, officers, and employees of the Senate;
congressional budget process and fiscal operations; Capitol building and grounds; and printing
and documents. The excerpts are organized by Code title, chapter, and section. A table of contents
Historical Documents. Reprints four historical documents: (1) the Declaration of Independence;
(2) the Articles of Confederation; (3) the Ordinance of 1787 (for the governance of the territory
northwest of the Ohio River); and (4) the Constitution of the United States, including the dates of
ratification by the states, the text of amendments, and an index.
Statistical Information. Furnishes several tables or lists, primarily historical:
6. data on the first 13 states to ratify the Constitution, states subsequently admitted
into the Union, the District of Columbia, and insular possessions; and
General Index. The Manual includes an extensive subject list with references to the sections
pertaining to each subject.
The text of the most recent Manual, S. Doc. 107-1, is searchable online, available at
Lorraine H. Tong
Analyst in American National Government