Committee System Rules Changes in the House, 108th Congress

CRS Report for Congress
Committee System Rules Changes in the
House, 108 Congress
Judy Schneider
Specialist on the Congress
Government and Finance Division
This fact sheet details changes in the committee system contained in H.Res. 5, theth1
rules of the House for the 108 Congress, adopted by the House January 7, 2003. The
fact sheet will not be updated unless further rules changes for the 108th Congress are
Committee Organization and Structure
Assignments. The Committee on the Budget shall include one member of the
Committee on Rules, codifying action taken in the Republican Conference’s early
organization meetings.
Referral. The Speaker may refer measures to more than one committee without a
designation of a primary committee under “exceptional circumstances.”
Select Committee on Homeland Security. A select committee on homeland security
is created. The select committee will have legislative jurisdiction to develop
recommendations and report to the House on such matters that relate to the Homeland
Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296). Appointments to the select committee will be made
by the Speaker and minority leader. The select committee is also charged with conducting
a study of committee jurisdiction over the issue of homeland security and reporting any
recommended changes to the House by September 30, 2004.
Subcommittees. The resolution maintains the current rule regarding the number of
subcommittees each committee can create. However, the Committee on Armed Services,

1 The resolution agreed to by the House, H.Res. 5, also changed the rules affecting floor
procedure. These changes are described in CRS Report RS21388, House Rules Changesth
Affecting Floor Proceedings in the 108 Congress. The resolution also made technical and
grammatical changes to the House rules.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

the Committee on International Relations, and the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure may create up to six subcommittees each.
Term Limits. The term limitation for service as chair or ranking minority member
of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is abolished. The term limitation for
service as chair or ranking minority member of the Budget Committee is codified to 6
years, equal to the term limitation for other standing committee chairmen.
Committee Procedure
Ethics Committee. The operating procedures of the Committee on Standards of
Official Conduct, included in a separate order referencing a resolution adopted in the 105th
Congress, is codified in House rules.
Postponing Votes. Committees may adopt a rule that allows the chair of the
committee or its subcommittees to postpone votes on approving a measure or matter, on
adopting an amendment, and resuming proceedings on a postponed question at any time
after reasonable notice. An underlying proposition remains subject to further debate or
amendment to the same extent as when the question was postponed.
Committee Reports. The Committee on Ways and Means is required to include in
committee reports on measures amending the tax code an analysis by the Joint Taxation
Committee of the macroeconomic impact of the measure. The requirement is waived if
the Joint Taxation Committee certifies that such analysis is not calculable. The chair of
the Committee on Ways and Means, alternatively, may insert such analysis in the
Congressional Record prior to a measure’s consideration on the House floor.
Committee Staff
Associate Staff. The associate or shared staff of the Committee on Appropriations,
while subject to the general restrictions of House Rule X, clause 9(b), are not subject to
the review of the Committee on House Administration with respect to the reporting of the
committee expense resolution. A clarification that the professional staff of the
Appropriations Committee should comply with the same rules regarding their duties as
professional staffs of other committees is included in the resolution.