RULES OF THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS FOR THE 105TH CONGRESS
Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, provides in part:
* * * The Rules of the House are the rules of its committees and subcommittees so far as applicable, except that a motion to recess from day to day and a motion to dispense with the first reading (in full) of a bill or resolution, if printed copies are available, are nondebatable motions of high privilege in committees and subcommittees.
* * * Each subcommittee of a committee is a part of that committee, and is subject to the authority and direction of that committee and to its rules as far as applicable.
* * * Each standing committee of the House shall adopt written rules governing its procedure. Such rules * * *
(1) shall be adopted in a meeting which is open to the public * * *
(2) shall be not inconsistent with the Rules of the House or with those provisions of law having the force and effect of Rules of the House * * *.
In accordance with the foregoing, the Committee on Ways and Means, on February 5, 1997, adopted the following as the Rules of the Committee for the 105th Congress.
Rule 1. Application of Rules
Except where the terms ``full Committee'' and ``subcommittee'' are specifically referred to, the following rules shall apply to the Committee on Ways and Means and its subcommittees as well as to the respective chairmen.
Rule 2. Meeting Date and Quorums
The regular meeting day of the Committee on Ways and Means shall be on the second Wednesday of each month while the House is in session. However, the Committee shall not meet on the regularly scheduled meeting day if there is no business to be considered.
A majority of the Committee constitutes a quorum for business; provided however, that two members shall constitute a quorum at any regularly scheduled hearing called for the purpose of taking testimony and receiving evidence. In establishing a quorum for purposes of a public hearing, every effort shall be made to secure the presence of at least one member each from the majority and the minority.
The Chairman of the Committee may call and convene, as he considers necessary, additional meetings of the Committee for the consideration of any bill or resolution pending before the Committee or for the conduct of other Committee business. The Committee shall meet pursuant to the call of the Chair.
Rule 3. Committee Budget
For each Congress, the Chairman, in consultation with the majority members of the Committee, shall prepare a preliminary budget. Such budget shall include necessary amounts for staff personnel, travel, investigation, and other expenses of the Committee. After consultation with the minority members, the Chairman shall include an amount budgeted by minority members for staff under their direction and supervision. Thereafter, the Chairman shall combine such proposals into a consolidated Committee budget, and shall present the same to the Committee for its approval or other action. The Chairman shall take whatever action is necessary to have the budget as finally approved by the Committee duly authorized by the House. After said budget shall have been adopted, no substantial change shall be made in such budget unless approved by the Committee.
Rule 4. Publication of Committee Documents
Any committee or subcommittee print, document, or similar material prepared for public distribution shall either be approved by the Committee or subcommittee prior to distribution and opportunity afforded for the inclusion of supplemental, minority or additional views, or such document shall contain on its cover the following disclaimer:
Prepared for the use of Members of the Committee on Ways and Means by members of its staff. This document has not been officially approved by the Committee and may not reflect the views of its Members.
Any such print, document, or other material not officially approved by the Committee or subcommittee shall not include the names of its members, other than the name of the full Committee Chairman or subcommittee chairman under whose authority the document is released. Any such document shall be made available to the full Committee Chairman and Ranking Minority Member not less than three calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) prior to its public release.
The requirements of this rule shall apply only to the publication of policy-oriented, analytical documents, and not to the publication of public hearings, legislative documents, documents which are administrative in nature or reports which are required to be submitted to the Committee under public law. The appropriate characterization of a document subject to this rule shall be determined after consultation with the Minority.
Rule 5. Official Travel
Consistent with the primary expense resolution and such additional expense resolution as may have been approved, the provisions of this rule shall govern official travel of Committee members and Committee staff. Official travel to be reimbursed from funds set aside for the full Committee for any Member or any Committee staff member shall be paid only upon the prior authorization of the Chairman. Official travel may be authorized by the Chairman for any Member and any Committee staff member in connection with the attendance of hearings conducted by the Committee, its subcommittees, or any other committee or subcommittee of the Congress on matters relevant to the general jurisdiction of the Committee, and meetings, conferences, facility inspections, and investigations which involve activities or subject matter relevant to the general jurisdiction of the Committee. Before such authorization is given, there shall be submitted to the Chairman in writing the following:
(1) The purpose of the official travel;
(2) The dates during which the official travel is to be made and the date or dates of the event for which the official travel is being made;
(3) The location of the event for which the official travel is to be made; and
(4) The names of Members and Committee staff seeking authorization.
In the case of official travel of Members and staff of a subcommittee to hearings, meetings, conferences, facility inspections and investigations involving activities or subject matter under the jurisdiction of such subcommittee to be paid for out of funds allocated to such subcommittee, prior authorization must be obtained from the subcommittee chairman and the full Committee Chairman. Such prior authorization shall be given by the Chairman only upon the representation by the applicable subcommittee chairman in writing setting forth those items enumerated above.
Within 60 days of the conclusion of any official travel authorized under this rule, there shall be submitted to the full Committee Chairman a written report covering the information gained as a result of the hearing, meeting, conference, facility inspection or investigation attended pursuant to such official travel.
Rule 6. Availability of Committee Records and Publications
The records of the Committee at the National Archives and Records Administration shall be made available for public use in accordance with Rule XXXVI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. The Chairman shall notify the Ranking Minority Member of any decision, pursuant to clause 3(b)(3) or clause 4(b) of the rule, to withhold a record otherwise available, and the matter shall be presented to the Committee for a determination on the written request of any Member of the Committee. The Committee shall, to the maximum extent feasible, make its publications available in electronic form.
Rule 7. Subcommittee Ratios and Jurisdiction
All matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means involving revenue measures, except those revenue measures referred to subcommittees under paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, shall be considered by the full Committee and not in subcommittee. There shall be five standing subcommittees as follows: a Subcommittee on Trade; a Subcommittee on Oversight; a Subcommittee on Health; a Subcommittee on Social Security; and a Subcommittee on Human Resources. The ratio of Republicans to Democrats on any subcommittee of the Committee shall be consistent with the ratio of Republicans to Democrats on the full Committee.
The jurisdiction of each subcommittee shall be:
1. The Subcommittee on Trade shall consist of 15 Members, 9 of whom shall be Republicans and 6 of whom shall be Democrats.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Trade shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means which relate to customs and customs administration including tariff and import fee structure, classification, valuation of and special rules applying to imports, and special tariff provisions and procedures which relate to customs operation affecting exports and imports; import trade matters, including import impact, industry relief from injurious imports, adjustment assistance and programs to encourage competitive responses to imports, unfair import practices including antidumping and countervailing duty provisions, and import policy which relates to dependence on foreign sources of supply; commodity agreements and reciprocal trade agreements including multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations and implementation of agreements involving tariff and nontariff trade barriers to and distortions of international trade; international rules, organizations and institutional aspects of international trade agreements; budget authorizations for the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and U.S. Trade Representative; and special trade-related problems involving market access, competitive conditions of specific industries, export policy and promotion, access to materials in short supply, bilateral trade relations including trade with developing countries, operations of multinational corporations, and trade with non-market economies.
2. The Subcommittee on Oversight shall consist of 13 Members, 8 of whom shall be Republicans and 5 of whom shall be Democrats.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Oversight shall include all matters within the scope of the full Committee's jurisdiction but shall be limited to existing law. Said oversight jurisdiction shall not be exclusive but shall be concurrent with that of the other subcommittees. With respect to matters involving the Internal Revenue Code and other revenue issues, said concurrent jurisdiction shall be shared with the full Committee. Before undertaking any investigation or hearing, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight shall confer with the Chairman of the full Committee and the chairman of any other subcommittee having jurisdiction.
3. The Subcommittee on Health shall consist of 13 Members, 8 of whom shall be Republicans and 5 of whom shall be Democrats.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Health shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means which relate to programs providing payments (from any source) for health care, health delivery systems, or health research. More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Health shall include bills and matters which relate to the health care programs of the Social Security Act (including titles V, XI (Part B), XVIII, and XIX thereof) and, concurrent with the full Committee, tax credit and deduction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code dealing with health insurance premiums and health care costs.
4. The Subcommittee on Social Security shall consist of 13 Members, 8 of whom shall be Republicans and 5 of whom shall be Democrats.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Social Security shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means which relate to the Federal Old-Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance System, the Railroad Retirement System, and employment taxes and trust fund operations relating to those systems. More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Social Security shall include bills and matters involving title II of the Social Security Act and Chapter 22 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Railroad Retirement Tax Act), as well as provisions in title VII and title XI of the Act relating to procedure and administration involving the Old-Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance System.
5. The Subcommittee on Human Resources shall consist of 13 Members, 8 of whom shall be Republicans and 5 of whom shall be Democrats.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Human Resources shall include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means which relate to the public assistance provisions of the Social Security Act including welfare reform, supplemental security income, aid to families with dependent children, social services, child support, eligibility of welfare recipients for food stamps, and low-income energy assistance. More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Human Resources shall include bills and matters relating to titles I, IV, VI, X, XIV, XVI, XVII, XX and related provisions of titles VII and XI of the Social Security Act.
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Human Resources shall also include bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means which relate to the Federal-State system of unemployment compensation, and the financing thereof, including the programs for extended and emergency benefits. More specifically, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Human Resources shall also include all bills and matters pertaining to the programs of unemployment compensation under titles III, IX and XII of the Social Security Act, Chapters 23 and 23A of the Internal Revenue Code, the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1974, and provisions relating thereto.
Rule 8. Ex-Officio Members of Subcommittees
The Chairman of the full Committee and the Ranking Minority Member may sit as ex-officio members of all subcommittees. They may be counted for purposes of assisting in the establishment of a quorum for a subcommittee. However, their absence shall not count against the establishment of a quorum by the regular members of the subcommittee. Ex-officio members shall neither vote in the subcommittee nor be taken into consideration for purposes of determining the ratio of the subcommittee.
Rule 9. Subcommittee Meetings
Insofar as practicable, meetings of the full Committee and its subcommittees shall not conflict. Subcommittee chairmen shall set meeting dates after consultation with the Chairman of the full Committee and other subcommittee chairmen with a view toward avoiding, wherever possible, simultaneous scheduling of full Committee and subcommittee meetings or hearings.
Rule 10. Reference of Legislation and Subcommittee Reports
Except for bills or measures retained by the Chairman of the full Committee for full Committee consideration, every bill or other measure referred to the Committee shall be referred by the Chairman of the full Committee to the appropriate subcommittee in a timely manner. A subcommittee shall, within 3 legislative days of the referral, acknowledge same to the full Committee.
After a measure has been pending in a subcommittee for a reasonable period of time, the Chairman of the full Committee may make a request in writing to the subcommittee that the subcommittee forthwith report the measure to the full Committee with its recommendations. If within 7 legislative days after the Chairman's written request, the subcommittee has not so reported the measure, then there shall be in order in the full Committee a motion to discharge the subcommittee from further consideration of the measure. If such motion is approved by a majority vote of the full Committee, the measure may thereafter be considered only by the full Committee.
No measure reported by a subcommittee shall be considered by the full Committee unless it has been presented to all Members of the full Committee at least 2 legislative days prior to the full Committee's meeting, together with a comparison with present law, a section-by-section analysis of the proposed change, a section-by-section justification, and a draft statement of the budget effects of the measure that is consistent with the requirements for reported measures under clause 7 of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives.
Rule 11. Recommendation for Appointment of Conferees
Whenever in the legislative process it becomes necessary to appoint conferees, the Chairman of the full Committee shall recommend to the Speaker as conferees the names of those Committee members as the Chairman may designate. In making recommendations of minority members as conferees, the Chairman shall consult with the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee.
Rule 12. Witnesses
In order to assure the most productive use of the limited time available to question hearing witnesses, a witness who is scheduled to appear before the full Committee or a subcommittee shall file with the clerk of the Committee at least 48 hours in advance of his appearance a written statement of his proposed testimony. In addition, all witnesses shall comply with formatting requirements as specified by the Committee and the Rules of the House. Failure to comply with the 48-hour rule may result in a witness being denied the opportunity to testify in person. Failure to comply with the formatting requirements may result in a witness' statement being rejected for inclusion in the published hearing record. In addition to the requirement of clause 2(g)(4) of Rule XI, of the Rules of the House, regarding information required of public witnesses, a witness shall limit his oral presentation to a summary of his position and shall provide sufficient copies of his written statement to the clerk for distribution to members, staff and news media.
A witness appearing at a public hearing, or submitting a statement for the record of a public hearing, or submitting written comments in response to a published request for comments by the Committee must include on his statement or submission a list of all clients, persons, or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. Oral testimony and statements for the record, or written comments in response to a request for comments by the Committee, will be accepted only from citizens of the United States or corporations or associations organized under the laws of one of the 50 States of the United States or the District of Columbia, unless otherwise directed by the Chairman of the full Committee or subcommittee involved. Written statements from noncitizens may be considered for acceptance in the record if transmitted to the Committee in writing by Members of Congress.
Rule 13. Questioning of Witnesses
Committee members may question witnesses only when recognized by the Chairman for that purpose. All members shall be limited to five minutes on the initial round of questioning. In questioning witnesses under the five-minute rule, the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member shall be recognized first after which members who are in attendance at the beginning of a hearing will be recognized in the order of their seniority on the Committee. Other members shall be recognized in the order of their appearance at the hearing. In recognizing members to question witnesses, the Chairman may take into consideration the ratio of majority members to minority members and the number of majority and minority members present and shall apportion the recognition for questioning in such a manner as not to disadvantage members of the majority.
Rule 14. Subpoena Power
The power to authorize and issue subpoenas is delegated to the Chairman of the full Committee, as provided for under clause 2(m)(2)(A) of Rule XI of the House of Representatives.
Rule 15. Records of Hearings
An accurate stenographic record shall be kept of all testimony taken at a public hearing. The staff shall transmit to a witness the transcript of his testimony for correction and immediate return to the Committee offices. Only changes in the interest of clarity, accuracy and corrections in transcribing errors will be permitted. Changes which substantially alter the actual testimony will not be permitted. Members shall correct their own testimony and return transcripts as soon as possible after receipt thereof. The Chairman of the full Committee may order the printing of a hearing without the corrections of a witness or Member if he determines that a reasonable time has been afforded to make corrections and that further delay would impede the consideration of the legislation or other measure which is the subject of the hearing.
Rule 16. Broadcasting of Hearings
The provisions of clause 3(f) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives are specifically made a part of these rules by reference. In addition, the following policy shall apply to media coverage of any meeting of the full Committee or a subcommittee:
1. An appropriate area of the Committee's hearing room will be designated for members of the media and their equipment.
2. No interviews will be allowed in the Committee room while the Committee is in session. Individual interviews must take place before the gavel falls for the convening of a meeting or after the gavel falls for adjournment.
3. Day-to-day notification of the next day's electronic coverage shall be provided by the media to the Chairman of the full Committee through the chief counsel or some other appropriate designee.
4. Still photography during a Committee meeting will not be permitted to disrupt the proceedings or block the vision of Committee members or witnesses.
5. Klieg lights will be permitted to illuminate the hearing room only during the first fifteen minutes following the Chairman's initial calling of the Committee to order.
6. Further conditions may be specified by the Chairman.
Rule 17. Reconsideration of Previous Vote
When an amendment or other matter has been disposed of, it shall be in order for any member of the prevailing side, on the same or next day on which a quorum of the Committee is present, to move the reconsideration thereof, and such motion shall take precedence over all other questions except the consideration of a motion to adjourn.
Rule 18. Previous Question
The Chairman shall not recognize a member for the purpose of moving the previous question unless the member has first advised the Chair and the Committee that this is the purpose for which recognition is being sought.
Rule 19. Official Transcripts of Markups and Other Committee Meetings
An official stenographic transcript shall be kept accurately reflecting all markups and other meetings of the full Committee and the subcommittees, whether they be open or closed to the public. This official transcript, marked as ``uncorrected,'' shall be available for inspection by the public (except for meetings closed pursuant to clause 2(g)(1) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House), by Members of the House, or by Members of the Committee together with their staffs, during normal business hours in the full Committee or subcommittee office under such controls as the Chairman of the full Committee deems necessary. Official transcripts shall not be removed from the Committee or subcommittee office. If, however, (1) in the drafting of a Committee or subcommittee decision, the Office of the House Legislative Counsel or (2) in the preparation of a Committee report, the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation determines (in consultation with appropriate majority and minority Committee staff) that it is necessary to review the official transcript of a markup, such transcript may be released upon the signature and to the custody of an appropriate Committee staff person. Such transcript shall be returned immediately after its review in the drafting session.
The official transcript of a markup or Committee meeting other than a public hearing shall not be published or distributed to the public in any way except by a majority vote of the Committee. Before any public release of the uncorrected transcript, members must be given a reasonable opportunity to correct their remarks. In instances in which a stenographic transcript is kept of a conference committee proceeding, all of the requirements of this rule shall likewise be observed.
Rule 20. Publication of Decisions and Legislative Language
A press release describing any tentative or final decision made by the full Committee or a subcommittee on legislation under consideration shall be made available to each member of the Committee as soon as possible, but no later than the next day. However, the legislative draft of any tentative or final decision of the full Committee or a subcommittee shall not be publicly released until such draft is made available to each member of the Committee.
Rule 21. Supervision of Committee Staff
The staff of the Committee shall be under the general supervision and direction of the Chairman of the full Committee except as provided in clause 6 of Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives concerning committee expenses and staff.
Pursuant to clause 5(d) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the full Committee, from the funds made available for the appointment of committee staff pursuant to primary and additional expense resolutions, shall ensure that each subcommittee receives sufficient staff to carry out its responsibilities under the rules of the Committee, and that the minority party is fairly treated in the appointment of such staff.
Rule 22. Staff Honoraria, Speaking Engagements, and Unofficial Travel
This rule shall apply to all majority and minority staff of the Committee and its subcommittees.
a. Honoraria. Under no circumstances shall a staff person accept the offer of an honorarium. This prohibition includes the direction of an honorarium to a charity.
b. Speaking engagements and unofficial travel.
(1) Advance approval required. In the case of all speaking engagements, fact-finding trips, and other unofficial travel, a staff person must receive approval by the full Committee Chairman (or, in the case of the minority staff, from the Ranking Minority Member) at least seven calendar days prior to the event.
(2) Request for approval. A request for approval must be submitted in writing to the full Committee Chairman (or, where appropriate, the Ranking Minority Member) in connection with each speaking engagement, fact-finding trip, or other unofficial travel. Such request must contain the following information:
(a) the name of the sponsoring organization and a general description of such organization (nonprofit organization, trade association, etc.);
(b) the nature of the event, including any relevant information regarding attendees at such event;
(c) in the case of a speaking engagement, the subject of the speech and duration of staff travel, if any; and
(d) in the case of a fact-finding trip or international travel, a description of the proposed itinerary and proposed agenda of substantive issues to be discussed, as well as a justification of the relevance and importance of the fact-finding trip or international travel to the staff member's official duties.
(3) Reasonable travel and lodging expenses. After receipt of the advance approval described in (1) above, a staff person may accept reimbursement by an appropriate sponsoring organization of reasonable travel and lodging expenses associated with a speaking engagement, fact-finding trip, or international travel related to official duties, provided such reimbursement is consistent with the Rules of the House of Representatives. (In lieu of reimbursement after the event, expenses may be paid directly by an appropriate sponsoring organization.) The reasonable travel and lodging expenses of a spouse (but not children) may be reimbursed (or directly paid) by an appropriate sponsoring organization consistent with the Rules of the House of Representatives.
(4) Trip summary and report. In the case of any reimbursement or direct payment associated with a fact-finding trip or international travel, a staff person must submit, within 60 days after such trip, a report summarizing the trip and listing all expenses reimbursed or directly paid by the sponsoring organization. This information shall be submitted to the Chairman (or, in the case of the minority staff, to the Ranking Minority Member).
c. Waiver. The Chairman (or, where appropriate, the Ranking Minority Member) may waive the application of section (b) of this rule upon a showing of good cause.