Committee Rules for the 113th Congress
RULES OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE 114TH CONGRESS
(Adopted January 14, 2015)
RULE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
- Rules of the Committee. The Rules of the House are the rules of the Committee on Energy and Commerce (the “Committee”) and its subcommittees so far as is applicable.
- Rules of the Subcommittees. Each subcommittee of the Committee is part of the Committee and is subject to the authority and direction of the Committee and to its rules so far as is applicable. Written rules adopted by the Committee, not inconsistent with the Rules of the House, shall be binding on each subcommittee of the Committee.
RULE 2. MEETINGS
- Regular Meeting Days. The Committee shall meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., for the consideration of bills, resolutions, and other business, if the House is in session on that day. If the House is not in session on that day and the Committee has not met during such month, the Committee shall meet at the earliest practicable opportunity when the House is again in session. The chairman of the Committee may, at his discretion, cancel, delay, or defer any meeting required under this section, after consultation with the ranking minority member.
- Additional Meetings. The chairman 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 for such purposes pursuant to that call of the chairman.
- Notice. The date, time, place, and subject matter of any meeting of the Committee scheduled on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday when the House will be in session shall be announced at least 36 hours (exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays except when the House is in session on such days) in advance of the commencement of such meeting. The date, time, place, and subject matter of other meetings when the House is in session shall be announced to allow Members to have at least three days notice (exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays except when the House is in session on such days) of such meeting. The date, time, place, and subject matter of all other meetings shall be announced at least 72 hours in advance of the commencement of such meeting.
- Agenda. The agenda for each Committee meeting, setting out all items of business to be considered, shall be provided to each member of the Committee at least 36 hours in advance of such meeting.
- Availability of Texts. No bill, recommendation, or other matter shall be considered by the Committee unless the text of the matter, together with an explanation, has been available to members of the Committee for three days (or 24 hours in the case of a substitute for introduced legislation). Such explanation shall include a summary of the major provisions of the legislation, an explanation of the relationship of the matter to present law, and a summary of the need for the legislation.
- Waiver. The requirements of subsections (c), (d), and (e) may be waived by a majority of those present and voting (a majority being present) of the Committee or by the chairman with the concurrence of the ranking member, as the case may be.
RULE 3. HEARINGS
- Notice. The date, time, place, and subject matter of any hearing of the Committee shall be announced at least one week in advance of the commencement of such hearing, unless a determination is made in accordance with clause 2(g)(3) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House that there is good cause to begin the hearing sooner.
- Memorandum. Each member of the Committee shall be provided, except in the case of unusual circumstances, with a memorandum at least 48 hours before each hearing explaining (1) the purpose of the hearing and (2) the names of any witnesses.
- Witnesses. (1) Each witness who is to appear before the Committee shall file with the clerk of the Committee, at least two working days in advance of his or her appearance, sufficient copies, as determined by the chairman of the Committee of a written statement of his or her proposed testimony to provide to members and staff of the Committee, the news media, and the general public. Each witness shall, to the greatest extent practicable, also provide a copy of such written testimony in an electronic format prescribed by the chairman. Each witness shall limit his or her oral presentation to a brief summary of the argument. The chairman of the Committee or the presiding member may waive the requirements of this paragraph or any part thereof.
(2) To the greatest extent practicable, the written testimony of each witness appearing in a nongovernmental capacity shall include a curriculum vitae and a disclosure of any federal grant or contract or foreign government contracts and payments related to the subject matter of the hearing received during the current calendar year or either of the two preceding calendar years by the witness or by an entity represented by the witness. The disclosure shall include (i) the amount and source of each Federal grant (or subgrant thereof) or contract (or subcontract thereof) related to the subject matter of the hearing; and (ii) the amount and country of origin of any payment or contract related to the subject matter of the hearing originating with a foreign government.
- Questioning. (1) The right to interrogate the witnesses before the Committee shall alternate between majority and minority members. Each member shall be limited to 5 minutes in the interrogation of witnesses until such time as each member who so desires has had an opportunity to question witnesses. No member shall be recognized for a second period of 5 minutes to interrogate a witness until each member of the Committee present has been recognized once for that purpose. The chairman shall recognize in order of appearance members who were not present when the meeting was called to order after all members who were present when the meeting was called to order have been recognized in the order of seniority on the Committee.
- The chairman, with the concurrence of the ranking minority member, or the Committee by motion, may permit an equal number of majority and minority members to question a witness for a specified, total period that is equal for each side and not longer than thirty minutes for each side. The chairman with the concurrence of the ranking minority member, or the Committee by motion, may also permit committee staff of the majority and minority to question a witness for a specified, total period that is equal for each side and not longer than thirty minutes for each side.
- Each member may submit to the chairman of the Committee additional questions for the record, to be answered by the witnesses who have appeared. Each member shall provide a copy of the questions in an electronic format to the clerk of the Committee no later than ten business days following a hearing. The chairman shall transmit all questions received from members of the Committee to the appropriate witness and include the transmittal letter and the responses from the witnesses in the hearing record. After consultation with the ranking minority member, the chairman is authorized to close the hearing record no earlier than 120 days from the date the questions were transmitted to the appropriate witness.
RULE 4. VICE CHAIRMEN; PRESIDING MEMBER
The chairman shall designate a member of the majority party to serve as vice chairman of the Committee, and shall designate a majority member of each subcommittee to serve as vice chairman of each subcommittee. The vice chairman of the Committee or subcommittee, as the case may be, shall preside at any meeting or hearing during the temporary absence of the chairman. If the chairman and vice chairman of the Committee or subcommittee are not present at any meeting or hearing, the ranking member of the majority party who is present shall preside at the meeting or hearing.
RULE 5. OPEN PROCEEDINGS
Except as provided by the Rules of the House, each meeting and hearing of the Committee for the transaction of business, including the markup of legislation, and each hearing, shall be open to the public, including to radio, television, and still photography coverage, consistent with the provisions of Rule XI of the Rules of the House.
RULE 6. QUORUM
Testimony may be taken and evidence received at any hearing at which there are present not fewer than two members of the Committee in question. A majority of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for those actions for which the House Rules require a majority quorum. For the purposes of taking any other action, one-third of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.
RULE 7. OFFICIAL COMMITTEE RECORDS
(a)(1) Journal. The proceedings of the Committee shall be recorded in a journal which shall, among other things, show those present at each meeting, and include a record of the vote on any question on which a record vote is demanded and a description of the amendment, motion, order, or other proposition voted. A copy of the journal shall be furnished to the ranking minority member.
(2) Record Votes. A record vote may be demanded by one-fifth of the members present or, in the apparent absence of a quorum, by any one member. No demand for a record vote shall be made or obtained except for the purpose of procuring a record vote or in the apparent absence of a quorum. The result of each record vote in any meeting of the Committee shall be made publicly available in electronic form on the Committee’s website and in the Committee office for inspection by the public, as provided in Rule XI, clause 2(e) of the Rules of the House, within 24 hours. Such result shall include a description of the amendment, motion, order, or other proposition, the name of each member voting for and each member voting against such amendment, motion, order, or proposition, and the names of those members of the committee present but not voting. The chairman, with the concurrence of the ranking minority member, may from time to time postpone record votes ordered on amendments to be held at a time certain during the consideration of legislation.
(b) Archived Records. The records of the Committee at the National Archives and Records Administration shall be made available for public use in accordance with Rule VII of the Rules of the House. 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 chairman shall consult with the ranking minority member on any communication from the Archivist of the United States or the Clerk of the House concerning the disposition of noncurrent records pursuant to clause 3(b) of the Rule.
RULE 8. SUBCOMMITTEES
- Establishment. There shall be such standing subcommittees with such jurisdiction and size as determined by the majority party caucus of the Committee. The jurisdiction, number, and size of the subcommittees shall be determined by the majority party caucus prior to the start of the process for establishing subcommittee chairmanships and assignments.
- Powers and Duties. Each subcommittee is authorized to meet, hold hearings, receive testimony, mark up legislation, and report to the Committee on all matters referred to it. Subcommittee chairmen shall set hearing and meeting dates only with the approval of the chairman of the Committee with a view toward assuring the availability of meeting rooms and avoiding simultaneous scheduling of Committee and subcommittee meetings or hearings whenever possible.
- Ratio of Subcommittees. The majority caucus of the Committee shall determine an appropriate ratio of majority to minority party members for each subcommittee and the chairman shall negotiate that ratio with the minority party, provided that the ratio of party members on each subcommittee shall be no less favorable to the majority than that of the full Committee, nor shall such ratio provide for a majority of less than two majority members.
- Selection of Subcommittee Members. Prior to any organizational meeting held by the Committee, the majority and minority caucuses shall select their respective members of the standing subcommittees.
- Ex Officio Members. The chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee shall be ex officio members with voting privileges of each subcommittee of which they are not assigned as members and may be counted for purposes of establishing a quorum in such subcommittees.
RULE 9. OPENING STATEMENTS
- Written Statements. All written opening statements at hearings and business meetings conducted by the committee shall be made part of the permanent record.
- Length. (1) At full committee hearings, the chairman and ranking minority member shall be limited to 5 minutes each for an opening statement, and may designate another member to give an opening statement of not more than 5 minutes. At subcommittee hearings, the subcommittee chairman and ranking minority member of the subcommittee shall be limited to 5 minutes each for an opening statement. In addition, the full committee chairman and ranking minority member shall each be allocated 5 minutes for an opening statement for themselves or their designees.
- At any business meeting of the Committee, statements shall be limited to 5 minutes each for the chairman and ranking minority member (or their respective designee) of the Committee or subcommittee, as applicable, and 3 minutes each for all other members. The chairman may further limit opening statements for Members (including, at the discretion of the Chairman, the chairman and ranking minority member) to one minute.
RULE 10. REFERENCE OF LEGISLATION AND OTHER MATTERS
All legislation and other matters referred to the Committee shall be referred to the subcommittee of appropriate jurisdiction within two weeks of the date of receipt by the Committee unless action is taken by the full Committee within those two weeks, or by majority vote of the members of the Committee, consideration is to be by the full Committee. In the case of legislation or other matter within the jurisdiction of more than one subcommittee, the chairman of the Committee may, in his discretion, refer the matter simultaneously to two or more subcommittees for concurrent consideration, or may designate a subcommittee of primary jurisdiction and also refer the matter to one or more additional subcommittees for consideration in sequence (subject to appropriate time limitations), either on its initial referral or after the matter has been reported by the subcommittee of primary jurisdiction.
Such authority shall include the authority to refer such legislation or matter to an ad hoc subcommittee appointed by the chairman, with the approval of the Committee, from the members of the subcommittees having legislative or oversight jurisdiction.
RULE 11. MANAGING LEGISLATION ON THE HOUSE FLOOR
The chairman, in his discretion, shall designate which member shall manage legislation reported by the Committee to the House.
RULE 12. COMMITTEE PROFESSIONAL AND CLERICAL STAFF APPOINTMENTS
- Delegation of Staff. Whenever the chairman of the Committee determines that any professional staff member appointed pursuant to the provisions of clause 9 of Rule X of the House of Representatives, who is assigned to such chairman and not to the ranking minority member, by reason of such professional staff member's expertise or qualifications will be of assistance to one or more subcommittees in carrying out their assigned responsibilities, he may delegate such member to such subcommittees for such purpose. A delegation of a member of the professional staff pursuant to this subsection shall be made after consultation with subcommittee chairmen and with the approval of the subcommittee chairman or chairmen involved.
- Minority Professional Staff. Professional staff members appointed pursuant to clause 9 of Rule X of the House of Representatives, who are assigned to the ranking minority member of the Committee and not to the chairman of the Committee, shall be assigned to such Committee business as the minority party members of the Committee consider advisable.
- Additional Staff Appointments. In addition to the professional staff appointed pursuant to clause 9 of Rule X of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee shall be entitled to make such appointments to the professional and clerical staff of the Committee as may be provided within the budget approved for such purposes by the Committee. Such appointee shall be assigned to such business of the full Committee as the chairman of the Committee considers advisable.
- Sufficient Staff. The chairman shall ensure that sufficient staff is made available to each subcommittee to carry out its responsibilities under the rules of the Committee.
- Fair Treatment of Minority Members in Appointment of Committee Staff. The chairman shall ensure that the minority members of the Committee are treated fairly in appointment of Committee staff.
- Contracts for Temporary or Intermittent Services. Any contract for the temporary services or intermittent service of individual consultants or organizations to make studies or advise the Committee or its subcommittees with respect to any matter within their jurisdiction shall be deemed to have been approved by a majority of the members of the Committee if approved by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee. Such approval shall not be deemed to have been given if at least one-third of the members of the Committee request in writing that the Committee formally act on such a contract, if the request is made within 10 days after the latest date on which such chairman or chairmen, and such ranking minority member or members, approve such contract.
RULE 13. SUPERVISION, DUTIES OF STAFF
- Supervision of Majority Staff. The professional and clerical staff of the Committee not assigned to the minority shall be under the supervision and direction of the chairman who, in consultation with the chairmen of the subcommittees, shall establish and assign the duties and responsibilities of such staff members and delegate such authority as he determines appropriate.
- Supervision of Minority Staff. The professional and clerical staff assigned to the minority shall be under the supervision and direction of the minority members of the Committee, who may delegate such authority as they determine appropriate.
RULE 14. COMMITTEE BUDGET
- Administration of Committee Budget. The chairman of the Committee, in consultation with the ranking minority member, shall for the 114th Congress attempt to ensure that the Committee receives necessary amounts for professional and clerical staff, travel, investigations, equipment and miscellaneous expenses of the Committee and the subcommittees, which shall be adequate to fully discharge the Committee's responsibilities for legislation and oversight.
- Monthly Expenditures Report. Committee members shall be furnished a copy of each monthly report, prepared by the chairman for the Committee on House Administration, which shows expenditures made during the reporting period and cumulative for the year by the Committee and subcommittees, anticipated expenditures for the projected Committee program, and detailed information on travel.
RULE 15. BROADCASTING OF COMMITTEE HEARINGS
Any meeting or hearing that is open to the public may be covered in whole or in part by radio or television or still photography, subject to the requirements of clause 4 of Rule XI of the Rules of the House. The coverage of any hearing or other proceeding of the Committee or any subcommittee thereof by television, radio, or still photography shall be under the direct supervision of the chairman of the Committee, the subcommittee chairman, or other member of the Committee presiding at such hearing or other proceeding and may be terminated by such member in accordance with the Rules of the House.
RULE 16. SUBPOENA POWER
The power to authorize and issue subpoenas is delegated to the Chair of the full Committee, as provided for under clause 2(m)(3)(A)(i) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. The Chair shall notify the ranking minority member prior to issuing any subpoena under such authority. To the extent practicable, the Chair shall consult with the ranking minority member at least 72 hours in advance of a subpoena being issued under such authority. The chairman shall report to the members of the Committee on the issuance of a subpoena as soon as practicable but in no event later than one week after issuance of such subpoena.
RULE 17. TRAVEL OF MEMBERS AND STAFF
- Approval of Travel. Consistent with the primary expense resolution and such additional expense resolutions as may have been approved, travel to be reimbursed from funds set aside for the Committee for any member or any staff member shall be paid only upon the prior authorization of the chairman. Travel may be authorized by the chairman for any member and any staff member in connection with the attendance of hearings conducted by the Committee or any subcommittee thereof and meetings, conferences, and investigations which involve activities or subject matter under 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 travel; (2) the dates during which the travel is to be made and the date or dates of the event for which the travel is being made; (3) the location of the event for which the travel is to be made; and (4) the names of members and staff seeking authorization.
- Approval of Travel by Minority Members and Staff. In the case of travel by minority party members and minority party professional staff for the purpose set out in (a), the prior approval, not only of the chairman but also of the ranking minority member, shall be required. Such prior authorization shall be given by the chairman only upon the representation by the ranking minority member in writing setting forth those items enumerated in (1), (2), (3), and (4) of paragraph (a).
RULE 18. WEBSITE
The chairman shall maintain an official Committee website for the purposes of furthering the Committee's legislative and oversight responsibilities, including communicating information about the Committee's activities to Committee members and other members of the House. The ranking minority member may maintain an official website for the purpose of carrying out official responsibilities, including communicating information about the activities of the minority members of the Committee to Committee members and other members of the House.
RULE 19. CONFERENCES
The chairman of the Committee is directed to offer a motion under clause 1 of Rule XXII of the Rules of the House whenever the chairman considers it appropriate.