Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House without amendment (01/07/2003)

This measure has not been amended since it was introduced in the House on January 7, 2003. Because action occurred on the measure, however, the summary has been expanded.)

Adopts the Rules of the House of Representatives for the 107th Congress as the Rules for the 108th Congress, with certain amendments.

(Sec. 2) Amends Rule I (The Speaker) to require the Speaker to submit to the Clerk of the House a list of Members to succeed the Speaker in the event of a vacancy in the office of the Speaker until the House reconvenes in order to elect a new Speaker.

Repeals the limitation of the Speaker to four consecutive terms as Speaker.

Authorizes the Speaker, when notified of an imminent threat to the House's safety, to declare an emergency recess subject to the call of the Chair. Allows the Speaker to accelerate or postpone the reconvening of the House in the event of an emergency.

Amends Rule IV (The Hall of the House) to allow staff of the respective party leaderships access to the House Floor when so assigned with the Speaker's approval.

Amends Rule X (Organization of Committees) to require the Committee on the Budget to include one member of the Committee on Rules.

Limits tenure of the chairman or ranking minority member of the Committee on the Budget to three consecutive Congresses.

Makes tenure of the chairman or ranking minority member on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence unlimited.

Terminates exemption of the professional staff of the Appropriations Committee from the work and duty rules applying to the professional staff of all other House committees (thus applying such rules to Appropriations Committee professional staff). Maintains the current exemption, however, of the associate or shared staff of the Appropriations Committee from the review of the Committee on House Administration in connection with the reporting of committee expense resolutions.

Amends Rule XI (Procedures of Committees and Unfinished Business) to authorize Committees to adopt a rule which allows the chairman of a committee or subcommittee to: (1) postpone votes on approving a measure or matter or on adopting an amendment; and (2) resume proceedings on a postponed question at any time after reasonable notice. Declares that an underlying proposition shall remain subject to further debate or amendment to the same extent as when the question was postponed.

Amends Rule XI to incorporate certain rules for the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (SOC Committee).

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules providing that the chairman: (1) shall establish the agenda for Committee meetings; but (2) shall not preclude the ranking minority member from placing any item on the agenda.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules providing that: (1) the staff is to be professional and shall perform all official duties in a nonpartisan manner; (2) no staff member shall engage in partisan political activities directly affecting any congressional or presidential election; (3) no staff or shared staff member or outside counsel may accept public speaking engagements or write for publication on any subject related to Committee employment or duties without specific prior approval from the chairman and ranking minority member; and (4) no such individuals may make public any material that is confidential, derived from executive session, or classified and that is obtained during the course of Committee employment unless approved by majority vote of the Committee members.

Requires all staff members to be appointed by majority vote of the SOC Committee members.

Allows: (1) the SOC Committee, subject to the approval of the Committee on House Oversight, to retain (or dismiss before the end of a contract) outside counsel by a majority vote; and (2) staff members to be retained only for the duration of a particular investigation or proceeding.

Authorizes the chairman and ranking minority member of the SOC Committee to appoint one individual from his or her personal staff as a shared staff member to perform service for the Committee which may include assisting the chairman or ranking minority member on any subcommittee.

Requires: (1) each SOC Committee or subcommittee meeting to occur in executive session unless the Committee, by majority vote, opens the meeting to the public; and (2) the Committee's adjudicatory subcommittee hearings or sanction hearings to be held in open session unless the subcommittee or Committee, by majority vote, closes all or part of the remainder of the hearing on that day.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules permitting only its chairman or ranking minority member, after consultation with each other, to make public statements regarding matters before the Committee.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules regarding: (1) the time periods for making a determination of whether information constitutes a complaint and for acting on complaints; (2) the duties of the chairman and ranking minority members regarding the disposition of properly filed complaints or information not constituting a complaint; and (3) the authority or requirement to establish, and the composition of, investigative and adjudicatory subcommittees.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules to provide that an investigative subcommittee may adopt a statement of alleged violation only if it determines by majority vote that there is substantial reason to believe that a violation of the Code of Official Conduct, or of a law, rule, regulation, or other standard applicable to the performance of official duties, by a House Member, officer, or employee has occurred.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules to permit a subpoena to be authorized and issued by a subcommittee of the SOC Committee only when authorized by a majority vote of the subcommittee members.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules providing that an investigative or adjudicatory subcommittee may by majority vote: (1) expand the scope of its investigation when approved by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Committee members; and (2) amend its statement of alleged violation any time before such statement is transmitted to the Committee. Requires notice and 30 calendar days for a respondent to file an answer to an amended statement.

Requires the SOC Committee to adopt rules to provide for: (1) due process rights of respondents with respect to alleged violation statements by an investigative subcommittee; and (2) Committee and subcommittee reporting requirements with respect to statements of alleged violations and respondent actions.

Amends Rule XII (Receipt and Referral of Measures and Matters) to authorize the Speaker to designate more than one committee as though primary under "exceptional circumstances."

Amends Rule XIII (Calendars and Committee Reports) regarding the authority of the Ways and Means Committee, when reporting a measure amending the Internal Revenue Code, to include a dynamic estimate of expected changes in Federal revenues. Requires the Committee, instead, to include in such reports (or in the Congressional Record before the bill's floor consideration) an analysis by the Joint Tax Committee on the macroeconomic impact of such legislation, if one is calculable.

Amends Rule XVII (Decorum and Debate) to limit the prohibition against personal electronic equipment on the Floor of the House to wireless telephones and personal computers (thus allowing other personal electronic equipment, particularly unobtrusive handheld electronic devices).

Amends Rule XX (Voting and Quorum Calls) to require adjustment of the whole number of the House upon the death, resignation, expulsion, disqualification, or removal of a Member, announced by the Speaker without appeal.

Declares that a motion to adjourn shall be in order (retaining its normal privilege) during a quorum call. (Currently the Speaker may entertain such a motion but is not required to.)

Repeals certain limitations on the Speaker's authority to reduce the minimum time for electronic voting to five minutes following a fifteen-minute vote. Allows the Speaker to reduce the minimum time for electronic voting to five minutes on any question arising without intervening business after an electronic vote on another question, if notice of possible five-minute voting for a given series of votes was issued before the preceding electronic vote.

Amends Rule XXI (Restrictions on Certain Bills) to extend the prohibition against: (1) the reporting of a bill or joint resolution carrying a tax or tariff measure by a committee without jurisdiction to report tax or tariff measures; and (2) floor consideration of any amendment carrying a tax or tariff measure for a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee without such jurisdiction. Extends such prohibition to any amendment proposing a limitation on funds in a general appropriation bill for the administration of a tax or tariff.

Amends Rule XXII (House and Senate Relations) regarding privileged motions to instruct or discharge all managers of a bill when a conference committee has been appointed for 20 calendars without making a report. Adds the limitation that such committee must have been appointed for at least ten legislative days as well.

Amends Rule XXV (Limitations on Outside Earned Income and Receipt of Gifts) that prohibits Members from receiving compensation from affiliating with or being employed by an entity that provides professional services involving a fiduciary relationship. Excludes the practice of medicine from the meaning of fiduciary relationship. (Thus allows dentists and physicians to earn outside income up to $22,500.)

Requires that, in determining the value of an allowable gift to a Member's or House employee's office, perishable food sent as a gift to an office shall be allocated among the individual recipients and not to the Member.

Makes an exemption for the gift ban for charity travel. Allows Members to be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses by a charity organization, in cases where the net proceeds of the event go to a qualified charity, and the invitation is issued by the charity.

Redesignates Rule XXVII (General Provisions) as Rule XXVIII. Sets forth a new Rule XXVII (Statutory Limit on Public Debt) (reinstating the "Gephardt Rule," former Rule XXIII of the 106th Congress). Provides for automatic House passage of a joint resolution increasing the statutory limit on the public debt when the House agrees to a budget resolution that requires such an increase. States that: (1) the amount of the increase in the joint resolution conforms to the level established in the budget resolution; and (2) the final House vote on the budget resolution shall be deemed the vote on the joint resolution.

(Sec. 3) Declares that references to resolutions in Sec. 306 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (prohibiting consideration of legislation within the Budget Committee's jurisdiction, unless reported by the Budget Committee) shall be construed as applying only to joint resolutions (as well as bills, but not to simple and concurrent resolutions).

Makes a Sec. 303 point of order (requiring adoption of a budget resolution before consideration of budget-related legislation) applicable to text made in order as original bill by a special rule.

States that a provision in a bill or joint resolution, or in an amendment thereto or a conference report thereon, that establishes prospectively for a Federal office or position a specified or minimum level of compensation to be funded by annual discretionary appropriations shall not be considered as providing new entitlement authority.

States that the provisions of H.Con.Res. 353 (budget "deeming" resolution) as adopted by the House in the 107th Congress shall have effect in the 108th Congress until such time as a conference report establishing a budget for FY 2003 is adopted.

Directs the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget to submit for printing in the Congressional Record specified allocations (including a certain one for Medicare) and accounts identified for advance appropriations, as well as an estimated unified surplus.

Increases from five to six the maximum number of subcommittees authorized for the Committees on Armed Services, on International Relations, and on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Reserves the first ten numbers for bills (H.R. 1 through H.R. 10) for assignment by the Speaker to such bills as he may designate when introduced during the first session.

Authorizes the Speaker, during the first session of the 108th Congress, to entertain motions that the House suspend the rules on Wednesdays through the second Wednesday in April.

(Sec. 4) Establishes the Select Committee on Homeland Security for the 108th Congress, with legislative jurisdiction to: (1) review and study on a continuing basis laws, programs, and Government activities (including the Rules of the House of Representatives, especially Rule X (Organization of Committees)) relating to homeland security; and (2) develop recommendations and report to the House by bill or otherwise on such matters that relate to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296).