Summary: H.Res.988 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (10/08/1974)


Committee Reform Amendments - =Title I: Oversight Responsibilities, Legislative Review and Additional Committee Functions, Referral of Bills and Resolutions, Election and Membership of Committees, and Rules of Procedure for Committees= - Prescribes, under Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the general oversight responsibilities of the standing committees (other than the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on the Budget) with regard to evaluation and analysis of the laws enacted by the Congress and the formulation and enactment of modifications in such laws.

Directs: (1) the Committee on Government Operations to review the operation of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining their economy and efficiency; and (2) the Committee on Appropriations to conduct studies of executive agencies as necessary to assist in the determination of matters within its jurisdiction.

Calls for the coordination of the oversight activities of all committees by the Committee on Government Operations at the beginning of each Congress.

Enumerates special oversight functions of seven committees, including the review and coordination of specified laws, programs and Government activities by the Committees on Education and Labor, Interior and Insular Affairs, and Science and Technology. Gives the Committee on Foreign Affairs legislative jurisdiction over special oversight functions on intelligence activities relating to foreign policy.

Details additional functions of five committees, including the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on the Budget. Specifies the rules governing the activities of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Requires each standing committee to review, from time to time, each continuing program within its jurisdiction for which appropriations are not made annually in order to ascertain whether such program could be modified so that appropriations would be made annually.

Prescribes the procedures for referral of bills, resolutions, and other matters to committees, stating that the Speaker may refer the matter simultaneously to two or more committees for concurrent consideration or for consideration in sequence, or may refer divided parts of a matter to different committees, or may refer the matter to a special ad hoc committee.

Provides that, after the introduction in the House of each bill or resolution, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress shall prepare a factual description of the subject involved, not to exceed one hundred words, which shall be published in the Congressional Record and the Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions as soon as possible after introduction.

Outlines the procedures for election and membership of committees, committee chairmen and vacancies, and select and conference committees.

Establishes a permanent Select Committee on Aging which shall not have legislative jurisdiction but which shall have jurisdiction to conduct specified studies, to review policies and to review recommendations relating to or affecting older Americans.

Revises Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives with regard to the rules of procedure for committees, including those rules related to regular meeting days, committee records, proxies, investigative hearings, and reporting of bills and resolutions.

States that whenever a committee hearing or meeting is open to the public, the committee may permit, by a majority vote, that hearing or meeting to be covered by television, radio, and still photography but only under such written rules as the committee may adopt. Limits coverage to four fixed television cameras in a hearing room, prohibits commercial sponsorship interruptions in live coverage, and places specific restrictions on the location of broadcasting equipment and persons during coverage.

Enumerates the rules governing privileged reports and amendments.

=Title II: Miscellaneous and Conforming Provisions= - Revises Rule XXI to require that a committee report accompanying any bill making an appropriation shall contain a concise statement describing fully the effect of any provision which directly or indirectly changes the application of existing law.

Outlines the procedures for early organization of the House of Representatives.

Establishes the Legislative Classification Office to develop and maintain a system linking Federal programs and expenditures to the authorizing statutes, and showing the committee jurisdiction for each authorization. Enumerates the specific functions of the Office, including to work with the House standing committees in the development of cross-referencing capability on authorization statutes and to coordinate such capability with the Congressional Research Service and the General Accounting Office.

Creates a Commission on Information and Facilities and an Advisory Council to assist the Commission in carrying out its functions, specifying the composition of each. Enumerates the duties and studies to be conducted by the Commission with regard to evaluating the information problems and the facilities and space requirements of the House. States that the study conducted by the Commission shall encompass House resources for information, including the Congressional Research Service, the General Accounting Office, and the Office of Technology Assessment, and the organizational framework that makes them effective or ineffective.

Establishes the Office of the Law Revision Counsel to develop an official and positive codification of the laws of the United States, maintaining impartiality as to issues of legislative policy. Directs the Office to perform specified duties, including: (1) to prepare a complete compilation, restatement, and revision of the general and permanent laws of the United States; (2) to examine periodically all of the public laws enacted by the Congress and submit to the Committee on the Judiciary recommendations for the repeal of obsolete, superfluous, and superseded provisions; (3) to prepare and publish a new edition of the United States Code with annual cumulative supplements reflecting newly enacted laws; and (4) to prepare and publish new editions of the District of Columbia Code.

Provides for a review of committee jurisdiction and workloads by the House members of the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations.

Makes specified technical and conforming amendments to the Rules of the House of Representatives.

Directs the Speaker to complete the Compilation of the Precedents of the House of Representatives by January 1, 1977, and to prepare an updated compilation every two years.

=Title III: Legislative Jurisdiction of the Standing Committees= - Provides, under Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, that there shall be the following standing committees: Committee on Agriculture; Committee on Appropriations; Committee on Armed Services; Committee on Banking, Currency, and Housing; Committee on the Budget; Committee on Commerce and Health; Committee on the District of Columbia; Committee on Education and Labor; Committee on Foreign Affairs; Committee on Government Operations; Committee on House Administration; Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs; Committee on Internal Security; Committee on the Judiciary; Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries; Committee on Post Office and Civil Service; Committee on Public Works and Transportation; Committee on Rules; Committee on Science andu Technology; Committee on Small Business; Committee on Standards of Official Conduct; Committee on Veterans' Affairs; and Committee on Ways and Means.

States that nothing in this resolution shall alter the jurisdiction, functions, or powers of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy.

=Title IV: Committee Staffs and Expenses= - States that whenever any standing committee (except the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on the Budget) is to be granted authorization for the payment, from the contingent fund of the House, of its expenses in any year other than those expenses to be paid from appropriations provided by statute, such authorization initially shall be procured by one primary expense resolution for that committee providing funds for the payment of the expenses of the committee for that year from the contingent fund of the House. Requires that a printed report on that resolution be available to the Members of the House for at least one calendar day prior to the consideration of that resolution in the House. Specifies the content of such report.

Provides that, with specified exceptions, each standing committee may appoint, by majority vote of the committee, not more than eighteen professional staff members. Sets forth additional rules governing professional staff members and governing the clerical staffs of each standing committee. Requires each committee to report to the Clerk of the House within fifteen days after December 31 and June 30 each year the name, profession, and total salary of each person employed by such committee or any subcommittee thereof during the period covered by such report, and shall make an accounting of funds made available to and expended by such committee or subcommittee during such period.

States that the amendments made by titles I, II, III, and IV, with the exception of the amendment regarding early organization of the House, shall become effective just prior to noon on January 3, 1975.