(Senate - February 14, 2013)

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[Pages S762-S764]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Ms. Stabenow. Mr. President, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition 
and Forestry has adopted rules governing its procedures for the 113th 
Congress. Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 2, of the Standing Rules of 
the Senate, on behalf of myself and Senator Cochran, I ask unanimous 
consent that a copy of the Committee rules be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:


                            RULE I--MEETINGS

       1.1 Regular Meetings.--Regular meetings shall be held on 
     the first and third Wednesday of each month when Congress is 
     in session.
       1.2 Additional Meetings.--The Chairman, in consultation 
     with the ranking minority member, may call such additional 
     meetings as he deems necessary.
       1.3 Notification.--In the case of any meeting of the 
     committee, other than a regularly scheduled meeting, the 
     clerk of the committee shall notify every member of the 
     committee of the time and place of the meeting and shall give 
     reasonable notice which, except in extraordinary 
     circumstances, shall be at least 24 hours in advance of any 
     meeting held in Washington, DC, and at least 48 hours in the 
     case of any meeting held outside Washington, DC.
       1.4 Called Meeting.--If three members of the committee have 
     made a request in writing to the Chairman to call a meeting 
     of the committee, and the Chairman fails to call such a 
     meeting within 7 calendar days thereafter, including the day 
     on which the written notice is submitted, a majority of the 
     members may call a meeting by filing a written notice with 
     the clerk of the committee who shall promptly notify each 
     member of the committee in writing of the date and time of 
     the meeting.
       1.5 Adjournment of Meetings.--The Chairman of the committee 
     or a subcommittee shall be empowered to adjourn any meeting 
     of the committee or a subcommittee if a quorum is not present 
     within 15 minutes of the time scheduled for such meeting.


       2.1 Open Sessions.--Business meetings and hearings held by 
     the committee or any subcommittee shall be open to the public 
     except as otherwise provided for in Senate Rule XXVI, 
     paragraph 5.
       2.2 Transcripts.--A transcript shall be kept of each 
     business meeting and hearing of the committee or any 
     subcommittee unless a majority of the committee or the 
     subcommittee agrees that some other form of permanent record 
     is preferable.
       2.3 Reports.--An appropriate opportunity shall be given the 
     Minority to examine the proposed text of committee reports 
     prior to their filing or publication. In the event there are 
     supplemental, minority, or additional views, an appropriate 
     opportunity shall be given the Majority to examine the 
     proposed text prior to filing or publication.
       2.4 Attendance.--(a) Meetings. Official attendance of all 
     markups and executive sessions of the committee shall be kept 
     by the committee clerk. Official attendance of all 
     subcommittee markups and executive sessions shall be kept by 
     the subcommittee clerk.
       (b) Hearings. Official attendance of all hearings shall be 
     kept, provided that, Senators are notified by the committee 
     Chairman and ranking minority member, in the case of 
     committee hearings, and by the subcommittee Chairman and 
     ranking minority

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     member, in the case of subcommittee hearings, 48 hours in 
     advance of the hearing that attendance will be taken. 
     Otherwise, no attendance will be taken. Attendance at all 
     hearings is encouraged.

                       RULE 3--HEARING PROCEDURES

       3.1 Notice.--Public notice shall be given of the date, 
     place, and subject matter of any hearing to be held by the 
     committee or any subcommittee at least 1 week in advance of 
     such hearing unless the Chairman of the full committee or the 
     subcommittee determines that the hearing is noncontroversial 
     or that special circumstances require expedited procedures 
     and a majority of the committee or the subcommittee involved 
     concurs. In no case shall a hearing be conducted with less 
     than 24 hours notice.
       3.2 Witness Statements.--Each witness who is to appear 
     before the committee or any subcommittee shall file with the 
     committee or subcommittee, at least 24 hours in advance of 
     the hearing, a written statement of his or her testimony and 
     as many copies as the Chairman of the committee or 
     subcommittee prescribes.
       3.3 Minority Witnesses.--In any hearing conducted by the 
     committee, or any subcommittee thereof, the minority members 
     of the committee or subcommittee shall be entitled, upon 
     request to the Chairman by the ranking minority member of the 
     committee or subcommittee to call witnesses of their 
     selection during at least 1 day of such hearing pertaining to 
     the matter or matters heard by the committee or subcommittee.
       3.4 Swearing in of Witnesses.--Witnesses in committee or 
     subcommittee hearings may be required to give testimony under 
     oath whenever the Chairman or ranking minority member of the 
     committee or subcommittee deems such to be necessary.
       3.5 Limitation.--Each member shall be limited to 5 minutes 
     in the questioning of any witness until such time as all 
     members who so desire have had an opportunity to question a 
     witness. Questions from members shall rotate from majority to 
     minority members in order of seniority or in order of arrival 
     at the hearing.

                          RULE 4--NOMINATIONS

       4.1 Assignment.--All nominations shall be considered by the 
     full committee.
       4.2 Standards.--In considering a nomination, the committee 
     shall inquire into the nominee's experience, qualifications, 
     suitability, and integrity to serve in the position to which 
     he or she has been nominated.
       4.3 Information.--Each nominee shall submit in response to 
     questions prepared by the committee the following 
       (1) A detailed biographical resume which contains 
     information relating to education, employment, and 
       (2) Financial information, including a financial statement 
     which lists assets and liabilities of the nominee; and
       (3) Copies of other relevant documents requested by the 
     committee. Information received pursuant to this subsection 
     shall be available for public inspection except as 
     specifically designated confidential by the committee.
       4.4 Hearings.--The committee shall conduct a public hearing 
     during which the nominee shall be called to testify under 
     oath on all matters relating to his or her suitability for 
     office. No hearing shall be held until at least 48 hours 
     after the nominee has responded to a prehearing questionnaire 
     submitted by the committee.
       4.5 Action on Confirmation.--A business meeting to consider 
     a nomination shall not occur on the same day that the hearing 
     on the nominee is held. The Chairman, with the agreement of 
     the ranking minority member, may waive this requirement.

                            RULE 5--QUORUMS

       5.1 Testimony--For the purpose of receiving evidence, the 
     swearing of witnesses, and the taking of sworn or unsworn 
     testimony at any duly scheduled hearing, a quorum of the 
     committee and the subcommittee thereof shall consist of one 
       5.2 Business.--A quorum for the transaction of committee or 
     subcommittee business, other than for reporting a measure or 
     recommendation to the Senate or the taking of testimony, 
     shall consist of one-third of the members of the committee or 
     subcommittee, including at least one member from each party.
       5.3 Reporting.--A majority of the membership of the 
     committee shall constitute a quorum for reporting bills, 
     nominations, matters, or recommendations to the Senate. No 
     measure or recommendation shall be ordered reported from the 
     committee unless a majority of the committee members are 
     physically present. The vote of the committee to report a 
     measure or matter shall require the concurrence of a majority 
     of those members who are physically present at the time the 
     vote is taken.

                             RULE 6--VOTING

       6.1 Rollcalls.--A roll call vote of the members shall be 
     taken upon the request of any member.
       6.2 Proxies.--Voting by proxy as authorized by the Senate 
     rules for specific bills or subjects shall be allowed 
     whenever a quorum of the committee is actually present.
       6.3 Polling.--The committee may poll any matters of 
     committee business, other than a vote on reporting to the 
     Senate any measures, matters or recommendations or a vote on 
     closing a meeting or hearing to the public, provided that 
     every member is polled and every poll consists of the 
     following two questions:
       (1) Do you agree or disagree to poll the proposal; and
       (2) Do you favor or oppose the proposal.
       If any member requests, any matter to be polled shall be 
     held for meeting rather than being polled. The chief clerk of 
     the committee shall keep a record of all polls.

                         RULE 7--SUBCOMMITTEES

       7.1 Assignments.--To assure the equitable assignment of 
     members to subcommittees, no member of the committee will 
     receive assignment to a second subcommittee until, in order 
     of seniority, all members of the committee have chosen 
     assignments to one subcommittee, and no member shall receive 
     assignment to a third subcommittee until, in order of 
     seniority, all members have chosen assignments to two 
       7.2 Attendance.--Any member of the committee may sit with 
     any subcommittee during a hearing or meeting but shall not 
     have the authority to vote on any matter before the 
     subcommittee unless he or she is a member of such 
       7.3 Ex Officio Members.--The Chairman and ranking minority 
     member shall serve as nonvoting ex officio members of the 
     subcommittees on which they do not serve as voting members. 
     The Chairman and ranking minority member may not be counted 
     toward a quorum.
       7.4 Scheduling.--No subcommittee may schedule a meeting or 
     hearing at a time designated for a hearing or meeting of the 
     full committee. No more than one subcommittee business 
     meeting may be held at the same time.
       7.5 Discharge.--Should a subcommittee fail to report back 
     to the full committee on any measure within a reasonable 
     time, the Chairman may withdraw the measure from such 
     subcommittee and report that fact to the full committee for 
     further disposition. The full committee may at any time, by 
     majority vote of those members present, discharge a 
     subcommittee from further consideration of a specific piece 
     of legislation.
       7.6 Application of Committee Rules to Subcommittees.--The 
     proceedings of each subcommittee shall be governed by the 
     rules of the full committee, subject to such authorizations 
     or limitations as the committee may from time to time 


       8.1 Investigations.--Any investigation undertaken by the 
     committee or a subcommittee in which depositions are taken or 
     subpoenas issued, must be authorized by a majority of the 
     members of the committee voting for approval to conduct such 
     investigation at a business meeting of the committee convened 
     in accordance with Rule 1.
       8.2 Subpoenas.--The Chairman, with the approval of the 
     ranking minority member of the committee, is delegated the 
     authority to subpoena the attendance of witnesses or the 
     production of memoranda, documents, records, or any other 
     materials at a hearing of the committee or a subcommittee or 
     in connection with the conduct of an investigation authorized 
     in accordance with paragraph 8.1. The Chairman may subpoena 
     attendance or production without the approval of the ranking 
     minority member when the Chairman has not received 
     notification from the ranking minority member of disapproval 
     of the subpoena within 72 hours, excluding Saturdays and 
     Sundays, of being notified of the subpoena. If a subpoena is 
     disapproved by the ranking minority member as provided in 
     this paragraph the subpoena may be authorized by vote of the 
     members of the committee. When the committee or Chairman 
     authorizes subpoenas, subpoenas may be issued upon the 
     signature of the Chairman or any other member of the 
     committee designated by the Chairman.
       8.3 Notice for Taking Depositions.--Notices for the taking 
     of depositions, in an investigation authorized by the 
     committee, shall be authorized and be issued by the Chairman 
     or by a staff officer designated by him. Such notices shall 
     specify a time and place for examination, and the name of the 
     Senator, staff officer or officers who will take the 
     deposition. Unless otherwise specified, the deposition shall 
     be in private. The committee shall not initiate procedures 
     leading to criminal or civil enforcement proceedings for a 
     witness' failure to appear unless the deposition notice was 
     accompanied by a committee subpoena.
       8.4 Procedure for Taking Depositions.--Witnesses shall be 
     examined upon oath administered by an individual authorized 
     by local law to administer oaths. The Chairman will rule, by 
     telephone or otherwise, on any objection by a witness. The 
     transcript of a deposition shall be filed with the committee 

                       RULE 9--AMENDING THE RULES

       These rules shall become effective upon publication in the 
     Congressional Record. These rules may be modified, amended, 
     or repealed by the committee, provided that all members are 
     present or provide proxies or if a notice in writing of the 
     proposed changes has been given to each member at least 48 
     hours prior to the meeting at which action thereon is to be 
     taken. The changes shall become effective immediately upon 
     publication of the changed rule or rules in the Congressional 
     Record, or immediately upon approval of the changes if so 
     resolved by the committee as long as any witnesses who may be 
     affected by the change in rules are provided with them.

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