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Friday, August 17, 2012

House Committee Jurisdiction and Referral: Rules and Practice

Judy Schneider
Specialist on the Congress

Committee jurisdiction is determined by a variety of factors. Paramount is House Rule X, which designates the subject matter within the purview of each standing committee. House Rule X, however, is both largely broad and the product of an era in which governmental activity was not so extensive and relations among policies not so intertwined as now. Most of Rule X was drawn from 19th and 20th century precedents and codified in the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Although the rule underwent modest revisions in 1974 and 1980, as well as more extensive changes in the 104th and 109th Congresses, topic omissions and a lack of clarity, as well as overlaps among committees in areas of jurisdiction, still exist. Accordingly, the formal provisions of the rule are supplemented by an intricate series of precedents and informal agreements governing the referral of legislation.

Date of Report: August 10, 2012
Number of Pages: 3
Order Number: 97-398
Price: $19.95

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