Waiting for the Bill: Rules Committee


While we’re waiting for the text of the bailout legislation to become available, I’ve been checking around the House Rules Committee Web site, to check out the work they’ve done to clear the way for the bill.

The Rules Committee has recently reported out two rules, which need floor approval to have any effect.  Those looking relevant to me are: H.Res 1500, and H.Res 1514.

Most bills come to the floor of the House via special rules, which control the form of debate and consideration, determining, for example, how many and what kind of amendments are permissible, or what kind of motions are in order.  It’s basically an ad-hoc rewriting of the rules for individual bills routinely undertaken for most bills in the House, and is a strong parallel to the Unanimous Consent Agreement in the Senate.

These two rules, respectively: 1. Resolve that it is in order for the Speaker to suspend the rules on September 28th, 2. Allow the consideration of a measure reported from Rules the same day it’s reported (but only on the “legislative day” of the 28th and 29th).

Taken together, these two rules clear the way for a special rule to get floor consideration shortly after the Rules Committee reports it out, allowing the full House to approve whatever deal the Rules Committee chooses to govern the actual bill’s consideration in the Committee of the Whole and in final passage (or failure).


It has been suggested to me that H.Res 1500 is about using today for votes while the legislation is being drafted, while 1514 is more specifically about the resolution.  I don’t know enough about the Rules committee’s work to say for sure either way, but thought it was worth passing on.

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  • Dem02020

    This is great, and I’m glad Sunlight and the projects they fund are so on top of this matter. Thank you all.

    It’s already been said by Congressional leaders that the Bill will be available on the Internet Wire at least 24 hours before the House will be voting on it (I heard Rep. Frank say that on C-SPAN this morning)… great!

    I just hope they don’t bury the substantial points of the Bill under a mountain of obscurely named Titles and Sections: I’ll consider that to be an intentional effort to discourage a popular understanding of what is without a doubt an unpopular trillion dollar American taxpayer burden (that not only could raise taxes across all income tax brackets, but could cause double digit inflation and cripple the Federal Budget for years to come): I’d say those possible consequences, however likely or not, require a popular understanding of the Bill in question, before it and it’s burden are levied on the American People.

    Also, in addition to the relatively short 24 hours we’ll have to digest this Bill as much as we can, I believe there will have to be at least one suspension of House Rules to pass, before the House can vote on the thing… and those suspensions of House Rules take a two-thirds majority to pass: there seemed to me that while only a dozen or so Members chose to comment on the matter during one minute speeches this morning, those that did all sounded highly antagonistic tot the thing, and so I wonder just how easily if at all, any suspension of the Rules will pass… anyway, we will see what happens.

    Again, thanks to Sunlight for all of your attention and work in this matter.

    It is something exactly like this, that represents I think the highest and best use, of the Internet Wire (the People’s News Wire!)