House Rule XXI - Restrictions on certain bills

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Changes to rule in the 111th Congress (2009-2010)

House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) released this summary of the rule changes at the beginning of the 111th Congress:

"PAYGO: This provision amends clause 10 of rule XXI to make the following changes:
(1) A technical amendment to align the PAYGO rules of the House with those of the Senate so that both houses use the same CBO baselines;
(2) The changes would also allow one House-passed measure to pay for spending in a separate House-passed measure if the two are linked at the engrossment stage; and
(3) The changes would also allow for emergency exceptions to PAYGO for provisions designated as emergency spending in a bill, joint resolution, amendment made in order as original text, conference report, or amendment between the Houses (but not other amendments). The new clause 10(c)(3) of rule XXI provides that the Chair will put the question of consideration on a bill, joint resolution, an amendment made in order as original text by a special order of business, a conference report, or an amendment between the Houses that includes an emergency PAYGO designation. The Chair will put the question of consideration on such a measure without regard to a waiver of points of order under clause 10 of rule XXI or language providing for immediate consideration of such a measure. The intent of this exception to pay-as-you-go principles is to allow for consideration of measures that respond to emergency situations. Provisions of legislation may receive an emergency designation if such provisions are necessary to respond to an act of war, an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or a period of sustained low economic growth. A measure that includes any provision designated as emergency shall be accompanied by a report or a joint statement of managers, as the case may be, or include an applicable “Findings” section in the legislation, stating the reasons why such provision meets the emergency requirement according to the following criteria. In general, the criteria to be considered in determining whether a proposed expenditure or tax change meets an emergency designation include: (1) necessary, essential, or vital (not merely useful or beneficial); (2) sudden, quickly coming into being, and not building up over time; (3) an urgent, (3) The changes would also allow for emergency exceptions to PAYGO for provisions designated as emergency spending in a bill, joint resolution, amendment made in order as original text, conference report, or amendment between the Houses (but not other amendments). The new clause 10(c)(3) of rule XXI provides that the Chair will put the question of consideration on a bill, joint resolution, an amendment made in order as original text by a special order of business, a conference report, or an amendment between the Houses that includes an emergency PAYGO designation. The Chair will put the question of consideration on such a measure without regard to a waiver of points of order under clause 10 of rule XXI or language providing for immediate consideration of such a measure. The intent of this exception to pay-as-you-go principles is to allow for consideration of measures that respond to emergency situations. Provisions of legislation may receive an emergency designation if such provisions are necessary to respond to an act of war, an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or a period of sustained low economic growth. A measure that includes any provision designated as emergency shall be accompanied by a report or a joint statement of managers, as the case may be, or include an applicable “Findings” section in the legislation, stating the reasons why such provision meets the emergency requirement according to the following criteria. In general, the criteria to be considered in determining whether a proposed expenditure or tax change meets an emergency designation include: (1) necessary, essential, or vital (not merely useful or beneficial); (2) sudden, quickly coming into being, and not building up over time; (3) an urgent, pressing, and compelling need requiring immediate action; (4) unforeseen, unpredictable, and unanticipated; and (5) not permanent, but rather temporary in nature. With respect to the fourth criterion above, an emergency that is part of an aggregate level of anticipated emergencies, particularly when normally estimated in advance, is not “unforeseen.” pressing, and compelling need requiring immediate action; (4) unforeseen, unpredictable, and unanticipated; and (5) not permanent, but rather temporary in nature. With respect to the fourth criterion above, an emergency that is part of an aggregate level of anticipated emergencies, particularly when normally estimated in advance, is not “unforeseen.”
[1]

Rule XXI for the 111th Congress

Reservation of certain points of order

1. At the time a general appropriation bill is reported, all points of order against provisions therein shall be considered as reserved.

General appropriation bills and amendments

2. (a)(1) An appropriation may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, and may not be in order as an amendment thereto, for an expenditure not previously authorized by law, except to continue appropriations for public works and objects that are already in progress.

(2) A reappropriation of unexpended balances of appropriations may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, and may not be in order as an amendment thereto, except to continue appropriations for public works and objects that are already in progress. This subparagraph does not apply to transfers of unexpended balances within the department or agency for which they were originally appropriated that are reported by the Committee on Appropriations.
(b) A provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, including a provision making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation, except germane provisions that retrench expenditures by the reduction of amounts of money covered by the bill (which may include those recommended to the Committee on Appropriations by direction of a legislative committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter) and except rescissions of appropriations contained in appropriation Acts.
(c) An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law, including an amendment making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation. Except as provided in paragraph (d), an amendment proposing a limitation not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation shall not be in order during consideration of a general appropriation bill.
(d) After a general appropriation bill has been read for amendment, a motion that the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted shall, if offered by the Majority Leader or a designee, have precedence over motions to amend the bill. If such a motion to rise and report is rejected or not offered, amendments proposing limitations not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation or proposing germane amendments that retrench expenditures by reductions of amounts of money covered by the bill may be considered.
(e) A provision other than an appropriation designated an emergency under section 251(b)(2) or section 252(e) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, a rescission of budget authority, or a reduction in direct spending or an amount for a designated emergency may not be reported in an appropriation bill or joint resolution containing an emergency designation under section 251(b)(2) or section 252(e) of such Act and may not be in order as an amendment thereto.
(f) During the reading of an appropriation bill for amendment in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, it shall be in order to consider en bloc amendments proposing only to transfer appropriations among objects in the bill without increasing the levels of budget authority or outlays in the bill. When considered en bloc under this paragraph, such amendments may amend portions of the bill not yet read for amendment (following disposition of any points of order against such portions) and is not subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.

Transportation obligation limitations

3. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that would cause obligation limitations to be below the level for any fiscal year set forth in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, as adjusted, for the highway category or the mass transit category, as applicable.

Appropriations on legislative bills

4. A bill or joint resolution carrying an appropriation may not be reported by a committee not having jurisdiction to report appropriations, and an amendment proposing an appropriation shall not be in order during the consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee not having that jurisdiction. A point of order against an appropriation in such a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto may be raised at any time during pendency of that measure for amendment.

Tax and tariff measures and amendments

5. (a) (1)A bill or joint resolution carrying a tax or tariff measure may not be reported by a committee not having jurisdiction to report tax or tariff measures, and an amendment in the House or proposed by the Senate carrying a tax or tariff measure shall not be in order during the consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee not having that jurisdiction. A point of order against a tax or tariff measure in such a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto may be raised at any time during pendency of that measure for amendment.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), a tax or tariff measure includes an amendment proposing a limitation on funds in a general appropriation bill for the administration of a tax or tariff.

Passage of tax rate increases

(b) A bill or joint resolution, amendment, or conference report carrying a Federal income tax rate increase may not be considered as passed or agreed to unless so determined by a vote of not less than three-fifths of the Members voting, a quorum being present. In this paragraph the term ``Federal income tax rate increase means any amendment to subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of section 1, or to section 11(b) or 55(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that imposes a new percentage as a rate of tax and thereby increases the amount of tax imposed by any such section.

Consideration of retroactive tax rate increases

(c) It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report carrying a retroactive Federal income tax rate increase. In this paragraph_
(1) the term ``Federal income tax rate increase means any amendment to subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of section 1, or to section 11(b) or 55(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that imposes a new percentage as a rate of tax and thereby increases the amount of tax imposed by any such section; and
(2) a Federal income tax rate increase is retroactive if it applies to a period beginning before the enactment of the provision.

Designation of public works

6. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or redesignation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator.

Reconciliation

7. It shall not be in order to consider a concurrent resolution on the budget, or an amendment thereto, or a conference report thereon that contains reconciliation directives under section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that specify changes in law reducing the surplus or increasing the deficit for either the period comprising the current fiscal year and the five fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year that ends in the following calendar year or the period comprising the current fiscal year and the ten fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year that ends in the following calendar year. In determining whether reconciliation directives specify changes in law reducing the surplus or increasing the deficit, th sum of the directives for each reconciliation bill (under section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974) envisioned by that measure shall be evaluated.

Applying Points of Order Under Budget Act to Bills and Joints Resolutions Considered Under Special Rules

8. With respect to measures considered pursuant to a special order of business, point of order under title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 shall operate without regard to whether the measure concerned has been reported from committee. Such points of order shall operate with resect to (as the case may be)-

(a) the form of a measure recommended by the reporting committee where the statute uses the term "as reported" (in the case of a measure that has been so reported);
(b) the form of the measure made in order as an original bill or joint resolution for the purpose of the amendment; or
(c) the form of the measure on which the previous question is ordered directly to passage.

Point of Order against Congressional Earmarks

9.(a) It shall not be in order to consider-

(1) a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee unless the report includes a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the bill or in the report (and the name of any Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who submitted a request to the committee for each respective item included in such list) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits;
(2) a bill or joint resolution not reported by a committee unless the chairman of each committee of initial referral has caused a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the bill (and the name of any Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who submitted a request to the committee for each respective item included in such list) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits to be printed in the Congressional Record prior to its consideration;
(3) an amendment to a bill or joint resolution to be offered at the outset of its consideration for amendment by a member of a committee of initial referral as designated in a report of the Committee on Rules to accompany a resolution prescribing a special order of business unless the proponent has caused a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the amendment (and the name of any Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who submitted a request to the proponent for each respectiveitem included in such list) or a staement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits to be printed in the Congressional Record prior to its consideration; or
(4) a conference report to accompany a bill or joint resolution unless the joint explanatory statement prepared by the managers on the part of the House and amanagers on the part of the Senate includes a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the conference report or joint statement (and the name of any Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator who submitted a request to the House or Senate committees of jurisdiction for each respective item included in such list) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.
(b) It shall not be in order to consider a rule or order that waives the application of paragraph (a). As disposition of a point of order under this paragraph, the Chair shall put the question of consideration with respect to the rule or order that waives the application of paragraph (a). The question of consideration shall be debatable for 10 minutes by the Member initiating the point of order and for 10 minutes by an opponent, but shall otherwise be decided without intervening motion except one that the House adjourn.
(c) In order to be cognizable by the Chair, a point of order raised under paragraph (a) may be based only on the failure of a report, submission to the Congressional Record, or joint explanatory statement to include a list required by paragraph (a) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.
(d) For the purpose of this clause, the term 'congressional earmark' means a provision or report language included primarily at the request of a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator providing, authorizing or recommending a specific amount of discretionary budget authority, credit authority, or other spending authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other expenditure with or to any entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive process.
(e) For the purpose of this clause, the term 'limited tax benefit' means-
(1) any revenue-losing provision that-
(A) provides a Federal tax deduction, credit, exclusion, or preference to 10 or fewer beneficiaries under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and
(B) contains eligibility criteria that are not uniform in application with respect to potential beneficiaries of such provision; or
(2)any Federal tax provision which provides one beneficiary temporary or permanent transition relief from a change to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(f) For the purposes of this clause, the term 'limited tariff benefit' means a provision modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States in a manner that benefits 10 or fewer entities.

Paygo

10.

(a)
(1) Except as provided in para- graphs (b) and (c), it shall not be in order to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report if the provisions of such measure affecting direct spending and revenues have the net effect of increasing the deficit or reducing the surplus for ei- ther the period comprising--
(A) the current fiscal year, the budget year set forth in the most recently completed concurrent resolution on the budget, and the four fiscal years following that budget year; or
(B) the current fiscal year, the budget year set forth in the most recently completed concurrent resolution on the budget, and the nine fiscal years following that budget year.
(2) The effect of such measure on the deficit or surplus shall be determined on the basis of estimates made by the Committee on the Budget relative to baseline estimates supplied by the Congressional Budget Office consistent with section 257 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
(b) If a bill, joint resolution, or amendment is considered pursuant to a special order of the House directing the Clerk to add as new matter at the end of such measure the provisions of a separate measure as passed by the House, the provisions of such separate measure as passed by the House shall be included in the evaluation under para- graph (a) of the bill, joint resolution, or amendment.
(c)
(1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2), the evaluation under para- graph (a) shall exclude a provision expressly designated as an emergency for purposes of pay-as-you-go principles in the case of a point of order under this clause against consideration of--
(A) a bill or joint resolution;
(B)an amendment made in order as original text by a special order of business;
(C) a conference report; or
(D) an amendment between the Houses.
(2) In the case of an amendment (other than one specified in subparagraph (1)) to a bill or joint resolution, the evaluation under paragraph (a) shall give no cognizance to any designation of emergency.
(3) If a bill, a joint resolution, an amendment made in order as original text by a special order of business, a conference report, or an amendment between the Houses includes a provision expressly designated as an emergency for purposes of pay-as-you-go principles, the Chair shall put the question of consideration with respect thereto.

Changes in the Rule for the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

House Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) released this summary of the new rule changes at the beginning of the 110th Congress. The new rules effect Rule XXI in the following ways:

  • "Prohibits the House from considering budget resolutions or amendments to budget resolutions that contain reconciliation instructions increasing the budget deficit.
  • "Applies Budget Act rules against bills that have not been reported by committees.
  • "Prohibits the consideration of any legislation proposing direct spending or revenue changes that would increase the budget deficit within a five-year or a ten-year time frame.
  • "Requires committees of jurisdiction and conference committees to publish lists of the earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits contained in all reported bills, unreported bills, manager's amendments, and conference reports that come to the House floor. These lists will be electronically available to the public either through committee prints or printing in the Congressional Record. In the case of a reported bill, the single list contemplated by the rule may cross-reference other parts of statement to this effect. A Member may make a point of order (similar to the unfunded mandates point of order) against the consideration of any special rule that waives this requirement."[1]

Rule XXI for the 110th Congress

Reservation of certain points of order

1. At the time a general appropriation bill is reported, all points of order against provisions therein shall be considered as reserved.

General appropriation bills and amendments

2. (a)(1) An appropriation may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, and may not be in order as an amendment thereto, for an expenditure not previously authorized by law, except to continue appropriations for public works and objects that are already in progress.

(2) A reappropriation of unexpended balances of appropriations may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, and may not be in order as an amendment thereto, except to continue appropriations for public works and objects that are already in progress. This subparagraph does not apply to transfers of unexpended balances within the department or agency for which they were originally appropriated that are reported by the Committee on Appropriations.
(b) A provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, including a provision making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation, except germane provisions that retrench expenditures by the reduction of amounts of money covered by the bill (which may include those recommended to the Committee on Appropriations by direction of a legislative committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter) and except rescissions of appropriations contained in appropriation Acts.
(c) An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law, including an amendment making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation. Except as provided in paragraph (d), an amendment proposing a limitation not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation shall not be in order during consideration of a general appropriation bill.
(d) After a general appropriation bill has been read for amendment, a motion that the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted shall, if offered by the Majority Leader or a designee, have precedence over motions to amend the bill. If such a motion to rise and report is rejected or not offered, amendments proposing limitations not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation or proposing germane amendments that retrench expenditures by reductions of amounts of money covered by the bill may be considered.
(e) A provision other than an appropriation designated an emergency under section 251(b)(2) or section 252(e) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, a rescission of budget authority, or a reduction in direct spending or an amount for a designated emergency may not be reported in an appropriation bill or joint resolution containing an emergency designation under section 251(b)(2) or section 252(e) of such Act and may not be in order as an amendment thereto.
(f) During the reading of an appropriation bill for amendment in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, it shall be in order to consider en bloc amendments proposing only to transfer appropriations among objects in the bill without increasing the levels of budget authority or outlays in the bill. When considered en bloc under this paragraph, such amendments may amend portions of the bill not yet read for amendment (following disposition of any points of order against such portions) and is not subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.

Transportation obligation limitations

3. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that would cause obligation limitations to be below the level for any fiscal year set forth in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, as adjusted, for the highway category or the mass transit category, as applicable.

Appropriations on legislative bills

4. A bill or joint resolution carrying an appropriation may not be reported by a committee not having jurisdiction to report appropriations, and an amendment proposing an appropriation shall not be in order during the consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee not having that jurisdiction. A point of order against an appropriation in such a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto may be raised at any time during pendency of that measure for amendment.

Tax and tariff measures and amendments

5. (a) (1)A bill or joint resolution carrying a tax or tariff measure may not be reported by a committee not having jurisdiction to report tax or tariff measures, and an amendment in the House or proposed by the Senate carrying a tax or tariff measure shall not be in order during the consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee not having that jurisdiction. A point of order against a tax or tariff measure in such a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto may be raised at any time during pendency of that measure for amendment.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), a tax or tariff measure includes an amendment proposing a limitation on funds in a general appropriation bill for the administration of a tax or tariff.

Passage of tax rate increases

(b) A bill or joint resolution, amendment, or conference report carrying a Federal income tax rate increase may not be considered as passed or agreed to unless so determined by a vote of not less than three-fifths of the Members voting, a quorum being present. In this paragraph the term ``Federal income tax rate increase means any amendment to subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of section 1, or to section 11(b) or 55(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that imposes a new percentage as a rate of tax and thereby increases the amount of tax imposed by any such section.

Consideration of retroactive tax rate increases

(c) It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report carrying a retroactive Federal income tax rate increase. In this paragraph_
(1) the term ``Federal income tax rate increase means any amendment to subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of section 1, or to section 11(b) or 55(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that imposes a new percentage as a rate of tax and thereby increases the amount of tax imposed by any such section; and
(2) a Federal income tax rate increase is retroactive if it applies to a period beginning before the enactment of the provision.

Designation of public works

6. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or redesignation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator.

Reconciliation

7. It shall not be in order to consider a concurrent resolution on the budget, or an amendment thereto, or a conference report thereon that contains reconciliation directives under section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that specify changes in law reducing the surplus or increasing the deficit for either the period comprising the current fiscal year and the five fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year that ends in the following calendar year or the period comprising the current fiscal year and the ten fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year that ends in the following calendar year. In determining whether reconciliation directives specify changes in law reducing the surplus or increasing the deficit, th sum of the directives for each reconciliation bill (under section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974) envisioned by that measure shall be evaluated.

Applying Points of Order Under Budget Act to Bills and Joints Resolutions Considered Under Special Rules

8. With respect to measures considered pursuant to a special order of business, point of order under title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 shall operate without regard to whether the measure concerned has been reported from committee. Such points of order shall operate with resect to (as the case may be)-

(a) the form of a measure recommended by the reporting committee where the statute uses the term "as reported" (in the case of a measure that has been so reported);
(b) the form of the measure made in order as an original bill or joint resolution for the purpose of the amendment; or
(c) the form of the measure on which the previous question is ordered directly to passage.

Point of Order against Congressional Earmarks

9.(a) It shall not be in order to consider-

(1) a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee unless the report includes a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the bill or in the report (and the name of any Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who submitted a request to the committee for each respective item included in such list) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits;
(2) a bill or joint resolution not reported by a committee unless the chairman of each committee of initial referral has caused a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the bill (and the name of any Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who submitted a request to the committee for each respective item included in such list) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits to be printed in the Congressional Record prior to its consideration;
(3) an amendment to a bill or joint resolution to be offered at the outset of its consideration for amendment by a member of a committee of initial referral as designated in a report of the Committee on Rules to accompany a resolution prescribing a special order of business unless the proponent has caused a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the amendment (and the name of any Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who submitted a request to the proponent for each respectiveitem included in such list) or a staement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits to be printed in the Congressional Record prior to its consideration; or
(4) a conference report to accompany a bill or joint resolution unless the joint explanatory statement prepared by the managers on the part of the House and amanagers on the part of the Senate includes a list of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits in the conference report or joint statement (and the name of any Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator who submitted a request to the House or Senate committees of jurisdiction for each respective item included in such list) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.
(b) It shall not be in order to consider a rule or order that waives the application of paragraph (a). As disposition of a point of order under this paragraph, the Chair shall put the question of consideration with respect to the rule or order that waives the application of paragraph (a). The question of consideration shall be debatable for 10 minutes by the Member initiating the point of order and for 10 minutes by an opponent, but shall otherwise be decided without intervening motion except one that the House adjourn.
(c) In order to be cognizable by the Chair, a point of order raised under paragraph (a) may be based only on the failure of a report, submission to the Congressional Record, or joint explanatory statement to include a list required by paragraph (a) or a statement that the proposition contains no congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits.
(d) For the purpose of this clause, the term 'congressional earmark' means a provision or report language included primarily at the request of a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator providing, authorizing or recommending a specific amount of discretionary budget authority, credit authority, or other spending authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other expenditure with or to any entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive process.
(e) For the purpose of this clause, the term 'limited tax benefit' means-
(1) any revenue-losing provision that-
(A) provides a Federal tax deduction, credit, exclusion, or preference to 10 or fewer beneficiaries under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and
(B) contains eligibility criteria that are not uniform in application with respect to potential beneficiaries of such provision; or
(2)any Federal tax provision which provides one beneficiary temporary or permanent transition relief from a change to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(f) For the purposes of this clause, the term 'limited tariff benefit' means a provision modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States in a manner that benefits 10 or fewer entities.

Rule XXI for the 109th Congress

Reservation of certain points of order

1. At the time a general appropriation bill is reported, all points of order against provisions therein shall be considered as reserved.

General appropriation bills and amendments

2. (a)(1) An appropriation may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, and may not be in order as an amendment thereto, for an expenditure not previously authorized by law, except to continue appropriations for public works and objects that are already in progress.

(2) A reappropriation of unexpended balances of appropriations may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, and may not be in order as an amendment thereto, except to continue appropriations for public works and objects that are already in progress. This subparagraph does not apply to transfers of unexpended balances within the department or agency for which they were originally appropriated that are reported by the Committee on Appropriations.
(b) A provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, including a provision making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation, except germane provisions that retrench expenditures by the reduction of amounts of money covered by the bill (which may include those recommended to the Committee on Appropriations by direction of a legislative committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter) and except rescissions of appropriations contained in appropriation Acts.
(c) An amendment to a general appropriation bill shall not be in order if changing existing law, including an amendment making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation. Except as provided in paragraph (d), an amendment proposing a limitation not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation shall not be in order during consideration of a general appropriation bill.
(d) After a general appropriation bill has been read for amendment, a motion that the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted shall, if offered by the Majority Leader or a designee, have precedence over motions to amend the bill. If such a motion to rise and report is rejected or not offered, amendments proposing limitations not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of the limitation or proposing germane amendments that retrench expenditures by reductions of amounts of money covered by the bill may be considered.
(e) A provision other than an appropriation designated an emergency under section 251(b)(2) or section 252(e) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, a rescission of budget authority, or a reduction in direct spending or an amount for a designated emergency may not be reported in an appropriation bill or joint resolution containing an emergency designation under section 251(b)(2) or section 252(e) of such Act and may not be in order as an amendment thereto.
(f) During the reading of an appropriation bill for amendment in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, it shall be in order to consider en bloc amendments proposing only to transfer appropriations among objects in the bill without increasing the levels of budget authority or outlays in the bill. When considered en bloc under this paragraph, such amendments may amend portions of the bill not yet read for amendment (following disposition of any points of order against such portions) and is not subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.

Transportation obligation limitations

3. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that would cause obligation limitations to be below the level for any fiscal year set forth in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, as adjusted, for the highway category or the mass transit category, as applicable.

Appropriations on legislative bills

4. A bill or joint resolution carrying an appropriation may not be reported by a committee not having jurisdiction to report appropriations, and an amendment proposing an appropriation shall not be in order during the consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee not having that jurisdiction. A point of order against an appropriation in such a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto may be raised at any time during pendency of that measure for amendment.

Tax and tariff measures and amendments

5. (a) (1)A bill or joint resolution carrying a tax or tariff measure may not be reported by a committee not having jurisdiction to report tax or tariff measures, and an amendment in the House or proposed by the Senate carrying a tax or tariff measure shall not be in order during the consideration of a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee not having that jurisdiction. A point of order against a tax or tariff measure in such a bill, joint resolution, or amendment thereto may be raised at any time during pendency of that measure for amendment.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), a tax or tariff measure includes an amendment proposing a limitation on funds in a general appropriation bill for the administration of a tax or tariff.

Passage of tax rate increases

(b) A bill or joint resolution, amendment, or conference report carrying a Federal income tax rate increase may not be considered as passed or agreed to unless so determined by a vote of not less than three-fifths of the Members voting, a quorum being present. In this paragraph the term ``Federal income tax rate increase means any amendment to subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of section 1, or to section 11(b) or 55(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that imposes a new percentage as a rate of tax and thereby increases the amount of tax imposed by any such section.

Consideration of retroactive tax rate increases

(c) It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report carrying a retroactive Federal income tax rate increase. In this paragraph_
(1) the term ``Federal income tax rate increase means any amendment to subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of section 1, or to section 11(b) or 55(b), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that imposes a new percentage as a rate of tax and thereby increases the amount of tax imposed by any such section; and
(2) a Federal income tax rate increase is retroactive if it applies to a period beginning before the enactment of the provision.

Designation of public works

6. It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or redesignation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator.

Articles and Resources

References

Note: Updates to the rules for the 110th Congress were obtained by Congresspedia staff from House Rules Committee staff. The full source is available upon request.

  1. - Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), "Summary of House Rules Package Opening Day of the 110th Congress," January 3, 2007.

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