House Rule XXVIII - Statutory Limit on Public Debt

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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:

"DISCLOSURE BY MEMBERS OF EMPLOYMENT NEGOTIATIONS: This provisions amends clause 1 of rule XXVII to close the loophole in the rule that allowed lame-duck Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner to directly negotiate future employment or compensation without public disclosure. The rule will now apply to all current Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner requiring them, within 3 business days after the commencement of such negotiation or agreement of future employment or compensation, to file with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct a statement regarding such negotiations or agreement. [1] 

Rule for the 111th Congress (2009-2010)

Statutory Limit on Public Debt

1. Upon adoption by Congress of a concurrent resolution on the budget under section 301 or 304 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that sets forth, as the appropriate level of the public debt for the period to which the concurrent resolution relates, an amount that is different from the amount of the statutory limit on the public debt that otherwise would be in effect for that period, the Clerk shall prepare an engrossment of a joint resolution increasing or decreasing, as the case may be, the statutory limit on the public debt in the form prescribed in clause 2. Upon engrossment of the joint resolution, the vote by which the con- current resolution on the budget was finally agreed to in the House shall also be considered as a vote on passage of the joint resolution in the House, and the joint resolution shall be considered as passed by the House and duly certified and examined. The engrossed copy shall be signed by the Clerk and transmitted to the Senate for further legislative action.

2. The matter after the resolving clause in a joint resolution described in clause 1 shall be as follows: That sub- section (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof '$ '., with the blank being filled with a dollar limitation equal to the appropriate level of the public debt set forth pursuant to section 301(a)(5) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 in the relevant con- current resolution described in clause 1. If an adopted concurrent resolution under clause 1 sets forth different appropriate levels of the public debt for separate periods, only one engrossed joint resolution shall be prepared under clause 1; and the blank referred to in the preceding sentence shall be filled with the limitation that is to apply for each period.

3. (a) The report of the Committee on the Budget on a concurrent resolution described in clause 1 and the joint explanatory statement of the managers on a conference report to accompany such a concurrent resolution each shall contain a clear statement of the effect the eventual enactment of a joint resolution engrossed under this rule would have on the statutory limit on the public debt.

(b) It shall not be in order for the House to consider a concurrent resolution described in clause 1, or a conference report thereon, unless the report of the Committee on the Budget or the joint explanatory statement of the managers complies with paragraph (a).

4. Nothing in this rule shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting--

(a) the power of the House or the Senate to consider and pass bills or joint resolutions, without regard to the procedures under clause 1, that would change the statutory limit on the public debt; or
(b) the rights of Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner, or committees with respect to the introduction, consideration, and reporting of such bills or joint resolutions.

5. In this rule the term statutory limit on the public debt means the maximum face amount of obligations issued under authority of chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and obligations guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States (except such guaranteed obligations as may be held by the Secretary of the Treasury), as determined under section 3101(b) of such title after the application of section 3101(a) of such title, that may be outstanding at any one time.

Changes to rule in the 110th Congress

There were no changes to the rule in the 110th Congress.

Rule for the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Statutory Limit on Public Debt

1. Upon adoption by Congress of a concurrent resolution on the budget under section 301 or 304 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that sets forth, as the appropriate level of the public debt for the period to which the concurrent resolution relates, an amount that is different from the amount of the statutory limit on the public debt that otherwise would be in effect for that period, the Clerk shall prepare an engrossment of a joint resolution increasing or decreasing, as the case may be, the statutory limit on the public debt in the form prescribed in clause 2. Upon engrossment of the joint resolution, the vote by which the concurrent resolution on the budget was finally agreed to in the House shall also be considered as a vote on passage of the joint resolution in the House, and the joint resolution shall be considered as passed by the House and duly certified and examined. The engrossed copy shall be signed by the Clerk and transmitted to the Senate for further legislative action.

2. The matter after the resolving clause in a joint resolution described in clause 1 shall be as follows: ‘‘That subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$llll’.’’, with the blank being filled with a dollar limitation equal to the appropriate level of the public debt set forth pursuant to section 301(a)(5) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 in the relevant concurrent resolution described in clause 1. If an adopted concurrent resolution under clause 1 sets forth different appropriate levels of the public debt for separate periods, only one engrossed joint resolution shall be prepared under clause 1; and the blank referred to in the preceding sentence shall be filled with the limitation that is to apply for each period.

3. (a) The report of the Committee on the Budget on a concurrent resolution described in clause 1 and the joint explanatory statement of the managers on a conference report to accompany such a concurrent resolution each shall contain a clear statement of the effect the eventual enactment of a joint resolution engrossed under this rule would have on the statutory limit on the public debt.

(b) It shall not be in order for the House to consider a concurrent resolution described in clause 1, or a conference report thereon, unless the report of the Committee on the Budget or the joint explanatory statement of the managers complies with paragraph (a).

4. Nothing in this rule shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting—

(a) the power of the House or the Senate to consider and pass bills or joint resolutions, without regard to the procedures under clause 1, that would change the statutory limit on the public debt; or
(b) the rights of Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner, or committees with respect to the introduction, consideration, and reporting of such bills or joint resolutions.

5. In this rule the term ‘‘statutory limit on the public debt’’ means the maximum face amount of obligations issued under authority of chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and obligations guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States (except such guaranteed obligations as may be held by the Secretary of the Treasury), as determined under section 3101(b) of such title after the application of section 3101(a) of such title, that may be outstanding at any one time.

Rule for the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Statutory Limit on Public Debt

1. Upon adoption by Congress of a concurrent resolution on the budget under section 301 or 304 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that sets forth, as the appropriate level of the public debt for the period to which the concurrent resolution relates, an amount that is different from the amount of the statutory limit on the public debt that otherwise would be in effect for that period, the Clerk shall prepare an engrossment of a joint resolution increasing or decreasing, as the case may be, the statutory limit on the public debt in the form prescribed in clause 2. Upon engrossment of the joint resolution, the vote by which the concurrent resolution on the budget was finally agreed to in the House shall also be considered as a vote on passage of the joint resolution in the House, and the joint resolution shall be considered as passed by the House and duly certified and examined. The engrossed copy shall be signed by the Clerk and transmitted to the Senate for further legislative action.

2. The matter after the resolving clause in a joint resolution described in clause 1 shall be as follows: “That subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$______’.”, with the blank being filled with a dollar limitation equal to the appropriate level of the public debt set forth pursuant to section 301(a)(5) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 in the relevant concurrent resolution described in clause 1. If an adopted concurrent resolution under clause 1 sets forth different appropriate levels of the public debt for separate periods, only one engrossed joint resolution shall be prepared under clause 1; and the blank referred to in the preceding sentence shall be filled with the limitation that is to apply for each period.

3. (a) The report of the Committee on the Budget on a concurrent resolution described in clause 1 and the joint explanatory statement of the managers on a conference report to accompany such a concurrent resolution each shall contain a clear statement of the effect the eventual enactment of a joint resolution engrossed under this rule would have on the statutory limit on the public debt.

(b) It shall not be in order for the House to consider a concurrent resolution described in clause 1, or a conference report thereon, unless the report of the Committee on the Budget or the joint explanatory statement of the managers complies with paragraph (a).

4. Nothing in this rule shall be construed as limiting or otherwise affecting -

(a) the power of the House or the Senate to consider and pass bills or joint resolutions, without regard to the procedures under clause 1, that would change the statutory limit on the public debt; or
(b) the rights of Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner, or committees with respect to the introduction, consideration, and reporting of such bills or joint resolutions.

5. In this rule the term “statutory limit on the public debt” means the maximum face amount of obligations issued under authority of chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and obligations guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States (except such guaranteed obligations as may be held by the Secretary of the Treasury), as determined under section 3101(b) of such title after the application of section 3101(a) of such title, that may be outstanding at any one time.”

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.

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