|Table of Contents|
Letter of transmittal
Table of Contents
94TH CONCRES COMMITTEE PRINT
2d Session i
TO REDUCE CONFLICTS IN COMMITTEE
OF;.' E E 0 ,R
HOUSE MEMBERS OF THE
JOINT COMMITTEE ON CONGRESSIONAL
Printed for the use of the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
77-297 WASHINGTON : 1976
HOUSE MEMBERS OF THE
JOINT COMMITTEE ON CONGRESSIONAL OPERATIONS
CONGRESS or THE UNITED STATES
Representative JACK B ROOKS, Texas, Clarmwn
ROBERT N. OIAIMO, Connecticut JAMES C. CLEVELAND, New Hampshire
JAMES G. O'HA RA, Michigan JOHN M. ASHBROOK, Ohio
LETTERS OF TRANSMITTAL
THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON CONGRESSIONAL OPERATIONS,
September 2?/, 1976.
THE HONOR.\BLE CARL ALBETI,
Speaker of the U.S. Hom.e of Reprc.( ,,af 's,
The Capitol, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: Pursuant to section 206. of the Committee Re-
form Amendments of 1974 (H11. Res. 988), the House Members of the
Joint Committee on Congressional Operations recommend unani-
mously that clause 2(b) of Rule XI of the Rules of the U.S. House of
Representatives which deals with meetings of the standing committees
of the House be amended in accord with the attached proposed Resolu-
tion and accompanying Report, to reduce substantially the number of
scheduled conflicts of committee and subcommittee meetings at which
a quorum is essential.
JACK BROOKS, Chairman.
THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON CON<;iNI:No(IO)NAL OPERATIONS,
September i;', 1976.
Hon. RAY J. MADDEN,
Chairman. Corn m it/ee onRules,
The Capitol, Washiigton, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : In accordance with our mandate under sec-
tion 206, of the Committee Reform Amendments of 1974 (H. Res.
988), the House Members of the Joint Committee on Congressional
Operations recommend unanimously that clause 2(b) of Rule XI of
the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives which deals with
meetings of the standing committees of the House be amended in ac-
cord with the attached proposed Resolution and accompanying Re-
port, to reduce substantially the nuliml)er of scheduled conflicts of com-
mittee and subcommittee meetings at which a quorum is essential.
I am forwarding this Report for consideration by the Rules Com-
mittee. We are hopeful that you will have opportunity to consider the
Resolution as soon as the committee schedule permits.
JACK BROOKS, Chtai;,rin.
Letters of Tra:i-mittal to Hon. Carl Albert and Hon. Ray J. MMadd.n -..-- in
To Reduce Conflicts in Committee Schedules-A Recommended Rules
Change --------------------------------------------------------- 1
Authority ----------------------------------------------------- 1
Background- ------------------------------------------------ 1
Recommended resolution_--------------------------------------- 2
Text of resolution--------------------------------------------- 5
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TO REDUCE CONFLICTS IN ((1OMMITTEE S( HEI)DULES-
A RECOMMENDED RULES CHANGE
The House Members of the Joint Committee on Congressional Op-
erations recommend that clause 2(b) of Rule XI of the Rules of the
House of Representatives be amended so as to reduce substantially the
incidence of conflicts in the .schedulingr of meetings and h,-.';i ings by
the standing coinmi ittees and subcommittees of the IHtouti,(,.
The reconiinendation provides that the nonexclusive committees
(excepting the Committees on Appropriations, Rules, and Ways and
Means) be divided into two groups, each of which would be p'-.luded
from meeting on 2 days of each month. All committees and subeom-
inittees would be free to meet on any or all other days of the month.
This would enable all committees to schedule meetings, at which the
prele.nce of a quorum was esseit ial for the conduct of busin,':s. at least
twict, a month with maximum assurance that most Members would
have no conflicting committee or subcommittee m.rti lg on their
Under part 1 of Title IV of the Legislative Reorgainization Act of
1970, the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations is ri.ponsible
for studying the organization and operations of the Congress and
recommending improvements. More specifically, -eotion 206 of the
Committee Reform Amendments of 1974 (H. Rcs. 9)ss), later enacted
into public law, directs the House Members of the Joint Committee to
conduct a continuing study of the jurisdictions and workloads of the
standing committees of the House and to recommend appropriate
chia n ges.
BACKGR OU NDI)
Members of the House have expressed growing concern in recent
years at the increasing frequency of conflicts in the scheduling of meet-
ings and hearings of the committees and sul committees to which they
are assigned. Such conflicts create difficulties for committees and siub-
committees in obtaining and holding quorums necessary for the con-
duct of their business and for Members in arranging to attend two
or more meet i n2s scheduled for the same time.
The staff of the former Select Committee on Committees, in the
course of its study of House committee jurisdictions and operations.
compiled detailed statistics with respect to the occurrence of committee
scheduling conflicts and their impact on individual Memnbers du'iigz
the 1st session of the 93d Congress.
Analysis of this data-which does not include meetings of joint
committees, select committees, or commission--reveals the magnitude
of the problem. Between January 4, 1973 and Deceminber 20. 1973.
some 3,368 committee and subcommittee meetings were scheduled in
the House on 199 different days, an average of 17 meetings per day.
For Members, collectively, these meetings occasioned 9,230 instances
of conflict in which two or more committees or subcommittees on
which they served were meeting simultaneously. In 1,080 instances,
Members were scheduled to attend three meetings during the same
time period; in 88 cases, Members were expected to attend four meet-
ings at the same time; and on four occasions, Members faced a sched-
ule of five concurrent committee/subcommittee meetings.
These figures, of course, do not tell the whole story. They do not
account for conflicts which may have resulted from morning meetings
extended into the afternoon-a not. infrequent experience. Nor do
they reveal the number of meetings canceled for lack of quorums or
the occasions on which meetings could not be scheduled because of
conflicts with previously scheduled meetings. In the judgment of.
House Members of the Joint Committee, however, the data are more
than adequate to confirm the widespread observations of Members
that conunittee scheduling conflicts are so frequent and so frustrating
as to require corrective action at the earliest opportunity.
RECOMMI ENDED RESOLUTION
Since there is so little prospect of affecting directly in the near
future the basic causes of scheduling conflicts-the increased legisla-
tive and oversight. workloads of most committees and the proliferation
of subcommittees-the greatest potential for immediate results appears
to exist in more effective utilization of time in seeking to alleviate
scheduling conflicts. In the absence of a House-wide, computer-assisted
system for scheduling all committee and subcommittee meetings, which
would encourage the scheduling of meetings at times of maximum
membership availability, conflicts can be reduced most effectively by
blocking out limited periods of time in which those committees with
the least membership overlap have the exclusive right to meet.
House. Members of the Joint Committee propose-and have drafted
a House Resolution to implement this proposal-that:
(1) the standing committees of the House (excluding Appropri-
ations. Rules. Ways and Means) be divided into two groups, each
composed of committees on which there is minimum duplication
(2) for each group) of committees. 2 days a month-the second
Tuesday and the fourth Thursday, or the second Thursday and
fourth Tuesday-lbe designated on which those committees would
b)e prohibited from meeting, thereby allowing the other group
relatively iinconflicting access to their memberships;
(3) the Comnmittee on the Budget be included in both groups of
committees in view of the fact. that assignments to the Budget
Committee for most of its Members represent an additional-often
a third-committee assignment;
(4) all committees and their subcommittees be entitled to meet
on any and all days not specifically prohibited.
One group of committees would consist of: Agriculture. Armed
Services. Bankinfr. Currency and Housing. Budget, Education and
Lb or. Iiiternntional Reolations. Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
Jildi(i.riry, and Public Works and Trawnportation.
The other group would include: Budget, Dist 6ict of Columbia, Gov-
ernment Operations, House Administration, Interior and Insular
Affairs, Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Post Office and Civil Service,
Science and Technology, Small Business, Standards of Official Con-
duct, and Veterans' Affairs.
The Committees on Appropriations, Rules, and Ways and Means
would not be included in either group and would not be restricted in
any way in terms of scheduling committee or subcommittee meetings
since traditionally Members of these committees serve on no other,
except for Members appointed for short terms on the Budget Conm-
The proposed res-olution would amened clause 2(b) of Rule XI of
the Rules of the House of Representatives.
On the basis of committee assignments in the 94th Congress, this
proposal would directly affect approximately 238 Members who serve
on committees in both groups. One hundred and sixty-one Members
who serve on only one committee (excluding the Budget Committee)
would be indirectly benefitted by virtue of the greater a.ssurilnce that
their committees would be able to obtain quorums on specified days
and by the certainty that on 2 days no committee meetings could be
scheduled. Thirty-one Meiiibers serve on two committees in the sa,,me
group and, thus, would not benefit directly from the proposed rules
Overall, therefore, substantial relief would be provided for most
Members of the House-and for the committees on which they serve-
by adoption of this proposal. Scheduling conflicts would be amelio-
rated. Committees would have increased assurance that meetings could
be scheduled, well in advance, at which quorums were necessary for
the conduct of business. The effectiveness of the legislative process
would be enhanced, and the orderly conduct of committee business
would be improved.
TEXT OF RESOLUTION
Following is the text of the resolution proposed to implement the
rules change described above. The resolution has been endorsed unani-
mously by the five House Members of the Joint Conmmittee.
To amend tlhe House Rules for the purpose of assisting in the reduc-
tion of the number of committees meeting on certain days of .cih
Rcsolred, That the first sentenceO of clause 2(b) of Rule XI of the
House of Representat ves is amended by ;isert'nig the followr';nu im-
mediately before the period at the end thereof: "; except that neither
the full Committee on Agriculture, the Committee on Armed Se'i ',.s,
the Committee on Banking, Currency aid Housing, the Committee
on the Budget, the Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee
on International Relations, the Committee on Interstate and Foreign
Commerce, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on
Public Works nor any Sub-Committee of the foregoing may meet on
either the second Tuesday or the fourth Thursday of each month, and
neither the full Committee on the Budget, the Committee on the Dis-
trict of Columbia, the Committee on Government Operations, the Com-
mittee on House Administration, the Committee on Interior and In-
suilar Affairs, the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, the
Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, the Committee on Science
aind Technology, the Committee on Small Business, the Committee on
Standards of Official Conduct, and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
nor any Sub-Committee of the foregoing may meet on either the sec-
ond Tlursday orthe fourth Tuesday of each month".
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