Rules

Committee Rules

GENERAL RULES 

Rule 1. The Standing Rules of the Senate, as supplemented by these rules, are adopted as the rules of the Committee and its Subcommittees. 

MEETINGS OF THE COMMITTEE 

Rule 2. (a) The Committee shall meet on the third Thursday of each month while the Congress is in session for the purpose of conducting business, unless, for the convenience of Members, the Chairman shall set some other day for a meeting. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairman as he or she may deem necessary. 

(b) Hearings of any Subcommittee may be called by the Chairman of such Subcommittee, provided that no Subcommittee hearing, other than a field hearing, shall be scheduled or held concurrently with a full Committee meeting or hearing, unless a majority of the Committee concurs in such concurrent hearing. 

OPEN HEARINGS AND MEETINGS 

Rule 3. (a) All hearings and business meetings of the Committee and all the hearings of any of its Subcommittees shall be open to the public unless the Committee or Subcommittee involved, by majority vote of all the Members of the Committee or such Subcommittee, orders the hearing or meeting to be closed in accordance with paragraph 5(b) of Rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate. 

(b) A transcript shall be kept of each hearing of the Committee or any Subcommittee. 

(c) A transcript shall be kept of each business meeting of the Committee unless a majority of all the Members of the Committee agrees that some other form of permanent record is preferable. 

HEARING PROCEDURE 

Rule 4. (a) Public notice shall be given of the date, place, and subject matter of any hearing to be held by the Committee or any Subcommittee at least one week in advance of such hearing unless the Chairman of the full Committee or the Subcommittee involved determines that the hearing is non-controversial or that special circumstances require expedited procedures and a majority of all the Members of the Committee or the Subcommittee involved concurs. In no case shall a hearing be conducted with less than twenty-four hours’ notice. Any document or report that is the subject of a hearing shall be provided to every Member of the Committee or Subcommittee involved at least 72 hours before the hearing unless the Chairman and Ranking Member determine otherwise. 

(b) Each witness who is to appear before the Committee or any Subcommittee shall file with the Committee or Subcommittee, at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing, a written statement of his or her testimony in as many copies as the Chairman of the Committee or Subcommittee prescribes. 

(c) Each Member shall be limited to five minutes in the questioning of any witness until such time as all Members who so desire have had an opportunity to question the witness. 

(d) No staff member may question a witness at a hearing. 

BUSINESS MEETING PROCEDURES 

Rule 5. (a) A legislative measure, nomination, or other matter shall be included on the agenda of the next following business meeting of the full Committee if a written request by a Member of the Committee for such inclusion has been filed with the Chairman of the Committee at least one week prior to such meeting. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to limit the authority of the Chairman of the Committee to include a legislative measure, nomination, or other matter on the Committee agenda in the absence of such request. 

(b) The agenda for any business meeting of the Committee shall be provided to each Member and made available to the public at least three days prior to such meeting, and no new items may be added after the agenda is so published except by the approval of a majority of all the Members of the Committee on matters not included on the public agenda. The Staff Director shall promptly notify absent Members of any action taken by the Committee on matters not included on the published agenda. 

(c) As warranted, the Chairman, in consultation with the Ranking Member, may impose a filing deadline for first degree amendments for any legislative business meeting of the Committee. 

QUORUMS 

Rule 6. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), seven Members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business of the Committee. 

(b) No measure or matter shall be ordered reported from the Committee unless 11 Members of the Committee are actually present at the time such action is taken. 

(c) One Member shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting a hearing or taking testimony on any measure or matter before the Committee or any Subcommittee. 

VOTING 

Rule 7. (a) A roll call of the Members shall be taken upon the request of any Member. Any Member who does not vote on any roll call at the time the roll is called, may vote (in person or by proxy) on that roll call at any later time during the same business meeting. 

(b) Proxy voting shall be permitted on all matters, except that proxies may not be counted for the purpose of determining the presence of a quorum. Unless further limited, a proxy shall be exercised only upon the date for which it is given and upon the items published in the agenda for that date. 

(c) Each Committee report shall set forth the vote on the motion to report the measure or matter involved. Unless the Committee directs otherwise, the report will not set out any votes on amendments offered during Committee consideration. Any Member who did not vote on any roll call shall have the opportunity to have his or her position recorded in the appropriate Committee record or Committee report. 

(d) The Committee vote to report a measure to the Senate shall also authorize the staff of the Committee to make necessary technical and clerical corrections in the measure. 

SUBCOMMITTEES 

Rule 8. (a) The number of Members assigned to each Subcommittee and the division between Majority and Minority Members shall be fixed by the Chairman in consultation with the Ranking Minority Member. 

(b) Assignment of Members to Subcommittees shall, insofar as possible, reflect the preferences of the Members. No Member will receive assignment to a second Subcommittee until, in order of seniority, all Members of the Committee have chosen assignments to one Subcommittee, and no Member shall receive assignment to a third Subcommittee until, in order of seniority, all Members have chosen assignments to two Subcommittees. 

(c) Any Member of the Committee may sit with any Subcommittee during its hearings but shall not have the authority to vote on any matters before the Subcommittee unless he or she is a Member of such Subcommittee. 

NOMINATIONS 

Rule 9. At any hearing to confirm a Presidential nomination, the testimony of the nominee and, at the request of any Member, any other witness shall be under oath. Every nominee shall submit the financial disclosure report filed pursuant to title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Such report is made available to the public. 

INVESTIGATIONS 

Rule 10. (a) Neither the Committee nor any of its Subcommittees may undertake an investigation unless specifically authorized by the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member or a majority of all the Members of the Committee. 

(b) A witness called to testify in an investigation shall be informed of the matter or matters under investigation, given a copy of these rules, given the opportunity to make a brief and relevant oral statement before or after questioning, and be permitted to have counsel of his or her choosing present during his or her testimony at any public or closed hearing, or at any unsworn interview, to advise the witness of his or her legal rights. 

(c) For purposes of this rule, the terms “investigation” shall not include a review or study undertaken pursuant to paragraph 8 of Rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate or a preliminary inquiry, undertaken at the direction of the Chairman or the Ranking Member, intended to determine whether there is substantial credible evidence that would warrant an investigation. 

SWORN TESTIMONY 

Rule 11. Witnesses in Committee or Subcommittee hearings may be required to give testimony under oath whenever the Chairman or Ranking Minority Member of the Committee or Subcommittee deems such to be necessary. If one or more witnesses at a hearing are required to testify under oath, all witnesses at such hearing shall be required to testify under oath. 

SUBPOENAS 

Rule 12. The Chairman shall have authority to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses or the production of memoranda, documents, records, or other materials (1) with the agreement of the Ranking Minority Member, (2) when authorized by a majority of all the Members of the Committee, or (3) when within the scope of an investigation authorized under Rule 10(a). 

CONFIDENTIAL TESTIMONY 

Rule 13. No confidential testimony taken by or any report of the proceedings of a closed Committee or Subcommittee meeting shall be made public, in whole or in part or by way of summary, unless authorized by a majority of all the Members of the Committee at a business meeting called for the purpose of making such a determination. 

DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS

Rule 14. Any person whose name is mentioned or who is specifically identified in, or who believes that testimony or other evidence presented at, an open Committee or Subcommittee hearing tends to defame him or her or otherwise adversely affect his or her reputation may file with the Committee for its consideration and action a sworn statement of facts relevant to such testimony or evidence. 

BROADCASTING OF HEARINGS OR MEETINGS 

Rule 15. Any meeting or hearing by the Committee or any Subcommittee which is open to the public may be covered in whole or in part by web, television, or radio broadcast or still photography. Photographers and reporters using mechanical recording, filming, or broadcasting devices shall position their equipment so as not to interfere with the seating, vision, and hearing of Members and staff on the dais or with the orderly process of the meeting or hearing. 

AMENDING THE RULES 

Rule 16. These rules may be amended only by vote of a majority of all the Members of the Committee in a business meeting of the Committee: Provided, that no vote may be taken on any proposed amendment unless such amendment is reproduced in full in the Committee agenda for such meeting at least three days in advance of such meeting.