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New rules in the House of Representatives

By Felicia Sonmez
Wednesday, January 5, 2011; 6:21 AM

Old House rule: No "Constitutional Authority Statement" was required. A similar statement was required only for bills reported out of committee and was included in the committee report.

New House rule: All proposed bills must be accompanied by a "Constitutional Authority Statement" that notes the specific section of the Constitution that empowers Congress to enact the legislation.

Old House rule: Only bills reported out of committee were required to be "made available" three days before a vote, and they were not required to be posted online.

New House rule: All bills must be posted online for three days before they are put up for a vote.

Old House rule: Spending increases could be paid for by spending cuts or tax increases.

New House rule: Spending increases have to be offset by cuts of an equal or greater amount elsewhere and cannot be paid for by tax increases.

Old House rule: Committee chairmen did not have term limits.

New House rule: Committee chairmen have a six-year term limit.

Old House rule: Legislation was not required to be posted online before it was marked up.

New House rule: The text of legislation must be posted online 24 hours before it is due to be marked up in committee; the House Rules Committee is exempt from this rule.

Old House rule: The "Gephardt Rule" allowed the House to automatically raise the debt limit when a joint budget resolution was adopted.

New House rule: A new rule eliminates automatic debt-limit increase upon passage of joint budget resolutions.

Old House rule: The Constitution has never been read in full on the House floor.

New House rule: A full reading of the Constitution will take place on Thursday, the second day of the 112th Congress.

Three committees have new names: The Committee on Education and Labor is now the Committee on Education and the Workforce; the Committee on Science and Technology is now the Committee on Science, Space and Technology; and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is now the Committee on Ethics.

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