Legislative Process Reforms
Amends rule I of the Rules of the House of Representatives to require the Speaker to announce a specified legislative program at the beginning of each session of the Congress. Requires the Speaker to ensure that the minority leader is fully consulted in developing the legislative program for the House each week. Directs the Speaker to state the question on reconsideration of a bill, immediately after its return from the President, without an intervening motion. Requires the House to proceed to vote on the reconsideration of such measure. Amends rule X to require the Speaker to refer legislation initially to one committee as the committee of principal jurisdiction (currently, such legislation may initially be referred simultaneously to two or more committees for concurrent consideration). Requires a bill originating in the House to be presented to the President by the tenth calendar day after it has passed the House and the Senate in identical form. Requires the membership of each committee (except the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct), subcommittee, task force, or other subunit, to reflect the ratio of majority to minority party Members of the House at the beginning of the Congress. Exempts the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico and the Delegates to the House from the count in determining such party ratio. Requires the membership of each select committee, subcommittee, task force, subunit, or conference committee to reflect the ratio of the majority to minority party Members of the House at the time of its appointment. Prohibits any standing committee of the House (except the Committee on Appropriations) from establishing more than six subcommittees. Prevents any member from serving on more than four House subcommittees at any one time. Amends rule XI to repeal the general permission, subject to certain conditions, for proxy voting by a member of any committee or subcommittee with respect to any measure or matter. Allows committees and subcommittees to close their meetings in circumstances where disclosure of matters to be considered would: (1) endanger national security; (2) tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person; (3) violate any law or rule of the House; or (4) involve committee personnel matters. Provides that a majority of the members of each committee or subcommittee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, including the markup of legislation (currently, all committees but the Committees on Appropriations, Budget, and Ways and Means are permitted to fix the number establishing quorum). Requires the names of those Members voting for and against any motion to report a public bill or resolution to be included in the committee report of such measure (currently, only the number of votes cast for or against reporting such measure is included). Requires the names of those members of the committees actually present at the time the bill or resolution is ordered reported to be included in the committee report relating to each nonrecord vote on a motion to report such public bill or resolution. Requires that a committee or subcommittee print, document, or other material, except under certain circumstances, prepared for public distribution, shall either: (1) be approved by the committee or subcommittee prior to such public distribution, with opportunity afforded for the inclusion of supplemental, minority, or additional views; or (2) contain a specified disclaimer on its cover. Prohibits any such print, document, or other material not approved by the committee or subcommittee from including the names of its members, other than the name of the chairman releasing such document. Lists material excepted from such requirements. Prohibits a measure reported from the Committee on Rules from being considered on the same calendar day it is presented to the House, nor on the subsequent calendar day of the same legislative day, except in certain circumstances. (Currently it can not be considered on the same day.) Prohibits the Committee on Rules from reporting any rule or order that would prevent a motion to recommit that has amendatory instructions (except in the case of a Senate measure for which the language of a House passed measure has been substituted). Prohibits the consideration of any rule providing for the consideration of a bill or resolution otherwise subject to amendment under House rules if such resolution limits the right of Members to offer germane amendments to such measure, unless the chairman of the Rules Committee has announced, within a specified period of time, that less than an open amendment process might be recommended by the Committee for the consideration of such measure. Makes it out of order to consider any order of business resolution which provides that, upon adoption, the House shall be considered to have automatically adopted a motion, amendment, or resolution, or to have passed a bill, joint resolution, or conference report, unless consideration of such resolution is agreed to by at least two-thirds of the Members voting. Requires any report accompanying a resolution for consideration of a budget waiver measure to include: (1) an explanation and justification for the waiver; (2) an estimated cost of the provisions to which the waiver applies; and (3) a summary or text of any written comments on the waiver received by the committee from the Committee on the Budget. Sets forth procedures for the consideration of such resolution. Prohibits the consideration of a resolution that waives all House rules, except by a two-thirds vote of the Members voting. Makes it out of order to consider any primary expense resolution unless the Committee on House Administration has reported and the House has adopted a resolution establishing an overall ceiling for House committee staff personnel for that year. Makes such a resolution privileged. Establishes guidelines for developing and considering primary and supplemental expense resolutions. Provides that the overall ceiling for committee staff in a resolution reported by the committee or contained in any amendment for the 103d Congress shall not exceed 50 percent of the total committee staff personnel employed at the end of the 102d Congress. Amends rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives to establish a Commemorative Calendar comprised of unreported bills and resolutions respecting commemorative holidays and celebrations that have been: (1) referred to the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service; and (2) requested by the chairman and ranking minority member of such committee to be placed on such calendar. Outlines procedures for the consideration of such measures. Amends rules XV of the Rules of the House of Representatives to provide for an automatic roll call vote when the Speaker puts the question upon final passage of: (1) any bill, joint resolution, or conference report making general appropriations, providing revenue, or adjusting the statutory congressional pay rate; or (2) any budgetary concurrent resolution or conference report that provides an increase in the statutory debt limit. Amends rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives to repeal the declaration that no amendment shall be in order during consideration of a general appropriation bill if it proposes a limitation not specifically contained or authorized in existing law for the period of such limitations. Defines a "general appropriation bill" to include any bill or joint resolution making continuing appropriations in a fiscal year for a period in excess of 30 days. Describes the contents of such bill. Reserves all points of order against any general appropriation bill at the time it is reported. Prohibits the consideration of any bill or joint resolution making appropriations for a period of 30 days or less unless it only provides appropriations in the lesser amount and under the more restrictive authority of each pertinent appropriations measure: (1) as passed by the House; (2) as passed by the Senate; (3) as agreed to by a committee of conference; or (4) as enacted for the preceding fiscal year. Requires a report from the Committee on Appropriations accompanying any appropriation bill to list all appropriations contained in the bill for any expenditure not previously authorized by law. Requires a three-fifths vote of the Members of the whole House to consider any rule or order from the Rules Committee that waives certain rules governing consideration of any short- or long-term continuing appropriations measures. Amends rule XXI to establish certain guidelines for reporting and considering reconciliation measures in the House. Exempts Senate amendments and conference reports from such guidelines. Reserves all points of order against a reconciliation bill at the time it is reported. Prohibits the consideration in the House of any bill or joint resolution which directly or indirectly authorizes enactment of new budget authority for a fiscal year unless such measure is reported in the House on or before May 15 preceding the beginning of such fiscal year. Amends rule XXIV of the rules of the House of Representatives to revise the daily order of business for the House to include the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Amends rule XXVII to establish additional criteria for entertaining motions to suspend the rules and pass a measure in the House. Requires the Clerk of the House, after 100 Members have signed a motion to discharge a committee from the consideration of a measure, to: (1) cause the name of each Member who has signed or withdrawn a signature to such motion to be printed in the Congressional Record; and (2) publish an updated list in the Record at the end of each succeeding week the House is in session. Amends rule XXVIII to require inclusion of supplemental, minority, or additional views of a House conferee in the same published volume of the conference committee's report, if specified conditions are met. Amends rule XLVIII to require a specified oath to be administered to: (1) a newly appointed Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; (2) each committee's employee; and (3) any person engaged by contract or to perform services for or at the request of the committee who is required to subscribe to the agreement in writing. Requires the Clerk of the House to provide for the printing of such oaths for: (1) filing in the records of the House; and (2) recording in the House Journal and in the Congressional Record. Directs the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to investigate and report to the House on any violation of such oath. Authorizes the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to refer cases of unauthorized disclosure and violations of the required oaths to such committee for investigation. Authorizes the committee by a majority vote to deny a member access to classified information if he or she is subject to a pending investigation. Directs the House Committees on Rules and on Government Operations by a certain date to report legislation granting the President enhanced rescission authority with respect to any budget authority not authorized by law. Sets forth procedures for considering such legislation if it is not reported out of such committees by the stated deadline. Directs the Committee on Rules to study and report to the House on the feasibility of converting to a biennial budget-appropriations process and corresponding multiyear authorizations. Declares that it is the policy of the House of Representatives that the following Federal laws should be amended to apply them to the House in the same or similar manner as they apply to the Executive Branch: (1) the National Labor Relations Act; (2) the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970; (3) the Equal Pay Act of 1963; (4) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; (5) the Freedom of Information Act; (6) the Privacy Act of 1974; (7) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and (8) specified provisions of the Federal judicial code relating to an independent counsel. Directs the standing committees of the House with subject jurisdiction over such Federal laws to report legislation to the House to implement such policy. Provides for consideration of such legislation. Requires the ratio of majority party to minority party staff positions, consultants, details, and funding for House committees to be the same ratio as that of Members of the House. Eliminates the following Select Committees in the House: (1) Aging; (2) Hunger; (3) Children, Youth, and Families; and (4) Narcotics Abuse and Control. Transfers the records, files, and materials of such select committees to the Clerk of the House. Applies the Freedom of Information Act to the Congress. Exempts information related to casework or constituent correspondence from such Act with respect to Members of the Congress. Provides that the period for which expenses of the former Speakers of the House may be paid shall end three years after the expiration date of such term of office, except that in the case of a former Speaker who is receiving such expenses on the date of the enactment of this Act, the period shall end three years after such date. Amends Federal law to prohibit a Member of the House from sending any franked mass mailing outside the Member's congressional district. Authorizes a Member of Congress to mail franked mail with a simplified form of address for delivery within his or her congressional district or State only. (Current law permits such mailings in areas proposed to become a part of such Member's congressional district by legislative or judicial proceedings but not in effect.) Prohibits the Committee on House Administration from approving any payment for, and a Member from making any expenditure from, any allowance of the House or any other official funds if any portion is for any cost related to a mass mailing by a Member of the House outside his or her congressional district. Amends the Federal Salary Act of 1967 to make it out of order to consider any bill or resolution that would adjust, or have the effect of adjusting, the salaries of Members of Congress if such measure contains any item which does not relate to adjusting Members' salaries. Prohibits consideration of any measure in the House appropriating amounts for the legislative branch of the Government if it permits such amount to remain available for obligation beyond the end of the fiscal year for which the amount is appropriated. Requires at least one attorney in the Office of the Parliamentarian in the House to be appointed upon the recommendation of the minority leader. Permits the chairman of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to serve for the first session of a Congress only. Requires the House to elect a member of such committee to serve as chairman from nominations submitted by the minority party caucus or conference, at the beginning of a second session of a Congress. Provides that in adopting the Rules of the House of Representatives in the 103d Congress and any subsequent Congress, each rule shall be agreed to by separate resolution of the House.