ProQuest® Congressional Help - Refer a bill to one or more committees
Send Feedback

Glossary Item Box

  • Print

Refer a bill to one or more committees

A bill usually is assigned, or referred, to the one committee that has jurisdiction over the subject involved. However, major bills, or bills consisting of several topics, may be assigned to more than one committee. Senate rules permit, although it infrequently uses, multiple referrals referral to more than one committee. These can be:

  • Joint referral: referral to more than one committee at the same time
  • Sequential referral: referral first to one committee, then to a second when the first completes its work on the measure, and so on
  • Split referral: referral of various parts of a bill to different committees at the same time

The House also uses multiple referrals (sequential and split referrals), although the 104th Congress abolished joint referrals. The 104th Congress changed House rules to permit the Speaker to designate a committee of primary jurisdiction, that is, a committee with primary responsibility for a measure, and expand the Speaker's authority to appoint ad hoc committees to consider a single piece of legislation. These changes were designed to increase the Speaker's power by making the committees more accountable to him and the majority party program.

Copyright © 2012  ProQuest LLC.  All rights reserved.

©2014. All Rights Reserved.