Dreier Unveils Simplified House Rules For New Congress

Dreier Unveils Simplified House Rules For New Congress

Public Awareness of Congress Improved With Clearer Process & Expanded Technological Access

WASHINGTON - Saying the "rules of the House should be understandable to the American people," the new Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), today announced Republican approval of a modern set of rules for the 106th Congress designed to improve public access and understanding of the legislative process, and the efficient operation of the House.

When coupled with expanding internet opportunities for legislative information, the recodification of the House Rules will make it much easier for the public to follow legislation, learn about the public policy issues before Congress and become active citizens in their government, Dreier said.

"The old rules were too complex, outdated and confusing to allow most people to understand the legislative process. The American people deserve better than to enter the new millennium with their Congress operating under rules that date to the 1880's," Dreier said. "Working with the Democrats, we have simplified and streamlined the rules of the House so that everyone can have a better grasp of what's going on."

"Republicans will move forward in the 106th Congress on the issues important to the American people, working to build consensus with the Democrats," said Dreier. "The overwhelming majority of the rule changes in this package were developed by a bipartisan task force of the House Rules Committee. It's a great start to the 106th Congress."

A leader in bringing modern technologies into the Congress, Dreier added that, "One of my goals has been to ensure that House Rules foster the use of modern technology, helping to bridge the gap of time and distance between Washington and those back home." He noted that the internet and other digital technologies are particularly useful for public access from far away districts in different time zones, such as his in California. Among other changes, the recodification will:

  • condense the current 51 House Rules down to 28;
  • remove confusion by making terms, and references uniform throughout the rules;
  • simplify cumbersome language and consolidate currently separated rules, and,
  • change the rules governing audio and visual coverage of Congressional proceedings to allow their broadcast with 21st century technology, such as the internet.

House Republicans today approved the rules package. It will be voted on tomorrow by the full House of Representatives.

Attached is a copy of a summary of the new rules package, the bipartisan letter of support for the new rules package, a side by side comparison of some examples of the old and new rules and a copy of the Rules Committee web page directory example sheet.