Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XXV

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Rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, establishes Senate standing committees and establishes their jurisdiction.

Paragraph 1[edit]

Paragraph 1 governs the appointment of standing committees and jurisdictions:

The following standing committees shall be appointed at the commencement of each Congress, and shall continue and have the power to act until their successors are appointed, with leave to report by bill or otherwise on matters within their respective jurisdictions:
(a)
(1) Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating primarily to the following subjects:
1. Agricultural economics and research.
2. Agricultural extension services and experiment stations.
3. Agricultural production, marketing, and stabilization of prices.
4. Agriculture and agricultural commodities.
5. Animal industry and diseases.
6. Crop insurance and soil conservation.
7. Farm credit and farm security.
8. Food from fresh waters.
9. Food stamp programs.
10. Forestry, and forest reserves and wilderness areas other than those created from the public domain.
11. Home economics.
12. Human nutrition.
13. Inspection of livestock, meat, and agricultural products.
14. Pests and pesticides.
15. Plant industry, soils, and agricultural engineering.
16. Rural development, rural electrification, and watersheds.
17. School nutrition programs.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to food, nutrition, and hunger, both in the United States and in foreign countries, and rural affairs, and report thereon from time to time.
(b) Committee on Appropriations, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Appropriation of the revenue for the support of the Government, except as provided in subparagraph (e).
2. Rescission of appropriations contained in appropriation Acts (referred to in section 105 of title 1, United States Code).
3. The amount of new spending authority described in section 401(c)(2) (A) and (B) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 which is to be effective for a fiscal year.
4. New spending authority described in section 401(c)(2)(C) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 provided in bills and resolutions referred to the committee under section 401(b)(2) of that Act (but subject to the provisions of section 401(b)(3) of that Act).
(c)
(1) Committee on Armed Services, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations.
2. Common defense.
3. Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally.
4. Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone.
5. Military research and development.
6. National security aspects of nuclear energy.
7. Naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska.
8. Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents.
9. Selective service system.
10. Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to the common defense policy of the United States, and report thereon from time to time.
(d)
(1) Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Banks, banking, and financial institutions.
2. Control of prices of commodities, rents, and services.
3. Deposit insurance.
4. Economic stabilization and defense production.
5. Export and foreign trade promotion.
6. Export controls.
7. Federal monetary policy, including Federal Reserve System.
8. Financial aid to commerce and industry.
9. Issuance and redemption of notes.
10. Money and credit, including currency and coinage.
11. Nursing home construction.
12. Public and private housing (including veterans' housing).
13. Renegotiation of Government contracts.
14. Urban development and urban mass transit.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to international economic policy as it affects United States monetary affairs, credit, and financial institutions; economic growth, urban affairs, and credit, and report thereon from time to time.
(e)
(1) Committee on the Budget, to which committee shall be referred all concurrent resolutions on the budget (as defined in section 3(a)(4) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974) and all other matters required to be referred to that committee under titles III and IV of that Act, and messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating thereto.
(2) Such committee shall have the duty
(A) to report the matters required to be reported by it under titles III and IV of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974;
(B) to make continuing studies of the effect on budget outlays of relevant existing and proposed legislation and to report the results of such studies to the Senate on a recurring basis;
(C) to request and evaluate continuing studies of tax expenditures, to devise methods of coordinating tax expenditures, policies, and programs with direct budget outlays, and to report the results of such studies to the Senate on a recurring basis; and
(D) to review, on a continuing basis, the conduct by the Congressional Budget Office of its functions and duties.
(f)
(1) Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Coast Guard.
2. Coastal zone management.
3. Communications.
4. Highway safety.
5. Inland waterways, except construction.
6. Interstate commerce.
7. Marine and ocean navigation, safety, and transportation, including navigational aspects of deepwater ports.
8. Marine fisheries.
9. Merchant marine and navigation.
10. Nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences.
11. Oceans, weather, and atmospheric activities.
12. Panama Canal and interoceanic canals generally, except as provided in subparagraph (c).
13. Regulation of consumer products and services, including testing related to toxic substances, other than pesticides, and except for credit, financial services, and housing.
14. Regulation of interstate common carriers, including railroads, buses, trucks, vessels, pipelines, and civil aviation.
15. Science, engineering, and technology research and development and policy.
16. Sports.
17. Standards and measurement.
18. Transportation.
19. Transportation and commerce aspects of Outer Continental Shelf lands.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, all matters relating to science and technology, oceans policy, transportation, communications, and consumer affairs, and report thereon from time to time.
(g)
(1) Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Coal production, distribution, and utilization.
2. Energy policy.
3. Energy regulation and conservation.
4. Energy related aspects of deepwater ports.
5. Energy research and development.
6. Extraction of minerals from oceans and Outer Continental Shelf lands.
7. Hydroelectric power, irrigation, and reclamation.
8. Mining education and research.
9. Mining, mineral lands, mining claims, and mineral conservation.
10. National parks, recreation areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, historical sites, military parks and battlefields, and on the public domain, preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest.
11. Naval petroleum reserves in Alaska.
12. Nonmilitary development of nuclear energy.
13. Oil and gas production and distribution.
14. Public lands and forests, including farming and grazing thereon, and mineral extraction therefrom.
15. Solar energy systems.
16. Territorial possessions of the United States, including trusteeships.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to energy and resources development, and report thereon from time to time.
(h)
(1) Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Air pollution.
2. Construction and maintenance of highways.
3. Environmental aspects of Outer Continental Shelf lands.
4. Environmental effects of toxic substances, other than pesticides.
5. Environmental policy.
6. Environmental research and development.
7. Fisheries and wildlife.
8. Flood control and improvements of rivers and harbors, including environmental aspects of deepwater ports.
9. Noise pollution.
10. Nonmilitary environmental regulation and control of nuclear energy.
11. Ocean dumping.
12. Public buildings and improved grounds of the United States generally, including Federal buildings in the District of Columbia.
13. Public works, bridges, and dams.
14. Regional economic development.
15. Solid waste disposal and recycling.
16. Water pollution.
17. Water resources.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to environmental protection and resource utilization and conservation, and report thereon from time to time.
(i) Committee on Finance, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Bonded debt of the United States, except as provided in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
2. Customs, collection districts, and ports of entry and delivery.
3. Deposit of public moneys.
4. General revenue sharing.
5. Health programs under the Social Security Act and health programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund.
6. National social security.
7. Reciprocal trade agreements.
8. Revenue measures generally, except as provided in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
9. Revenue measures relating to the insular possessions.
10. Tariffs and import quotas, and matters related thereto.
11. Transportation of dutiable goods.
(j)
(1) Committee on Foreign Relations, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Acquisition of land and buildings for embassies and legations in foreign countries.
2. Boundaries of the United States.
3. Diplomatic service.
4. Foreign economic, military, technical, and humanitarian assistance.
5. Foreign loans.
6. International activities of the American National Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
7. International aspects of nuclear energy, including nuclear transfer policy.
8. International conferences and congresses.
9. International law as it relates to foreign policy.
10. International Monetary Fund and other international organizations established primarily for international monetary purposes (except that, at the request of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, any proposed legislation relating to such subjects reported by the Committee on Foreign Relations shall be referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs).
11. Intervention abroad and declarations of war.
12. Measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business interests abroad.
13. National security and international aspects of trusteeships of the United States.
14. Oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs as they relate to foreign policy.
15. Protection of United States citizens abroad and expatriation.
16. Relations of the United States with foreign nations generally.
17. Treaties and executive agreements, except reciprocal trade agreements.
18. United Nations and its affiliated organizations.
19. World Bank group, the regional development banks, and other international organizations established primarily for development assistance purposes.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to the national security policy, foreign policy, and international economic policy as it relates to foreign policy of the United States, and matters relating to food, hunger, and nutrition in foreign countries, and report thereon from time to time.
(k)
(1) Committee on Governmental Affairs, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Archives of the United States.
2. Budget and accounting measures, other than appropriations, except as provided in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
3. Census and collection of statistics, including economic and social statistics.
4. Congressional organization, except for any part of the matter that amends the rules or orders of the Senate.
5. Federal Civil Service.
6. Government information.
7. Intergovernmental relations.
8. Municipal affairs of the District of Columbia, except appropriations therefor.
9. Organization and management of United States nuclear export policy.
10. Organization and reorganization of the executive branch of the Government.
11. Postal Service.
12. Status of officers and employees of the United States, including their classification, compensation, and benefits.
(2) Such committee shall have the duty of
(A) receiving and examining reports of the Comptroller General of the United States and of submitting such recommendations to the Senate as it deems necessary or desirable in connection with the subject matter of such reports;
(B) studying the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of all agencies and departments of the Government;
(C) evaluating the effects of laws enacted to reorganize the legislative and executive branches of the Government; and
(D) studying the intergovernmental relationships between the United States and the States and municipalities, and between the United States and international organizations of which the United States is a member.
(l) Committee on the Judiciary, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Apportionment of Representatives.
2. Bankruptcy, mutiny, espionage, and counterfeiting.
3. Civil liberties.
4. Constitutional amendments.
5. Federal courts and judges.
6. Government information.
7. Holidays and celebrations.
8. Immigration and naturalization.
9. Interstate compacts generally.
10. Judicial proceedings, civil and criminal, generally.
11. Local courts in the territories and possessions.
12. Measures relating to claims against the United States.
13. National penitentiaries.
14. Patent Office.
15. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
16. Protection of trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies.
17. Revision and codification of the statutes of the United States.
18. State and territorial boundary lines.
(m)
(1) Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Measures relating to education, labor, health, and public welfare.
2. Aging.
3. Agricultural colleges.
4. Arts and humanities.
5. Biomedical research and development.
6. Child labor.
7. Convict labor and the entry of goods made by convicts into interstate commerce.
8. Domestic activities of the American National Red Cross.
9. Equal employment opportunity.
10. Gallaudet College, Howard University, and Saint Elizabeths Hospital.
11. Individuals with disabilities.
12. Labor standards and labor statistics.
13. Mediation and arbitration of labor disputes.
14. Occupational safety and health, including the welfare of miners.
15. Private pension plans.
16. Public health.
17. Railway labor and retirement.
18. Regulation of foreign laborers.
19. Student loans.
20. Wages and hours of labor.
(2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to health, education and training, and public welfare, and report thereon from time to time.
(n)
(1) Committee on Rules and Administration, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Administration of the Senate Office Buildings and the Senate wing of the Capitol, including the assignment of office space.
2. Congressional organization relative to rules and procedures, and Senate rules and regulations, including floor and gallery rules.
3. Corrupt practices.
4. Credentials and qualifications of Members of the Senate, contested elections, and acceptance of incompatible offices.
5. Federal elections generally, including the election of the President, Vice President, and Members of the Congress.
6. Government Printing Office, and the printing and correction of the Congressional Record, as well as those matters provided for under rule XI.
7. Meetings of the Congress and attendance of Members.
8. Payment of money out of the contingent fund of the Senate or creating a charge upon the same (except that any resolution relating to substantive matter within the jurisdiction of any other standing committee of the Senate shall be first referred to such committee).
9. Presidential succession.
10. Purchase of books and manuscripts and erection of monuments to the memory of individuals.
11. Senate Library and statuary, art, and pictures in the Capitol and Senate Office Buildings.
12. Services to the Senate, including the Senate restaurant.
13. United States Capitol and congressional office buildings, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution (and the incorporation of similar institutions), and the Botanic Gardens.
(2) Such committee shall also
(A) make a continuing study of the organization and operation of the Congress of the United States and shall recommend improvements in such organization and operation with a view toward strengthening the Congress, simplifying its operations, improving its relationships with other branches of the United States Government, and enabling it better to meet its responsibilities under the Constitution of the United States;
(B) identify any court proceeding or action which, in the opinion of the Committee, is of vital interest to the Congress as a constitutionally established institution of the Federal Government and call such proceeding or action to the attention of the Senate; and develop, implement, and update as necessary a strategy planning process and a strategic plan for the functional and technical infrastructure support of the Senate and provide oversight over plans developed by Senate officers and others in accordance with the strategic planning process.
(o)
(1) Committee on Small Business, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the Small Business Administration.
(2) Any proposed legislation reported by such committee which relates to matters other than the functions of the Small Business Administration shall, at the request of the chairman of any standing committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter extraneous to the functions of the Small Business Administration, be considered and reported by such standing committee prior to its consideration by the Senate; and likewise measures reported by other committees directly relating to the Small Business Administration shall, at the request of the chairman of the Committee on Small Business, be referred to the Committee on Small Business for its consideration of any portions of the measure dealing with the Small Business Administration, and be reported by this committee prior to its consideration by the Senate.
(3) Such committee shall also study and survey by means of research and investigation all problems of American small business enterprises, and report thereon from time to time.
(p) Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:
1. Compensation of veterans.
2. Life insurance issued by the Government on account of service in the Armed Forces.
3. National cemeteries.
4. Pensions of all wars of the United States, general and special.
5. Readjustment of servicemen to civil life.
6. Soldiers' and sailors' civil relief.
7. Veterans' hospitals, medical care and treatment of veterans.
8. Veterans' measures generally.
9. Vocational rehabilitation and education of veterans.

Paragraph 2[edit]

Paragraph 2 sets size of standing committees:

2. Except as otherwise provided by paragraph 4 of this rule, each of the following standing committees shall consist of the number of Senators set forth in the following table on the line on which the name of that committee appears:
Committee / Members
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry / 18
Appropriations / 28
Armed Services / 18
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs / 18
Commerce, Science, and Transportation / 20
Energy and Natural Resources / 20
Environment and Public Works / 18
Finance / 20
Foreign Relations / 18
Governmental Affairs / 16
Judiciary / 18
H.E.L.P. / 18

Paragraph 3[edit]

Paragraph 3 sets the size of committees.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by paragraph 4 of this rule, each of the following standing committees shall consist of the number of Senators set forth in the following table on the line on which the name of that committee appears:
Committee / Members
Budget / 22
Rules and Administration / 16
Veterans' Affairs / 12
Small Business / 18
(b) Each of the following committees and joint committees shall consist of the number of Senators (or Senate members, in the case of a joint committee) set forth in the following table on the line on which the name of that committee appears:
Committee / Members
Aging / 18
Intelligence / 19
Joint Economic Committee / 10
(c) Each of the following committees and joint committees shall consist of the number of Senators (or Senate members, in the case of a joint committee) set forth in the following table on the line on which the name of that committee appears:
Committee / Members
Ethics / 6
Indian Affairs / 14
Joint Committee on Taxation / 5

Paragraph 4[edit]

Paragraph 4 sets limits on the number of committees and subcommittees that any Senator can chair and be member of.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this paragraph
(1) each Senator shall serve on two and no more committees listed in paragraph 2; and
(2) each Senator may serve on only one committee listed in paragraph 3 (a) or (b).
(b)
(1) Each Senator may serve on not more than three subcommittees of each committee (other than the Committee on Appropriations) listed in paragraph 2 of which he is a member.
(2) Each Senator may serve on not more than two subcommittees of a committee listed in paragraph 3 (a) or (b) of which he is a member.
(3) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (1) and (2), a Senator serving as chairman or ranking minority member of a standing, select, or special committee of the Senate or joint committee of the Congress may serve ex officio, without vote, as a member of any subcommittee of such committee or joint committee.
(4) No committee of the Senate may establish any subunit of that committee other than a subcommittee, unless the Senate by resolution has given permission therefor. For purposes of this subparagraph, any subunit of a joint committee shall be treated as a subcommittee.
(c) By agreement entered into by the majority leader and the minority leader, the membership of one or more standing committees may be increased temporarily from time to time by such number or numbers as may be required to accord to the majority party a majority of the membership of all standing committees. When any such temporary increase is necessary to accord to the majority party a majority of the membership of all standing committees, members of the majority party in such number as may be required for that purpose may serve as members of three standing committees listed in paragraph 2. No such temporary increase in the membership of any standing committee under this subparagraph shall be continued in effect after the need therefor has ended. No standing committee may be increased in membership under this subparagraph by more than two members in excess of the number prescribed for that committee by paragraph 2 or 3(a).
(d) A Senator may serve as a member of any joint committee of the Congress the Senate members of which are required by law to be appointed from a standing committee of the Senate of which he is a member, and service as a member of any such joint committee shall not be taken into account for purposes of subparagraph (a)(2).
(e)
(1) No Senator shall serve at any time as chairman of more than one standing, select, or special committee of the Senate or joint committee of the Congress, except that a Senator may serve as chairman of any joint committee of the Congress having jurisdiction with respect to a subject matter which is directly related to the jurisdiction of a standing committee of which he is chairman.
(2) No Senator shall serve at any time as chairman of more than one subcommittee of each standing, select, or special committee of the Senate or joint committee of the Congress of which he is a member.
(3) A Senator who is serving as the chairman of a committee listed in paragraph 2 may serve at any time as the chairman of only one subcommittee of all committees listed in paragraph 2 of which he is a member and may serve at any time as the chairman of only one subcommittee of each committee listed in paragraph 3 (a) or (b) of which he is a member. A Senator who is serving as the chairman of a committee listed in paragraph 3 (a) or (b) may not serve as the chairman of any subcommittee of that committee, and may serve at any time as the chairman of only one subcommittee of each committee listed in paragraph 2 of which he is a member. Any other Senator may serve as the chairman of only one subcommittee of each committee listed in paragraph 2, 3(a), or 3(b) of which he is a member.
(f) A Senator serving on the Committee on Rules and Administration may not serve on any joint committee of the Congress unless the Senate members thereof are required by law to be appointed from the Committee on Rules and Administration, or unless such Senator served on the Committee on Rules and Administration and the Joint Committee on Taxation on the last day of the Ninetyeighth Congress.
(g) A Senator who on the day preceding the effective date of title I of the Committee System Reorganization Amendments of 1977 was serving as the chairman or ranking minority member of the Committee on the District of Columbia or the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service may serve on the Committee on Governmental Affairs in addition to serving on two other standing committees listed in paragraph 2. At the request of any such Senator, he shall be appointed to serve on such committee but, while serving on such committee and two other standing committees listed in paragraph 2, he may not serve on any committee listed in paragraph 3 (a) or (b) other than the Committee on Rules and Administration. The preceding provisions of this subparagraph shall apply with respect to any Senator only so long as his service as a member of the Committee on Governmental Affairs is continuous after the date on which the appointment of the majority and minority members of the Committee on Governmental Affairs is initially completed.