Rules of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 115th Congress
(Adopted January 24, 2017)
1. General Provisions
(a) The Rules of the House of Representatives, and in particular, the committee rules enumerated in clause 2 of rule XI, are the rules of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (hereafter referred to as the “Committee”), to the extent applicable.
(b) A motion to recess and a motion to dispense with the first reading (in full) of a bill or resolution, if printed copies are available, are privileged non-debatable motions in Committee.
(c) The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs shall consult the Ranking Minority Member to the extent possible with respect to the business of the Committee. Each subcommittee of the Committee is a part of the Committee and is subject to the authority and direction of the Committee and to its rules, to the extent applicable.
2. Date of Meeting
The regular meeting date of the Committee shall be the first Tuesday of every month when the House of Representatives is in session pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XI of the House of Representatives. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairman as the Chairman may deem necessary or at the request of a majority of the Members of the Committee in accordance with clause 2(c) of rule XI of the House of Representatives. The determination of the business to be considered at each meeting shall be made by the Chairman subject to clause 2(c) of rule XI of the House of Representatives. A regularly scheduled meeting need not be held if, in the judgment of the Chairman, there is no business to be considered.
For purposes of taking testimony and receiving evidence, two Members shall constitute a quorum, and the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee shall make every effort to ensure that the relevant Ranking Minority Member or another Minority Member is present at the time a hearing is convened. One-third of the Members of the Committee or subcommittee shall constitute a quorum for taking any action, except: (1) reporting a measure or recommendation; (2) closing Committee meetings and hearings to the public; (3) authorizing the issuance of subpoenas; and (4) any other action for which an actual majority quorum is required by any rule of the House of Representatives or by law. No measure or recommendation shall be reported to the House of Representatives unless a majority of the Committee is actually present. No measure or recommendation shall be reported to the full Committee by a subcommittee unless half of the subcommittee is actually present. A record vote may be demanded by one-fifth of the Members present or, in the apparent absence of a quorum, by any one Member.
4. Meetings and Hearings Open to the Public
(1) Each meeting for the transaction of business, including the markup of legislation, of the Committee or a subcommittee shall be open to the public except when the Committee or subcommittee, in open session and with a majority present, determines by record vote that all or part of the remainder of the meeting on that day shall be closed to the public, because disclosure of matters to be considered would endanger national security, would compromise sensitive law enforcement information, or would tend to defame, degrade or incriminate any person or otherwise violate any labor rule of the House of Representatives. No person other than Members of the Committee and such congressional staff and departmental representatives as the Committee or subcommittee may authorize shall be present at any business or markup session which has been closed to the public. This subsection does not apply to open Committee hearings which are provided for by subsection (b) of this rule.
(2) The Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee may postpone further proceedings when a record vote is ordered on the question of approving any measure or matter, or adopting an amendment. The relevant Chairman may resume proceedings on a postponed request at any time. When exercising postponement authority, the relevant Chairman shall take all reasonable steps necessary to notify Members on the resumption of proceedings on any postponed record vote. When proceedings resume on a postponed question, notwithstanding any intervening order for the previous question, an underlying proposition shall remain subject to further debate or amendment to the same extent as when the question was postponed.
(1) Each hearing conducted by the Committee or a subcommittee shall be open to the public except when the Committee or subcommittee, in open session and with a majority present, determines by record vote that all or part of the remainder of that hearing on that day should be closed to the public because disclosure of testimony, evidence or other matters to be considered would endanger the national security, would compromise sensitive law enforcement information, or otherwise would violate any law or rule of the House of Representatives. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a majority of those present, there being in attendance the requisite number required under the rules of the Committee to be present for the purpose of taking testimony—
(A) may vote to close the hearing for the sole purpose of discussing whether testimony or evidence to be received would endanger the national security, would compromise sensitive law enforcement information, or violate paragraph (2) of this subsection; or
(B) may vote to close the hearing, as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(2) Whenever it is asserted by a Member of the Committee that the evidence or testimony at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person, or it is asserted by a witness that the evidence or testimony that the witness would give at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate the witness—
(A) such testimony or evidence shall be presented in executive session, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, if by a majority of those present, there being in attendance the requisite number required under the rules of the Committee to be present for the purpose of taking testimony, the Committee or subcommittee determines that such evidence or testimony may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person; and
(B) the Committee or subcommittee shall proceed to receive such testimony in open session only if the Committee, a majority being present, determines that such evidence or testimony will not tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person.
(3) No Member of the House of Representatives may be excluded from non-participatory attendance at any hearing of the Committee or a subcommittee unless the House of Representatives has by majority vote authorized the Committee or subcommittee, for purposes of a particular series of hearings, on a particular article of legislation or on a particular subject of investigation, to close its hearings to Members by the same procedures designated in this subsection for closing hearings to the public.
(4) A Member of the House of Representatives who is not a Member of the Committee may not be recognized to participate in a Committee or Subcommittee hearing except by the unanimous consent of Committee Members present at such hearing. Participatory recognition of a non-Committee Member shall occur only after all Committee Members seeking recognition, both majority and minority, have had their opportunity to participate and question any witnesses.
(5) The Committee or a subcommittee may by the procedure designated in this subsection vote to close one (1) subsequent day of hearing.
(6) No congressional staff shall be present at any meeting or hearing of the Committee or a subcommittee that has been closed to the public, and at which classified information will be involved, unless such person is authorized access to such classified information in accordance with rule XX of the House of Representatives.
5. Convening Hearings and Markups
(a) Hearings. Public announcement shall be made of the date, place, and subject matter of any hearing to be conducted by the Committee or a subcommittee at the earliest possible date, and in any event at least one (1) week before the commencement of that hearing. If the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee, with the concurrence of the relevant Ranking Minority Member, determines that there is good cause to begin a hearing sooner, or if the Committee or subcommittee so determines by majority vote in the presence of the number of members required under the rules of the Committee for the taking of action, the Chairman of the full Committee, if concurring, shall make the announcement at the earliest possible date. No change shall be made to a publicly announced hearing title until after consultation with the relevant Ranking Minority Member and notice to previously announced witnesses.
(b) Markups and Other Meetings to Transact Business
(1) Convening. The Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee may call or convene, as the relevant Chairman considers necessary, meetings of the Committee or subcommittee for the consideration of a bill or resolution pending before the Committee or subcommittee, as the case may be, or for the conduct of other Committee or subcommittee business.
(2) Notice. Public announcement shall be made by the Chairman of the full Committee of the date, place, and subject matter of any markup or other meeting to conduct business at the earliest possible date, and in any event at least one (1) week before the commencement of such markup or meeting, unless the relevant Chairman determines, in consultation with the relevant Ranking Minority Member, that there is good cause to begin such a markup or meeting on an earlier date. If such determination is made, the Chairman of the full Committee, if concurring in that determination, shall make the announcement at the earliest possible date.
(3) Agenda and Texts. The relevant Chairman shall provide to all Committee or subcommittee Members an agenda for each Committee and subcommittee markup or other meeting to transact business, setting out all items of business to be considered, including whenever possible a copy of any measure scheduled for markup, at least 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) before the meeting.
Bills on subjects not listed on such agenda shall be subject to a point of order unless their consideration is agreed to by a two-thirds vote of the Committee or subcommittee, or by the Chairman of the full Committee with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member. The text of any measure to be marked up shall be made publicly available in electronic form at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of the markup meeting, or at the time of an announcement under subparagraph (b)(2) made within 24 hours before such meeting.
(c) Publication. Public announcement of all hearings and markups shall be published in the Daily Digest portion of the Congressional Record and made publicly available in electronic form. Members shall be notified by the Staff Director of all meetings (including markups and hearings) and briefings of subcommittees and of the full Committee.
(d) Member Seating. During Committee and subcommittee hearings and markups, chairs on the dais are for Members. No staff member other than a Committee or subcommittee staff director, counsel, or professional staff member may occupy a chair on the dais, unless authorized by the Chairman of the full Committee, after consultation with the Ranking Member of the Full Committee. Only one staff member each from the majority and the minority may occupy chairs on the dais at any time during a hearing or markup.
(a) Interrogation of Witnesses
(1) In so far as practicable, witnesses shall be permitted to present their oral statements without interruption subject to reasonable time constraints imposed by the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee, with questioning by the Committee Members taking place afterward. Members should refrain from questions until such statements are completed.
(2) In recognizing Members, the relevant Chairman shall, to the extent practicable, give preference to the Members on the basis of their arrival at the hearing, taking into consideration the majority and minority ratio of the Members actually present. A Member desiring to speak or ask a question shall address the relevant Chairman and not the witness.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), each Member may interrogate the witness for 5 minutes, the reply of the witness being included in the 5-minute period. After all Members have had an opportunity to ask questions, the round shall begin again under the 5-minute rule.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), the relevant Chairman, with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member, may permit one (1) or more majority Members of the Committee designated by the relevant Chairman to question a witness for a specified period of not longer than 30 minutes. On such occasions, an equal number of minority Members of the Committee designated by the Ranking Minority Member shall be permitted to question the same witness for the same period of time. Committee staff may be permitted to question a witness for equal specified periods either with the concurrence of the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the full Committee or by motion. However, in no case may questioning by Committee staff proceed before each Member of the Committee who wishes to speak under the 5-minute rule has had one opportunity to do so.
(b) Testimony of Witnesses
(1) Advance Filing Requirement. Each witness who is to appear before the Committee or a subcommittee is required to file testimony with the Committee or subcommittee at least two (2) business days in advance of that appearance. For purposes of this subsection, testimony includes the written statement of a witness, as well as any video, photographs, audio-visual matter, posters, or other supporting materials that the witness intends to present or display before the Committee. Such testimony should be provided in electronic form to the extent practicable. The Committee or subcommittee shall notify Members at least two business days in advance of a hearing of the availability of testimony submitted by witnesses. In addition, each witness shall provide sufficient copies, as determined by the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee, of his or her proposed written statement to be provided to Members and staff of the Committee or subcommittee, the news media, and the general public. The text of the written statement provided pursuant to this paragraph shall be considered final, and may not be revised by the witness after the Committee meeting at which the witness appears.
(2) Witness Preclusion and Waiver. The requirements of paragraph (1) or any part thereof may be waived by the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee, or the presiding Member, or the Ranking Member of the Committee or subcommittee as it relates to witnesses who are called by the minority to testify, provided that the witness or the relevant Chairman or Ranking Minority Member has submitted, prior to the witness’s appearance, a written explanation to the reasons testimony has not been made available to the Committee or subcommittee. If a witness who is not an official of the U.S. Government has not submitted testimony as required by paragraph (1) and no such written explanation has been submitted, the witness shall be released from testifying unless a majority of the Committee or subcommittee votes to accept his or her testimony.
(3) Remote Witness Participation. The Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee shall promptly, and not later than 48 hours beforehand if possible, notify the relevant Ranking Member of any witness who is likely to present testimony other than in person, such as by videoconference. A witness may not testify via telephone or other audio-only medium without the concurrence of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee or subcommittee. The relevant Chairman shall make reasonable efforts to verify the identity of any witness participating remotely.
(4) ‘Truth In Testimony’ Disclosure. In the case of a witness appearing in a nongovernmental capacity, a written statement of proposed testimony shall, to the extent practicable, include: a curriculum vitae; a disclosure of the amount and source of any Federal grant (or subgrant thereof) or contract (or subcontract thereof), or of any contract or payment originating with a foreign government, received during the current fiscal year or either of the two previous fiscal years by the witness or by an entity represented by the witness, to the extent that such information is relevant to the subject matter of, and the witness’ representational capacity at, the hearing; and a disclosure of whether the witness is an active registrant under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Such statements, with appropriate redactions to protect the privacy, safety, or security of the witness, shall be made publicly available in electronic form not later than one day after the witness appears.
(5) Witness Presentation. A witness shall limit his or her oral presentation to a brief summary of his or her written statement.
(6) Translation. A witness requiring an interpreter or translator should include in the testimony provided pursuant to paragraph (1) the identity of the interpreter or translator that the witness intends to use. Unless properly noticed as a separate witness, an interpreter or translator appearing before the Committee should not present views or statements other than those expressed by the witness.
(c) Oaths. The Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee, or any Member of the Committee designated by the relevant Chairman, may administer oaths to any witness appearing before the Committee.
7. Preparation and Maintenance of Committee Records
An accurate stenographic record shall be made of all hearings and markup sessions. Members of the Committee and any witness may examine the transcript of his or her own remarks and may make any grammatical or technical changes that do not substantively alter the record. Any such Member or witness shall return the transcript to the Committee offices within seven (7) calendar days (not including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) after receipt of the transcript, or as soon thereafter as is practicable.
Any information supplied for the record at the request of a Member of the Committee shall be provided to the Member when received by the Committee.
Transcripts of hearings and markup sessions (except for the record of a meeting or hearing which is closed to the public) shall be printed as soon as is practicable after receipt of the corrected versions, except that the Chairman may order the transcript of a hearing to be printed without the corrections of a Member or witness if the Chairman determines that such Member or witness has been afforded a reasonable time to correct such transcript and such transcript has not been returned within such time.
The records of the Committee at the National Archives and Records Administration shall be made available for public use in accordance with rule VII of the House of Representatives. The Chairman shall notify the Ranking Minority Member of any decision, pursuant to clause 3(b)(3) or clause 4(b) of the rule, to withhold a record otherwise available, and the matter shall be presented to the Committee for a determination on the written request of any Member of the Committee.
The Committee shall, to the maximum extent feasible, make its publications available in electronic form.
8. Extraneous Materials in Committee Hearings Prints
No extraneous material shall be printed in either the body or appendices of any Committee or subcommittee hearing, except matter which has been accepted for inclusion in the record during the hearing or by agreement of the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee and Ranking Minority Member of the Committee or subcommittee within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. Copies of bills and other legislation under consideration and responses to written questions submitted by Members shall not be considered extraneous material.
Extraneous material in either the body or appendices of any hearing to be printed which would be in excess of eight (8) printed pages (for any one submission) shall be accompanied by a written request to the relevant Chairman. Such written request shall contain an estimate in writing from the Public Printer of the probable cost of publishing such material.
9. Information on Committee Action
(a) Record Votes. The result of each record vote in any meeting of the Committee outside of executive session shall be made publicly available in electronic form within 48 hours of such record vote. Such result shall include a description of the amendment, motion, order, or other proposition, the name of each Member voting for and against, and the Members present but not voting.
(b) Adopted Amendments. Not later than 24 hours after the adoption of any amendment to a measure or matter considered by the Committee, the text of each such amendment shall be made publicly available in electronic form.
(c) Hearing and Markup Attendance. Member attendance at each Committee hearing and markup shall be recorded and included in the Committee print of the transcript of that hearing or markup.
Proxy voting is not permitted in the Committee or in subcommittees.
(a) Reports on Bills and Resolutions. To the extent practicable, not later than 24 hours before a report is to be filed with the Clerk of the House on a measure that has been ordered reported by the Committee, the Chairman shall make available for inspection by all Members of the Committee a copy of the draft Committee report in order to afford Members adequate information and the opportunity to draft and file any supplemental, minority or additional views which they may deem appropriate.
With respect to each record vote on a motion to report any measure or matter of a public character, and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, the total number of votes cast for and against, and the names of those Members voting for and against, shall be included in any Committee report on the measure or matter.
(b) Prior Approval of Certain Reports. No Committee, subcommittee, or staff report, study, or other document which purports to express publicly the views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations of the Committee or a subcommittee may be released to the public or filed with the Clerk of the House unless approved by a majority of the Committee or subcommittee, as appropriate. A proposed investigative or oversight report shall be considered as read if it has been available to Members of the Committee for at least 24 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays except when the House is in session on such a day). In any case in which clause 2(l) of rule XI and clause 3(a)(1) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives does not apply, each Member of the Committee or subcommittee shall be given an opportunity to have views or a disclaimer included as part of the material filed or released, as the case may be.
(c) Foreign Travel Reports. At the same time that the report required by clause 8(b)(3) of rule X of the House of Representatives, regarding foreign travel reports, is submitted to the Chairman, Members and employees of the Committee shall provide a report to the Chairman listing all official meetings, interviews, inspection tours and other official functions in which the individual participated, by country and date. Under extraordinary circumstances, the Chairman may waive the listing in such report of an official meeting, interview, inspection tour, or other official function. The report shall be maintained in the Committee offices and shall be available for public inspection during normal business hours. Except in extraordinary circumstances, no Member or employee of the Committee will be authorized for additional Committee travel until the reports described in this subsection have been submitted to the Chairman for that person’s prior Committee travel.
12. Reporting Bills and Resolutions
Except in extraordinary circumstances, bills and resolutions will not be considered by the Committee unless and until the appropriate subcommittee has recommended the bill or resolution for Committee action, and will not be taken to the House of Representatives for action unless and until the Committee or a relevant subcommittee has ordered reported such bill or resolution, a quorum being present.
Except in extraordinary circumstances, a bill or resolution originating in the House of Representatives that contains exclusively findings and policy declarations or expressions of the sense of the House of Representatives or the sense of the Congress shall not be considered by the Committee or a subcommittee unless such bill or resolution has at least 25 House co-sponsors, at least 10 of whom are Members of the Committee.
For purposes of this rule, extraordinary circumstances will be determined by the Chairman, after consultation with the Ranking Minority Member and such other Members of the Committee as the Chairman deems appropriate.
The Committee or a subcommittee shall not consider a bill or resolution originating in the House of Representatives that expresses appreciation, commends, congratulates, celebrates, recognizes the accomplishments of, or celebrates the anniversary of, an entity, event, group, individual, institution, team, or government program, or that acknowledges or recognizes a period of time for such purposes, except in circumstances determined by the Chairman with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member.
The Chairman is directed to offer a motion under clause 1 of rule XXII of the Rules of the House whenever the Chairman considers it appropriate.
13. Staff Services
The Committee staff shall be selected and organized so that it can provide a comprehensive range of professional services in the field of foreign affairs to the Committee, the subcommittees, and all its Members. The staff shall include persons with training and experience in foreign affairs, making available to the Committee individuals with knowledge of major countries, areas, and U.S. overseas programs and operations.
Subject to clause 9 of rule X of the House of Representatives, the staff of the Committee, except as provided in paragraph (c), shall be appointed, and may be removed, by the Chairman with the approval of the majority of the Members in the majority party of the Committee. Their remuneration shall be fixed by the Chairman, and they shall work under the general supervision and direction of the Chairman. Staff assignments are to be authorized by the Chairman or by the Staff Director under the direction of the Chairman.
Subject to clause 9 of rule X of the House of Representatives, the staff of the Committee assigned to the minority shall be appointed, their remuneration determined, and may be removed, by the Ranking Minority Member with the approval of the majority of the minority party Members of the Committee. Such staff shall work under the general supervision and direction of the Ranking Minority Member with the approval or consultation of the minority Members of the Committee.
The Chairman shall ensure that sufficient staff is made available to each subcommittee to carry out its responsibilities under the rules of the Committee. The Chairman shall ensure that the minority party is fairly treated in the appointment of such staff.
14. Number and Jurisdiction of Subcommittees
(a) Full Committee. The full Committee will be responsible for oversight and legislation relating to: foreign assistance (including development assistance, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Millennium Challenge Account, HIV/AIDS in foreign countries, security assistance, and Public Law 480 programs abroad); national security developments affecting foreign policy; strategic planning and agreements; war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and the deployment and use of United States Armed Forces; peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions; arms control and disarmament issues; the United States Agency for International Development; activities and policies of the State, Commerce, and Defense Departments and other agencies related to the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act, including export and licensing policy for munitions items and technology and dual-use equipment and technology; international law; promotion of democracy; international law enforcement issues, including narcotics control programs and activities; Broadcasting Board of Governors; embassy security; international broadcasting; public diplomacy, including international communication and information policy, and international education and exchange programs; and all other matters not specifically assigned to a subcommittee. The full Committee will have jurisdiction over legislation with respect to the administration of the Export Administration Act, including the export and licensing of dual-use equipment and technology and other matters related to international economic policy and trade not otherwise assigned to a subcommittee, and with respect to the United Nations, its affiliated agencies, and other international organizations, including assessed and voluntary contributions to such organizations. The full Committee may conduct oversight and investigations with respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Committee as defined in the Rules of the House of Representatives.
(b) Subcommittees. There shall be six (6) standing subcommittees. The names and jurisdiction of those subcommittees shall be as follows:
(1) Functional Subcommittee. There shall be one subcommittee with functional jurisdiction:
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade: Oversight and legislative responsibilities over the United States’ efforts to manage and coordinate international programs to combat terrorism as coordinated by the Department of State and other agencies, and efforts to bring international terrorists to justice. With the concurrence of the Chairman of the full Committee, oversight of, and legislation pertaining to, nonproliferation matters involving nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, except for legislation involving the Foreign Assistance Act, the Arms Export Control Act, the Export Administration Act, and sanctions laws pertaining to individual countries and the provision of foreign assistance (which is reserved to the full Committee). Oversight of matters relating to international economic and trade policy; commerce with foreign countries; international investment policy; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency; commodity agreements; and special oversight of international financial and monetary institutions; the Export-Import Bank, and customs. With the concurrence of the Chairman of the full Committee, legislative jurisdiction over measures related to export promotion and measures related to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency.
(2) Regional Subcommittees. There shall be five subcommittees with regional jurisdiction: the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific; the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats; the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa; and the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. As detailed below, two of the regional subcommittees also shall have functional jurisdiction.
The regional subcommittees shall have jurisdiction over the following within their respective regions:
(1) Matters affecting the political relations between the United States and other countries and regions, including resolutions or other legislative measures directed to such relations.
(2) Legislation with respect to disaster assistance outside the Foreign Assistance Act, boundary issues, and international claims.
(3) Legislation with respect to region- or country-specific loans or other financial relations outside the Foreign Assistance Act.
(4) Legislation and oversight regarding human rights practices in particular countries.
(5) Oversight of regional lending institutions.
(6) Oversight of matters related to the regional activities of the United Nations, of its affiliated agencies, and of other multilateral institutions.
(7) Identification and development of options for meeting future problems and issues relating to U.S. interests in the region.
(8) Oversight of base rights and other facilities access agreements and regional security pacts.
(9) Concurrent oversight jurisdiction with respect to matters assigned to the functional subcommittees insofar as they may affect the region.
(10) Oversight of foreign assistance activities affecting the region, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the full Committee.
(11) Such other matters as the Chairman of the full Committee may determine.
The Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations: In addition to its regional jurisdiction, oversight of: international health issues, including transboundary infectious diseases, maternal health and child survival, and programs related to the global ability to address health issues; population issues; the United Nations and its affiliated agencies (excluding peacekeeping and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions); the American Red Cross; and the Peace Corps. In addition, legislation and oversight pertaining to: implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; other matters relating to internationally-recognized human rights, including legislation aimed at the promotion of human rights and democracy generally; and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, and related issues.
The Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats: In addition to its regional jurisdiction, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the full Committee, oversight related to emerging foreign threats to the national security and interests of the United States.
15. Powers and Duties of Subcommittees
(a) In General. Each subcommittee is authorized to meet, hold hearings, receive evidence, and report to the full Committee on all matters referred to it.
(b) Scheduling. Subcommittee chairmen shall set meeting dates after consultation with the Chairman, other subcommittee chairmen, the relevant Ranking Minority Member and other appropriate Members, with a view toward minimizing scheduling conflicts. Subcommittee meetings shall not be scheduled to occur simultaneously with meetings of the full Committee. Hearings shall not be scheduled to occur prior to the first vote or subsequent to the last vote of a legislative week, or outside of Washington, D.C., without prior consultation with the relevant Ranking Minority Member. In order to ensure orderly administration and fair assignment of hearing and meeting rooms, the subject, time, and location of hearings and meetings shall be arranged in advance with the Chairman through the Staff Director of the Committee.
(c) Vice Chairmen. The Chairman of the Full Committee shall designate a Member of the majority party on each subcommittee as its vice chairman.
(d) Participation. The Chairman of the full Committee and the Ranking Minority Member may attend the meetings and participate in the activities of all subcommittees of which they are not Members, except that they may not vote or be counted for a quorum in such subcommittees.
(e) Required Oversight Hearings. During each 180-day period following organization of the Committee, each subcommittee shall hold at least one hearing on oversight of U.S. Government activities.
16. Referral of Bills by Chairman
In accordance with rule 14 of the Committee and to the extent practicable, all legislation and other matters referred to the Committee shall be referred by the Chairman to a subcommittee of primary jurisdiction within two (2) weeks. In accordance with rule 14 of the Committee, legislation may also be referred to additional subcommittees for consideration. Unless otherwise directed by the Chairman, such subcommittees shall act on or be discharged from consideration of legislation that has been approved by the subcommittee of primary jurisdiction within two (2) weeks of such action. In referring any legislation to a subcommittee, the Chairman may specify a date by which the subcommittee shall report thereon to the full Committee.
Subcommittees with regional jurisdiction shall have joint jurisdiction with the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations over legislation regarding human rights practices in particular countries within their regions.
The Chairman may designate a subcommittee Chairman or other Member to take responsibility as manager of a bill or resolution during its consideration in the House of Representatives.
17. Party Ratios on Subcommittees and Conference Committees
The majority party caucus of the Committee shall determine an appropriate ratio of majority to minority party Members for each subcommittee. Party representation on each subcommittee or conference committee shall be no less favorable to the majority party than the ratio for the full Committee. The Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member are authorized to negotiate matters affecting such ratios including the size of subcommittees and conference committees.
18. Subcommittee Funding and Records
Each subcommittee shall have adequate funds to discharge its responsibility for legislation and oversight.
In order to facilitate Committee compliance with clause 2(e)(1) of rule XI of the House of Representatives, each subcommittee shall keep a complete record of all subcommittee actions which shall include a record of the votes on any question on which a record vote is demanded. The result of each record vote shall be promptly made available to the full Committee for inspection by the public in accordance with rule 9 of the Committee.
All subcommittee hearings, records, data, charts, and files shall be kept distinct from the congressional office records of the Member serving as Chairman of the subcommittee. Subcommittee records shall be coordinated with the records of the full Committee, shall be the property of the House, and all Members of the House shall have access thereto.
19. Meetings of Subcommittee Chairmen
The Chairman shall call a meeting of the subcommittee chairmen on a regular basis not less frequently than once a month. Such a meeting need not be held if there is no business to conduct. It shall be the practice at such meetings to review the current agenda and activities of each of the subcommittees.
20. Access to Classified Information
(a) Authorized Persons. In accordance with the stipulations of the Rules of the House of Representatives, all Members of the House who have executed the oath required by clause 13 of rule XXIII of the House of Representatives shall be authorized to have access to classified information within the possession of the Committee.
Members of the Committee staff shall be considered authorized to have access to classified information within the possession of the Committee when they have the proper security clearances, when they have executed the oath required by clause 13 of rule XXIII of the House of Representatives, and when they have a demonstrable need to know. The decision on whether a given staff member has a need to know will be made on the following basis:
(1) In the case of the full Committee majority staff, by the Chairman, acting through the Staff Director;
(2) In the case of the full Committee minority staff, by the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee, acting through the Minority Staff Director;
(3) In the case of subcommittee majority staff, by the chairman of the subcommittee;
(4) In the case of the subcommittee minority staff, by the Ranking Minority Member of the subcommittee.
No other individuals shall be considered authorized persons, unless so designated by the Chairman of the full Committee.
(b) Designated Persons. Each Committee Member is permitted to designate one member of his or her staff as having the right of access to information classified Confidential. Such designated persons must have the proper security clearance, have executed the oath required by clause 13 of rule XXIII of the House of Representatives, and have a need to know as determined by his or her principal. Upon request of a Committee Member in specific instances, a designated person also shall be permitted access to information classified Secret which has been furnished to the Committee pursuant to section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended. Upon the written request of a Committee Member and with the approval of the Chairman in specific instances, a designated person may be permitted access to other classified materials. Designation of a staff person shall be by letter from the Committee Member to the Chairman.
(c) Location. Classified information will be stored in secure safes in the Office of the Security Officer and in the Office of the Minority Staff Director. All materials classified Top Secret or higher must be stored in a Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF).
(d) Handling. Materials classified Confidential or Secret may be taken from Committee offices to other Committee offices and hearing rooms by Members of the Committee and authorized Committee staff in connection with hearings and briefings of the Committee or its subcommittees for which such information is deemed to be essential. Removal of such information from the Committee offices shall be only with the permission of the Chairman under procedures designed to ensure the safe handling and storage of such information at all times. Except as provided in this paragraph, Top Secret materials may not be taken from approved storage areas for any purpose, except that such materials may be taken to hearings and other meetings that are being conducted at the Top Secret level when necessary. Materials classified Top Secret may otherwise be used under conditions approved by the Chairman after consultation with the Ranking Minority Member.
(e) Notice. Appropriate notice of the receipt of classified documents received by the Committee from the Executive Branch will be sent promptly to Committee Members through the Survey of Activities or by other means.
(f) Access. Except as provided for above, access to materials classified Top Secret or otherwise restricted held by the Committee will be in approved Committee spaces. The following procedures will be observed:
(1) Authorized persons will be permitted access to classified documents after inquiring of the Staff Director or an assigned staff member. Access to the SCIF will be afforded during regular Committee hours.
(2) Authorized persons will be required to identify themselves, to identify the documents or information they wish to view, and to sign the Classified Materials Log, which is kept with the classified information.
(3) The assigned staff member will be responsible for maintaining a log which identifies: (1) authorized persons seeking access, (2) the classified information requested, and (3) the time of arrival and departure of such persons. The assigned staff member will also assure that the classified materials are returned to the proper location.
(g) Divulgence. Classified information provided to the Committee by the Executive Branch shall be handled in accordance with the procedures that apply within the Executive Branch for the protection of such information. Any classified information to which access has been gained through the Committee may not be divulged to any unauthorized person. Classified material shall not be photocopied or otherwise reproduced. In no event shall classified information be discussed in a non-secure environment. Apparent violations of this rule should be reported as promptly as possible to the Chairman for appropriate action.
(h) Other Regulations. The Chairman, after consultation with the Ranking Minority Member, may establish such additional regulations and procedures as in his judgment may be necessary to safeguard classified information under the control of the Committee. Members of the Committee will be given notice of any such regulations and procedures promptly. They may be modified or waived in any or all particulars by a majority vote of the full Committee.
21. Broadcasting of Committee Hearings and Meetings
All Committee and subcommittee meetings or hearings which are open to the public may be covered, in whole or in part, by television broadcast, radio broadcast, and still photography, or by any such methods of coverage in accordance with the provisions of clause 3 of House rule XI.
The Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee shall determine, in his or her discretion, the number of television and still cameras permitted in a hearing or meeting room, but shall not limit the number of television or still cameras to fewer than two (2) representatives from each medium.
Such coverage shall be in accordance with the following requirements contained in section 116(b) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, and clause 4 of XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives:
(a) If the television, Internet or radio coverage of the hearing or meeting is to be presented to the public as live coverage, that coverage shall be conducted and presented without commercial sponsorship.
(b) No witness served with a subpoena by the Committee shall be required against his will to be photographed at any hearing or to give evidence or testimony while the broadcasting of that hearing, by radio or television is being conducted. At the request of any such witness who does not wish to be subjected to radio, television, Internet or still photography coverage, all lenses shall be covered and all microphones used for coverage turned off. This subparagraph is supplementary to clause 2(k)(5) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives relating to the protection of the rights of witnesses.
(c) The allocation among cameras permitted by the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee in a hearing room shall be in accordance with fair and equitable procedures devised by the Executive Committee of the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Galleries.
(d) Television cameras shall be placed so as not to obstruct in any way the space between any witness giving evidence or testimony and Member of the Committee or its subcommittees or the visibility of that witness and that Member to each other.
(e) Television cameras shall operate from fixed positions but shall not be placed in positions which obstruct unnecessarily the coverage of the hearing by the other media.
(f) Equipment necessary for coverage by the television and radio media shall not be installed in, or removed from, the hearing or meeting room while the Committee or subcommittee is in session.
(g) Floodlights, spotlights, strobe lights, and flashguns shall not be used in providing any method of coverage of the hearing or meeting, except that the television media may install additional lighting in the hearing room, without cost to the Government, in order to raise the ambient lighting level in the hearing room to the lowest level necessary to provide adequate television coverage of the hearing or meeting at the current state-of-the-art level of television coverage.
(h) In the allocation of the number of still photographers permitted by the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee in a hearing or meeting room, preference shall be given to photographers from Associated Press Photos, United Press International News pictures, and Reuters. If requests are made by more of the media than will be permitted by the Chairman of the full Committee or a subcommittee for coverage of the hearing or meeting by still photography, that coverage shall be made on the basis of a fair and equitable pool arrangement devised by the Standing Committee of Press Photographers.
(i) Photographers shall not position themselves, at any time during the course of the hearing or meeting, between the witness table and the Members of the Committee or its subcommittees.
(j) Photographers shall not place themselves in positions which obstruct unnecessarily the coverage of the hearing by the other media.
(k) Personnel providing coverage by the television and radio media shall be currently accredited to the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Galleries.
(l) Personnel providing coverage by still photography shall be currently accredited to the Press Photographers’ Gallery Committee of Press Photographers.
(m) Personnel providing coverage by the television and radio media and by still photography shall conduct themselves and their coverage activities in an orderly and unobtrusive manner.
22. Subpoena Powers
A subpoena may be authorized and issued by the Chairman, in accordance with clause 2(m) of rule XI of the House of Representatives, in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee, following consultation with the Ranking Minority Member.
In addition, a subpoena may be authorized and issued by the Committee or its subcommittees in accordance with clause 2(m) of rule XI of the House of the Representatives, in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities, when authorized by a majority of the Members voting, a majority of the Committee or subcommittee being present.
Authorized subpoenas shall be signed by the Chairman or by any Member designated by the Committee.
23. Recommendation for Appointment of Conferees
Whenever the Speaker is to appoint a conference committee, the Chairman shall recommend to the Speaker as conferees those Members of the Committee who are primarily responsible for the legislation (including to the full extent practicable the principal proponents of the major provisions of the bill as it passed the House), who have actively participated in the Committee or subcommittee consideration of the legislation, and who agree to attend the meetings of the conference. With regard to the appointment of minority Members, the Chairman shall consult with the Ranking Minority Member.
24. General Oversight
Not later than February 15th of the first session of a Congress, the Committee shall meet in open session, with a quorum present, to adopt its oversight plans for that Congress for submission to the Committee on House Administration and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in accordance with the provisions of clause 2(d) of rule X of the House of Representatives.
In accordance with the provisions of clause 2(n) of rule XI of the House of Representatives, the Committee or a subcommittee thereof shall hold at least one hearing during each 120-day period following its establishment on the topic of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement in programs within its jurisdiction, as documented in reports received from a Federal Office of the Inspector General or the Comptroller General of the United States that have been provided to the Ranking Minority Member prior to the notice of the hearing pursuant to Committee rule 5.
25. Other Procedures and Regulations
The Chairman, in consultation with the Ranking Minority Member, may establish such other procedures and take such actions as may be necessary to carry out the foregoing rules or to facilitate the effective operation of the Committee. Any additional procedures or regulations may be modified or rescinded in any or all particulars by a majority vote of the full Committee.