Encl. (1) to COMDTINST 5860.2A
appropriate civilian business attire unless part of an official party. Many hearings are also
televised on the C-SPAN network. Normally, the chair and ranking member of the committee or
subcommittee make brief opening statements, and the chair allows other committee members to
make statements. Each witness normally submits a written statement for the record and gives a
brief oral statement. Each committee member then questions the witness.
Committee Markup: If a subcommittee decides to move a bill forward, it will hold a markup
session. Usually, the subcommittee chair offers an amendment, called the chairman's mark or the
committee staff draft, and subcommittee members also propose amendments. The subcommittee
then votes on the bill and amendments. The subcommittee may vote to report the bill to the full
committee favorably, with or without amendments, unfavorably, or without recommendation.
The subcommittee may also recommend that the full committee "table" the bill and postpone
further action indefinitely.
The full committee may hold additional hearings, and holds another mark-up session. Often, the
committee chair offers an amendment in the nature of a substitute, a complete replacement that
includes all amendments adopted by the committee. In the House, amendments must be germane,
or related to the original subject of the bill. The Senate does not have a similar requirement, and
amendments may be unrelated to the original subject of the bill.
Committee Report: The committee prepares a committee report after it votes to report the bill.
The report shows the committee's amendments, includes a section-by-section analysis of the bill,
and shows changes to existing law. Each committee report is assigned a sequential number that
begins with the Congress in which it was prepared (e.g., H. Rpt. 109-100 for House reports or S.
Rpt. 109-100 for Senate reports). Reports are normally available through the Thomas Legislative
Information Service (http://thomas.loc.gov) shortly after they are printed. Although committee
reports are not legally binding, they are a strong indication of Congressional intent in enacting a law
and are generally followed.
Floor Consideration: The House and Senate each follow different procedures for considering a
bill. Generally, the House follows strict parliamentary procedures while the Senate's process is
more flexible. Floor proceedings and voting results are reported in the Congressional Record
(http://www.gpoaccess.gov/crecord/index.htm). For important bills, the Administration may issue
a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) indicating its support or opposition.
House Procedures: After a House committee reports a bill, the bill is usually referred to the House
Rules Committee. The Rules Committee proposes a special resolution, or rule, that specifies when
the bill will be considered on the House floor, the amount of time allowed for debate, and limits on
additional amendments. The House votes on the bill, either by a voice vote (also known as the yeas
and nays) or by a recorded vote using electronic voting machines. A bill passes by a simple
majority vote of those voting (with a quorum of 218).
The House may also consider a bill under suspension of the rules. Under suspension of the rules,
debate is limited and no amendments are allowed except a manager's amendment by a member of
the committee with primary jurisdiction. Two-thirds of the Members present, with a quorum of
218, must vote in favor of a bill for it to pass under suspension of the rules. Generally, only non-
controversial bills are considered under suspension of the rules.
Senate Procedures: In the Senate, the Senate majority leader determines when a bill will be
considered. Any Senator may continue to debate a bill unless debate is ended by a cloture vote,
which requires 60 votes to pass. Many non-controversial bills are considered under unanimous