Skip to content

The Rules Committee is one of the oldest committees of the United States Senate.

Our origins date back to the early days of the Republic when the first Senate convened in March 1789 and established a committee to prepare a system of rules for conducting business in the Senate. In 1867 in the aftermath of the Civil War and the reunification of our Union, the forerunner to our current committee was created, and a Committee on Rules has continued in the Senate to the present day.

Purpose & Jurisdiction

(Taken from the Standing Rules of the Senate: Rule 25.1.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:

(A) Administration of the Senate Office Buildings and the Senate wing of the Capitol, including the assignment of office space.

(B) Congressional organization relative to rules and procedures, and Senate rules and regulations, including floor and gallery rules.

(C) Corrupt practices.

(D) Credentials and qualifications of Members of the Senate, contested elections, and acceptance of incompatible offices.

(E) Federal elections generally, including the election of the PresidentVice President, and Members of the Congress.

(F) Government Printing Office, and the printing and correction of the Congressional Record, as well as those matters provided for under rule XI.

(G) Meetings of the Congress and attendance of Members.

(H) 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).

(J) Purchase of books and manuscripts and erection of monuments to the memory of individuals.

(K) Senate Library and statuary, art, and pictures in the Capitol and Senate Office Buildings.

(L) Services to the Senate, including the Senate restaurant.

(M) 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; and

(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.

(C) develop, implement, and update as necessary a strategic 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.