CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, October 26, 2015, the House may consider a motion to discharge the Committee on Rules from the consideration of H. Res. 450, a resolution providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 597) to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States. H. Res. 450 was introduced by Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (R-TN) on September 30, 2015 and referred to the Committee on Rules. On October 9, 2015, Rep. Fincher filed a motion to discharge the Committee on Rules from consideration of H. Res. 450, which received the requisite number of signatures.
The motion would discharge the Committee on Rules from consideration of H. Res. 450, which provides a rule for consideration of H.R. 597, legislation that reauthorizes and reforms the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The rule provides that, immediately upon adoption of the resolution, the House shall proceed to the consideration of H.R. 597. The rule waives all points of order against consideration of the bill and adopts an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of H.R. 3611, as introduced. The rule waives all points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended, and provides one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Financial Services, or their respective designees. The rule provides one motion to recommit, with or without instructions.
Clause 2 of Rule XV of the Rules of the House of Representatives, commonly referred to as the discharge rule, “allows a measure to come to the floor for consideration even if the committee of referral does not report it and the leadership does not schedule it.” A majority of the House’s membership (218) must sign a petition discharging a Committee from its consideration of a measure before a discharge motion may be offered on the floor. The petition may not be initiated until a measure has remained in a committee for at least 30 legislative days (7 legislative days in the case of a special order of business or “rule”) without being reported.
The discharge rule provides two main methods for action: 1) The committee of referral may be discharged from a measure that has been before it for 30 legislative days or more; or (2) the Committee on Rules may be discharged from a special rule for considering such a measure if the rule has been before the Committee for at least seven legislative days. The discharge petition filed by Rep. Fincher employs the second strategy and would discharge the Rules Committee from consideration of H. Res. 450.
For discharge on special rules for unreported measures, “a member must first draft and submit a special rule (which takes the form of a House resolution) providing that a specified measure be considered even if it remains unreported.” If the Committee on Rules has not reported this resolution after seven legislative days, any member may file a petition to discharge that committee from considering it. If the motion to discharge the Rules Committee is adopted, “the House then automatically proceeds to consider the resolution under the one-hour rule, just as with any other special rule.” The exception is that the proponent of the motion to discharge is given the time on the rule.
For more information, click here for a Congressional Research Service report on the principal features and uses of the discharge petition in the House.
 See CRS Report—“The Discharge Rule in the House: Principal Features and Uses,” October 14, 2015 at Summary.
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For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.