Q & A: What is a resolution of inquiry?

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Great question! It’s not something you've heard a lot about before, but this procedural move is having its moment in the sun this year.

A “resolution of inquiry” requires committee action within 14 legislative days (meaning the committee has to report on the resolution – either favorably, unfavorably or without recommendation). If the committee does not act within 14 legislative days, it can be brought up immediately on the House floor for a vote.

So far, House Democrats have forced committee votes on several resolutions of inquiry on a variety of topics. The resolutions call on the Trump administration to provide certain documents – from the president’s tax returns (Pascral resolutionto documents related to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Kennedy resolution).

Today, the Energy and Commerce committee marked up a resolution of inquiry from Rep. Bennie Thompson [D, MS-2] calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce documents related to "research, integration, and analysis" concerning Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Here's a running list of resolutions of inquiry:

  • H. RES. 186 from Rep. Bill Pascrell [D, NJ-9] directs the Secretary of the Treasury to provide the president's tax returns. Status: House Ways and Means reported adversely.
  • H. RES. 111 from Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-10] directs the Attorney General to provide documents related to the president's financial practices. Status: House Judiciary reported adversely (amended).
  • H. RES. 154 from Rep. Joseph Kennedy [D, MA-4] concerns documents related to plans to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act. Status: House Energy and Commerce reported adversely.
  • H. RES. 203 from Mike Quigley [D, IL-5] directs the Attorney General to release certain communications by the president regarding wiretapping claims. Status: House Judiciary reported adversely (amended).
  • H. RES. 235 from Rep. Bennie Thompson [D, MS-2] directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to release documents related to possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. Status: House Energy and Commerce holds markup on April 6.

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