The Hill 101: What is the Congressional Review Act?

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a legislative Loch Ness monster, much discussed and rarely seen (though the same could be said for motions to “Vacate the Chair” and Discharge Petitions, both of which were employed during the 114th Congress.) The CRA gives Congress sixty “session days” to overturn a rule issued by the Executive branch. […]

What’s an “Omnibus” bill?

The end-of-year "Omnibus" Spending Bill is by now a Congressional holiday tradition — as is the "will they or won't they?" nail-biter finish that comes within hours of a stated deadline and sometimes pushes through multiple short-term extensions…and delayed holiday plans. Technically, the Omnibus is one big bill that "carries" lots of smaller bills. And […]

Considering a bill “under a rule”

For major legislation in the House of Representatives, the House Rules Committee establishes a “rule” or “special rule” that lays out the procedure for consideration of the bill.
The rule typically serves several purposes, as outlined by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service:

It makes the measure “privileged” so it can be considered ahead of other business
It sets the length of time and leaders for debate
It may waive points of order that can be made against the bill
It sets the parameters for amendments that can be offered. Under an “open rule”, any amendments that meet normal House requirements can be considered; under…