Rules Committee Protocols

Germaneness of Amendments

Purpose: The purpose of this protocol is to reinforce the Rules Committee's commitment to the rules and precedents of the House, specifically with regards to germaneness.  

ProtocolFloor Consideration shall not be provided for any non-germane amendment. The Rules Committee may provide for the divisibility of any measure containing more than one subject, including for measures originating in the Senate. 


Considering Amendments with Broad Support

Purpose: The purpose of this protocol is to reinforce the Rules Committee’s commitment to encourage diverse, constructive ideas to be debated when considering legislation.  

ProtocolIf not fewer than 40 Members, comprised of at least 20 Democratic and 20 Republican Members, co-sponsor an amendment to legislation being considered by the Committee on Rules, the Chair will afford such amendment preference to be made in order for debate on the House Floor. To comply with this protocol, the amendment must: (1) be received by the Rules Committee before the posted amendment deadline; (2) be accompanied at the time of submission with a co-sponsorship letter, drafted on the official letterhead of the primary sponsoring Member, listing all required co-sponsoring Members; and (3) comply with all applicable House and budgetary rules. Any subsequent revisions to a previously compliant amendment received after the amendment deadline could affect the preference status of that amendment; a determination of which will be made by the Chair. 

A template for co-sponsorship letters for amendments being submitted pursuant to this protocol can be found here.


These protocols are intended to guide the Majority Leadership in the scheduling and consideration of legislation on the House floor.  While they do not govern the introduction of legislation, good-faith compliance with protocols will be necessary if such legislation is scheduled for the floor.  

Legislative protocols for the 117th Congress