Senate Committee on the Budget Rules of Procedure

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 9, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, rule XXVI, paragraph 2, of the Standing Rules of the Senate requires each committee to adopt rules to govern the procedure of the committee and to publish those rules in the Congressional Record not later than March 1 of the first year of each Congress. Today, the Committee on the Budget adopted committee rules of procedure.


(1) Meeting Schedule. The committee shall hold its regular meeting on the first Thursday of each month. Additional meetings may be called by the chair as the chair deems necessary to expedite committee business.

(2) Open to the Public. Each meeting of the committee, including meetings to conduct hearings, shall be open to the public, except that a portion or portions of any such meeting may be closed to the public if the committee determines by record vote in open session of a majority of the members of the committee present that the matters to be discussed or the testimony to be taken at such portion or portions--

(a) will disclose matters necessary to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or the confidential conduct of the foreign relations of the United States;

(b) will relate solely to matters of the committee staff personnel or internal staff management or procedure;

(c) will tend to charge an individual with crime or misconduct, to disgrace or injure the professional standing of an individual, or otherwise to expose an individual to public contempt or obloquy, or will represent a clearly unwarranted invasion of the privacy of an individual;

(d) will disclose the identity of any informer or law enforcement agent or will disclose any information relating to the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense that is required to be kept secret in the interests of effective law enforcement;

(e) will disclose information relating to the trade secrets or financial or commercial information pertaining specifically to a given person if--

(i) an act of Congress requires the information to be kept confidential by Government officers and employees; or

(ii) the information has been obtained by the Government on a confidential basis, other than through an application by such person for a specific Government financial or other benefit, and is required to be kept secret in order to prevent undue injury to the competitive position of such person; or

(f) may divulge matters required to be kept confidential under other provisions of law or Government regulations.

(3) Notice. Notice of, and the agenda for, any business meeting or markup shall be provided to each member and made available to the public at least 72 hours prior to such meeting or markup. II. CONSIDERATION OF BUDGET RESOLUTIONS

(1) Amendment Consideration Generally. If the chair of the committee makes proposed legislative text of a budget resolution available to all committee members by 12:00 p.m., five days prior to the start of a meeting or markup to consider the resolution, during that meeting or markup:

(a) it shall not be in order to consider a first degree amendment unless the amendment has been submitted to the chief clerk by 5:00 p.m. two days prior to the start of the meeting or markup, except that an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by the chair of the committee shall not be required to be filed in advance;

(b) it shall not be in order to consider a second degree amendment unless the amendment has been submitted to the chief clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the start of the meeting or markup; and

(c) it shall not be in order to consider a side-by-side amendment unless the amendment has been submitted to the chief clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the start of the meeting or markup, and the amendment is filed in relation to a particular first degree amendment that is considered by the committee.

(2) Amendments with No Force or Effect. During consideration of a budget resolution, it shall not be in order to consider an amendment that would have no force or effect if adopted. III. ORDER OF RECOGNITION

Those members who are present at the start of any meeting of the committee including meetings to conduct hearings, shall be recognized in order of seniority based on time served as a member of the committee. Any members arriving after the start of the meeting shall be recognized, in order of appearance, after the most junior member. IV. QUORUMS AND VOTING

(1) Definition of Quorum. Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this section, a quorum for the transaction of committee business shall consist of not less than one-third of the membership of the entire committee: Provided, that proxies shall not be counted in making a quorum.

(2) Reporting. A majority of the committee shall constitute a quorum for reporting budget resolutions, legislative measures, or recommendations: Provided, that proxies shall not be counted in making a quorum.

(3) Testimony. For the purpose of taking sworn or unsworn testimony, a quorum of the committee shall consist of one Senator.

(4) Polling Authority. (a) The committee may poll--

(i) internal committee matters including those concerning the committee's staff, records, and budget;

(ii) steps in an investigation, including issuance of subpoenas, applications for immunity orders, and requests for documents from agencies; and

(iii) other committee business that the committee has designated for polling at a meeting, except that the committee may not vote by poll on reporting to the Senate any measure, matter, or recommendation, and may not vote by poll on closing a meeting or hearing to the public.

(b) To conduct a poll, the chair shall circulate polling sheets to each member specifying the matter being polled and the time limit for completion of the poll. If any member requests, the matter shall be held for a meeting rather than being polled. The chief clerk shall keep a record of polls; if the committee determines by record vote in open session of a majority of the members of the committee present that the polled matter is one of those enumerated in Committee on the Budget Rules of Procedure I(2)(a)-(f), then the record of the poll shall be confidential. Any member may move at the committee meeting following a poll for a vote on the polled decision. V. PROXIES

When a record vote is taken in the committee on any bill, resolution, amendment, or any other question, a quorum being present, a member who is unable to attend the meeting may vote by proxy if the absent member has been informed of the matter on which the vote is being recorded and has affirmatively requested to be so recorded; except that no member may vote by proxy during the deliberations on budget resolutions unless a member is experiencing a health issue and the chair and ranking member agree to allow that member to vote by proxy on amendments to a budget resolution. VI. HEARINGS AND HEARING PROCEDURES

(1) Notice. The committee shall make public announcement of the date, place, time, and subject matter of any hearing to be conducted on any measure or matter at least 1 week in advance of such hearing, unless the chair and ranking member determine that there is good cause to begin such hearing at an earlier date.

(2) Witness Testimony Deadline. At least 24 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the hearing, a witness appearing before the committee shall file a written statement of proposed testimony, including visual exhibits intended for display during testimony, with the chief clerk who is responsible for circulating the proposed testimony to all members at the same time. The requirement that a witness submit testimony 24 hours prior to a hearing may be waived by the chair and the ranking member, following their determination that there is good cause for the failure of compliance.

(3) Witness Testimony Time Limit. Oral statements of witnesses shall be based upon their filed statements but shall be limited to 5 minutes duration. This period may be limited or extended at the discretion of the chair presiding at the hearings. VII. COMMITTEE REPORTS

(1) Report Generally. When the committee has ordered a measure or recommendation reported, following final action, the report thereon shall be filed in the Senate at the earliest practicable time.

(2) Supplemental Report. A member of the committee, who gives notice of an intention to file supplemental, minority, or additional views at the time of final committee approval of a measure or matter, shall be entitled to not less than 3 calendar days in which to file such views, in writing, with the chief clerk of the committee. Such views shall then be included in the committee report and printed in the same volume, as a part thereof, and their inclusions shall be noted on the cover of the report. In the absence of timely notice, the committee report may be filed and printed immediately without such views. VIII. USE OF DISPLAY MATERIALS IN COMMITTEE

Committee members may use the electronic display system provided in the committee hearing room or physical graphic displays during any meetings or hearings of the committee. Physical graphic displays are limited to the following: Charts, photographs, or renderings:

Size: no larger than 36 inches by 48 inches.

Where: on an easel stand next to the member's seat or at the rear of the committee room.

When: only at the time the member is speaking.

Number: no more than two may be displayed at a time. IX. CONFIRMATION STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES

(1) Standards. In considering a nomination, the committee shall inquire into the nominee's experience, qualifications, suitability, and integrity to serve in the position to which he or she has been nominated. The committee shall recommend confirmation if it finds that the nominee has the necessary integrity and is affirmatively qualified by reason of training, education, or experience to carry out the functions of the office to which he or she was nominated.

(2) Information Concerning the Nominee. Each nominee shall submit the following information to the chief clerk, who will distribute to the chair and ranking member at the same time:

(a) A detailed biographical resume which contains information concerning education, employment, and background which generally relates to the position to which the individual is nominated, and which is to be made public;

(b) Information concerning financial and other background of the nominee which is to be made public; provided, that financial information that does not relate to the nominee's qualifications to hold the position to which the individual is nominated, tax returns or reports prepared by federal agencies that may be submitted by the nominee shall, after review by the chair, ranking member, or any other member of the committee upon request, be maintained in a manner to ensure confidentiality; and

(c) Copies of other relevant documents and responses to questions as the committee may so request, such as responses to questions concerning the policies and programs the nominee intends to pursue upon taking office.

(3) Report on the Nominee. After a review of all information pertinent to the nomination, a confidential report on the nominee may be prepared by the committee staff for the chair, the ranking member, and, upon request, for any other member of the committee. The report shall summarize the steps taken and the results of the committee inquiry, including any unresolved matters that have been raised during the course of the inquiry.

(4) Hearings. The committee shall conduct a hearing during which the nominee shall be called to testify under oath on all matters relating to the nominee's suitability for office, including the policies and programs which the nominee would pursue while in that position. No hearing or meeting to consider the confirmation shall be held until at least 72 hours after the following events have occurred: the nominee has responded to the requirements set forth in subsection (2), and, if a report described in subsection (3) has been prepared, it has been presented to the chair and ranking member, and is available to other members of the committee, upon request.