Committees' Congressional Handbook

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Table of Contents

Introduction

• General
• Biennial Funding
• Disbursements and Disclosure
• Monthly Reports
• Reserve Fund
• Committee Activities Report

Committee Staff, Consultants, and Detailees

• General
• Contractors
• Detailees
• Federal Civilian Annuitants
• Fellows
• Interns
• Replacement Employees
• Shared Employees
• Temporary Agencies
• Volunteers
• Payroll
     o General
     o Appointment
     o Dual Compensation
     o Lump Sum Payments
     o Outside Earned Income
     o Overtime Wage Rate Compensation
     o Pay Adjustments
     o Financial Disclosure
     o Terminations
• Employment Law
     o Congressional Accountability Act
     o Nepotism
     o Non-Disclosure Oath
     o Post-Employment Restriction
     o Working From Home Due to a Disability
     o Telecommuting
• Leave
     o Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
     o Furlough
     o Jury and Witness Duty
     o Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
     o Military Leave
     o Consultants

Communications

     o Advertisements
           General
           Content
           Disclosure
           Booths
           Electronic Communications
• Franked Mail
     o Use of the Frank
     o Franked Mail Monthly Statement
• Inside Mail
• Postal Expenses
• Printing and Production of Committee Publications
• Stationery
• Business Cards
• Website
     o General
     o Content
     o Name (URL)
     o Information Security

Disbursements

• Advance Payments
• Reimbursement and Direct Payment
• Government Purchase Card
• Tax Exempt Letters
• General Expenses
     o Appliances
     o Clipping Services
     o Decorating Expenses
     o Deposits
     o Drug Testing
     o Dues
     o Educational Expenses
     o Employment Related Expenses
     o Equipment
     o Food and Beverage Expenses
     o Framing
     o Furniture
     o Incidental Use
     o Late Fees
     o Mass Transit Benefit
     o Messenger Services
     o Parking
     o Photography Expenses
     o Publications
     o Records Maintenance and Archiving
     o Items for Official Presentation
     o Supplies
     o Telecommunications
• Hearings and Meetings
     o Audio and Video Expenses
     o Charts and Presentation Materials
     o Field Hearings
     o Insurance for Rental Space
     o Interpreting and Translating Services
     o Official Reporters
     o Witnesses

Travel

• Travel
     o General
     o Combined Travel
     o Unexpected Official Travel
     o Methods of Travel
     o Chartered Aircraft
     o Corporate or Private Aircraft
     o Department of Defense
     o Officially Leased Vehicles
     o Privately-Owned / Privately-Leased Vehicles
     o Official Travel Expenses
     o Government Rate Eligibility
     o Government Travel Card
     o Government Travel Cardless Accounts
     o Shared Official Travel Expenses
     o Travel Promotional Awards
• Foreign Travel
     o General
     o Authorization
     o Speaker of the House
     o Committee Chair
     o Foreign Travel Reports
           Individuals
           Committee Chair
           Speaker Authorized Travel
           Interparliamentary Group or Delegation
           Amending Travel Reports
           Foreign Gifts and Decorations Report

Modifications

 

Introduction

Effective March 16, 2016, the following regulations of the Committee on House Administration, collectively known as the Committees' Congressional Handbook (Handbook), govern all expenditures from Committee funds.

Committee funds are provided to pay ordinary and necessary expenses incurred by Committee Members and employees, vendors for services, and approved consultants in the United States, its territories, and possessions in support of official Committee business, in accordance with the regulations contained in this Handbook.

"Ordinary and necessary" means reasonable expenditures in support of official Committee business that are consistent with all applicable Federal laws, Rules of the House of Representatives, and regulations of the Committee on House Administration. The phrase "Committee funds" means funds made available to a Committee pursuant to primary and supplemental expense resolutions or allocated from the reserve fund.

The Handbook is compiled of regulations meant to assist Committee Chairs in determining whether expenses are reimbursable. Therefore, the Handbook contains broad descriptions of reimbursable expenses, but is not an exhaustive list of such expenses. The Handbook provides Committee Chairs with the authority and flexibility to manage the Committee's budget.
Questions about reimbursement of an expense should be directed to the Committee on House Administration at x58281 prior to incurring the expense.

For all questions relating to policies and procedures applicable to the acquisition, transfer, disposal, and maintenance of furnishings, equipment, software, and related services please, refer to the Guide to Outfitting and Maintaining an Office available from the Committee on House Administration.

Routine administrative, financial and non-legislative support services (e.g., equipment purchases, technology standards and services, office supplies, room reservation and set-up) are acquired through the Office of the House Chief Administrative Officer (“CAO”). For further information about the CAO’s services, please refer to HouseNet, the House intranet (https:// housenet.house.gov) or the CAO’s services office, First Call, at x58000.

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General

When an expense is incurred the Committee Chair must determine the primary purpose for the expenditure. Is the primary purpose for the expenditure official or is it related to personal, campaign-related political party, campaign, or Member personal office activities? Only official expenses the primary purpose of which are official and which are incurred in accordance with the Handbook are reimbursable.

All expenditures from Committee funds are subject to the following general regulations:
1. Committee funds may only be used to support the conduct of official business of the Committee. Committee funds may not be used to defray any personal, campaign-related political party or campaign-related expenses, or expenses related to a Member's personal congressional office.

2. The Committee Chair is personally responsible for the payment of any official expenses incurred that exceeds the authorized Committee funds or is incurred but not reimbursable under these regulations.

3. No campaign resources may be used for official Committee business.

4. The Committee Chair and Members of the Committee may expend personal funds in support of official Committee business. However, a Committee Chair or a Member of the Committee may not expend personal funds to defray the Committee's franked mail allocation.

5. Unless specifically authorized by an applicable provision of federal law, House Rules, or Committee Regulations, no Member of the Committee, relative of a Committee Member, or anyone with whom a Committee Member has a professional or legal relationship may directly benefit from the expenditure of Committee funds.

6. Committee funds are available for services provided and expenses incurred from January 3 of one year through January 2 of the following year. All expenses incurred will be charged to the funds available on the date the services were provided and the expenses were incurred.

7. Committee funds are not transferable between sessions.

8. Requests to obligate prior year's funds after January 2 of the succeeding year will be considered when a Committee provides to the Committee on House Administration documentation demonstrating a bona fide intent to obligate the prior year funds during the applicable year.

9. At the beginning of a Congress, each Committee is authorized a specific amount for franked mail which may not be used for other purposes.  Funds provided to Committees in the primary and supplemental expense resolutions may only be transferred into a Committee's franked mail account with prior approval form the Committee on House Administration.

10. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1913, Committee funds may not be used for certain activities in the absence of authorization by Congress.  Contact the Committee on House Administration at x58281 for more information.

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Biennial Funding

Pursuant to House Rules, Standing and Select Committees of the House, excluding the Appropriations Committee, are funded on a biennial basis. At the beginning of each Congress, each Committee must submit a budget request to the Committee on House Administration and introduce a primary expense resolution providing funds for the Committee's activities for each session of that Congress.

The Committee on House Administration will provide each Committee with forms and instructions for drafting a budget request and an expense resolution. 

Once an expense resolution is introduced, the Chair of the Committee requesting funds must submit one hard copy of the budget request with supporting documentation to the Committee on House Administration for consideration. 
The Chair and Ranking Minority Member of each Committee will be invited to testify before the Committee on House Administration on behalf of the Committee’s budget request.

House Rule X, clause 7, provides for interim funding of Committees for the period beginning on January 3 and ending at midnight on March 31 or the adoption of a Committee funding resolution, whichever is earlier, in each odd-numbered year. For each month during that period, Committees are entitled to 9 percent (or such lesser percentage as may be determined by the Committee on House Administration) of the total annualized amount made available under expense resolution for such Committees in the preceding session. These amounts, however, may vary if the House acts differently.

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Disbursements and Disclosure

Disbursements from Committee funds are made on a reimbursement or direct payment basis that requires, at a minimum, specific documentation and Committee Chair certification as to accuracy and compliance with applicable federal laws, House Rules and Committee on House Administration regulations. Please refer to Voucher Documentation Standards approved by the Committee on House Administration.

Reimbursement and payments from Committee funds may be made only to Members, employees of the Committee, consultants, detailing Government agencies, witnesses or vendors providing services to support the operation of the Committee.
The Finance Office will make available to each Committee monthly financial statements showing the year-to-date expenditures and obligated amounts. The quarterly expenditures reflected in these statements are compiled and published as the Quarterly Statement of Disbursements, which is a public document.

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Monthly Reports

Each Committee must submit to the Committee on House Administration, by the 18th of each month, an original and one copy of a report signed by the Committee Chair on the activities of the Committee during the preceding month. The monthly report must include the following:
a. Summary of the progress of the specific investigations and studies for which funds were approved.

b. Statement of expenses for the month and year to date. Committees must reconcile their figures with the Monthly Financial Statement prior to submitting the monthly reports.

c. Report of travel performed using Committee funds.

d. List of Committee employees, job titles and gross monthly salaries (a copy of the monthly Payroll Certification Form is acceptable).

e. Certification by the Chair of the reporting Committee that the report is available to Members of the Committee for examination.

f. A list of all Committee detailees with each detailee’s effective start and end date of detail at the Committee. 

The Committee on House Administration may inform Committees of additional requirements for inclusion.
Monthly reports for each Committee will be available for public inspection at the Committee on House Administration and available on the Committee’s website.

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Reserve Fund

Pursuant to House Rule X, clause 6(a), "a primary expense resolution may include a reserve fund for unanticipated expenses of Committees. An amount from such a reserve fund may be allocated to a Committee only by approval of the Committee on House Administration."

Contact the Committee on House Administration for information on requesting an allocation from the reserve fund.

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Committee Activities Report

House Rule XI, clause 1(d)(1) requires that every Committee "submit to the House not later than January 2 of each odd-numbered year a report on the activities of that Committee."

Contact the Committee on House Administration for information on submitting the Committee activities report.

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Committee Staff, Consultants, and Detailees

General

The Committee Chair determines the terms and conditions of employment for Committee staff. These terms and conditions must be consistent with applicable federal laws and House Rules.
1. Personnel actions affecting employment positions in the House of Representatives must be free from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, parental status, military status, disability or age.

2. Pursuant to House Rule XXIII, clause 8(a), a Committee may not retain an employee on the Committee's payroll who does not perform duties commensurate with the employee’s compensation.

3. Annual rates of pay may not exceed the amount specified in the Speaker's Pay Order. Contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for information regarding the Speaker’s Pay Order.

4. Total compensation in any month including any lump sum and regular pay, student loan program payments, (including cash reimbursement for accrued annual leave) may not exceed 1/12th of the maximum rate of pay specified in the Speaker’s Pay Order.

5. Retroactive pay adjustments are not authorized.

6. Government contributions to retirement, life insurance, Thrift Savings Plan, transit benefits, Student Loan Repayment Program and health benefits programs are not charged to Committee funds.

7. The Speaker sets a staff ceiling for each Committee which may not be exceeded unless specifically authorized by the Speaker.

8. Each month, Committees receive a Payroll Certification Form from the Office of Payroll and Benefits that lists the annual pay and gross pay earned for each employee. At the time of the appointment or termination of a relative of a current Member of Congress or if a current employee becomes a relative, the nature of the relationship to the Member must be noted on the Payroll Certification Form. The Chair must certify the information and return the form to the Office of Payroll and Benefits no later than the 15th day of the month. Contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for payroll forms.

The term "employee" means an individual appointed to a position of employment in the House of Representatives by an authorized employing authority including individuals receiving pay disbursed by the CAO and individuals in a Leave Without Pay or furlough status.

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Contractors

Committees may contract with firms or individuals only for general, non-legislative and non-financial office services (e.g., equipment maintenance, systems integration, data entry, staff training) for a specified limited period not to exceed a Congress. Such contracts are reimbursable. Contractors are not employees of the House and are ineligible for Government-provided benefits.
Contractors do not count against a Committee's staff ceiling.

Committees are advised to consult the Committee on House Administration when entering into such contracts.

See Consultants (17), Educational Expenses (30), Interpreting and Translation Services (37),Temporary Agencies (8) and Websites (24).

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Detailees

Pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 4301(f) a Committee may acquire on loan, with the prior written authorization of the Committee on House Administration, experts or other personnel from a Government department or agency.
1. The Committee Chair must submit a letter to the Committee on House Administration requesting approval of the detailing agreement. The request must include the following:

a. Letter from the Committee Chair to the head of the particular Government department or agency explaining the need for the detail, the estimated period of the assignment, and the terms of reimbursement, if any, of the detail.

b. Written response from the Government department or agency agreeing to the detail request.

c. Resume of the candidate for detailee position.

2. Detailing agreements may not exceed a 12-month period or the end of a Congress, whichever occurs first.

3. Committees are not required to reimburse for detailees.

4. Detailees remain employees of the detailing department or agency, and are not employees of the House. Therefore, any travel by detailees will be undertaken pursuant to the authority of the detailing department or agency. Reimbursement of travel to the department or agency is subject to the detailing agreement.

5. The number of detailees per Committee may not exceed 10% of the host Committee’s permanent staff ceiling. (All decimals will be rounded down to the lowest whole number, e.g. 5.9 is rounded down to 5).

6. Personnel from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) may only be detailed to accompany an official Committee delegation in the conduct of official Committee business. CRS staff may only serve in a technical, nonpartisan capacity, and all travel costs are the responsibility of the Committee.

7. Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 734, the Comptroller General may assign or detail an officer or employee of the General Accounting Office to full-time continuous duty with a Committee of Congress for not more than one year.

8. Detailees may not use or obtain business cards or other materials purchased using Committee funds. 

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Federal Civilian Annuitants

If a Committee employs a federal civilian annuitant, the amount of the annual annuity, when added to the annual rate of pay at which the employee is to be paid by the Committee, may not exceed the highest rate of basic pay as authorized by the Speaker's Pay Order. The combined total of the federal civilian annuity and the amount of the salary will be charged to the Committee.

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Fellows

The term “fellow” means an individual performing service in a House office on a temporary basis as part of an established mid-career education program while continuing to receive the usual compensation from his or her sponsoring employer.

Committee’s may accept the services of fellows in accordance with all applicable federal law.

Fellows do not count against the Committee’s employee ceiling.

Fellows may not be reimbursed from House-appropriated funds. Outside of using existing office resources, if a fellow incurs an expense as a result of work performed for the Committee, the fellow may either be reimbursed by the fellow’s sponsoring entity or the Chair may use personal funds as authorized under House Rules.

The use of fellows is subject to regulations established by the Committee on Ethics. Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for more information.

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Interns

Interns, paid or unpaid, must perform services for the Committee on a temporary basis as part of an educational plan. Examples of an educational plan include, but are not limited to, participation in the Intern Lecture Series, attendance at Committee hearings, or attendance at CRS internship training programs. Committee Chairs are responsible for ensuring that the activities of the Committee’s interns are consistent with these requirements. 

Paid interns may work for no more than 120 calendar days in a 12-month period per employing authority and are not employees for purposes of compliance with the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Paid interns count against a Committee's staff ceiling if appointed at an annual rate of pay equal to or exceeding the gross annual rate ($21,600) of intern pay established by the Committee on House Administration. For the current applicable rate, contact the Committee on House Administration at x58281.

Any Committee interested in employing a foreign national as an intern should contact the Office of General Counsel at x59700.
The use of unpaid interns is subject to regulations established by the Committee on Ethics. Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for more information.

Paid Committee interns are eligible for the following benefits:
1. Federal Employees' Retirement System

2. Federal life insurance

3. Federal health insurance

4. Thrift Savings Plan

5. Transit Benefits

Unpaid interns are not eligible for these benefits.

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Replacement Employees

A Committee may hire a replacement for an employee on leave as may be made necessary by applicable law (e.g., Family Medical Leave Act, military service, jury duty, response to court order). The employee on leave continues to count against the Committee's staff ceiling. The replacement employee does not count against the Committee's staff ceiling.

The Committee Chair must certify in a letter accompanying the Payroll Authorization Form for the replacement employee the following:
a. Name and job title of permanent employee

b. Permanent employee leave status (e.g., FMLA, military service, jury duty)

c. Permanent employee leave period

d. Statement that the replacement employee will perform job duties of the employee on leave

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Shared Employees

The term “shared employee” means an employee who is paid by more than one employing authority of the House of Representatives.
1. Two or more employing authorities of the House may employ an individual.

2. Subject to telecommuting policies, such shared employees must work out of the office of an employing authority, but are not required to work in the office of each employing authority. The pay from each employing authority shall reflect the duties actually performed for each employing authority. The name, title, and pay of such an individual will appear on each employing authority’s Payroll Certification. Such employees may not receive pay totaling more than the highest rate of basic pay in the Speaker’s Pay Order applicable to the positions they occupy.

3. Employees may not be shared between a Member or Committee office and the office of an Officer of the House if the employee, in the course of duties for an Officer, has access to the financial information, payroll information, equipment account information, or information systems of Member, Committee, or Leadership offices.

4. Each House employee who, during any pay period, is simultaneously employed by three or more House employing authorities is required to inform each employing authority in writing of the employee’s employment status and any change in employment status with other employing authorities.

5. Each House employee who, during any pay period, is simultaneously employed by three or more House employing authorities is required to file with the Office of Finance a signed Acknowledgment of Receipt and Understanding of Shared Employee Manual and Certification of Continued Compliance upon becoming simultaneously employed by three or more employing authorities.

6. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C app. § 101 et seq., each House employee who is simultaneously employed by three or more House employing authorities for more than 60 days during a calendar year must file a Financial Disclosure Statement by May 15 of each year. If an employee does not trigger the reporting requirements of the Ethics in Government Act by their salary amount, the employee need not file periodic transaction reports.

7. Any House employee engaged in any outside employment or business activity may not directly, or indirectly through such outside employment or business activity, sell, lease, or otherwise provide any goods or assets to any House office or entity.

See General (6) and Dual Compensation (9).

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Temporary Agencies

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to services provided by an individual employed by a temporary agency are reimbursable, if the following conditions are met:
1. Payment for such services is commensurate with the official duties performed by the individual.

2. Such an individual remains an employee of the agency and is not eligible for pay, benefits, rights, or privileges available to House employees.

Such individuals count against the Committee's staff ceiling, unless the purpose of the individual is to serve as a replacement employee.

See Replacement Employees (7).

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Volunteers

The term “volunteer” means an individual performing service in a House office without compensation from any source.
The voluntary service should be of significant educational benefit to the participant and such voluntary assistance should not supplant the normal and regular duties of paid employees.

Volunteers should be required to agree, in advance and in writing, to serve without compensation. (31 USC § 1342 & Comp. Gen. Op. B69907)

Volunteers do not count against the Committee’s employee ceiling.

The use of volunteers is subject to regulations established by the Committee on Ethics. Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for more information.

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Payroll

General

1. Committees are responsible for adhering to the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. For the current applicable rate, contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435.
o Interns are not employees for the purpose of compliance with minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

2. The maximum gross annual rates of pay for employees in a Committee office are established by the Speaker’s Pay Order. For the current applicable dual compensation rate, contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435.

3. The monthly payroll is based on a 30-day period. Payment is made on the last business day of the month.

4. Each month, Committees will receive a Payroll Certification Form from Human Resources that lists the annual salary and gross pay earned for each Committee employee. The Committee Chair must certify the information and return the form to the Office of Payroll and Benefits no later than the 15th day of the month. If an employee is a relative of a current Member of Congress, the nature of the relationship must be noted on the Payroll Certification Form.

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Appointment

The official appointment of each employee requires the Chairman's signature on the Payroll Authorization Form (PAF). When hiring new staff to the U.S. House of Representatives, all personnel appointment Payroll Authorization Forms (PAFs), along with the completed appointment package, must be submitted to the Office of Payroll and Benefits no less than two business days prior to the effective date of hire. Completed appointment packages include the Appointment PAF, employment eligibility documents (U.S. Citizen and Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements), Form I-9, Direct Deposit, W4, TSP-1 enrollment form, and Oath of Office.

Subsequent payroll transactions (changing from one Committee to another, pay adjustments, title changes, furlough status, terminations, etc.) must also be made on the appropriate PAF or payroll form with the Chairman’s signature. PAFs and payroll forms are due to the Office of Payroll and Benefits by the 15th day of the month in which the adjustment is effective to be included in the monthly regular payroll cycle, which is paid on the last business day of the month. PAFs and forms not submitted by the 15th of the month must be received by the Office of Payroll and Benefits no later than the last business day of the month in which the payroll transaction is effective. These transactions submitted after the 15th will be processed in the off-cycle payroll.

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Dual Compensation

The aggregate gross annual salary of an employee receiving payment from the House who is also receiving payment from the U.S. Senate, Architect of the Capitol, or any other department or agency of the U.S. Government, may not exceed the gross annual rate established by 5 U.S.C. § 5533. For the current applicable dual compensation rate, contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435.

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Lump Sum Payments

Pursuant to 2 U.S.C. §4537, a Committee Chair may authorize lump sum payments to employees of the Committee.
1. Payments must be consistent with House Rule XXIII, clause 8(a), which requires that employees perform official duties commensurate with the compensation received. Employees may not be compensated from public funds to perform non-official, personal, campaign-related political party or campaign activities on behalf of the Member, the employee or anyone else.

2. Lump sum payments may not exceed the monthly pay of the employee receiving the lump sum payment.

3. Lump sum payments may be for services performed during more than one month.

4. Total compensation in any one month, including lump sum payments, regular pay, and student loan program payments may not exceed 1/12th of the maximum rate of pay specified in the Speaker's Pay Order.

5. Committee Chairs may provide lump sum payments for accrued annual leave only if such leave was accrued in accordance with written personnel policies established prior to the accrual of such leave.

6. Lump sum payments are considered as part of "rate of pay" under the Speaker's Pay Order.

7. Lump sum payments are considered "supplemental wages" for taxation.

8. Lump sum payments are not considered as part of "basic pay" for calculating Thrift Savings Plan, life insurance, and federal pensions.

9. Contact the Committee on Ethics x57103 for information on the treatment of lump sum payments with regard to financial disclosure, post-employment restrictions, and outside earned income limitations.

10. Lump Sum Payments will be disclosed separately in the Quarterly Statement of Disbursements.

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Outside Earned Income

Members and employees receiving basic pay at a rate equal to or greater than 120 percent of the minimum basic pay for GS-15 for at least 90 days in a calendar year are subject to the outside earned income limitation established by 5 U.S.C. app 4 § 501 (a)(1) and House Rule 25, cl. 1 (a)(1).

For the current applicable rate of basic pay, the amount of the limit and application of the House Rule, contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103.

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Overtime Wage Rate Compensation

Employees who are covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“non-exempt”) must be compensated at a rate of time-and-a half for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours during any work week, either in pay or in time-off during the same pay period. Overtime wage sheets must be received by no later than the 15th day of the month by the Office of Payroll and Benefits following the month in which overtime wages were earned.

Contact Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for the appropriate forms.

Contact the Office of House Employment Counsel at x57075 for assistance in establishing overtime and time-off policies.

See Employment Law (11).

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Pay Adjustments

The Committee Chair may adjust, in any month, an employee's pay to reflect exceptional, meritorious, or less than satisfactory service.

Such adjustments must be received by the Office of Payroll and Benefits on or before the 15th day of the month in which the adjustment is effective to ensure the adjustment is processed that month.

Retroactive pay adjustments are not authorized.

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Financial Disclosure

Members and employees receiving basic pay at a rate equal to or greater than 120 percent of the minimum pay for GS-15 for at least 60 days during any calendar year must file a Financial Disclosure Statement upon appointment, termination, and annually on May 15th.

Ordinary and necessary expenses incurred by employees, in support of the filing of reports consistent with the provisions of the Ethics in Government Act and the STOCK Act, are reimbursable at the discretion of the Chair of the Committee.

Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for guidance concerning the current applicable rate of pay and other information regarding Financial Disclosure requirements.

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Terminations

Terminations must be made on a Payroll Authorization Form and submitted to the Office of Payroll and Benefits as soon as the date of termination is known. If the termination notice is received by the Office of Payroll and Benefits after the 15th day of the month during which the termination becomes effective, the payroll for that month may have already been processed.

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Employment Law

Congressional Accountability Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (“CAA”), the following civil rights, labor, and workplace safety laws are applicable to House employing offices:
1. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938;

2. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

3. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;

4. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;

5. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993;

6. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988;

7. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act;

8. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

9. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994;

10. Certain provisions of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute;

11. The public service and accommodations provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act;

12. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970; and

13. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.

The Office of Compliance has published the CAA Handbook, which is available from the Office of Compliance’s website, or at Room LA-200, John Adams Building, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-1999, (202) 724-9250. The Office of Compliance also provides materials that employing offices can use to notify employees of their rights and protections under the CAA.

A Model Employee Handbook providing sample office policies to assist in developing an organization that complies with applicable laws and House Rules is available on HouseNet.

The Office of House Employment Counsel is available to provide advice and guidance on employment matters generally, and on establishing office policies consistent with the CAA.  The Office of the House Employment Counsel can be reached at x57075.

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Nepotism

A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in or to a position in the office in which that public official is serving or over which that public official exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of that public official. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 3110, the term “public official” includes a Member, an employee, and any other individual who has authority, or to whom the authority has been delegated, to appoint, employ, promote, or advance individuals, or to recommend individuals for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in connection with employment in an office.

Every employee must certify a relationship to any Member of Congress on a certificate of relationship form available from the Office of Payroll and Benefits. If, at any time, the relationship of an employee to any current Member of Congress changes the employee must file an amended certificate of relationship form with the employing office. Contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for such forms.

Individuals with the following relationship to the Member may not be employed by the Chair or Ranking minority Member of a Committee:
• Aunt;
• Brother;
• Brother-in-law;
• Daughter;
• Daughter-in-law;
• Father;
• Father-in-law;
• First cousin;
• Granddaughter;
• Grandson;
• Half-brother;
• Half-sister;
• Husband;
• Mother;
• Mother-in-law;
• Nephew;
• Niece;
• Sister;
• Sister-in-law;
• Son;
• Son-in-law;
• Stepbrother;
• Stepdaughter;
• Stepfather;
• Stepmother;
• Stepsister;
• Stepson;
• Uncle; and
• Wife.

If a House employee becomes related to the Chair or Ranking minority Member of a Committee or any of its Subcommittees (by marriage), the employee may remain on the Member’s personal or Committee payroll. Similarly, if a Chair or Ranking minority Member of a Committee or any of its Subcommittees becomes the employing authority of a relative who was hired by someone else (e.g., the Member ascends to the Chairmanship of a Committee or Subcommittee for which the relative is already working), the relative may remain on the payroll. However, the Chair or Ranking minority Member of a Committee or any of its Subcommittees may not then give that individual further promotions or raises, other than cost-of-living or other across-the-board adjustments.

The anti-nepotism statute does not prohibit a Chair or Ranking minority Member of a Committee or any of its Subcommittees from employing two individuals who are related to each other but not to the Chair or Ranking minority Member. Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for further information.

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Non-Disclosure Oath

House Rule XXIII, clause 13, requires Members and employees to execute an oath of non-disclosure before having access to classified information.

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Post-Employment Restriction

Members and employees paid at a rate equal to or greater than 75 percent of the basic rate of pay of a Member for at least 60 days in the one-year period preceding termination are subject to post-employment restrictions. For the current applicable rate and information regarding the applicable restrictions, contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103.

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Working from Home Due to a Disability

Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), a Committee Chair is permitted to reasonably accommodate a qualified employee with a disability by allowing the employee to work from home if doing so is consistent with the Committee’s operational needs. As a condition of such a request, the Member may require certification from a physician of the need for such accommodation.  For questions concerning compliance with the ADA, contact the Office of House Employment Counsel at x57075.

See Congressional Accountability Act (11)

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Telecommuting

Ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in compliance with the Committee on House Administration telecommuting policy are reimbursable. Offices may obtain a copy of the Telecommuting policy and agreement from the Committee's website at (https://www.house.gov/cha/publications/publications.html).

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Leave

The Committee Chair determines the terms and conditions of employment, including provisions for leave (e.g., Annual, Administrative, and Sick) consistent with applicable Federal laws and House Rules. Contact the Office of House Employment Counsel at x57075 for information about model leave policies.

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Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), a person employed by a Congressional office for at least one year and for a total of at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period is entitled to up to a total of 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the following family and medical reasons:
1. For the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child; or

2. To adopt a child or to receive a child in foster care; or

3. To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; or

4. For the employee’s own serious health condition which makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job; or

5. Because of a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in the Armed Forces; or

6. To take care of an injured covered service member for up to 26 weeks during a single 12-month period.

Employees on Family and Medical Leave remain eligible for all benefits.  Please contact OHEC at x57075 with questions concerning FMLA leave.

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Furlough

Furlough is an absence without pay initiated by the Committee Chair. Placement in furlough status is at the discretion of the Committee Chair, unless a statute otherwise requires placement in such status.
1. To be eligible for appointment to furlough status at the discretion of the Committee Chair, an employee must have been employed by the Committee Chair for the entire month prior to the effective date of furlough status.

2. An employee placed in a furlough status continues to fill an employee position. The name of such employees will be listed on the monthly payroll certification forms.

3. Continuation of employee benefits while in a furlough status:

a. Health benefits enrollment and coverage may be continued for up to 12 months. However, to maintain such enrollment and coverage, an employee placed in a furlough status is responsible for the payment of the employee’s portion of the insurance premium for the time period of the furlough status, either by direct payment or by incurring a debt to the House. Employees should contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits for more information at x51435.

b. Life insurance continues for up to 12 months without employee contribution.
c. Retirement coverage continues without employee contribution. Up to 6 months in a calendar year is credited for service in the annuity computation, while in furlough status.

d. The placement of an employee in a furlough status must be made on the appropriate form provided by the Office of Payroll and Benefits and received on or before the 15th day of the month in which the furlough status is to be effective. Contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for such forms.

Contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for information on employee benefits while on furlough.

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Jury and Witness Duty

Under 2 U.S.C. § 4503, the pay of an employee shall not be reduced during a period of absence with respect to which the employee is summoned as a juror; or as a witness on behalf of any party in connection with any judicial proceeding to which the United States or a state or local government is a party.

An employee may not receive fees for service as juror in a court of the United States or the District of Columbia; or as a witness on behalf of the United States or the District of Columbia. If an employee receives an amount (other than travel expenses) for service as a juror or witness in such a court, the employee must remit such amount to the Office of Finance for deposit in the general fund of the Treasury.

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Leave Without Pay (LWOP)

LWOP is an absence without pay initiated by the employee subject to the approval of the Committee Chair, unless statute otherwise requires placement in such leave status.
1) To be eligible an employee must have been employed by the Committee for the entire month prior to the effective date of the LWOP status.

2) As a basic condition for approval of LWOP status, there should be a reasonable assurance that the employee will return to duty at the end of the LWOP period. Committee Chairs are encouraged to contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 prior to approving a LWOP status request to confirm that no conflict of interest issues exist.

3) LWOP status should be requested in advance of the period of absence.

4) LWOP status may not exceed 12 months in a 24-month period.

5) When an employee has been appointed to LWOP status, he or she continues to fill a payroll position. The name of such employees will be listed on the monthly Payroll Certification Form.

6) Continuation of Employee Benefits while on LWOP status:

a) Health benefits enrollment and coverage may be continued for up to 12 months. However, to maintain such enrollment and coverage, an employee placed in LWOP status is responsible for the payment of the employee's portion of the insurance premium for the period of the LWOP status, either by direct payment or by incurring a debt to the House.

b) Life insurance coverage continues for up to 12 months without employee contribution.

c) Retirement coverage continues without contribution. Up to 6 months in a calendar year is credited for service in the annuity computation.

7) The placement of an employee on LWOP status must be made on the Payroll Authorization Form and received no later than the 15th day of the month in which the placement is to be effective.
Contact the Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435 for more information on LWOP.

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Military Leave

Under 5 U.S.C. § 6323, an employee in the National Guard or Reserves is entitled to up to 15 days of paid military leave per fiscal year for active duty, as well as for other qualifying purposes (such as inactive-duty training).  Employees are also entitled to 22 days of paid leave per calendar year, offset by the employee’s military salary, for performing military services as defined in that statute.  In addition, under 5 U.S.C. §5538, an employee called to active duty in the uniformed services in support of a contingency operation, as defined under 10 U.S.C. §101(a)(13)(B), is entitled to up to five years of paid leave offset by the employee’s military salary.  Please contact the Office of House Employment Counsel at x57075 for additional information on the rights, benefits, and obligations of individuals absent from employment for service in a uniformed service.

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Consultants

Pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 4301, each Committee is authorized, with the prior approval of the Committee on House Administration, to obtain temporary or intermittent services of individual consultants or organizations, to advise the Committee with respect to matters within its jurisdiction.
1. The term of the contract agreement may not exceed 12 months or the end of a Congress, whichever occurs first.

2. The consultant is to act as an independent contractor and is not an employee of the Committee. The Committee on House Administration will not approve a contract if the services to be provided by the consultant are the regular and normal duties of Committee staff.

3. Individual contract agreements may not exceed the per diem equivalent of the highest gross rate of compensation that may be paid to a regular employee of the Committee.

4. If the consultant receives federal retirement benefits during the term of the contract, the sum of all money paid to that consultant plus the federal retirement benefits for the calendar year may not exceed the Speaker’s Pay Order.

5. A consultant may be reimbursed for the cost of transportation and travel-related expenses in accordance with the rates and regulations established for Members and employees of the Committee. Consultants may travel at the government rate when traveling on official Committee business.

6. Pursuant to House Rule XXIII, clause 18(b), consultants are subject to certain provisions of the House Code of Official Conduct, including the gift rule, the prohibition against use of one's official position for private gain, and the requirement to conduct oneself at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House. For information relative to the House Rules, contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103.

7. Committee Chair must submit a letter requesting approval of the Committee on House Administration along with a signed contract agreement and resume of the proposed consultant, including, but not limited to, details of federal service either as an employee or pursuant to contract agreement with any Committee of the Congress.

8. The letter must specify that the proposed contract has been approved by a majority of the Members of the requesting Committee and that no services pursuant to the proposed contract will commence prior to approval of the contract by the Committee on House Administration.

The Committee on House Administration will make available for public inspection a copy of the qualifications of each consultant.

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Communications

Advertisements

General

Ordinary and necessary expenses related only to the following advertisements are reimbursable:
a. Notice of committee employee and internship openings
b. Notice of official committee events (i.e., forums, field hearings)
c. Notice of address, location, and contact information (including web presence), email

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Content

Qualifying advertisement content:
a. May not include the name, picture or likeness of any Member of the Committee.
b. May not include issue advocacy material.
c. May not include extraneous content unrelated to the purpose of the advertisement as listed in “General” section above.
d. Notice of official Committee events may contain a brief description not to exceed one sentence about the topic of the meeting. No further issue related content is permissible.
e. Television advertisements may only be used to announce an official Committee event (i.e. field hearing, forum) and may contain only text and voiceover.
f. Radio advertisements may only be used to announce an official Committee event (i.e. field hearing, forum).
g. Internet advertisements may link to a secondary page that contains only content related to the category of qualifying advertisement.
Advertisements must receive an Advisory Opinion from the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards (Franking Commission). Contact the Franking Commission at x59337.

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Disclosure

Committees must disclose, within the text of a television, radio and internet advertisement, the source of payment for the official advertisements. Committees may use any of the following:
a. "Paid for with official funds from the Committee on [committee name]."
b. "Paid for by funds authorized by the House of Representatives for the Committee on [committee name]."
c. "Paid for by official funds authorized by the House of Representatives."
Certain internet advertisements may not require a disclaimer when there is a limitation on space or content consistent with the small items exemption applied by the FEC (e.g., search word ads, “like” ads on Facebook, promoted Tweets, etc.).

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Booths

Ordinary and necessary expenses associated with renting or outfitting a booth to provide public information directly related to official Committee business is reimbursable.

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Electronic Communications

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the distribution of electronic communications (e.g., the Internet, fax machines, email, robo-calls, etc.) are reimbursable.

The Chairman or other Member of the Committee authorized to use electronic communications may not distribute an unsolicited communications that is sent to 500 or more recipients into any congressional district fewer than 90 days before an election where the Member representing that district is subject to the pre-election prohibition on mass mailings pursuant to 39 U.S.C. § 3210 (a) (6) (A), except that this restriction does not apply to communications:
a. In direct response to a communication from a person to whom the matter is sent.
b. From a Member of Congress to other Members of Congress or to federal, state, or local government officials.
c. Of a news release to the communications media
d. Of email sent to individuals who have taken a willful action to subscribe to Committee’s email list. The Committee must notify individuals who subscribe to email updates that the individual is authorizing the Committee to send regular email updates from the Committee office to the individual’s email account. All email updates to subscribers must contain an option that enables the individual to unsubscribe from the email list.

Content of communications:
a. Must be in compliance with federal law House Rules and Regulations applicable to official communications and germane to the conduct of official Committee business.
b. May not include personal (outside of incidental references), political party (except for political affiliations), or campaign information.
c. May not include grassroots lobbying or solicit support for a Member’s position.
d. May not generate, circulate, solicit, or encourage the signing of petitions.
e. May not include any advertisement for any private individual, firm or corporation, or imply in any manner that the government endorses or favors any specific commercial product, commodity, or service, charity, or organization.

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Franked Mail

Use of the Frank

1. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. § 3210, committees are entitled to the privilege of sending mail as Franked mail in order to assist and expedite the conduct of official Committee business. The content of Committee mail must relate to the normal business of the Committee. For information regarding the use of the Frank, refer to the Regulations on the Use of the Congressional Frank.

2. The Chairman or other Member of the Committee authorized to use franked mail shall, before making any mass mailing submit a sample or description of the mail matter to the House Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards for an advisory opinion on the frankability of such mail matter.

3. The Chairman or other Member of the Committee authorized to use franked mail may not distribute a mass mailing into any congressional district fewer than 90 days before an election where the Member representing that district is subject to the pre-election prohibition on mass mailings pursuant to 39 U.S.C. § 3210 (a) (6) (A).

4. Mass mailing is defined in 39 U.S.C. § 3210 (a) (6) (E) as any mailing of newsletter or other pieces of mail with substantially identical content (whether such mail is deposited singly or in bulk, or at the same time or different times), totaling more than 500 pieces in a session of Congress except that such term does not include any mailing:

a. Of matter in direct response to a communication from a person to whom the matter is sent;
b. From a Member of Congress to other Members of Congress or to federal, state, or local government officials; or
c. Of a news release to the communications media.

5. At the request of the Committee Chair, a separate mail accounting system can be provided to the minority of the Committee.

6. Mail to be delivered outside the United States, its territories and possessions (other than mail matter bearing an APO or FPO address for delivery through the United States military mail system) is not eligible for distribution under the Frank and may be sent with stamps. In applicable circumstances, the Committee may also use the following:

a. For official mail to U.S. Embassies and missions abroad, the Department of State provides diplomatic pouch service. For information regarding this service, contact House Postal Operations at x63764.
b. Committee hearings, reports and prints which are not available for purchase from the Government Publishing Office, and which are to be sent to foreign countries, may be sent to the Library of Congress for forwarding through the Exchange and Gifts Division. For further information regarding this program, contact the Library of Congress, Exchange and Gifts Division at x75243.

Contact the Franking Commission at x59337 for additional information.

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Franked Mail Monthly Statement

Each month the United States Postal Service (USPS) will prepare an USPS Franked Mail Monthly Statement listing the postage expenses of all Franked mail incurred in that month. The USPS will forward this statement directly to Postal Operations for payment from the Committee's franked mail allocation and will provide an informational copy to Committees.

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Inside Mail

1. Inside Mail is a delivery service for the transmittal of interoffice communications provided by House Postal Operations, pursuant to the regulations established by the Committee on House Administration. Inside mail service is available among offices in the Capitol, the House and Senate Office Buildings, the Library of Congress, the White House, the State Department, and the Social Security Administration.

2. Inside mail is provided to support the conduct of the official business of Members, Committees, Officers of the House, and Congressional Staff Organizations.

3. Inside mail service may not be used to circulate letters which are personal or campaign-related, or which constitute commercial advertising except when postage is paid for with personal expenses.

4. All mail to be delivered via inside mail should be clearly marked Inside Mail and should be deposited in an Inside Mailbox.

5. Authorized items for circulation of inside mail include:

a. A Dear Colleague or similar correspondence relating to the official and representational business of the Member. This correspondence must be on official letterhead and signed by the Member of the Committee.
b. A position paper, report, legislative analysis, or any material published or produced by another individual or organization that a Member wishes to circulate. This correspondence must be accompanied by a signed cover letter on official letterhead. A copy of the cover letter must be attached to each item to be distributed.
c. Franked mail.
d. Stamped mail.
e. Mail for which a delivery fee has been paid.
f. Mail in a reusable blue U.S. House of Representatives Inside Mail envelope.
g. Mail produced by Congressional Staff Organizations registered with the Committee on House Administration.

Dear Colleague letters and similar correspondence must be transmitted to House Postal Operations, in the appropriate quantity, with a cover letter signed by the Member, indicating to whom the mailing should be distributed. For information regarding these procedures, contact House Postal Operations at x63764.

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Postal Expenses

Ordinary and necessary expenses incurred only when the Frank is insufficient, such as certified, registered, insured, express, foreign mail, and stamped, self-addressed envelopes related to the recovery of official items, are reimbursable. Postage may not be used in lieu of the Frank. Such mailings must be in compliance with the Franking Regulations.

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Printing and Production of Committee Publications

The Office of Congressional Publishing Services, Government Publishing Office (GPO), offers Committees a wide array of support for preparation of their official publications and other documents for GPO printing. Among the types of support available, a Chair may formally request the Public Printer to detail a GPO professional to the Committee on a short- or long-term basis.
Committee staff with questions or needing assistance with preparation should contact Congressional Publishing Services at 202-512-0224.

By direction of the Joint Committee on Printing, House Committees may generally receive up to 100 copies of hearings and 100 copies of Committee prints, with up to four sets bound copies for official use (including archival purposes).

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Stationery

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. § 734, ordinary and necessary expenses associated with the printing and production of official stationery are reimbursable. Official stationery may be procured from the Government Publishing Office.

Contact the Congressional Printing Management Division at 202-512-0224 and the Office of Publication Services at x65200 for stationery requests.

Additional stationery requests (writing paper, bond, etc.) are reimbursable.
Official stationery must contain the following information:
1.  Member’s name;

2.  Member’s district and state;

3.  Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, or comparable language;

Official stationary may contain the following information:
1.  Leadership-appointed positions; and

2.  Congressional Member Organization membership.
Official stationery may include professional license(s).
Official stationery may not contain the following information:

a. Seals other than the Great Seal, Congressional Seal, or State Seal
b. Member’s political party identification
c. Slogans
d. Private entity information or endorsement
e. Campaign contact information (e.g. address, phone number, e-mail address)
f. Greetings
g. Picture or likeness of the Member
h. Family Crest

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the purchase of stationery (writing paper, press or news release letterhead, etc.) are reimbursable. Committees may purchase the stationery from OPS or an outside vendor.

Official stationery may be used only for a letter or other document when the content is official in nature. When sent out under the Frank, content must comply with the Franking Regulations. Contact the Franking Commission at x60647 for information on content of official correspondence.

Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for guidelines on the use and appearance of official stationery. Contact the Franking Commission at x60647 for information on content of official correspondence.

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Business Cards

Ordinary and necessary expenses for business cards for Committee Members and Committee employees are reimbursable. The content of business cards must comply with the Franking Regulations. Business cards must contain the name of the employing authority and accurately describe the position to which the employee has been appointed.

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Websites

General

Internet sites paid for with official funds (websites) are a series of centrally maintained Web pages, accessible to the public via the Internet and stored on a specific host. The home page is the first accessible page for that site.
1. Ordinary and necessary expenses associated with the creation and continued operation of websites, in support of official Committee business, are reimbursable.

2. Except as noted in item 6, below, Committee websites must be located in the HOUSE.GOV host-domain and must be hosted in conformance with the regulations issued by the Committee on House Administration.

3. The minority and Subcommittees shall be entitled to a separate page that is linked to and accessible from the Committee's primary (house.gov) web page. For any web pages created under this policy, the Chair (Committee or Subcommittee) or Ranking Minority Member (Committee or Subcommittee) responsible for its content must be identified on the introductory page.

4. Committee Websites may be maintained by House Information Resources (HIR), the Committee office, or a private vendor authorized to provide Web services to the House in compliance with the regulations issued by the Committee on House Administration.

5. Committee and Member websites may link to each other, but Member websites may not be located on websites paid for by Committee funds.

6. In addition to their official HOUSE.GOV website, a Committee may establish profiles, pages, channels or any similar presence on third-party sites that allow individuals or organizations to offer information about themselves to the public (Social Media Accounts). Committee-controlled content on social media accounts is subject to the same requirements as content on Committee websites.

7. Websites should be compliant with the accessibility standards set out in § 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

8. Websites may link to non-government sites, so long as the link content relates to the Committee official business, and the content would not otherwise violate any other House rules, regulations, or federal laws.

9. In addition to the official Committee website, the Chair may establish profiles, pages, channels or any similar presence on third-party sites that allow individuals or organizations to offer information about themselves to the public (social media accounts). Committee-controlled content on social media accounts is subject to the same requirements as content on Member websites.

10. All social media accounts and websites of the majority and minority are controlled by the Chair and ranking Member respectively.

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Content

The content of a Committee website:
1. The official content of any material posted by a Committee on any website must be in compliance with Federal law and House Rules and Regulations applicable to official communications and germane to official Committee business.

2. May not include personal (outside of incidental references), political party (except for political party affiliations), or campaign information.

3. May not include grassroots lobbying including generating, circulating, soliciting, or encouraging signing of petitions.

4. May not include any advertisement for any private individual, firm, or corporation, or imply in any manner that the government endorses or favors any specific commercial product, commodity, or service.

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Name (URL)

1. The URL name for an official website located in the HOUSE.GOV domain must be recognizably derivative or representative of the name of the Committee sponsoring the Website and comply with the regulations issued by the Committee on House Administration.

2. The URL name for an official website located in the HOUSE.GOV domain or name of a profile, page, channel or similar presence on a third party site may not:

1. Be a slogan.

2. Imply in any manner that the House endorses or favors any specific commercial product, commodity, or service.

3. Be deceptive and must accurately represent the Committee.

3. A Committee Member may use personal funds to purchase a personalized URL as a locating address without any content, so long as it points back and resolves to the official website address.

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Information Security

The Committee on House Administration issues and maintains policy and standards to guide Members and staff for the protection of House information and equipment.

The purpose of these policies and standards is to protect the Members and the House from the inappropriate release of privileged or protected information.  Categories of information designed to be protected include: legislative information, legally protected information such as personally identifiable information and medical information protected under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).  Information related to the advance travel plans and locations of Members and staff should be protected to help ensure the safety of Members and staff.
National Security Information is protected by law and procedures established by the Sergeant at Arms’ Office of House Security.

Members and staff are expected to comply with applicable laws, House Rules, and House Security Policy in their daily practice of using the Internet, House computers, and mobile equipment.   The House Information Security Office at x66448 offers practical guidance to assist Members in this effort.

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Disbursements

Advance Payments

There are instances in which advance payments may be required and may be paid. All advance payments must meet all of the following four criteria:
1. The vendor provides these billing options to other customers (documentation required).

2. The amount to be paid must be fixed at the time of purchase (e.g., variable cost contracts or services are ineligible).

3. All transactions for advance payments for the next legislative year must be submitted for payment before the beginning of that legislative year.

4. The vendor may not bundle items that are eligible for advance payment with items that are not eligible.
Unless specifically authorized by the Committee, only the following advance payments are reimbursable and only to the extent they last the current term of Congress (except where noted):

a. Facility rentals, and related costs excluding deposits
b. Public information booth rental
c. Educational expenses
d. subscriptions for print and electronic publications (including clipping and media monitoring services of such publications)
e. Original Equipment Manufacturers' Warranties
f. Telecommunication devices or services
g. Web and information technology services (including software license and maintenance fees). Advance payments are not allowable for custom services to be performed such as but not limited to designing or building websites
h. Bottled water/ coffee services

The Committee on House Administration will annually set a cap on the amount available to Committees for advance payments.

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Reimbursement and Direct Payment

Disbursements from funds available to Committees are paid either on a reimbursement or direct payment (to vendors or the House) and require:
1. The Committee Chair’s signature, certifying the expense was incurred in support of official Committee business.

2. Supporting documentation (i.e., receipt, invoice, etc.). Please refer to Voucher Documentation Standards approved by the Committee on House Administration. 

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Government Purchase Card

The Government Purchase Card is available for Member and employee use for the purchase of goods and services obtained in support of official business (e.g., office supplies, subscriptions, training, etc.). Expenses incurred on this card are directly reimbursable to Citibank with the completion of online expense reallocation, a copy of the credit card statement, an accompanying voucher, and applicable receipts.

Members and employees are reminded that the Government Purchase Card is for official non-travel related expenses only. Use of this card for any personal or non-official purchases is prohibited.

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Tax Exempt Letters

To avoid paying unnecessary taxes, please contact the Office of the General Counsel at x59700 for tax exempt letters applicable to each state.

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General Expenses

Appliances

Ordinary and necessary expenses for small appliances (microwaves, coffee makers, etc.) for use in Committee offices are reimbursable. Equipment, including appliances, with a purchase price over $500 must be added to the Committee’s inventory by contacting CAO First Call at x58000.

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Clipping Services

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to clipping services (newspapers, periodicals, magazines, etc.) are reimbursable.

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Decorating Expenses

Decorations of nominal value (such as bookends, flags, seals, etc.) for Committee offices are reimbursable. Contact the Committee on House Administration for a list of Government agencies that provide wall decorations free of charge.

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Deposits

Security and other deposits are not reimbursable and must be paid from the Member’s personal funds. Each Member should notify vendors that any return of deposits should be made to the Member.

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Drug Testing

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to drug testing, in accordance with the Committee's written drug testing program, are reimbursable.
Offices should consult with the Office of House Employment Counsel at x57075 when establishing drug-testing policies.

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Dues

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 5946, dues, membership fees, assessments, and annual fees are not reimbursable.

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Educational Expenses

Ordinary and necessary expenses for Members or employees of the Committee to attend vendor-sponsored conferences, seminars, briefings, professional training, and informational programs related to the official Committee business are reimbursable, except where noted:
1. Members or employees may not be reimbursed for expenses to attend educational programs in order to obtain a primary, secondary, graduate, postgraduate, or professional degree.

2. Expenses associated with acquiring or maintaining professional certification or licensing are not reimbursable except for basic first-aid, CPR, or notary certifications.

Specialized Training

In addition to educational expenses, each Committee is authorized, with the approval of the Committee on House Administration, to provide assistance to employees of the Committee in obtaining specialized training, whenever that Committee determines that such training will aid the Committee in the discharge of its responsibilities.
1. Such assistance may be in the form of continuance of pay during the periods of training, or grants of funds to pay tuition or other expenses of training, or both.

2. Committees must obtain reasonable assurance from the employee of his or her intent to return to work so that the employee may convey the benefits of such training upon the Committee.

The Committee Chair must submit a letter to the Committee on House Administration, prior to any expenses being incurred, explaining the need for the specialized training, the cost, the duration, and any other pertinent information.

See Advance Payments (27) and Contractors (6).

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Employment-Related Expenses

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to filling employment vacancies are reimbursable.

The following expenses are not reimbursable:
1. Transportation to and from employment interviews; or

2. Relocation expenses upon acceptance or termination of employment.

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Equipment

Equipment, including appliances, with a purchase price over $500 must be added to the Committee’s inventory by contacting CAO First Call at x58000.

For all questions relating to equipment and equipment-related issues, refer to the Guide to Outfitting and Maintaining an Office of the U.S. House of Representatives, available at (https://cha.house.gov). For further information relating to any of the CAO’s services, please refer to HouseNet or call First Call at x58000.

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Food and Beverage Expenses

Members and employees of a Committee may be reimbursed for food and beverage expenses incidental to an official meeting that includes person(s) who are not Members or employees of the House.
Members and employees of a Committee may be reimbursed for food and beverage expenses no more than two times per year for legislative planning session meetings involving Members and staff that occur within the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Members and employees of a Committee may not be reimbursed for food and beverage expenses related to social activities or social events (e.g. receptions, entertainment, holiday or personal celebrations, and swearing-in or inauguration day celebrations, etc.).
The cost of alcoholic beverages is not reimbursable under any circumstances.

See Items for Official Presentation (34).

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Framing

Framing services for items to be displayed in the Committee offices are reimbursable. When Committees use the in-House framing service provided by the CAO, charges will be automatically debited from Committee funds.

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Furniture

Furniture (e.g., furniture, rugs, carpet, draperies, repairs, etc.) for Committee offices is supplied and maintained by the CAO through First Call at x58000.

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Incidental Use

Incidental personal use of equipment and supplies owned or leased by, or the cost of which is reimbursed by, the House of Representatives is permitted only when such use is negligible in nature, frequency, time consumed, and expense.
For example, limited use of government resources to access the Internet, to send or receive personal e-mail, or to make personal phone calls is permissible, so long as the use meets the above criteria, and otherwise conforms with the Regulations of the Committee on House Administration and the Code of Official Conduct (House Rule XXIII).
Each Committee may adopt a more restrictive incidental use policy.

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Late Fees

Ordinary and necessary fees related to late payments incurred beyond the control of a Member or employees of the Committee are reimbursable.

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Mass Transit Benefit

Members and staff working in Washington, D.C. are eligible for transit benefits. For information regarding this benefit, please contact Office of Payroll and Benefits at x51435.

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Messenger Services

Ordinary and necessary expenses for messenger/courier services related to official Committee business are reimbursable.

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Parking

Please see the Committee on House Administration website for the House Parking Policy.

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Photography Expenses

Ordinary and necessary photography expenses related to a Committee’s official business, including but not limited to, official photographs, and photograph presentation folders and frames of nominal value, are reimbursable.

Official photographs are those taken with the use of House resources (equipment, staff, etc.) and include photos for use on House credentials and in House directories. Photos taken with House equipment by House staff are considered official photographs. Committee funds may be used to employ or contract a photographer, or to procure photographic equipment. Official photographs must comply with applicable rules and regulations for official use and may not be used for personal or campaign purposes.

In Washington, DC, contact the House Photography Studio at x52840 for services, charges, and availability. Photographs provided by a constituent may implicate the gift rule. Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for more information.

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Publications

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to purchasing or subscribing to print and electronic publications, including but not limited to research materials, reference books, informational brochures, periodicals, and clipping/media monitoring services of such publications for official Committee business use are reimbursable.

Subscriptions to publications (including clipping and media monitoring) are eligible for advance payment, and may extend beyond the term of the Congress. Subscriptions that extend beyond the Chair’s service will be assigned to the successor.

All invoices for these subscriptions received by the Office of Finance through the close of business January 2 will be debited from the current Committee session year. Subscriptions beginning on January 1 or 2 may be debited from either session year, as directed by the Committee Chair.
 

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Records Maintenance and Archiving

1. House Rule XI, clause 2(e) requires that each Committee keep a complete record of all Committee actions, including, but not limited to, the following:
• Roll call votes
• Committee publications (e.g., Committee hearings, Committee prints, legislative calendars)
• Transcripts of unprinted hearings

2. For detailed information regarding archiving, contact the Office of Art and Archives at x61300 for a copy of Archiving Committee Records for Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives: A Handbook of Archival Practices and Procedures.

3. House Rule VII requires that at the close of each Congress, the Clerk shall obtain all non-current records, paper and electronic, of each Committee and transfer them to the National Archives for preservation subject to the order of the House. The Clerk will provide, at the close of each Congress, each Committee with the necessary instructions and forms to be used in retiring the Committee's records to the Office of Art and Archives for transfer to the National Archives.

4. Archived records may be retrieved, when necessary, upon request submitted by authorized Committee staff to the Office of Art and Archives. The Committee Chair must provide to the Clerk a list of staff authorized to request the retrieval of archived records.

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Items for Official Presentation

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the purchase of items of nominal value for official presentation, by a Member of the Committee at the direction of the Chairman, when on official travel for the House outside the United States, its territories and possessions; or in connection with visits to the United States by foreign heads of State and other foreign officials are reimbursable. Food and beverage expenses and the purchase of items of nominal value for official presentation, by a Member of the Committee at the direction of the Chairman, in connection with visits to the United States by foreign heads of State and other foreign officials are reimbursable.

To purchase items from the House Gift Shop, select the item(s) and notify the sales clerk that it is for official Committee business. Receipts for such items should be vouchered and must be supported by a listing of the name, title or position, and country represented of all individuals attending the event and/or to whom an official presentation is made.

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Supplies

Ordinary and necessary expenses for office supplies in support of the conduct of official Committee business are reimbursable.

Office Supply Store (“OSS”) located in B-217 Longworth at x53321 issues each Committee an account card. The cost of all items purchased with the account card is charged directly to Committee funds. Committee Chairs may request additional account cards for use by Subcommittees and the minority.
Each month, OSS will provide each Committee with a statement of all transactions charged to the Committee's account card(s). Committees should reconcile their records with this statement to ensure accuracy. Discrepancies should be resolved immediately with OSS.

OSS also operates a gift shop in B-217A Longworth which sells souvenirs and mementos to Members, employees and the public. Committee account card(s) may not be used to purchase items at the Gift Shop.
For information regarding special orders, deliveries and monthly statements, contact OSS at x53321.

See Items for Official Presentation (34).

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Telecommunications

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the official use of telecommunications devices and services, including periodic or flat service fees, of telecommunications lines (voice and data) in the residence of Members and employees of the Committee are reimbursable. The cost of installation of such lines is not reimbursable.

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Hearings and Meetings

Committees must adhere to House Rules with respect to preparing for and holding hearings, mark-ups and meetings. 
Notices of Committee hearings and meetings should include a contact person to arrange for accommodations for persons with disabilities. For suggested language and assistance in meeting accommodations, contact the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services at x44048.

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Audio and Video Expenses

Ordinary and necessary expenses including but not limited to the following, are reimbursable:
a. Audio and video taping of meetings and hearings.
b. Audio and video dissemination of Committee meetings and hearings.
c. Video teleconferencing for official Committee business.

Except for notices of official Committee events, the costs related to purchasing television broadcast time are not reimbursable.
Note: In Washington, the House Recording Studio, an in-House source for audio and video services, is available. Contact the House Recording Studio at x53941 for information on services, charges and availability.
There are certain election-related restrictions on mass communications. Audio and video content must relate to official and representational duties to the district and must comply with Franking standards if sent out as an unsolicited mass communication.

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Charts / Presentation Materials

Ordinary and necessary expenses for the production of charts or other materials for official Committee business are reimbursable. Committees may use the in-House service, House Information Resources (HIR), or an outside vendor for the production of charts. Contact HIR at x63799 for services and charges.

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Field Hearings

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the conduct of field hearings, including but not limited to the procurement of public/government or commercial space, security, and related operational expenses are reimbursable.

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Insurance for Rental Space

Committees may be asked to provide a certificate of insurance for the purpose of entering into a lease for securing space for a field hearing or other official events. The House does not carry a private insurance policy and generally does not permit the use of Committee funds to pay for a private insurance policy.
Under the provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act, codified at 28 U.S.C. §§ 2671-2680, the United States acts as a self-insurer and recognizes its liability for the negligent and wrongful acts or omissions of its employees acting within the scope of their official duties. The United States is liable to the same extent an individual would be in like circumstances.

Although the Federal Tort Claims Act is not the equivalent of private liability insurance, it does provide an aggrieved party with administrative recourse, and if that proves unsatisfactory, it provides legal recourse for the damage or injury sustained. Thus, to the extent negligent acts of congressional employees, while conducting official duties, result in either property damage or bodily injury, such damage or injury should be compensable under the Act in a manner which affords protection similar to private liability insurance.
However, if the provisions of the Federal Tort Claims Act are not considered adequate, the ordinary and necessary expenses for liability insurance to cover these risks are reimbursable. When a compensable event occurs, the deductible portion of a policy may be paid from Committee funds.

Security and other deposits are not reimbursable and must be paid from the Member’s personal funds. Each Member should notify vendors that any return of deposits should be made to the Member.
Expenses for the purchase of fire and theft insurance are not reimbursable.
For advice and guidance regarding the Federal Tort Claims Act, contact the Office of the General Counsel at x59700.

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Interpreting and Translating Services

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to interpreting and translating services, including accommodations are reimbursable. For events held in House Office Buildings, contact the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services at x44048.

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Official Reporters

All transcription services must be arranged through the Office of Official Reporters. These services include:
• Official hearings, mark-ups or other bipartisan meetings of Members of the Committee called by the Chair of a Committee or Subcommittee
• Classified Member briefings called by the Chair
• Depositions and/or interviews that are part of a Committee investigation
• House/Senate joint committee meetings or conference meetings held on the House side of the Capitol or in the House office buildings

These transcription services are provided at no cost to Committees.
When in-house reporters are not available, the Office of Official Reporters will arrange for an outside contracted vendor. There is no cost to Committees.

For field hearings, the Office of Official Reporters will either send an Official Reporter or arrange for a reporter from a commercial firm with availability at the location of the field hearing. There is no cost to Committees. If an Official Reporter is assigned to cover a field hearing, travel expenses of the Official Reporter will be paid for by the Office of the Clerk.
The Committee Chair may authorize the use of an outside reporter, at direct cost to the Committee, for meetings other than those that the Official Reporters are required to cover. These include open Committee briefings, town hall meetings, and unofficial hearings not called by the Chair. All expenses related to these services must be paid from Committee funds.
Contact the Office of Official Reporters at x52627 for information on how to request a reporter.

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Witnesses

The reimbursement of travel expenses incurred by a witness is an extraordinary measure.
Reimbursement will be made only when authorized by the Committee Chair. Reimbursement will be made only to an individual called to appear as a witness before a duly constituted meeting or hearing under House Rules or a duly constituted staff deposition.
Witnesses may travel at the government rate when the Committee is reimbursing for travel expenses.
If a witness is a minor or requires medical assistance, reimbursement may be made to the parent or guardian of the minor or nurse or aide accompanying the witness.
If a witness resides outside the United States, its territories and possessions, reimbursement may be made to the witness for transportation expenses to and from the United States.

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Travel

Travel in support of official Committee business, is official travel. Official travel includes local travel and being away from home overnight when returning to the primary duty station is unduly burdensome or impractical.
The Committee Chair must approve all official travel. The Committee Chair may establish internal Committee procedures for authorization of travel.

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General

1. Ordinary and necessary expenses associated with official travel, including transportation, lodging, meals (excluding alcohol), and incidentals (parking, ticket change fees, etc.) are reimbursable.

2. Only Members and employees of the Committee, consultants, vendors and witnesses may be reimbursed from Committee funds for travel expenses (unless otherwise authorized, in writing, by the Speaker).

3. Any travel by detailees will be undertaken pursuant to the authority of the detailing department or agency. Reimbursement of travel to the department or agency will be from Committee funds and subject to the detailing agreement.

4. Official travel may not be for personal, campaign-related political party, campaign or Member personal office purposes.

5. Official travel cannot originate from or terminate at a campaign-related political party or campaign event. Official travel may not be combined with or related to travel or travel related expenses paid for with campaign funds.

6. Travel to or from a destination for the purposes of connecting to or from another official or officially-connected trip is also considered official travel.  Any of the connecting/linking travel must occur within the US to be reimbursed with official funds, and the primary purpose of the secondary trip must primarily relate to official business.

7. Living expenses are not reimbursable. “Living expenses” include meals, housing, and other personal expenses incurred at the Member’s or employee’s residence or duty station. In extraordinary circumstances (e.g., extreme weather conditions, staff working beyond availability of mass transit, etc.) please contact the Committee on House Administration at x58281 for guidance. 

8. Commuting expenses are not reimbursable, except in extraordinary circumstances (e.g., extreme weather conditions, staff working beyond availability of mass transit, etc.) when a Chairman receives written authorization from the Committee on House Administration. Commuting expenses are reimbursable through the House Alternate Ride Home program found on HouseNet. “Commuting expenses” are transportation expenses incurred by the Member or employee while commuting between their residence and duty station.

9. Official travel may not exceed 60 consecutive days.

10. Only ordinary and necessary charges associated with failure to cancel reservations incurred beyond the control of the Members and employees of the Committee are reimbursable.

11. The cost of alcoholic beverages is not reimbursable.

12. The Committee on House Administration encourages Committees to establish a limit on reimbursement of travel related expenses and suggests the use of the locality based per diem rates as a guideline. The locality based per diem rates are located on the General Services Administration Web page at https://www.gsa.gov/search.htm.

13. Pursuant to House Rule XXIV, clause 10, no Member of the Committee may be reimbursed for transportation or travel-related expenses after the date of the general election in which the Member has not been elected to the succeeding Congress, or in the case of a Member who is not a candidate in such general election, the earlier of the date of such general election or after the adjournment sine die of the last regular session of the Congress.

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Combined Travel

Combined travel is travel by a Member or employees of the Committee for the primary purpose of supporting official Committee business, but includes an intervening destination or an additional time period that is included for personal purposes.

Combined travel requires that:
• The primary purpose of the travel must be official and representational. The personal segment of the combined travel may not be purchased at a government rate or be purchased with a Government Travel Card.
• The traveler must attach the combined travel form to the voucher submitted for combined travel reimbursement, stating that the official travel and personal travel was combined for personal convenience. (Combined Travel form).
• All travel must occur within the United States, its territories, or possessions.

Reimbursement Options for Combined Travel:
Option #1 - The traveler purchases both segments of the trip with personal funds at the commercial rate.
The traveler may then seek reimbursement for the government rate of the direct route and means to the destination required for official and representational business, or the actual traveled fare; whichever is less.
Option #2 - The traveler purchases the initial “personal” segment of the trip with personal funds at the commercial rate (no reimbursement is sought for this segment). The next “official” segment to either D.C. or the district may be purchased at either commercial or government fare.

The traveler may then seek reimbursement for the fare of the official segment, so long as the rate does not exceed the government rate between the district and D.C., or the actual traveled fare, whichever is less.
In the event of a segment of personal travel, there is an absolute prohibition on reimbursement from official funds for the personal travel segment.

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Unexpected Official Travel

Travel expenses are reimbursable in the event that unexpected official business requires Members or employees of the Committee to travel to Washington, D.C. or location of official Committee business from a location within the United States, its territories and possessions. Travel to and from campaign or other political activity is not reimbursable. Travel may be booked at the government rate.
Committee funds may be used to return Committee Members and employees to a location for personal business after fulfilling their official duties.

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Methods of Travel

Subject to these travel regulations, all official travel by way of common carrier, chartered, leased, or privately-owned vehicle (airplane, automobile, etc.) is reimbursable.

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Chartered Aircraft

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to chartering an aircraft are reimbursable when passengers are restricted to Members, their immediate family (spouse, child, parent) and employees of the committee, the names of whom must be stated on the voucher.
The full cost of the chartered aircraft must be paid for by Committee funds.
If an immediate family member is a passenger, the Member must submit a check to the Finance Office payable to the US Treasury equivalent to the cost of a comparable commercial first class fare with an explanatory letter.

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Corporate or Private Aircraft

Members and employees of the committee who travel via corporate, business or privately owned aircraft in support of the conduct of official Committee business must reimburse the entity providing the flight for the fair market value of the flight.

To determine the fair market value of such a flight, apply the following:
a. When the travel is via a previously or regularly scheduled flight by the corporation for its business, or individual, the entity must be reimbursed based on the cost of a commercial first class flight to the nearest location served by a commercial passenger airline. If only standard (coach) rates are available at the nearest location, the committee must reimburse the entity for the standard (coach) rate.
b. When the flight is scheduled specifically for Committee use, payment will be made based on the cost of an equivalent commercial chartered flight to that location. Prior to scheduling travel provided by any corporation, business, or individual, the committee must verify that the person has the authority under its FAA certification to accept payment for travel as set forth above. Contact the Committee on Ethics, at x57103 for guidance.

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Department of Defense

The Department of Defense will support approved travel of Members and employees of the Congress upon request of the Congress, pursuant to law or where necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Defense.
The Department of Defense Directive number 4515.12 prescribes the policy of the Department of Defense with respect to support for travel of Members and employees of Congress. For additional information, contact the Congressional Liaison Office of any branch of the Armed Services.

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Officially Leased Vehicles

Ordinary and necessary expenses related to the short-term lease of a vehicle in support of the conduct of official business are reimbursable.
1. Non-governmental use of a vehicle may be made only when such use is:

a. During the course of and generally along the route of the day's official itinerary
b. Incidental to the day's official Committee business
c. De minimis in nature, frequency, and time consumed
d. Does not otherwise constitute a significant activity or event
e. Not for any campaign/campaign-related political party purpose

2. The Committee recommends that cars be rented at the government rate with unlimited mileage and full and comprehensive collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage. Not all rental car franchises include CDW coverage with the government rate. To ensure CDW coverage, offices should make their rental car reservations through the Combined Airline Ticket Office (CATO).

3. If the government rate is unavailable or the government rate does not include CDW coverage, the cost for CDW coverage is reimbursable.

4. Personal accident insurance, personal effects coverage, and equivalent insurance policies are not reimbursable.

5. Security deposits, advance payments, termination fees, traffic violations, etc., are not reimbursable.
If an employee on official business is involved in an accident with a rental car, notify the Office of General Counsel at x59700.

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Privately-Owned / Privately-Leased Vehicles

The costs of transportation by Member or employee via a privately owned or privately leased vehicle while on official and representational business reimbursable on a rate per mile basis based on the rates established by the Government Services Administration. The Committee on House Administration shall set maximum mileage
reimbursement rates yearly and appropriately notify offices.
For the current applicable rates, contact the Committee on House Administration at x58281 or visit (https://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100715).

Only mileage for use of an aircraft that is privately owned by either a Member or the Member's employee is reimbursable.  Gasoline purchased for privately owned vehicles is not reimbursable; reimbursement is provided through mileage rate reimbursement.

See Corporate or Private Aircraft (41).

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Official Travel Expenses

Official travel expenses including transportation, lodging, meals (excluding alcohol), fees (e.g., parking, tolls, ticket change fees, etc.), and other ordinary and necessary incidental expenses while on official travel status are reimbursable.
The Committee on House Administration strongly recommends that Committees submit their vouchers for travel reimbursement at least fifteen days before the payment due date to assist the Finance Office in providing timely reimbursements and prevent Committee Members and employees from incurring late fees or delinquency problems.

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Government Rate Eligibility

Government rates are available to Members and employees of the Committee to support the conduct of official travel. To be eligible for government rates when scheduling official travel, Members and employees of the Committee may present:
a. Government Travel Charge Card
b. Government Travel Cardless Account
c. Government Travel Request Form
d. Official Travel Authorization Coupon

Contact the Finance Office at x57474 for account information and forms.

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Government Travel Card

The Government Travel Card is available for Member and employee use for official travel and travel-related expenses. Travel expenses incurred on this card are directly reimbursable to Citibank with a copy of the credit card statement, an accompanying voucher, and applicable receipts.
Members and employees are reminded that the Government Travel Card is for official travel purposes only. Use of this card for any personal or non-official purchases is prohibited. The Government Travel Card may be used by the cardholder only. The cardholder may use the card to purchase travel-related services (e.g., airline tickets, hotel expenses, etc.) for other authorized travelers.

The Office of Finance will monitor the monthly delinquency report received from the vendor and alert offices of delinquencies. The Office of Finance will not intervene with the vendor in the event of a delinquency.

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Government Travel Cardless Accounts

1. The Government Travel Cardless Account is available for Committees to use to purchase airline tickets through CATO as well as any other travel related reservations that do not require the traveler to present a card such as AMTRAK or hotel reservations.

2. The Committee Chair must appoint an employee of the Committee to act as manager of the account and specify which employees are authorized to use the account.

3. Reimbursement for expenses incurred with the cardless account is made directly to the credit card company. Committees must submit the original credit card statement and airline ticket receipt to the Finance Office along with the voucher. Please refer to the Voucher Documentation Standards approved by the Committee on House Administration and available on HouseNet.

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Shared Official Travel Expenses

Official travel expenses may be shared by more than one Committee office or with a Member office. The division of costs must accurately reflect the expenses incurred by each office.

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Travel Promotional Awards

Free travel, mileage, discounts, upgrades, coupons, etc. accrued by Members or employees as a result of official travel awarded at the sole discretion of the company as a promotional award, may be used at the discretion of the Members and employees of the Committee. The Committee on House Administration encourages the official use of these travel awards whenever practicable.

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Foreign Travel

The authority to incur expenses for foreign travel is contained in House Rule X, clause 8, 22 U.S.C. § 1754, and in other provisions of law.
For further information contact the office of Interparliamentary Affairs at x61766.

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General

1. Travel is coordinated through the State Department Travel Office. The State Department will issue a Government Travel Request Form that is processed through CATO. Each Committee should obtain a copy of the State Department's "Official Foreign Travel Guide for the U.S. Congress" for information concerning what paperwork is required. For other travel questions regarding arrangements, contact the State Department at (202) 203-7704. Information regarding per diem while on foreign travel is located at www.state.gov/www/perdiems/index.html.

2. Members and employees should use American carriers whenever possible, unless such service is not reasonably available.

3. Pursuant to House Rule XXIV, clause 10, no appropriated moneys or local currencies owned by the United States may be used to pay foreign travel expenses of Committee Members after the date of the general election in which the Member has not been elected to the succeeding Congress, or in the case of a Member who is not a candidate in such general election, the earlier of the date of such general election or the adjournment sine die of the last regular session of the Congress.

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Authorization

Speaker of the House

Pursuant to 22 U.S.C. § 1754(b)(1)(B)(i) and House Rule I, clause 10, the Speaker has the authority to designate any Member or employee of the House to travel on business of the House outside the United States, its territories and possessions.

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Committee Chair

Pursuant to 22 U.S.C. § 1754(b)(1)(B)(ii), Committee Chairs have the authority to designate any Member or employee of the Committee to travel on official Committee business, outside the United States, its territories and possessions.  For further guidance, refer to the Office of Interparliamentary Affairs at x61766.

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Foreign Travel Reports

Individuals

House Rule X, clause 8(b)(3) requires each Member and employee who performs official foreign travel to submit, no later than 60 days following the completion of travel, an itemized report to the Committee Chair under whose authority the travel was performed. The report should contain the dates each country was visited, the amount of per diem furnished, the cost of transportation furnished, other funds expended for official purposes and summarize in these categories the total foreign currencies and/or appropriated funds expended.

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Committee Chair

22 U.S.C. §1754(b)(2) requires the Chair of each Committee, on a quarterly basis, to prepare a consolidated report of amounts expended for foreign travel by each Member and employee of the Committee. The report should include the amounts expended in foreign currency (in dollar equivalent values), amounts expended in appropriated funds, the purpose of each expenditure (including per diem and transportation), and the total itemized expenditure by each Member or employee of the Committee.

The Clerk of the House will provide each Committee with a "Report of Expenditures for Official Foreign Travel" form that must be completed, signed, and returned to the Clerk of the House. The report will be published in the Congressional Record and be open to public inspection at the Legislative Resource Center at x65200.

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Speaker Authorized Travel

22 U.S.C. § 1754(b)(3)(A) requires each individual authorized by the Speaker to travel outside the United States to file a report with the Clerk of the House within 30 days after the completion of the travel. The report should include the amounts expended in foreign currency (in dollar equivalent values), amounts expended in appropriated funds, the purpose of each expenditure (including per diem and transportation), and the total itemized expenditure.
For groups authorized by the Speaker, the Chairman or if there is no designated Chairman, the ranking Member or senior employee of the group, is required to submit a report for all Members of the group.

The report will be published in the Congressional Record and be open to public inspection at the Legislative Resource Center at x65200.

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Interparliamentary Group or Delegation

22 U.S.C. § 276c-1 requires each Committee Chair or senior Member of an interparliamentary group or delegation traveling outside the United States to submit an itemized report to the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The report must include all expenditures made by, or on behalf of each Member or employee of the group, and the purpose of the expenditures, including per diem (lodging and meals), transportation and other expenditures. The report must be completed before the end of the session in which the travel occurred. Contact the Committee on Foreign Affairs at x55021 for additional information.

The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs will, within sixty days after the beginning of each regular session of Congress, prepare a consolidated report with respect to each group that has submitted a report. The consolidated report will be filed with the Committee on House Administration and shall be open to public inspection at the Legislative Resource Center at x65200.

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Amending Travel Reports

Miscellaneous travel expenses (i.e., receptions, ground transportation, security) recognized subsequent to submission of the original foreign travel report should be reported to the Clerk of the House in the form of an amended report.

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Foreign Gifts and Decorations Report

5 U.S.C. § 7342 requires each Member or employee who has accepted a tangible gift or decoration of more than minimal value, or a gift of travel or expenses of travel taking place entirely outside the United States, its territories or possessions, tendered by a foreign government, to file a report with the Committee on Ethics within 30 days after the acceptance of the gift, decoration or travel. The report will be open to public inspection at the Committee on Ethics.
Contact the Committee on Ethics at x57103 for the applicable forms and for information on “minimal value.”

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Modifications

The Chairman of the Committee on House Administration is authorized to make technical and conforming modifications to the Committee Handbook, and to make other modifications with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee and notification to all Members of the Committee. In the event changes are made pursuant to this clause, the Chairman shall notify all congressional offices by suitable means.