Joint Committee on Printing
The Joint Committee on Printing, created by the act of August 3, 1846 (9 Stat. 114; 44 U.S.C. 101), is one of the oldest joint committees of the Congress. Composed of five Representatives and five Senators, the panel oversees the operations of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), whose support is essential to the legislative process of the Congress. The GPO also serves by law as the principal printing organization for Federal agencies, and so the Joint Committee generally oversees compliance by Federal agencies with laws, rules and regulations designed to minimize printing costs to the American people.
Joint Committee on Printing Rules for 117th Congress
Title 1.--Committee Rules
(b) The Committee's rules shall be published in the Congressional Record as soon as possible following the Committee's organizational meeting in each odd-numbered year.
(c) Where these rules require a vote of the members of the Committee, polling of members either in writing or by telephone shall not be permitted to substitute for a vote taken at a Committee meeting, unless the Ranking Minority Member assents to waiver of this requirement.
(d) Proposals for amending Committee rules shall be sent to all members at least one week before final action is taken thereon,
Rule 2.--Regular Committee Meetings
(b) Proxies will be allowed on any such votes for the purpose of recording a member's position on a question only when the absentee Committee member has been informed of the question and has affirmatively requested that he be recorded.
Rule 5.--Open and Closed Meetings
(b) No person other than members of the Committee, and such congressional staff and other representatives as they may authorize, shall be present in any business session that has been closed to the public.
Rule 6.--Alternating Chairship and Vice-Chairship by Congresses
(b) In the event the House and Senate are under different party control, the Chair and Vice Chair shall represent the majority party in their respective Houses. When the Chair and Vice-Chair represent different parties, the Vice-Chair shall also fulfill the responsibilities of the Ranking Minority Member as prescribed by these rules.
Rule 7.--Parliamentary Questions
Questions as to the order of business and the procedures of Committee shall in the first instance be decided by the Chair; subject always to an appeal to the Committee.
Rule 8.--Hearings: Public Announcements and Witnesses
(b) So far as practicable, all witnesses appearing before the Committee shall file advance written statements of their proposed testimony at least 48 hours in advance of their appearance and their oral testimony shall be limited to brief summaries. Limited insertions or additional germane material will be received for the record, subject to the approval of the Chair.
Rule 9.--Official Hearing Record
(b) Each member of the Committee shall be provided with a copy of the hearing transcript for the purpose of correcting errors of transcription and grammar, and clarifying questions or remarks. If any other person is authorized by a Committee Member to make his corrections, the staff director shall be so notified.
(c) Members who have received unanimous consent to submit written questions to witnesses shall be allowed two days within which to submit these to the staff director for transmission to the witnesses. The record may be held open for a period not to exceed two weeks awaiting the responses by witnesses.
(d) A witness may obtain a transcript copy of his testimony given at a public session or, if given at an executive session, when authorized by the Committee. Testimony received in closed hearings shall not be released or included in any report without the approval of the Committee.
Rule 10.--Witnesses for Committee Hearings
(b) The Chair shall provide adequate time for questioning of witnesses by all members, including minority Members and the rule of germaneness shall be enforced in all hearings notified.
(c) Whenever a hearing is conducted by the Committee upon any measure or matter, the minority on the Committee shall be entitled, upon unanimous request to the Chair before the completion of such hearings, to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify with respect to the measure or matter during at least one day of hearing thereon.
Rule 11.--Confidential Information Furnished to the Committee
The information contained in any books, papers or documents furnished to the Committee by any individual, partnership, corporation or other legal entity shall, upon the request of the individual, partnership, corporation or entity furnishing the same, be maintained in strict confidence by the members and staff of the Committee, except that any such information may be released outside of executive session of the Committee if the release thereof is effected in a manner which will not reveal the identity of such individual, partnership, corporation or entity in connection with any pending hearing or as a part of a duly authorized report of the Committee if such release is deemed essential to the performance of the functions of the Committee and is in the public interest.
Rule 12.--Broadcasting of Committee Hearings
The rule for broadcasting of Committee hearings shall be the same as Rule XI, clause 4, of the Rules of the House of Representatives.
Rule 13.--Committee Reports
(b) Factual reports by the Committee staff may be printed for distribution to Committee members and the public only upon authorization of the Chair either with the approval of a majority of the Committee or with the consent of the Ranking Minority Member.
Rule 14.--Confidentiality of Committee Reports
No summary of a Committee report, prediction of the contents of a report, or statement of conclusions concerning any investigation shall be made by a member of the Committee or by any staff member of the Committee prior to the issuance of a report of the Committee.
Rule 15.--Committee Staff
(b) The Ranking Minority Member may designate an employee of the House of Representatives or of the Senate as the minority staff director.
(c) The staff director, under the general supervision of the Chair, is authorized to deal directly with agencies of the Government and with non-Government groups and individuals on behalf of the Committee.
(d) The Chair or staff director shall timely notify the Ranking Minority Member or the minority staff director of decisions made on behalf of the Committee.
Rule 16.--Committee Chair
The Chair of the Committee may establish such other procedures and take such actions as may be necessary to carry out the foregoing rules or to facilitate the effective operation of the Committee. Specifically, the Chair is authorized, during the interim periods between meetings of the Committee, to act on all requests submitted by any executive department, independent agency, temporary or permanent commissions and committees of the Federal Government, the Government Publishing Office and any other Federal entity, pursuant to the requirements of applicable Federal law and regulations.