What is a Motion to Recommit with Instructions?
The motion to recommit with instructions provides one final chance to amend a bill before it is passed by the full House of Representatives. The Rules of the 112th and 113th Congress provide for a motion to recommit with instructions “forthwith,” meaning the House must immediately vote on the bill, as amended, if the motion to recommit is adopted.
Does a Motion to Recommit with Instructions Kill the Bill?
The answer is no. Under Republican control in the 112th and 113th Congress, the Rules of the House were adopted on January 3, 2013 by a vote of 228-196 (Roll Call #6, First Session). Those Rules state that a motion to recommit with instructions is NOT sent back to committee. If the recommit is adopted, the bill is voted on by the full House immediately.
In the official Rules of the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress, Rule XIX 2(b)(2) states: “A motion to recommit a bill or joint resolution may include instructions only in the form of a direction to report an amendment or amendments back to the House forthwith.”
In the House Rules and Manual, the Parliamentarians, who are the official referees of all legislative activity on the House floor, state clearly on page 806: “If the House adopts a motion to recommit with instructions that the committee report ‘forthwith,’ the chair reports at once without awaiting action by the committee, the bill is before the House for immediate consideration …”
The official ruling of the Chair, under a Republican Speaker pro temp, confirmed this interpretation on four separate occasions in the 112th and on another occasion during the 113th Congress, which can be viewed at the links below:
|Bill||Date||Motion to Recommit (MTR)||Text||Vote (Y-N)|
|H.R.1900||11/21/13||The Motion to Recommit would prevent any provisions of the underlying bill from taking effect unless the implementation of the bill will not: harm natural gas pipeline safety; or inhibit the ability of affected communities to meaningfully engage in the pipeline location selection process.||180-233|
|H.R.2728||11/20/13||The Motion to Recommit would ensure the Department of Interior or any state can require the public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and any other details of how and where hydraulic fracturing operations occur for use by the public to determine the effect of fracking on public health and safety||188-232|
|H.R.1965||11/20/13||The Motion to Recommit requires the “Big 5” major integrated oil companies to give up Section 199 domestic production tax breaks if they want to take advantage of new streamlined permitting in the underlying bill. The Motion would also allow the Secretary of the Interior to block energy development if it would negatively impact Native American sacred or cultural sites.||189-232|
|H.R.3550||11/15/13||The Motion to Recommit would give insurance companies the option to continue offering non-Affordable Care Act compliant plans though 2014 to current enrollees only, as long as those plans were in effect as of October 1, 2013. It would also require insurance companies to notify consumers of the differences between these extended plans and the options, credits, and subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, as well as instructions on how to receive them. These notifications would also be required to explain the consumer protections not available under non-ACA compliant plans.
The Motion to Recommit would also ensure that the Secretary of Health & Human Services can require state insurance commissioners to investigate and penalize insurance companies for inadequate cancellation notices; take corrective action against excessive, unjustified premium increases; and take appropriate steps to ensure that extending non-compliant 2013 policies does not adversely affect marketplace premiums.
|H.R.3550||11/15/13||The Motion to Recommit would give insurance companies the option to continue offering non-Affordable Care Act compliant plans through 2014 to current enrollees only, as long as those plans were in effect as of October 1, 2013. It would also require insurance companies to notify consumers of the differences between these extended plans and the options, credits, and subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, as well as instructions on how to receive them. These notifications would also be required to explain the consumer protections not available under non-compliant, “grandfathered” plans.
The Motion would also require state insurance commissioners to investigate and penalize insurance companies for inadequate cancellation notices; take corrective action against excessive, unjustified premium increases; and take appropriate steps to ensure that extending non-compliant 2013 policies does not adversely affect marketplace premiums.
|229-191 (table appealing of the ruling of the chair)|
|H.R.2655||11/14/13||The Motion to Recommit would exempt any case brought under civil rights laws, including any case alleging discrimination based on sex, race, age, or other forms of discrimination, or the Constitution from the provisions of the underlying bill.||197-225|
|H.R.982||11/13/13||The Motion to Recommit would exempt veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces from the disclosure requirements of the bill and ensure that their asbestos claims are paid before death.||197-224|
|H.R.992||10/30/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit any restriction on the ability of financial regulators to ensure that financial institutions comply with laws prohibiting the manipulation of commodity markets, especially with regard to speculation in oil and biofuel contracts.||190-223|
|H.R.2374||10/29/13||The Motion to Recommit would ensure that nothing in the underlying bill prevents the Secretary of Labor from (1) preventing fraud in regard to pensions, 401k plans, and other retirement savings accounts; (2) requiring financial advisors to disclose any fees or charges related to retirement savings accounts; or (3) promoting investment education and sound financial advice to employers and employees related to retirement savings accounts.||195-223|
|H.J.Res.80||10/14/13||The Motion to Recommit would replace the underlying bill with the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, ending the Republican Government Shutdown, funding the federal government at $986 billion until November 15, 2013, and providing lawmakers the opportunity to reach an agreement on a long-term budget.||216-180|
|H.J.Res.76||10/11/13||The Motion to Recommit would replace the underlying bill with the Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, the clean Senate CR, which funds the government at $986 billion until November 15, 2013.||226-195|
|H.J.Res.79||10/10/13||The Motion to Recommit would replace the underlying bill with the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, ending the Republican Government Shutdown, funding the federal government at $986 billion until November 15, 2013, and providing lawmakers the opportunity to reach an agreement on a long-term budget.||226-196|
|H.J.Res.90||10/9/13||The Motion to Recommit would replace the underlying bill with the Senate Amendment to H.J.Res. 59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, ending the Republican Government Shutdown, funding the federal government at $986 billion until November 15, 2013, and providing lawmakers the opportunity to reach an agreement on a long-term budget.||228-194|
|H.J.Res.84||10/8/13||The Motion to Recommit would replace the underlying bill with the Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, the clean Senate CR, which funds the government at $986 billion until November 15, 2013.||226-191|
|H.R. 1526||9/20/13||The Motion to Recommit would authorize the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to use such sums as may be necessary to provide wildland firefighters with the most advanced firefighting equipment, including air tankers, communications equipment, and personal safety equipment.||190-228|
|H.J.Res.59||9/20/13||The Motion to Recommit would guarantee the processing of Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans benefits for the remainder of the fiscal year in the event of a government shutdown; would prevent the privatization of Social Security and Medicare; would guarantee pay for members of the Armed Forces for the remainder of the fiscal year in the event of a government shutdown; and would provide an increase in funding of $2.7 million to the Essential Air Service Program.||190-228|
|H.R. 3102||9/19/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit the bill from delaying or providing benefits to veterans, the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, or minor children in the case of a government shutdown.||193-230|
|H.R. 761||9/18/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit the export of critical minerals to China or Iran and prohibit the issuance of mining permits to any company in which China or Iran has an ownership interest. Would also prohibit the issuance of a mining permit to any company convicted of violating the Iran Sanctions Act.||197-229|
|H.R. 2009||8/2/13||The Motion to Recommit would ensure that nothing in the bill shall be construed to alter, impact, delay, or weaken section 1401 of the Affordable Care Act that provides tax credits to middle class families for purchasing health insurance in exchanges and section 1421 of the Affordable Care Act that provides tax credits to small businesses for the purchase of health insurance for employees.||186-230|
|H.R. 367||8/2/13||The Motion to Recommit would exempt any major regulation that would create jobs or economic growth, reduce the deficit and long-term debt, prevent outsourcing, protect Medicare guaranteed benefits and Medicaid, protect the health and safety of women, children, seniors, and veterans, guarantee equal pay for women, restrict exposure to toxic substances, protect safe drinking water, or promote the safe disposal of hazardous waste, prevent financial or health care fraud, prevent child sex trafficking and child pornography, protect the American people from terrorist attacks, or prevent discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, or any other legally protected characteristic.||185-229|
|H.R. 1582||8/1/13||The Motion to Recommit would exempt EPA rules from provision in the bill which would reduce the incidence of cancer, premature mortality, asthma attacks, or respiratory disease in children or seniors.||188-221|
|H.R. 2218||7/25/13||The Motion to Recommit would prevent coal ash waste disposal sites from contaminating America’s groundwater and sources of drinking water, including the Great Lakes.||192-225|
|H.R. 2397||7/24/13||The Motion to Recommit would, under the Defense-wide Procurement and Research, Development, Test & Evaluation accounts, set aside an additional $25 million for US-Israeli Cooperative Programs, including a $20 million increase for Iron Dome and a $5 million increase for the Arrow System Improvement Program.||192-231|
|H.R. 5||7/19/13||The Motion to Recommit would guarantee educational opportunities for children with autism; protect school children from sexual predators; protect children from abusive seclusion and restraint practices; protect student athletes from concussions; and require background checks of school and contractor employees who have contact with children.||196-231|
|H.R. 2668||7/17/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit anything in the underlying bill from altering, impacting, delaying, or weakening the following sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Section 1402 - which reduces out of pocket costs and cost-sharing for individuals and families. Sections 1001 and 1401 - which provide tax credits and rebates for health insurance.||193-230|
|H.R. 2667||7/17/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit anything in the bill from allowing employers to reduce insurance coverage for individuals and families who currently receive job-based health benefits.||188-230|
|H.R. 2642||7/11/13||The Motion to Recommit would require the Agriculture Secretary to conduct annual on-site audits of the food regulatory system of each country that is eligible to export carcasses, meat, poultry, or egg products to the United States. Would also authorize the Secretary, in the event of a food emergency, to transfer funds from any program of the Department of Agriculture to the Food Safety and Inspection Service to respond to the emergency.||198-226|
|H.R. 2609||7/10/13||The Motion to Recommit would increase the Corps of Engineers Investigations and Construction accounts by of $3.65 million, increase the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies account by $7 million, increase the Renewable Energy, Energy Reliability, and Efficiency account by $2 million. These increases are offset by a reduction of 12.65 million to the Departmental Administration account.||195-230|
|H.R. 2231||6/28/13||The Motion to Recommitt would prohibit drilling in the Great Lakes and imposes new requirements for drilling operations, including mandates to (1) Buy American for drilling equipment and (2) Prevent the outsourcing of American jobs.||195-225-1|
|H.R. 2231||6/27/13||The Motion to Recommit would require the Interior Secretary, in implementing a transboundary agreement under this act, to enforce certain safety requirements for blowout preventers, environmental safety management systems, and well safety. Would also authorize the Secretary to fine any person $80,000 per day or more, as determined by the Secretary, who fails to comply with the new safety requirements.||194-232|
|H.R. 1947||6/20/13||The Motion to Recommitt would increase water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility grants by $10 million per year and extending the program for 5 years; increase rural business opportunity grants by $5 million per year and extend the program for 5 years. Would also restore the $8 million cut to the emergency and imminent community water assistance grant program and extend the program for 5 years.||188-232|
|H.R. 1960||6/14/13||The Motion to Recommitt would give the victim of sexual abuse in the military the power to choose whether to allow the Office of Chief Prosecutor to make the binding decision on whether a case goes to trial, or to allow the commander to proceed with the case.||194-225-1|
|H.R. 1256||6/12/13||The Motion to Recommitt would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to determine that foreign entities are not broadly equivalent to U.S. swaps requirements if they engage in cyber attacks against the U.S. or do not have or enforce laws to deter cyber attacks; or are in violation of, do not enforce comparable restrictions to, or have ever been the subject of a civil or criminal proceeding for violating the Iran Sanctions Act.||194-230|
|H.R. 2217||6/6/13||The Motion to Recommit would increase funding by a total of $10 million for the training of state, local, and tribal emergency responders and for the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund.||196-226|
|H.R. 2216||6/4/13||The Motion to Recommit would add $9.2 million in order to hire 94 additional claims processors in order to help reduce the veterans disability claims||198-227|
|H.R. 1911||5/23/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit teaser interest rates that hike up higher education costs or ads that hide the cost to a student or parent borrower. Would require disclosure of the true costs of student loans in the bill, including the total amount of interest payments and whether it is a variable rate.||194-223|
|H.R. 3||5/22/13||The Motion to Recommit would require TransCanada, the developer of the Keystone XL pipeline, to certify to the President that the oil or other products derived from Canadian oil sands that are transported through the pipeline will be treated similarly to conventional crude oil for the purposes of determining contributions that fund the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Companies that transport oil are required to pay 8-cents per barrel into the trust fund that is used by the federal government to respond to oil spills. Oil sands crude is currently exempt from making such contributions.||194-223|
|H.R. 1062||5/17/13||The Motion to Recommit would preserve benefits for children and women by excluding from repeal 1) preventative health services coverage without cost sharing 2) coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions 3) medical loss ratio requirements that ensure consumers receive value for their premium payments 4) no lifetime or annual limits 5) prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions for children and 6) coverage of adult children until age 26.||179-217|
|H.R. 45||5/16/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit the underlying bill from limiting the authority of the SEC to 1) protect the pension funds of firefighters, police officers, teachers or retirees against fraudulent or deceptive financial practices or 2) protect against the takeover of U.S. businesses by non-U.S. persons such as China.||190-230|
|H.R. 807||5/9/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit this bill from going into effect in the event the Treasury is: (1) making payments to foreign bond holders, including those in China, Iran, and the Cayman Islands, before the Deposit Insurance Fund and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund; (2) failing to make payment of a debt obligation to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds; (3) failing to redeem a debt obligation held by a trust fund providing for veterans benefits; or (4) failing to redeem a debt obligation held by an intragovernmental fund with the purpose of assisting Americans during natural disasters.||200-227|
|H.R. 1406||5/8/13||The Motion to Recommit would ensure that employees could not be denied the use of compensatory time for the following purposes: (1) to attend medical appointments; (2) to care for a sick family member or if the employee is sick; or (3) to attend counseling or rehabilitation appointments for injuries sustained by the employee as a member of the Armed Forces. The motion would also prohibit employers who have been found to violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 from replacing monetary overtime with compensatory time.||200-227|
|H.R. 527||4/26/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit the export of helium from the Federal Helium Reserve to Iran, North Korea, or Syria, any person in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or to any one that the President believes is likely to transfer or divert it to Iran, North Korea, or Syria.||186-211|
|H.R. 624||4/18/13||The Motion to Recommit would prohibit employers, prospective employers, or the Federal Government from requiring the disclosure of social networking or personal account passwords by an employee or job applicant without a court order. The Motion would also prohibit the Federal Government from establishing a mechanism by which it could control citizen’s access to the Internet with a national firewall similar to the “Great Internet Firewall of China.” Lastly, the Motion would make changes to the McCaul amendment, adding a section that requires reporting of information on the number of Americans who have been forced to disclose passwords and had information released to the Federal government or obtained in connection with a cybersecurity breach.||189-224|
|H.R. 1120||4/12/13||The Motion to Recommit would exempt former members of the Armed Forces, any attempt by a U.S. employer to outsource jobs, any violation by an employer that is a foreign-owned firm against the rights of American workers, workers seeking good faith bargaining to address discrimination or issues related to health and safety, and any employer found to have violated child labor laws in the 5 years prior to the case being brought to the NLRB are exempt from the requirements of the underlying bill.||197-229|
|H.R. 678||4/10/13||The Motion to Recommit would require that, when practicable, all materials used for conduit hydropower generation be manufactured in the United States.||194-226|
|H.R. 803||3/15/13||The Motion to Recommit ensures that nothing in the underlying bill repeals, denies, or weakens the wages, employment protections, employment or training opportunities for seniors, disabled veterans, women in nontraditional occupations, youth, or people with disabilities. The Motion would also raise the minimum wage, in increments over the course of two years, to $10.10 and increase the minimum wage for tipped employees to 70% of the minimum wage.||184-233|
|H.R. 890||3/13/13||The Motion to Recommit ensures that nothing in the underlying bill prohibits or restricts States that receive federal TANF funding from providing assistance, job opportunities, or education training to (1) unemployed parents, including veterans, women, and victims of natural disasters and (2) grandparents who are raising the children of current or deceased members of the US Armed Forces.||199-230|
|H.R. 933||3/6/13||The Motion to Recommit would strike the section from the bill that affirms sequestration's cuts will apply to all funding in the bill.||188-231|
|H.R. 444||2/6/13||The Motion to Recommit replaces the GOP's budget gimmick with assertion of facts: Experts agree on balanced, bipartisan approach to deficit reduction, sequester imposes deep and mindless cuts, Congress should replace sequester with balanced plan.||194-229|
|H.R. 325||1/23/13||The Motion to Recommit would add condition to GOP's "No Budget, No Pay Act" that any budget resolution does not reduce benefits for veterans or slash benefits for seniors (whether by ending Medicare guarantee, cutting Medicaid, cutting nursing home care, or privatizing Social Security).||151-277|
|H.Res.5||1/3/13||The Motion to Commit would amend the Help America Vote Act to require every state to allow at least 15 days of early voting and ensure no voter is forced to wait in line more than an hour to vote. It's called a "Motion to Commit" because Congress has not yet formed its committees.||194-229|