115th Congress Motions to Recommit


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:

April 18, 2013, Speaker pro temp Kevin Yoder (R-KS) May 18, 2012, Speaker pro temp Judy Biggert (R-IL) May 16, 2012, Speaker pro temp Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) May 10, 2012, Speaker pro temp Allen West (R-FL) May 10, 2012, Speaker pro temp Steve Womack (R-AR)

Bill Date Motion to Recommit (MTR) Text Vote
 H.R. 1180  5/2/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any employee who does not receive fewer than seven paid sick days, which can be used to seek medical care for a pre-existing health condition.  .pdf  192-234
 H.R. 1343  4/4/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would provide an exemption to the underlying bill for any issuer that has withheld information from Congress relevant to the investigation of any collusion between any individual associated with the Russian Government and any individual associated with President Trump’s 2016 campaign.  .pdf  185-228
 H.R. 1431  3/30/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would amend the underlying bill to prohibit members of the Science Advisory Board from being employed by any corporate entity that has an interest before the Board during that member’s service, and for three years following that member’s service.  .pdf  189-233
 H.R. 1430  3/29/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would require that notwithstanding any amendment in the underlying bill, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator must make use of the best available science, whether or not it is made publically available, when responding to any threats to public health, including black lung disease and asthma caused by exposure to pollution or toxic chemicals.  .pdf  189-232
 H.R. 1101  3/22/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would amend the underlying bill to require plans to provide coverage for substance abuse disorder treatments, including treatments for opioid abuse, as an essential health benefit.  .pdf  179-233
 H.R. 372  3/21/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would disqualify any health insurance provider from the relief in the underlying bill if the insurer charges premiums for individuals 55 years of age or older more than three times what they charge individuals 21 years of age or younger.  .pdf  189-233
 H.R. 1259  3/16/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would exempt veterans, service members, and whistleblowers from the expedited firing procedures as well as extend additional protections for workers who file a whistle blower complaint or retaliation against an employee who files a whistleblower complaint.  .pdf  189-229
 H.R. 720  3/10/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any civil action brought forward that pertains to the foreign emoluments clause of the United States Constitution in order to protect Americans from interference from foreign governments.  .pdf  186-232
H.R. 725  3/9/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any civil action brought forward that pertains to ethics in government.  .pdf  187-233
 H.R. 985  3/9/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any civil action brought forward to protect drinking water supplies in order to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred in Flint, Michigan.  .pdf 188-234 
H.R. 1004  3/2/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would include the President of the United States in the underlying bill in order to prevent the President from making public references to a business in which the President has an equity interest.  .pdf  189-232
 H.R. 1009  3/1/17  Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would exempt the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) from the underlying bill in order to protect the OGE from political interference by the White House.  .pdf 193-234 
H.R. 998 3/1/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any rules pertaining to laws governing potential conflicts of interest of an employee or officer of the executive branch, financial disclosures of an employee or officer of the executive branch, or bribery. .pdf 190-235
H.R. 7 1/24/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would prohibit the underlying bill from permitting any health plan to charge women higher premiums than men for health coverage. .pdf 187-233
H.R. 238 1/12/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would prohibit the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from considering the swaps regulatory requirements of a foreign jurisdiction as comparable to United States swaps requirements, if the Director of National Intelligence has found that foreign jurisdiction engaged in cyber-attacks targeting any election in the United States. .pdf 190-235
H.R. 78 1/12/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would require the Securities Exchange Commission to take into account in its cost-benefit analysis of a proposed regulation the incentives market participants may potentially have to relocate their operations outside of the United States. .pdf 195-232
H.R. 5 1/11/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any rules that reduce prescription drugs costs for seniors covered under Medicare Part D. .pdf 190-233
H.R. 26 1/5/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for any rules that prohibit an insurance issuer from eliminating, weakening, or reducing health coverage benefits for dependents under the age of 26. .pdf 190-235
H.R. 21 1/4/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would add an exemption to the underlying bill for rules that prohibit health insurance issuers from discriminating against individuals based on gender or preexisting conditions, or that prohibit higher premiums or out-of-pocket costs for seniors for prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part D. .pdf 183-236
1/3/17 Democrats’ Motion to Recommit would commit the Republican Rules Package for the 115th Congress to a select committee composed of the Majority Leader and Minority Leader with instructions to report it back to the House with an amendment. The amendment would strike the language that modifies House Rules regarding conduct considered disorderly or disruptive during legislative proceedings. These changes are unprecedented in the House of Representatives and are clearly being enacted in response to the Democrats’ 26-hour sit-in on the House Floor to demand action on bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation. Instead of taking action to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country, House Republicans in a potentially unconstitutional way are silencing democratically elected Members of Congress and preventing them from expressing the views and wishes of their constituents. .pdf 193-236
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