House of Representatives

House of Representatives in the United States

House of Representatives in the Legislative Process

The lower house of the legislature of the United States Congress and part of the United States Congress, the House of Representatives is home to 435 congressmen, serving all 50 states in proportion to their populations. (Populous California is thus represented by 53 congressmen and congresswomen, while sparsely populated Wyoming is represented by one.) Members of the House face election every two years.

Legal Materials

The House of Representatives Web site (www.house.gov) posts extensive information about the House and a link to Thomas, which posts bills, Public Laws and other Federal legislative materials. More House-related materials is posted by the Office of the Clerk, including historical information and lists of current House members & committees (e.g., lists of members by state), plus links to members’ Web pages.

You can look up a Representative’s name by zip code on the House home page. You also get a form that lets you send the Representative an e-mail and, if available, a link to the Representative’s Web page.

For questions about House activities, call the main number at 202-224-3121. For procedural quetions, see “Rules of Procedure,” below. For questions on materials published by the House of Representative, call the Legislative Resource Center (formerly the House Document Room) at 202-226-5200.

Rules of Conduct: House ethics rules are posted on the website for the House Committee on Ethics (202-225-7103).

Rules of Procedure: The GPO posts the House Rules and Manual, containing “the fundamental source material for parliamentary procedure used in the House of Representatives.” The GPO also posts “Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives” on the FDsys Additional Government Documents page; “Precedents” is comprised of Deschler’s Precedents of the United States House of Representatives(covering 1936 to the present) and two older publications that also interpret the House Rules, Cannon’s Precedents and Hinds’ Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (covering 1789 through 1936). See also House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House. For questions, contact theCommittee on Rules (202-225-9091) and of the House Parliamentarian’s office (202-225-7373). See also the Rules Committee’s Rules and Manuals page.

For more about House Rules, see Points of Order: Congressional Rules Governing the Legislative Process by John Cannan, 53(2) Law Library Lights 11 (Winter 2010). Two great tips from John Cannan:

  • Chairman’s marks are often posted on the relevant committee’s website; and
  • Each party’s rules for obtaining committee assignments are generally not available to the public (or even members of the other party).

House of Representatives in Constitutional Law

A list of entries related to House of Representatives may be found, under the House of Representatives category, in the United States constitutional law platform of this legal Encyclopedia.

Finding the law: House of Representatives in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to house of representatives, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines house of representatives topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.

House of Representatives

In Legislation

House of Representatives in the U.S. Code: Title 2, Chapter 30, Subchapter I

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating house of representatives are compiled in the United States Code under Title 2, Chapter 30, Subchapter I. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Congress (including house of representatives) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Capitol and House of Representatives of the US Code, including house of representatives) by chapter and subchapter.

House of Representatives

In Legislation

House of Representatives in the U.S. Code: Title 2, Chapter 43, Subchapter II

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating house of representatives are compiled in the United States Code under Title 2, Chapter 43, Subchapter II. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Congress (including house of representatives) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Congressional Committees and House of Representatives of the US Code, including house of representatives) by chapter and subchapter.

House of Representatives

In Legislation

House of Representatives in the U.S. Code: Title 2, Chapter 45, Subchapter II

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating house of representatives are compiled in the United States Code under Title 2, Chapter 45, Subchapter II. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Congress (including house of representatives) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Congressional Pay and Benefits and House of Representatives of the US Code, including house of representatives) by chapter and subchapter.

House of Representatives

In Legislation

House of Representatives in the U.S. Code: Title 2, Chapter 49, Subchapter II

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating house of representatives are compiled in the United States Code under Title 2, Chapter 49, Subchapter II. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Congress (including house of representatives) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, House of Representatives of the US Code, including house of representatives) by chapter and subchapter.

House of Representatives

In Legislation

House of Representatives in the U.S. Code: Title 2, Chapter 9, Subchapter II

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating house of representatives are compiled in the United States Code under Title 2, Chapter 9, Subchapter II. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Congress (including house of representatives) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, House of Representatives of the US Code, including house of representatives) by chapter and subchapter.

House of Representatives

In Legislation

House of Representatives in the U.S. Code: Title 2, Chapter 47, Subchapter II

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating house of representatives are compiled in the United States Code under Title 2, Chapter 47, Subchapter II. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Congress (including house of representatives) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, House of Representatives and Congressional Ethics of the US Code, including house of representatives) by chapter and subchapter.

Resources

See Also

House of Representatives: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about House of Representatives. This part provides references, in relation to House of Representatives, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about House of Representatives by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about House of Representatives and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about House of Representatives or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to House of Representatives and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting House of Representatives. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about House of Representatives should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to House of Representatives when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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