Ramseyer Rule / Cordon Rule (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Ramseyer Rule / Cordon Rule

C. William Ramseyer, from the Library of Congress

C. William Ramseyer, from the Library of Congress

A comparative section in contrasting typefaces must be included in committee reports. This comparative section shows the text of a statute, or a part thereof, that is proposed to be amended or repealed. This section is usually prepared by each chamber’s Office of Legislative Counsel. In House reports, this comparative section is eponymously called a “Ramseyer,” and in Senate reports, a “Cordon.” These sections are named, respectively, for Representative Christian W. Ramseyer (R-IA, 1915–1933), and Senator Guy Cordon (R-OR, 1944–1955).

House rule that requires a committee report to show changes the reported measure would make in current law.

The Ramseyer rule provides that whenever a committee reports a bill or joint resolution repealing or amending any statute or part thereof, the committee report is to include the text of the statute or part thereof to be repealed, as well as a comparative print showing the proposed omissions and insertions by stricken through type and italics, parallel columns, or other appropriate typographical devices. The purpose of the Ramseyer rule is to inform members of any changes in existing law to occur through proposed legislation. The rule was adopted by the House on Jan. 28, 1929.

A point of order based on the rule must be made when the bill is called up in the House and before the House resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole. The point of order comes too late after the House has resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole for the purpose of consideration of the measure and debate has begun. Compliance with the Ramseyer rule may be waived by unanimous consent or by special rule. This can be accomplished either by a general waiver of all points of order against consideration of the bill, or by an express waiver of the provisions of the Ramseyer rule.

The rule is commonly known as the “Ramseyer rule” in honor of its sponsor, Mr. Christian W. Ramseyer, of Iowa (R-IA), who served in the House from 1915 to 1933.

The Ramseyer Rule, Deschler’s Precedents, Volume 4, Ch. 17, Section 60

Also see Committee Print; § 6.60 Committee Reports, in Congressional Deskbook.

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