Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers

Big Oak, by Qfamily

Big Oak, by Qfamily

Portion of the conference report providing the history, explanation, and intent of the conferees.

The conference report and joint explanatory statement are two distinct documents. The conference report contains a formal statement of the procedural actions the conferees took and the formal legislative language the conferees propose. The joint explanatory statement is a more readable document. It identifies the major matters in disagreement, and then summarizes each chamber’s position and the conferees’ recommendations. The joint explanatory statement also often contains an explanation of the conferees’ intent. Two copies of each document must be signed by a majority of the House conferees and a majority of the Senate conferees. The documents are printed in the House portion of the Congressional Record, and are also printed together as a single House committee report. Although Senate rules require printing as a Senate document as well, the Senate usually waives this requirement.

House rules provide that a conference report cannot be called up for consideration until the third calendar day (excluding Saturday, Sunday, or holidays, unless the House is in session) after the conference documents have been filed. Furthermore, copies of the conference report and joint explanatory statement must be available at least two hours before the chamber begins consideration. Both requirements can be waived by unanimous consent or by adoption of a special rule from the Rules Committee containing a waiver of the requirements.

Instructive or directive language might be included in the joint explanatory statement to a conference report on a measure.

The joint explanatory statement explains in lay terms what was in the House text and the Senate text of the measure in conference and what is the agreement recommended by the committee on conference. A majority of conferees from each chamber must sign not only the conference report but also the joint explanatory statement.

Also see Conference Report; Understanding Report Language and Legislative History; § 6.280 Conference Committees, § 7.50 Congressional Budget Process, § 8.73 Legislative History, § 12.20 Joint Explanatory Statement, in Congressional Deskbook; § 2.31 Resolving Differences by Amendment or Conference, App. 4.120 Joint Explanatory Statement, in Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook.

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