If a committee has approved extensive amendments, the committee may decide to report the original bill with one “amendment in the nature of a substitute” consisting of all the amendments previously adopted, or may introduce and report a new bill incorporating those amendments, commonly known as a “clean bill.”
Frequently after a committee has finished a major revision of a bill, one of the committee members, usually the chairman, will assemble the changes and what is left of the original bill into a new measure and introduce it as a “clean bill.” The revised measure, which is given a new number, then is referred back to the committee, which reports it to the floor for consideration. This often is a time-saver, as separate floor votes are avoided for committee-recommended changes in a clean bill. Reporting a clean bill also protects committee amendments that are subject to points of order concerning germaneness.
Also see Chapter 6, Legislating in Congress: Legislative Process, in Congressional Deskbook.
Star Trek:TOS: Clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy
- Chapter 3.G. Reporting Legislation to the Floor in Congressional Procedure
- Germane / Germaneness (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- “House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies,” CRS Report R41083 (220-page PDF)
- “The Committee Markup Process in the House of Representatives,” CRS Report RL30244 (26-page PDF)
- “Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress,” CRS Report R42843 (18-page PDF)
- “The Amending Process in the House of Representatives,” CRS Report 98-995 (49-page PDF)
- “Post-Employment, ‘Revolving Door,’ Laws for Federal Personnel,” CRS Report R42728 (20-page PDF)
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom Training
- Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments in a Nutshell, Audio Course on CD
- Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals of Lawmaking Series, a Nine-Course series on CD
Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide
Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates
CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net
For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.
Our custom on-site and online training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.
TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, MAS, for custom on-site and online training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X
TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan small business.
Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™