Published: April 10, 2017
House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures is a a condensed compilation of parliamentary precedent and is produced by the Parliamentarian of the House.
House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House, 115th Congress, March 31, 2017
Previous editions of House Practice (104th, 108th, and 112th Congresses)
Other House Parliamentarian Publications
- House Rules and Manual (114th Congress to Present)
- Precedents of the House (Deschler's, Cannon's, and Hinds')
- How Our Laws are Made
About House Practice
House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House is a reference source for information on the rules and selected precedents governing the House procedure. This one volume publication was prepared by William Holmes Brown, House Parliamentarian from 1974 to 1994, and was published at the end of the 104th Congress after the Office of the House Parliamentarian made modifications. This reference source was designed to replace the Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives. Periodic preparation by the House Parliamentarian of condensed and amplified versions of House precedents is required by Public Law 91-510.
House Practice is organized into chapters covering fifty-nine subjects of House procedures. These chapters are listed alphabetically. Each chapter opens with an outline of the chapter’s main topics and their House Practice section numbers.
House Practice is a summary review of selected precedents and not an exhaustive survey of all applicable rulings. The House Rules and Manual and the published volumes of House precedents remain the primary sources for in-depth analysis and authoritative citations. As required by law, House Practice is a concordance or quick reference guide to those works.
About the Office of the House Parliamentarian
Parliamentary procedure in the House is governed by a commitment to stand by precedent, known as the principle of stare decisis. This principle ensures that the House conducts business in a consistent and reliable way. The lawyers and clerks in the Office of the Parliamentarian compile the parliamentary precedents that guide the House on questions of legislative procedure.
To ensure the record of precedents stays current, every two years the Parliamentarian publishes the House Rules and Manual, a one volume digest that covers two centuries worth of parliamentary practice in the House. The Parliamentarian also publishes the brochure How Our Laws Are Made; the multi-volume Precedents; and a condensed compilation of parliamentary precedent, House Practice.