COMMITTEE ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS

RULES OF PROCEDURE 117th CONGRESS

I.  MEETINGS

(A)            Unless otherwise ordered, the Committee shall meet on the first Wednesday of each month.  The Chairman may, upon proper notice, call such additional meetings as deemed necessary.

 

(B)            Except as provided in subparagraphs (b) and (d) of paragraph 5 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, meetings of the Committee shall be open to the public.  The Committee shall prepare and keep a complete transcript or electronic recording adequate to fully record the proceedings of each meeting whether or not such meeting or any part thereof is closed to the public.

 

(C)            The Chairman of the Committee, or the Ranking Majority Member present in the absence of the Chairman, or such other Member as the Chairman may designate, shall preside over all meetings.

 

(D)            Except as provided in rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, no meeting of the Committee shall be scheduled except by majority vote of the Committee or by authorization of the Chairman of the Committee.

 

(E)             The Committee shall notify the office designated by the Committee on Rules and Administration of the time, place, and purpose of each meeting.  In the event such meeting is canceled, the Committee shall immediately notify such designated office.

 

(F)             Written or electronic notice of a Committee meeting, accompanied by an agenda enumerating the items of business to be considered, shall be sent to all Committee Members at least 72 hours (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays) in advance of each meeting.  In the event that the giving of such 72-hour notice is prevented by unforeseen requirements or Committee business, the Committee staff shall communicate notice by the quickest appropriate means to Members or appropriate staff assistants of Members and an agenda shall be furnished prior to the meeting.

 

(G)            Subject to the second sentence of this paragraph, it shall not be in order for the Committee to consider any amendment in the first degree proposed to any measure under consideration by the Committee unless a written or electronic copy of such amendment has been delivered to each Member of the Committee at least 24 hours (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays) before the meeting at which the amendment is to be proposed.  This paragraph may be waived by a majority vote of the Members and shall apply only when 72-hour written notice has been provided in accordance with paragraph (F).

 

II. QUORUMS

(A)            Subject to the provisions of paragraph (B), ten Members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the reporting or approving of any measure or matter or recommendation. Six Members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting any other business.

 

(B)            In order to transact any business at a Committee meeting, at least one Member of the minority shall be present.  If, at any meeting, business cannot be transacted because of the absence of such a Member, the matter shall lay over for a calendar day.

 

(C)            One Member shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of receiving testimony.

 

III. VOTING

(A)            Votes may be cast by proxy.  A proxy shall be written and may be conditioned by personal instructions.  A proxy shall be valid only for the day given.

 

(B)            There shall be a complete record kept of all Committee actions.  Such record shall contain the vote cast by each Member of the Committee on any question on which a roll call vote is requested.

IV. HEARINGS AND HEARING PROCEDURES

(A)            Except as specifically otherwise provided, the rules governing meetings shall govern hearings.  

(B)            At least one week in advance of the date of any hearing, the Committee shall undertake, consistent with the provisions of paragraph 4 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, to make public announcements of the date, place, time, and subject matter of such hearing.

 

(C)             (1) Each witness who is scheduled to testify at a hearing of the Committee shall submit 40 copies of such witness’ testimony to the Committee not later than 48 hours (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays) before the witness' scheduled appearance at the hearing.

 

 (2)  Any witness who fails to meet the deadline specified in paragraph (1) shall not be permitted to present testimony but may be seated to take questions from Committee members, unless the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member determine there is good cause for the witness’ failure to meet the deadline or it is in the Committee’s interest to permit such witness to testify.

 

(D)            The presiding Member at any hearing is authorized to limit the time allotted to each witness appearing before the Committee.

 

(E)             The Chairman, with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee, is authorized to subpoena the attendance of witnesses and the production of memoranda, documents, records, and any other materials.  If the Chairman or a Committee staff member designated by the Chairman has not received from the Ranking Minority Member or a Committee staff member designated by the Ranking Minority Member notice of the Ranking Minority Member's nonconcurrence in the subpoena within 48 hours (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays) of being notified of the Chairman’s intention to subpoena attendance or production, the Chairman is authorized following the end of the 48-hour period involved to subpoena the same without the Ranking Minority Member's concurrence.  Regardless of whether a subpoena has been concurred in by the Ranking Minority Member, such subpoena may be authorized by vote of the Members of the Committee.  When the Committee or Chairman authorizes a subpoena, the subpoena may be issued upon the signature of the Chairman or of any other Member of the Committee designated by the Chairman.

 

(F)             Except as specified in Committee Rule VII (requiring oaths, under certain circumstances, at hearings to confirm Presidential nominations), witnesses at hearings will be required to give testimony under oath whenever the presiding Member deems such to be advisable.

V. MEDIA COVERAGE

Any Committee meeting or hearing which is open to the public may be covered by television, radio, and print media.  Photographers, reporters, and crew members using mechanical recording, filming, or broadcasting devices shall position and use their equipment so as not to interfere with the seating, vision, or hearing of the Committee Members or staff or with the orderly conduct of the meeting or hearing.  The presiding Member of the meeting or hearing may for good cause terminate, in whole or in part, the use of such mechanical devices or take such other action as the circumstances and the orderly conduct of the meeting or hearing may warrant.

 

VI. GENERAL

All applicable requirements of the Standing Rules of the Senate shall govern the Committee.

VII. PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS

(A)            Each Presidential nominee whose nomination is subject to Senate confirmation and referred to this Committee shall submit a statement of his or her background and financial interests, including the financial interests of his or her spouse and of children living in the nominee's household, on a form approved by the Committee, which shall be sworn to as to its completeness and accuracy.  The Committee form shall be in two parts:

 

1)               Information concerning employment, education, and background of the nominee, which generally relates to the position to which the individual is nominated and which is to be made public; and

 

2)               Information concerning the financial and other background of the nominee, to be made public when the Committee determines that such information bears directly on the nominee's qualifications to hold the position to which the individual is nominated.

 

(B)            At any hearing to confirm a Presidential nomination, the testimony of the nominee and, at the request of any Member, any other witness shall be under oath.

 

(C)            Committee action on a nomination, including hearings or a meeting to consider a motion to recommend confirmation, shall not occur until at least five days (not counting Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays) after the nominee submits with respect to the currently pending nomination the form required by this rule unless the Chairman, with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member, waives this waiting period.

 
VIII. NAMING OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FACILITIES

It is the policy of the Committee that a Department of Veterans Affairs facility may be named only after a deceased individual and only under the following circumstances:

 

(A)            Such individual was:

 

(1)             A veteran who (i) was instrumental in the construction or the operation of the facility to be named, or (ii) was a recipient of the Medal of Honor or, as determined by the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, otherwise performed military service of an extraordinarily distinguished character; 

(2)             A Member of the United States House of Representatives or Senate who had a direct association with such facility; 

(3)             An Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, a Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a Secretary of Defense or of a service branch, or a military or other Federal civilian official of comparable or higher rank; or 

(4)             An individual who, as determined by the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member, performed outstanding service for veterans.

 

(B)            Each Member of the Congressional delegation representing the State in which the designated facility is located must indicate in writing such Member's support of the proposal to name such facility after such individual. It is the policy of the Committee that sponsoring or cosponsoring legislation to name such facility after such individual will not alone satisfy this requirement.

 

(C)            The pertinent State department or chapter of each Congressionally chartered veterans' organization having a national membership of at least 500,000 must indicate in writing its support of such proposal. Under certain circumstances, the Committee may grant a waiver to accept written support from pertinent chapters or posts of chartered veterans’ organizations in lieu of the State department.

 

(D)            The above criteria for naming a VA facility may be waived by unanimous consent.

 

IX. AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES

The rules of the Committee may be changed, modified, amended, or suspended at any time provided, however, that no less than a majority of the entire membership so determine at a regular meeting with due notice or at a meeting specifically called for that purpose.  The rules governing quorums for reporting legislative matters shall govern rules changes, modification, amendments, or suspension.