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Journal Article

Germaneness Rules and Bicameral Relations in the U. S. Congress

Stanley Bach
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Vol. 7, No. 3 (Aug., 1982), pp. 341-357
Published by: Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/439362
Page Count: 17
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Germaneness Rules and Bicameral Relations in the U. S. Congress
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Abstract

The legislative procedures of the U.S. House and Senate differ in a number of fundamental respects, and procedural conflicts may arise in the process of resolving policy differences. One important difference between the two chambers concerns the germaneness of amendments. House rules require that all floor amendments be germane; Senate rules impose no such requirement under most circumstances. Consequently, conference agreements may include provisions that violate a basic principle of House procedure. The House changed its rules during the 1970s to address this problem and sought accommodation rather than confrontation, attempting to isolate conflicts with the Senate and cope with them by means that protected the integrity of House proceedings.

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