Committee Rules



Rule 1. The Standing Rules of the Senate, Senate Resolution 4, and the provisions of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, as amended by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, as supplemented by these rules, are adopted as the rules of the Committee to the extent the provisions of such Rules, Resolution, and Acts are applicable to the Committee on Indian Affairs.


Rule 2. The Committee shall meet on Wednesday while the Congress is in session for the purpose of conducting business, unless for the convenience of the Members, the Chairman shall set some other day for a meeting. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairman as he or she may deem necessary.


Rule 3(a). Hearings and business meetings of the Committee shall be open to the public except when the Chairman by a majority vote orders a closed hearing or meeting.

(b). Except as otherwise provided in the Rules of the Senate, a transcript or electronic recording shall be kept of each hearing and business meeting of the Committee.


Rule 4(a). Public notice, including notice to Members of the Committee, shall be given of the date, place, and subject matter of any hearing to be held by the Committee at least one week in advance of such hearing unless the Chairman of the Committee, with the concurrence of the Vice Chairman, determines that holding the hearing would be non-controversial or that special circumstances require expedited procedures and a majority of the Committee Members attending concur. In no case shall a hearing be conducted within less than 24 hours’ notice.

(b). Each witness who is to appear before the Committee shall submit his or her testimony by way of electronic mail, at least two (2) business days prior to a hearing, in a format determined by the Committee and sent to an electronic mail address specified by the Committee. In the event a federal witness fails to timely file the written statement in accordance with this rule, the federal witness shall testify as to the reason the testimony is late.

(c). Each Member shall be limited to five (5) minutes of questioning of any witness until such time as all Members attending who so desire have had an opportunity to question the witness unless the Committee shall decide otherwise.

(d) The Chairman, in consultation with the Vice Chairman, may authorize remote hearings via video conference.


Rule 5(a). A legislative measure or subject shall be included in the agenda of the next following business meeting of the Committee if a written request by a Member for consideration of such measure or subject has been filed with the Chairman of the Committee at least one week prior to such meeting. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to limit the authority of the Chairman of the Committee to include legislative measures or subjects on the Committee agenda in the absence of such request.

(b). Any bill, resolution, or other matter to be considered by the Committee at a business meeting shall be filed with the Clerk of the Committee. Notice of, and the agenda for, any business meeting of the Committee, and a copy of any bill, resolution, or other matter to be considered at the meeting, shall be provided to each Member and made available to the public at least three (3) business days prior to such meeting, and no new items may be added after the agenda is published, except by the approval of the Chairman with the concurrence of the Vice Chairman or by a majority of the Members of the Committee. The notice and agenda of any business meeting may be provided to the Members by electronic mail, provided that a paper copy will be provided to any Member upon request. The Clerk shall promptly notify absent Members of any action taken by the Committee on matters not included in the published agenda.

(c). Any amendment(s) to any bill or resolution to be considered shall be filed by a Member of the Committee with the Clerk not less than 48 hours in advance of the scheduled business meeting. This rule may be waived by the Chairman with the concurrence of the Vice Chairman.


Rule 6(a). Except as provided in subsection (b), a majority of the Members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business of the Committee. Except as provided in Senate Rule XXVI 7(a), a quorum is presumed to be present unless a Committee Member notes the absence of a quorum.

(b). One Member shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting a hearing or taking testimony on any measure or matter before the Committee.


Rule 7(a). A recorded vote of the Members shall be taken upon the request of any Member.

(b). A measure may be reported without a recorded vote from the Committee unless an objection is made by any Member, in which case a recorded vote by the Members shall be required. A Member shall have the right to have his or her additional views included in the Committee report on the measure in accordance with Senate Rule XXVI 10.

(c). A Committee vote to report a measure to the Senate shall also authorize the staff of the Committee to make necessary technical and conforming changes to the measure.

(d). Proxy voting shall be permitted on all matters, except that proxies may not be counted for the purpose of determining the presence of a quorum. Unless further limited, a proxy shall be exercised only for the date for which it is given and upon the terms published in the agenda for that date.


Rule 8(a). Witnesses in Committee hearings who are required to give testimony shall be deemed under oath.

(b). At any hearing to confirm a Presidential nomination, the testimony of the nominee and, at the request of any Member, any other witnesses that come before the Committee shall also be under oath. Every nominee shall submit a questionnaire on forms to be provided by the Committee, ethics agreement, and public financial disclosure report, (OGE Form 278 or a successor form) which shall be sworn to by the nominee as to its completeness and accuracy and be accompanied by a letter issued by the nominee within five (5) days immediately preceding the hearing affirming that nothing has changed in their financial status or documents since the documents were originally filed with the Committee. The public financial disclosure report and ethics agreement shall be made available to the public by the Committee unless the Committee, in executive session, determines that special circumstances require a full or partial exception to this rule.


Rule 9. No confidential testimony taken by, or confidential material presented to the Committee, or any report of the proceedings of a closed Committee hearing or business meeting shall be made public in whole or in part, or by way of summary, unless authorized by a majority of the Members of the Committee at a business meeting called for the purpose of making such a determination.


Rule 10. Any person whose name is mentioned or who is specifically identified in, or who believes that testimony or other evidence presented at, an open Committee hearing tends to defame him or her or otherwise adversely affects his or her reputation may file with the Committee for its consideration and action a sworn statement of facts relevant to such testimony of evidence.


Rule 11. Any meeting or hearing by the Committee which is open to the public may be covered in whole or in part by television, Internet, radio broadcast, or still photography. Photographers and reporters using mechanical recording, filming, or broadcasting devices shall position their equipment so as not to interfere with the sight, vision, and hearing of Members and staff on the dais or with the orderly process of the meeting or hearing.


Rule 12. The Chairman may, with the agreement of the Vice Chairman, or the Committee may, by majority vote, authorize the issuance of subpoenas.


Rule 13. These rules may be amended only by a vote of a majority of all the Members of the Committee in a business meeting of the Committee: Provided, that no vote may be taken on any proposed amendment unless such amendment is reproduced in full in the Committee agenda for such meeting at least seven (7) days in advance of such meeting.