GUIDE FOR EXPERT USERS

 

 

The Rules Committee


We Run The House only deals with bills that go through the Rules Committee. This is because bills that pass through the House of Representatives using the other main mechanism (which is called a Suspension) are non-controversial so they virtually always pass. Leadership will only use a Suspension when they know a bill has bipartisan support because a Suspension needs a two-thirds majority to pass. Using a Suspension is easier than putting a bill through the Rules Committee but when a bill is put through the Rules Committee it only needs a fifty percent majority to pass.

There are only a few bills that go through the Rules Committee every month but when they are announced they can move through the Rules Committee and get scheduled for a vote on the house floor within a matter of days so you must act quickly. Because of this time constraint we must ask you to vote on the bill and suggest any amendments within 24 hours of receiving the notification from admin.  Most bills are less than twenty pages long but it is wise to also read the bill report since things like earmarks are included in there. Also, there are often sections summarizing the thrust of, or need for the bill in the report. Finally the report usually contains a section on “dissenting views” which is a must read. You will receive a notification for any bill that is announced by the Rules Committee and as an approved expert you will be allowed to comment on any bill that is being discussed anywhere in the expert forums. 

 

If you have any questions regarding the bill please give the office of the majority for the Rules Committee a call.  This number changes depending on which party is in the majority so it is best to call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.


Suggest an Amendment

We Run The House has a mechanism to allow constituents to act collectively to get an amendment added to a bill. Amendments are initially suggested by our experts. If you want to suggest an amendment you go to the bill post for the bill and make sure you enter a first-tier comment (i.e. not a comment on a comment.) You must begin your comment with the following word “AMENDMENT:” Don’t forget to use all caps and remember that the rest of your comment must not be in all caps. Your peers will vote on the amendment and if an amendment is popular enough it will be recommended within the Issues tab so that regular users can vote on it. We then deliver the number of votes from people in each district to District Leaders so that they can lobby their congressperson.

 

It is very important that after you have created a new Amendment or Discharge Petition you send the link to it to admin so it will be monitored.


Use a Discharge Petition

You are not limited to discussing bills that are passing through the house. You can suggest your own bill. Possibly the most exciting thing about our platform is that we give constituents the tools to gather signatures for a Discharge Petition, which is used by coalitions of congresspersons to side-step party leadership and get a bill onto the house floor for a vote. If you choose to start a Discharge Petition please post it in the appropriate expert forum and begin your post with the words “DISCHARGE PETITION:” Don’t forget to use all caps and remember that the rest of your comment must not be in all caps. Once again, if it receives enough support from experts it will be passed through to the Issues tab so that regular members can vote on it and District Leaders across the United States can lobby their Congressperson to sign the petition.

 

You need to spell out the main points that you think the bill that is the subject of the discharge petition, should contain.  Keep in mind that eventually you will have to ask a congressperson's staff to write it.  

 

If you like a Discharge Petition that has been suggested by another expert but you think it could be improved upon you can add an amendment. The process is the same as before. Make sure that the amendment is inserted as a first-tier comment and begin the post with the word “AMENDMENT:” Don’t forget to use all caps and remember that the rest of your comment must not be in all caps.

 

Find Expert Events

 

You can browse and create events exclusively targeted at Experts, in your events tab. When creating an event you must first reveal the location of the event by beginning the Event Name with the following words: "(STATE), (TOWN):" Don’t forget to use all caps and remember that the rest of the Event Name must not be in all caps.

 

Expert Profile Links to District

 

Please note that your expert profile will allow you to act as a constituent within the pages that are dedicated to your district.  You do not need a separate regular member profile in order to access this functionality.