The Rules Committee has two broad categories of jurisdiction: special orders for the consideration of legislation (known as "special rules" or "rules") and original jurisdiction matters. A special rule provides the terms and conditions of debate on a measure or matter, consideration of which constitutes the bulk of the work of the Rules Committee. The Committee also considers original jurisdiction measures, which commonly represent changes to the standing rules of the House, or measures that contain special rules, such as the expedited procedures in trade legislation.
The Committee has the authority to do virtually anything during the course of consideration of a measure, including deeming it passed. The Committee can also include a self-executed amendment which could rewrite just parts of a bill, or the entire measure. In essence, so long as a majority of the House is willing to vote for a special rule, there is little that the Rules Committee cannot do.
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