Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 12: Committee on Enrolled Bills

Chapter 12. Records of the Administration Committee and Its Predecessors

Table of Contents

Records of the House Administration Committee and Its Predecessors from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committees discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (1876- 1946)

History and Jurisdiction

2.19 The House standing Committee on Enrolled Bills was a result of the dissolution of the old Joint Committee on Enrolled Bills. The Joint Committee on Enrolled Bills was established on July 27, 1789, with the responsibility for the enrollment of engrossed bills. The enacting resolution states the following:

    After a bill shall have passed both Houses, it shall be duly enrolled on Parchment by the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate, as the bill may have originated in one or the other House, before it shall be presented to the President of the United States. . . . When bills are enrolled they shall be examined by a joint committee for that purpose, who shall carefully compare the enrollment with the engrossed bills as passed in the two Houses, and, correcting any errors that may be discovered in the enrolled bills, make their report forthwith to their respective Houses.2
12.20 In 1876 the joint rules of Congress were allowed to lapse, and although the committee continued to be referred to as a "joint committee," it consisted thereafter of a separate committee in each house, each supervising the enrolling of bills originated in its own house. Under the Reorganization Act of 1946 the functions of the Committee on Enrolled Bills were incorporated into those of the House Administration Committee. The Joint Committee on Enrolled Bills has since that date been composed of three members from the House Administration Committee and three members from the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

Records of the Committee on Enrolled Bills, 44th-79th Congresses (1876-1946)


Record TypeVolumeCongresses (Dates)
Record or Enrollment Books 38 volumes 48th-56th (1883-1901), 64th-79th (1911-46)
Committee Papers 3 feet 61st (1909-11), 64th-65th (1915-19), 68th-79th (1923-46)
Total3 feet and 38 volumes (6 ft.)  
Committee Records Summary Table

12.21 The Record or Enrollment books kept by the committee list all House and Senate bills and resolutions and the date of the completion of each step in the enrollment process for each piece of legislation.

12.22 The committee papers contain White House receipts for enrolled bills delivered to the President, certificates of enrollment, lists of bills signed by the President, Secretary of the Senate signature receipts, and copies of the President's memoranda of disapproval.

Related Records

12.23 The Enrolled Bills that became law, with the signatures of the presiding officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the President of the United States, are in Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789-1986 (195 ft.) in the General Records of the Department of State, RG 59.

Table of Contents


2. Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1st Cong., 1st sess., July 27, 1789, p. 67. [Back to text]

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.