Blue-Slipping: Enforcing the Origination Clause in the House of Representatives [June 26, 2015]   [open pdf - 158KB]

"Article I, Section 7, clause 1, of the U.S. Constitution is known generally as the Origination Clause because it requires that [a]ll bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills. As generally understood, this clause carries two kinds of prohibitions. First, the Senate may not originate any measure that includes a provision for raising revenue, and second, the Senate may not propose any amendment that would raise revenue to a non-revenue measure. However, the Senate may generally amend a House-originated revenue measure as it sees fit. The House's primary method for enforcement of the Origination Clause is through a process known as 'blue-slipping.' Blue-slipping is the term applied to the act of returning to the Senate a measure that the House has determined violates its prerogatives as defined by the Origination Clause. The House takes this action by adopting a resolution stating that a Senate bill (or Senate amendment(s) to a non-revenue House bill) 'in the opinion of this House, contravenes the first clause of the seventh section of the first article of the Constitution of the United States and is an infringement of the privileges of this House and that such bill [or such bill with the Senate amendment(s) thereto] be respectfully returned to the Senate with a message communicating this resolution.' It is called blue-slipping because historically the resolution returning the offending bill to the Senate is printed on blue paper."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21236
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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