What Does the House Parliamentarian’s Office Do?

Legislative Process By Kevin R. Kosar January 3, 2024

You’ll find the answer in this video. The Sunwater Institute’s Matt Chervenak interviews Former House Parliamentarian, Tom Wickham. The answer comes at 4:22 of the video, and below you can click to hop to that portion of the interview. Chervenak and Wickham covered alot of subjects relating to rules in the House and the Parliamentarian’s office, which you can find listed below



0:14 – Background

4:22 – What does the U.S. House Parliamentarian do? Comparison to the Parliamentarian of the Senate?

9:38 – How big is the office of the Parliamentarian?

10:55 – How does the evolution of rules happen? Does the parliamentarian have any say in this?

14:25 – Set of rules that the parliamentarian is enforcing

18:00 – Informal Rules (example: intraparty rules)

18:53 – What is the purpose of the rules in Congress?

21:05 – Majority versus minority

23:18 – When you think of any parliamentary procedure– how do rules get judged on good or bad?

26:18 – Concept of the equal representation

30:35 – Groups of rules in the bill to law process

40:27 – Concept of the majoritarian ideal

42:25 – What are the rules on the floor?

45:15 – Studying the rules of other countries and their parliamentarian systems

47:18 – How can the rules be visualized?

49:45 – What rules would you change and add to the legislative system?

52:49 – Are there rules in the party systems that become institutional components? [Lightning Round]

55:48 – What do you think congressional representation should mean?

59:03 – How would your ideal Congress allocate its time?

1:00:12 – How should debate, deliberation, or dialogue occur or be structured in Congress?

1:05:01 – What fundamental institutional improvement should Congress make within 50 years?

1:06:21 – What book or article most shaped your thinking with respect to congressional reform?

1:07:47 – Long term plans


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