About the Commission
Pursuant to Public Law 93-191, the bipartisan House Communication Standards Commission has a three-fold mandate: (1) to issue regulations governing the proper use of all official communications; (2) to provide advice and guidance through Advisory Opinions; (3) to hear formal complaints against Members of Congress who have allegedly violated the Communication Standards laws or regulations.
As a result of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY 1991, Members are required to submit all mass communications for formal approval prior to distributing, known as an Advisory Opinion. This includes all unsolicited paper-based, digital-based, and telecommunications-based communications that are distributed in 500 or more pieces of the same matter, as well as $500 or more spent on digital advertisements with the same matter.
The issuance of an Advisory Opinion is an online process; involving personal consultations with the Member's staff prior to the dispersing of a written Advisory Opinion. When proposed communications are submitted to the Commission in draft form, often changes are needed in order to comply with Communication Standards regulations. Commission staff will point out out any problems and suggest the revisions that are necessary for the issuance of a favorable opinion. All material submitted to the Commission is reviewed by both the Majority and Minority staff before an Advisory Opinion is issued.
Please contact the Commission staff should you have any questions: 202-226-0647
More Information and Forms
- House Communications Manual
- Rules Of Practice In Proceedings Before The House Commission on Communications Standards
- Paying an Invoice for a Mass Communication