The Committee on Rules was first created as a select (or temporary) committee on April 2, 1789, later becoming a standing committee from 1849-53 and permanently retaining that function from 1880 until the present.  The Rules Committee’s role has evolved dramatically since its inception.  Starting out as a select committee that only reported general House rules, the modern Rules Committee’s main function is to report “special rules” governing the consideration of major legislation.  Among other things, special rules govern which legislation can go to the House Floor, when legislation goes to the Floor, how long bills can be debated, which amendments can be offered and who can offer them.