There are three primary ways for the Speaker of the House to assign a bill:
- single referrals
- multiple referrals
- sequential referrals
In a single referral, the Speaker of the House delegates a bill to a single committee. Multiple referrals occur when the Speaker of the House separates the bill into separate components and sends it to multiple committees. Multiple referrals occur with complex bills that cover a breadth of issues. Sequential referrals occur when the Speaker of the House assigns a bill to pass sequentially through various committees.
The Speaker of the House has leverage over the passage of a bill. A bill opposed by the Speaker of the House can assign the bill to a proper committee that may support it, but also can refer the bill to various tangential committees that oppose it. This means that the Speaker of the House has multiple ways to inhibit a bill.