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Things the House cannot do include payroll and intelligence briefings.

Choosing a speaker is the first order of business when any new Congress meets. Republicans’ current standoff has stalled many of the chamber’s usual processes. If House rules aren’t finalized by Jan. 13, committees won’t be able to process payroll or loan repayments. Administrators tasked with overseeing the chamber were told they couldn’t respond to family visa and passport requests. That’s led to some gags about the activity on the House floor and points of confusion for administrators.