[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 31. Morning Hour; Call of Committees]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

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                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec. 1. In General; Place in Order of Business
  Sec. 2. Procedure; Business Considered
  Sec. 3. Duration; Interruption or Termination
        Research References
          4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3118-3141
          6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 751-755; 7 Cannon Sec. 944
          Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4
          Manual Sec. Sec. 869, 880, 881, 951

  Sec. 1 . In General; Place in Order of Business


      The morning hour call of committees under rule XIV clause 4 is a 
  rarely used procedure for calling up for consideration in the House 
  bills that have been reported by committees and that are on the House 
  Calendar. Manual Sec. 880. Other avenues that are more frequently used 
  for this purpose are special rules from the Committee on Rules; 
  suspension of the rules; unanimous-consent agreements; and, 
  historically, Calendar Wednesday (all of which are discussed under 
  separate titles in this work). Because of the availability of these 
  more effective procedures, and because most reported bills are 
  referred to the Union Calendar, the morning hour call has become 
  largely obsolete. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4. However, since the demise of 
  the Consent Calendar in the 104th Congress, the morning hour remains 
  an alternative to suspensions as a way of disposing of relatively 
  noncontroversial bills on the House Calendar.

                    Morning-hour Debates Distinguished

      In the 103d Congress the House established a procedure for 
  ``morning-hour debates.'' Manual Sec. 951. Under this practice, which 
  is permitted by a standing order adopted by unanimous consent each 
  Congress, the House meets before the regular convening hour on Mondays 
  and Tuesdays to entertain up to five-minute speeches for up to one 
  hour from lists submitted by the Majority and Minority Leaders. No 
  business is permitted during such periods. See Consideration and 
  Debate for further discussion of this practice.

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                     Calendar Wednesday Distinguished

      Unprivileged measures on the House or Union Calendar may be 
  considered when committees are called alphabetically under the 
  Calendar Wednesday rule. Rule XV clause 7. Calendar Wednesday is 
  routinely dispensed with by unanimous consent, but it may be dispensed 
  with by a motion that takes two-thirds to adopt. Manual Sec. 900; see 
  also Calendar Wednesday.

                Order of Morning Hour Business; Precedence

      The morning hour is listed seventh in the rule governing the order 
  of business in the House, coming just after ``unfinished business.'' 
  Rule XIV clause 1. A bill once brought up on the morning hour call 
  continues before the House in that order of business until disposed 
  of, unless withdrawn by authority of the committee with jurisdiction 
  over the bill. 4 Hinds Sec. 3120. Such withdrawal must occur before 
  amendment or other House action on the bill. 4 Hinds Sec. 3129. Once 
  consideration of the bill has begun under the morning hour rule, the 
  House may not on motion postpone its further consideration to a day 
  certain. 4 Hinds Sec. 3164. However, other more highly privileged 
  matters, such as a privileged report from the Committee on Rules, may 
  intervene. 4 Hinds Sec. 3131.

  Sec. 2 . Procedure; Business Considered


      The morning hour rule provides that, after the disposition of 
  unfinished business, the Speaker shall call each standing committee, 
  ``in regular order,'' and then select committees. Rule XIV clause 4. 
  This rule is interpreted to mean that committees are to be called 
  seriatim in the order in which they are listed in rule X. 6 Cannon 
  Sec. 751. Each committee, when named, may then call from the House 
  Calendar a bill it has previously reported. Rule XIV clause 4. Bills 
  called up under this procedure are debated under the hour rule, with 
  debate being confined to the bill under consideration. Deschler Ch 21 
  Sec. 4.2.

                Business Considered During the Morning Hour

      In the early practice the morning hour was used for the reception 
  of reports from committees. 4 Hinds Sec. 3118. In 1890 the rule was 
  amended so as to devote the morning hour to ``any bill'' reported by a 
  committee ``on a previous day'' and that is on the House Calendar. 
  Manual Sec. 880. Thus, the bill must actually be on the House 
  Calendar, and properly there, in order to be considered; a bill on the 
  Union Calendar may not be brought up dur

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  ing the morning hour call of committees. 4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3122-3126; 
  6 Cannon Sec. 753.

                          Committee Authorization

      A Member calling up a bill under the morning hour rule must be 
  authorized to do so by the committee reporting the bill. Deschler Ch 
  21 Sec. 4.2. In the event of a dispute as to whether committee 
  authorization was in fact granted, the Speaker may decline to resolve 
  the matter on the ground that such an issue gives rise to a question 
  of fact to be resolved by the committee. 4 Hinds Sec. 3127. He may, 
  however, rule on the question of authorization based on statements by 
  the chairman and other members of the reporting committee. 4 Hinds 
  Sec. 3128.

  Sec. 3 . Duration; Interruption or Termination


      The term ``morning hour'' is to some extent misleading, since, 
  under the modern rule, the call of committees does not necessarily 
  terminate in one hour. 4 Hinds Sec. 3119. Morning hour does not 
  terminate until the call is exhausted, until the House adjourns or 
  votes to go into Committee of the Whole, or until other privileged 
  matter intervenes. Manual Sec. Sec. 881-883; 4 Hinds Sec. 3131. Under 
  the modern practice, privileged business is always available to 
  obviate morning hour business. After the intervening business is 
  concluded, the morning hour call of committees is resumed unless the 
  House adjourns. 4 Hinds Sec. 3133.

                 Motions to go Into Committee of the Whole

      The House rules permit the interruption of the morning hour call 
  of committees by a motion to go into Committee of the Whole. Rule XIV 
  clause 5; see Committees of the Whole. Under this rule, the motion 
  lies ``after one hour'' of the call of committees, and may be made for 
  the purpose of taking up a particular bill. Manual Sec. 882. The 
  motion may interrupt the call of committees after the expiration of 
  one hour and may be made even sooner if the call of committees is 
  exhausted before the hour expires. 4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3131, 3141.
      Before expiration of the hour, the Speaker has declined to permit 
  the call to be interrupted by a committee report or by a unanimous-
  consent request to consider a bill that is not on the House Calendar. 
  4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3130, 3132.