[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 37. Points of Order; Parliamentary Inquiries]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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              CHAPTER 37 - POINTS OF ORDER; PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRIES

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

              A. Points of Order

  Sec.  1. In General; Form
  Sec.  2. Role of the Chair
  Sec.  3. Reserving Points of Order
  Sec.  4. Time to Raise Points of Order
  Sec.  5. -- Against Bills and Resolutions
  Sec.  6. -- Against Amendments
  Sec.  7. Application to Particular Questions; Grounds
  Sec.  8. Relation to Other Business
  Sec.  9. Debate on Points of Order; Burden of Proof
  Sec. 10. Waiver of Points of Order
  Sec. 11. Withdrawal of Points of Order
  Sec. 12. Appeals

              B. Parliamentary Inquiries

  Sec. 13. In General
  Sec. 14. Subjects of Inquiry
  Sec. 15. Timeliness of Inquiry
  Sec. 16. As Related to Other Business
        Research References
          5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6863-6975
          8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3427-3458
          Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 14, 15
          Manual Sec. Sec. 627-629, 641, 971

                            A. Points of Order


  Sec. 1 . In General; Form

                                 Generally

      A point of order is an objection that the pending matter or 
  proceeding is in violation of a rule of the House. For a discussion of 
  grounds for points

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  of order, see Sec. 7, infra. Any Member, Delegate, or the Resident 
  Commissioner may make a point of order. 6 Cannon Sec. 240. There have 
  been rare instances in which the Speaker has insisted that a point of 
  order be reduced to writing. 5 Hinds Sec. 6865. However, the customary 
  practice is for the Member to rise and address the Chair as follows:

      Member: Mr. Speaker (or Mr. Chairman), I make a point of order 
    against the [amendment, section, paragraph].
      Chair: The Chair will hear the gentleman.

      It is appropriate for the Chair to determine whether the point of 
  order is being raised under a particular rule of the House. A Member 
  should state a point of order explicitly, identifying the 
  objectionable language. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 2.2, 2.3. On 
  occasion, a Member has incorrectly demanded the ``regular order,'' 
  rather than make a point of order to assert, for example, that remarks 
  are not confined to the question under debate. In such a case, the 
  Chair may treat the demand as a point of order and rule thereon. 
  Manual Sec. 628.
      The proper method for opposing a point of order is to seek 
  recognition for that purpose at the proper time, not by making a point 
  of order against the point of order. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 7.3.

                                  Effect

      Where a point of order against the consideration of a bill is 
  sustained, the bill is recommitted to the reporting committee or to 
  its place on the appropriate calendar. See, e.g., Manual Sec. 841. 
  However, if the defect were a technical error in the report, the 
  measure could be returned to the calendar by the filing of a 
  supplemental report pursuant to rule XIII clause 3(a)(2). Manual 
  Sec. 838; 7 Cannon Sec. 869. If a bill is on the wrong calendar and 
  the Chair sustains a point of order against it for that reason, the 
  bill is placed on the appropriate calendar. 4 Hinds Sec. 4382.
      If, during the consideration of a bill, a Member raises a point of 
  order against certain language in a pending measure and the Chair 
  sustains the point of order, the language is automatically stricken 
  from the measure. 7 Cannon Sec. 2148.
      Under the former practice it was necessary for a Member on the 
  floor to reserve points of order against appropriation bills before 
  resolving into the Committee of the Whole, but this practice was 
  eliminated in 1995 when the House adopted rule XXI clause 1. Under 
  clause 1, points of order on general appropriation bills are 
  ``considered as reserved,'' which permits the Committee to remove 
  language in a bill referred to it by the House that violates House 
  rules. Manual Sec. 1035.

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      A point of order against any part of an amendment, if sustained, 
  is sufficient to invalidate the entire amendment. 5 Hinds Sec. 5784. A 
  point of order may be directed against an entire section or paragraph 
  of a bill (depending on whether the bill is read by paragraph or by 
  section). It also may be precisely aimed at a subpart thereof. 
  However, the entire section or paragraph is vulnerable; and if a point 
  of order is sustained against a portion of a pending provision, the 
  entire provision may be ruled out of order unless prevented by a 
  special order. 5 Hinds Sec. 6883; Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 1.24, 
  1.25. The stricken provision's headings and subheadings are likewise 
  eliminated. 8 Cannon Sec. 2353. Provisions ruled out on points of 
  order in the Committee of the Whole are not reported to the House. 4 
  Hinds Sec. 4906; 8 Cannon Sec. 2428.

                         Multiple Points of Order

      The Chair may entertain simultaneously more than one point of 
  order against a paragraph. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 1.8. As a rule 
  the Chair will decline to decide a point of order raised against a 
  proposition until all other points of order on the same proposition 
  have been submitted. 8 Cannon Sec. 2310. Indeed, the Chair may in his 
  discretion require all points of order against a pending proposition 
  for alleged violation of a particular House rule to be stated at the 
  same time. This procedure allows the Chair to rule separately on each 
  point of order in such order as he determines, or to permit the Chair 
  to sustain one valid point of order without reaching the others. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 4.18. Thus, where several points of order 
  are made against an amendment and the Chair sustains one of them, he 
  need not rule on the remaining points of order, as the amendment is no 
  longer pending. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 1.12. Where the Chair 
  entertains two points of order against a provision, he may sustain 
  only one of them, even though both points of order are conceded by the 
  manager of the bill. Manual Sec. 628.

                             Cross References

      Points of order based on particular rules or against particular 
  propositions are addressed elsewhere in many other chapters in this 
  work, such as Amendments; Appropriations; Consideration and Debate; 
  and Germaneness of Amendments.


  Sec. 2 . Role of the Chair

                                 Generally

      Under rule I clause 5, the Speaker decides ``all questions of 
  order, subject to appeal by a Member, Delegate, or Resident 
  Commissioner.'' Manual

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  Sec. 627. When a Speaker pro tempore occupies the Chair, he decides 
  questions of order. When the House is in Committee of the Whole, the 
  Chairman decides most questions of order independently of the Speaker. 
  5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6927, 6928. At the organization of a new Congress, 
  before the election of a Speaker, questions of order are decided by 
  the Clerk. Rule II clause 2(a); 1 Hinds Sec. 64.
      The Chair may examine the form of an offered amendment to 
  determine its propriety and may rule it out of order even where no 
  point of order is raised from the floor. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
  Sec. 6.11. Ordinarily, however, the Chair will rule out a proposition 
  only when a point of order is raised and only when he is required 
  under the circumstances to respond to the point of order. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 31 Sec. 1.6. It is not the duty of the Speaker to decide any 
  question that is not directly presented in the course of the 
  proceedings of the House. 2 Hinds Sec. 1314; see Consideration and 
  Debate. However, it is the duty of the Chair to initiate the call to 
  order of a Member who engages in improper references to the actions of 
  the Senate, its Members, or its committees, or to the President. 
  Manual Sec. Sec. 374, 961.
      The Speaker may decline to rule on a point of order until he has 
  had time for examination and study. 3 Hinds Sec. 2725; 8 Cannon 
  Sec. Sec. 2174, 2396. In reaching a decision on a point of order, the 
  Chair may hear argument. Manual Sec. 628.
      Only on rare occasions has the Speaker submitted a question to the 
  House itself for a decision, preferring to rule subject to appeal by 
  any Member under rule I clause 5. Manual Sec. 628; 4 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 3282, 4930; 5 Hinds Sec. 5323.
      Where the House has adopted an order permitting only certain 
  amendments to be offered to a bill during its consideration in 
  Committee of the Whole, the Chair is guided by the explicit 
  unambiguous language of the rule, rather than by the intention of the 
  Committee on Rules, in ruling whether a specific amendment is in the 
  permitted class. Manual Sec. 628. The Member offering an amendment in 
  the Committee of the Whole pursuant to a special order of the House 
  has the burden of proving that it meets the description of the 
  amendment made in order. The Chair has advised the Committee that an 
  amendment made in order was described by subject matter rather than by 
  prescribed text and that the pending amendment fit such description. 
  Manual Sec. 993.
      The Chair may consider argument on the meaning of an amendment in 
  resolving any ambiguity in the language of the amendment when ruling 
  on a point of order against it. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 8.9.

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                 Consideration of Prior Rulings; Reversals

      A decision by the Speaker or Chairman is a precedent in resolving 
  subsequent disputes where the same point of order is again in 
  controversy. In looking to precedents to resolve a point of order, the 
  House is applying a doctrine known in the courts as stare decisis, 
  under which a judge looks to earlier cases involving the same question 
  of law. In the same way, the House adheres to settled rulings and will 
  not lightly disturb rationales that have been established by prior 
  decision of the Chair. 2 Hinds Sec. 1317; 6 Cannon Sec. 248. However, 
  although the Chair will normally not disregard a decision previously 
  made on the same facts, such precedents may be examined, 
  distinguished, and even overruled where shown to be erroneous. 4 Hinds 
  Sec. 4637; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2794, 3435. Indeed, the Chair may after 
  further argument reverse his own ruling on a point of order, for 
  example, where existing law not previously called to the Chair's 
  attention would justify the opposite ruling. 8 Cannon Sec. 3435; 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 1.5. The authoritative sources for proper 
  interpretations of the rules are statements made directly from the 
  Chair and not comments made by the Speaker in other contexts. Manual 
  Sec. 628.


  Sec. 3 . Reserving Points of Order

                                 Generally

      With certain exceptions, a point of order against a proposition 
  may be held untimely if it is not made until after debate on the 
  proposition has begun. Sec. 4, infra. It is therefore not an uncommon 
  practice for a Member to reserve a point of order against an amendment 
  and then, after debate on the amendment, either press or withdraw the 
  point of order. 8 Cannon Sec. 3430. Reserving points of order against 
  amendments, see Amendments.
      The reservation of a point of order against an amendment is 
  permitted at the discretion of the Chair and does not require 
  unanimous consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 3.16. A Member wishing to 
  reserve a point of order must rise and address the Chair. The Member 
  may not reserve a point of order merely through private agreement with 
  the Member in charge of the bill. 5 Hinds Sec. 6867. The reserving 
  Member need not specify the basis of his reservation. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 31 Sec. 3.8. However, merely reserving the ``right to object'' to 
  engage in a colloquy before making a point of order does not 
  constitute the reservation of a point of order. 92-2, Apr. 18, 1972, p 
  13114.

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                           Effect of Withdrawal

      The reservation of a point of order being withdrawn, another 
  Member may immediately renew it or press a point of order. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 3.21-3.23. Withdrawal of points of order 
  generally, see Sec. 11, infra.


  Sec. 4 . Time to Raise Points of Order

                                 Generally

      Unless otherwise provided by the rules of the House, a point of 
  order against a proposition should be made when the proposition is 
  presented for consideration, not after such consideration has begun. 5 
  Hinds Sec. 6888. This principle is applied to points of order against 
  bills and resolutions as well as to points of order against various 
  motions, such as the motion to recommit. A point of order against a 
  motion to recommit a bill must be made after the motion is read and 
  comes too late after there has been debate thereon. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  31 Sec. 4.25. A point of order against a report involving the 
  privileges of the House is properly raised after the report is read. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 4.5.
      Under the rules of the House, certain points of order may be 
  raised ``at any time.'' For example, a point of order may be raised 
  ``at any time'' under rule XXI clause 4, which prohibits the inclusion 
  of appropriations in a bill reported by a legislative committee. 
  Manual Sec. 1065. A point of order may likewise be raised ``at any 
  time'' under rule XXI clause 5(a), which prohibits inclusion of a tax 
  or tariff measure in a bill or joint resolution reported by a 
  committee that does not have jurisdiction over such measure. Manual 
  Sec. 1066. Such a point of order may be directed against language in a 
  bill or against an amendment containing such language. In the former 
  case, the point of order should be raised during the reading for 
  amendment under the five-minute rule. Deschler Ch 25 Sec. 12.14. In 
  the latter case, the point of order should be raised before 
  disposition of the amendment. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 5.29.

                       Effect of Intervening Debate

      A point of order against a proposition ordinarily will be ruled 
  out as untimely if debate on the merits of the proposition already has 
  begun. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6891-6901; 8 Cannon Sec. 3440. However, the 
  Chair will not permit brief debate to preclude a point of order by a 
  Member who had diligently sought recognition for that purpose. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 6906. The Chair may recognize for a point of order against 
  language in a bill notwithstanding intervening debate where the Member 
  raising the point of order was on his feet, seeking recognition, 
  before debate began. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 6.39. In

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  deed, a Member who is on his feet seeking recognition at the proper 
  time to make a point of order may be recognized by the Chair, even 
  though the Clerk has read past the language to which the point of 
  order applies. Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 20.33. However, the mere fact 
  that a Member was on his feet does not entitle him to make a point of 
  order where he has not affirmatively sought recognition at the time 
  the relevant language was read for amendment. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
  Sec. 5.25.

                     Effect of Intervening Amendments

      A point of order against a proposition ordinarily is untimely if 
  raised after an amendment to the proposition has been offered. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 6907-6911; 8 Cannon Sec. 3443. The point of order may be 
  precluded even by a pro forma amendment. 8 Cannon Sec. 3445.
      Points of order against a bill or portion thereof are considered 
  by the Chair before the Chair recognizes Members to offer amendments. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 5.1. If a bill is considered read and open 
  to amendment at any point by unanimous consent, points of order should 
  be stated before any amendments are offered. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
  Sec. 5.5.
      Although the reservation of a point of order by one Member inures 
  to all Members who may then make the point of order when recognized by 
  the Chair, withdrawal of a reservation by one Member requires other 
  Members to either make or continue to reserve the point of order at 
  that point, and a further reservation comes too late after there has 
  been subsequent debate. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 3.24.


  Sec. 5 . -- Against Bills and Resolutions

      Where a point of order against a measure would, if sustained, 
  prevent its consideration, the appropriate time to make the point of 
  order is when the measure is called up in the House or pending the 
  motion or declaration to resolve into the Committee of the Whole, 
  whichever procedure represents initial consideration of the measure. 8 
  Cannon Sec. 2252. A Member may not insist on a point of order against 
  the consideration of a bill where the manager of the bill withdraws 
  the motion that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the 
  Whole for consideration of the bill. The point of order must be made 
  anew if and when the motion is again made to resolve into Committee 
  for consideration of that bill. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 4.6.
      Although uncommon, a point of order challenging, for example, the 
  privileged status of a resolution may be raised when the resolution is 
  called up and before it is read. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 4.1. A 
  point of order relating to the manner in which a resolution should be 
  considered should be made before such consideration begins. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 6890. A point of order

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  that the text of a privileged resolution does not reflect the action 
  of the reporting committee comes too late after there has been debate 
  on the resolution. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 4.4.


  Sec. 6 . -- Against Amendments

      A point of order is properly made or reserved immediately after 
  the reading of an amendment or following agreement to a unanimous-
  consent request that an amendment be considered as read. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 31 Sec. 6.5. It should be disposed of before amendments to 
  that amendment are offered. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 6.14. Once the 
  amendment is agreed to in the Committee of the Whole and reported to 
  the House, it is too late to raise a point of order against it, the 
  proper time having been at the point the amendment was offered in 
  Committee. 92-2, June 1, 1972, pp 19479, 19481, 19483. Generally, see 
  Amendments.


  Sec. 7 . Application to Particular Questions; Grounds

      A point of order ordinarily must be based on an objection that the 
  pending matter or proceeding is in violation of some rule of the 
  House. The Chair will ascertain and identify the particular rule being 
  invoked when ruling on a point of order. 98-2, Oct. 2, 1984, p 28522.
      Although questions of order arising under the rules are determined 
  by the Chair, the Chair does not:

     Recognize for requests to suspend the rule governing 
         admissions to the floor. Rule IV clause 1; 5 Hinds Sec. 7285.
     Rule on the sufficiency of committee reports or legal effect 
         of language therein. Deschler Ch 19 Sec. 7.17.
     Rule on questions of constitutionality, including the 
         constitutional powers of the House. Manual Sec. 628; 2 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 1255, 1318-1320; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2225, 3031, 3071, 
         3427; Deschler Ch 19 Sec. Sec. 7.1-7.3, 8.10.
     Pass on the merits of a legislative proposition. Deschler Ch 
         19 Sec. 7.4.
     Rule on the consistency of amendments or other proposed 
         actions of the House. 2 Hinds Sec. Sec. 1327-1336; 8 Cannon 
         Sec. Sec. 3237, 3458; Deschler Ch 19 Sec. Sec. 7.5, 8.6-8.9.
     Construe the legislative or legal effect of a proposition. 
         Manual Sec. 628; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2280, 2841; Deschler Ch 19 
         Sec. 7.16.
     Construe the general meaning or effect of an amendment or rule 
         on whether it is ambiguous. Deschler Ch 19 Sec. Sec. 8.1-8.5.
     Rule on hypothetical questions. 6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 249, 253; 
         Deschler Ch 19 Sec. Sec. 7.6-7.8.
     Rule on the propriety or expediency of a proposed course of 
         action. 2 Hinds Sec. Sec. 1275, 1337.
     Consider contingencies that may arise in the future. 7 Cannon 
         Sec. 1409.

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     Interpret a special order before it is adopted by the House. 
         Manual Sec. 628.
     Determine issues not presented in a point of order. Deschler 
         Ch 19 Sec. 6.1.
     Construe the result of a vote. Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 4.28.
     Interpret the rules or procedures of the Senate. Deschler Ch 
         19 Sec. 7.19.

      The Speaker, and not the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, 
  rules on the propriety of amendments included in a motion to recommit 
  with instructions. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 1.46


  Sec. 8 . Relation to Other Business

      When a point of order is raised against a proposition, 
  consideration of that proposition is precluded until the point of 
  order is disposed of. The Chair should rule on the point of order 
  before proceeding to other questions, such as the method of voting on 
  the pending matter. 8 Cannon Sec. 3432.
      A timely point of order takes precedence over a parliamentary 
  inquiry, and the deferral of a parliamentary inquiry gives no priority 
  for that purpose, since recognition is in the discretion of the Chair. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 11.4.
      An amendment may not be offered to a proposition against which a 
  point of order is pending. 8 Cannon Sec. 2824. The previous question 
  may not be demanded on a proposition until the point of order is 
  resolved. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2681, 3433. Debate on the merits of the 
  proposition is likewise precluded. 5 Hinds Sec. 5055; 8 Cannon 
  Sec. 2556.


  Sec. 9 . Debate on Points of Order; Burden of Proof

                          In General; Recognition

      Recognition for debate on a point of order is extended at the 
  discretion of the Chair. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3446-3448. Members seeking 
  to be heard must address the Chair separately and may not engage in 
  ``colloquies'' on the point of order. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 7.17. 
  The time allowed for debate on a point of order is likewise within the 
  discretion of the Chair. A Member speaking on a point of order does 
  not control a fixed amount of time that he can reserve or yield. 5 
  Hinds Sec. 6919. Where a point of order is conceded by the manager of 
  the bill, the Chair may sustain the point of order without debate. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 7.20.

                              Scope of Debate

      The rule that debate on questions of order must be relevant is 
  strictly construed. 8 Cannon Sec. 3449. Debate is limited to the 
  question of order and may not go to the merits of the proposition 
  being considered. Manual Sec. 628.

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      The Chair will not entertain unanimous-consent requests to permit 
  Members to revise and extend their remarks on points of order. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 7.21. However, by unanimous consent, a 
  Member may be allowed to revise and extend his remarks to follow the 
  ruling on the point of order. Manual Sec. 628.

                              Burden of Proof

      The proponents of an amendment have the burden of proof where a 
  point of order is raised against the amendment on the grounds that it 
  is not germane or that it proposes an unauthorized appropriation. 7 
  Cannon Sec. 1179; 8 Cannon Sec. 2995. Under House practice, those 
  defending an item in an appropriation bill have the burden of showing 
  the law authorizing it. 4 Hinds Sec. 3597; 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 1179, 
  1276; 8 Cannon Sec. 2387. Thus, a point of order having been raised, 
  the burden of proving the authorization for language carried in an 
  appropriation bill falls on the managers of the bill as proponents of 
  the language. Deschler Ch 26 Sec. 9.4. Similarly, the proponent of an 
  amendment carries the burden of proving that the amendment does not 
  increase levels of budget authority or outlays within the meaning of 
  clause 2(f) of rule XXI. 107-1, Oct. 11, 2001, p ____.
      Where a point of order is raised against consideration of a bill 
  on the ground that the report thereon does not adequately reflect all 
  changes in existing law as required by rule XIII clause 3(e)--the 
  Ramseyer rule--the proponent of the point of order has the burden of 
  proof and must cite the specific statute that will be affected by the 
  pending bill; in the absence of such citation the point will not be 
  entertained. 8 Cannon Sec. 2246.


  Sec. 10 . Waiver of Points of Order

                                 Generally

      A point of order is effectively waived when it is not timely 
  raised. Where a motion that might have been subject to objection is, 
  in the absence of a point of order, agreed to, it represents the will 
  of the House and governs its procedure until the House orders 
  otherwise. Deschler Ch 11 Sec. 3.2. Points of order may be waived by 
  unanimous consent, by special rule, or by consideration of a measure 
  under suspension of the rules. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 9.

                              By Special Rule

      Special ``rules'' or resolutions from the Committee on Rules 
  providing for the consideration of a bill often contain provisions 
  expressly waiving points of order against the bill or certain language 
  therein or amendments to be offered thereto. 7 Cannon Sec. 769. A 
  resolution waiving points of order

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  against a certain provision in a bill has been agreed to by the House, 
  even after general debate on the bill has concluded and reading for 
  amendment has begun. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 23.29. Such waivers are not 
  implied merely by the fact that the special rule provides for 
  consideration of the bill. 98-1, Mar. 22, 1983, p 6502.
      A special rule may limit its waiver to a single point of order 
  against consideration of a measure or against its provisions, or it 
  may be so drafted as to constitute a blanket waiver of all points of 
  order. Where a resolution providing for the consideration of a bill 
  specifies that ``all points of order against said bill are hereby 
  waived,'' the waiver is applicable only to the provisions of the bill 
  and not to amendments. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 9.10. A special order 
  providing for consideration of a measure may waive all points of order 
  against provisions of the bill except specified text. Such a special 
  order may include language to prevent a point of order against the 
  vulnerable text from being applied to the remainder of a paragraph or 
  section. See, e.g., 107-1, H. Res. 192, July 17, 2001, p ____.
      A special rule containing a waiver of section 425 of the 
  Congressional Budget Act (unfunded intergovernmental mandates) is 
  subject to a point of order under section 426 of that Act.
      For further discussion, see Special Orders of Business. See also 
  Consideration and Debate.


  Sec. 11 . Withdrawal of Points of Order

      A point of order may be withdrawn at any time before the Chair 
  rules. 8 Cannon Sec. 3430. Once withdrawn, the point of order may 
  immediately be renewed by another Member. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6875, 
  6906; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3429, 3430. As a rule, a point of order must 
  be pressed, or further reserved, when the Chair inquires whether the 
  objecting Member wishes to insist upon it, and comes too late after 
  that Member has stated that he does not insist on, or continue to 
  reserve, his point of order, and further debate has intervened. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 3.14.


  Sec. 12 . Appeals

      Under rule I clause 5, a ruling of the Chair on a point of order 
  may be subject to challenge through an appeal by a Member. Manual 
  Sec. Sec. 627, 629; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6938, 6939. An appeal also may 
  be taken from the ruling of the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole 
  on a point of order. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 13.3. However, a 
  decision on a question of order is not subject to an appeal if the 
  decision falls within the discretionary authority

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  of the Chair. For a complete discussion of appeals from rulings of the 
  Chair, see Appeals.


                        B. Parliamentary Inquiries


  Sec. 13 . In General

      Recognition of Members for the purpose of propounding 
  parliamentary inquiries is within the discretion of the Chair. 6 
  Cannon Sec. 541. Inquiries concerning the parliamentary situation on 
  the floor are properly directed to the Chair, and it is not in order 
  for a Member to address them to the official reporters. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 31 Sec. 14.14. The Chair may delay his response to a parliamentary 
  inquiry pending examination of relevant House precedents. 8 Cannon 
  Sec. 2174. Responses to parliamentary inquiries are not subject to 
  appeal. 5 Hinds Sec. 6955; 8 Cannon Sec. 3457. The Chair may take a 
  parliamentary inquiry under advisement, especially when the inquiry 
  does not relate to the pending proceedings of the House. Manual 
  Sec. 628; 8 Cannon Sec. 2174.
      The Chair may clarify a prior response to a parliamentary inquiry. 
  Manual Sec. 628.


  Sec. 14 . Subjects of Inquiry

                        Proper Subjects of Inquiry

      The Chair responds to parliamentary inquiries relating in a 
  practical sense to the pending proceedings, such as inquiries relating 
  to the application of the rules and precedents to a pending or 
  otherwise pertinent situation. The Chair has entertained parliamentary 
  inquiries concerning the following:

     The anticipated order of business. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
         Sec. 14.7.
     The status of the Clerk's progress in reading a document. 
         Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 14.12.
     The Speaker's authority as presiding officer. Deschler-Brown 
         Ch 29 Sec. 2.1.

                       Improper Subjects of Inquiry

      The Chair may decline to entertain an inquiry on a subject not 
  relevant to the pending question. Under this principle, the Chair has 
  declined to respond to hypothetical questions, to questions not yet 
  presented, and to requests to place pending proceedings in a 
  historical context. Manual Sec. 628. The Chair has declined, for 
  example, to anticipate whether language in a measure would trigger 
  certain executive actions or to allocate debate time on a conference 
  report not yet filed. Similarly, the Chair has declined to

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  anticipate the precedential effect of a ruling or to respond to 
  rhetorical or political characterizations of pending business.
      A proper parliamentary inquiry relates to an interpretation of a 
  House rule, not to an interpretation of a statute or of the 
  Constitution. Manual Sec. 628. A Member may not, under the guise of a 
  parliamentary inquiry, offer a motion or other proposition. He must 
  have the floor in his own right for that purpose. 8 Cannon Sec. 2625.
      In response to a parliamentary inquiry, the Chair has declined to:

     Judge the propriety of words spoken in debate pending a demand 
         that those words be ``taken down'' as unparliamentary or judge 
         the veracity of remarks in debate, or the propriety of words 
         uttered earlier in debate.
     Reexamine and explain the validity of a prior ruling.
     Judge the accuracy of the content of an exhibit.
     Indicate which side of the aisle has failed under the 
         Speaker's guidelines to clear a unanimous-consent request.
     Judge the construction or meaning of an amendment, which is a 
         matter for the House, and not the Chair, to determine.
     Characterize an amendment on which a separate vote has been 
         demanded.

  Manual Sec. 628.

                         As to Orders of the House

      The Chair ordinarily will not interpret a pending special order of 
  business prior to its adoption or render other advisory opinions. For 
  example, the Chair refused to respond to a parliamentary inquiry as to 
  whether a resolution, reported from the Committee on Rules but not yet 
  called up for consideration, would have the effect of violating the 
  rights of Members. Questions concerning informal guidelines of the 
  Committee on Rules for advance submission of amendments for possible 
  inclusion under a special rule may not be raised under the guise of a 
  parliamentary inquiry. Manual Sec. 628.


  Sec. 15 . Timeliness of Inquiry

                                 Generally

      The Chair may decline to respond to a parliamentary inquiry that 
  is untimely. The Chair does not respond to a parliamentary inquiry 
  concerning the propriety of a proposition until the proposition is 
  offered. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 15.11.

                       Inquiries Raised During Votes

      During a vote, the Chair may refuse to entertain a parliamentary 
  inquiry that is not related to the vote, although he may entertain an 
  inquiry relating to the conduct of the call. Manual Sec. 628; 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 15.14,

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  15.15. A parliamentary inquiry may not interrupt a division. However, 
  such inquiries are entertained until the Chair asks those in favor of 
  the proposition to rise. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 15.19, 15.20. 
  Similarly, the Speaker may entertain a parliamentary inquiry after the 
  yeas and nays are ordered, but before the vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 
  Sec. 15.18.
      The Chair may decline to entertain a parliamentary inquiry as to 
  the cost of conducting the pending vote on the ground that the inquiry 
  is not relevant to the pending question. 103-1, June 10, 1993, p 
  12482.


  Sec. 16 . As Related to Other Business

      A parliamentary inquiry may interrupt matters of high privilege, 
  such as an impeachment proceeding. 6 Cannon Sec. 541. However, during 
  the reading of a bill for amendment, a Member is not entitled to a 
  parliamentary inquiry that would interrupt the reading of a paragraph 
  or section of the bill. 8 Cannon Sec. 2873.
      The reading of the Journal may be interrupted by a parliamentary 
  inquiry. 6 Cannon Sec. 624. Furthermore, the Speaker may entertain a 
  parliamentary inquiry relating to the order of business before the 
  approval of the Journal. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 15.9.

                               During Debate

      A Member may not be taken from the floor by a parliamentary 
  inquiry. The Member controlling debate must yield for that purpose. 
  The Chair exercises his discretion in recognition for a parliamentary 
  inquiry only when no other Member is occupying the floor for debate. 
  Manual Sec. 628; Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. Sec. 15.1, 15.2.
      Time consumed by a parliamentary inquiry is charged to the Member 
  controlling time who yields for that purpose. When the Chair 
  recognizes a Member for a parliamentary inquiry when no other Member 
  has the floor, the Member controlling debate is not charged for the 
  time so consumed. Deschler-Brown Ch 31 Sec. 15.4.