[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 40. Private Calendar]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                      CHAPTER 40 - PRIVATE CALENDAR

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec. 1. In General
  Sec. 2. Calling the Calendar; When in Order
  Sec. 3. Waivers; Dispensing with the Call
  Sec. 4. Objections; Screening Procedures
  Sec. 5. Consideration and Debate
  Sec. 6. Omnibus Private Bills
  Sec. 7. Disposition of Unfinished Business
  Sec. 8. House-Senate Action on Private Bills
        Research References
          4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3266-3303
          7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 846-871
          Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 10-14
          Manual Sec. Sec. 895-897


  Sec. 1 . In General

               Usage and Purpose; Referrals to the Calendar

      The Private Calendar is used to facilitate the consideration of 
  bills that are limited in their applicability to particular 
  individuals or entities. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 10.
      A formal calendar for private bills was established by rule during 
  the 62d Congress. Before that time, private bills had been considered 
  pursuant to special rules from the Committee on Rules. Manual 
  Sec. 896. Today, private bills when favorably reported are delivered 
  to the Clerk for reference to the Private Calendar under the direction 
  of the Speaker. Manual Sec. Sec. 828, 831. The Speaker may correct the 
  erroneous referral of a private bill to the Union Calendar or that of 
  a public bill to the Private Calendar. Manual Sec. 828; 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 859.
      Generally, the Private Calendar and unanimous consent requests are 
  the exclusive procedures for consideration of private bills. The 
  Speaker does not schedule them under suspension of the rules.

                             Measures Eligible

      Resolutions as well as bills may be considered pursuant to the 
  Private Calendar rule. Rule XV clause 5. The use of omnibus private 
  bills--that is,

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  the consolidation into one bill of numerous private bills that have 
  been objected to by two or more Members when first called on the 
  calendar--has been permitted under the rules since 1935. Manual 
  Sec. 895. The validity of this consolidation procedure has been 
  sustained. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 13.1.
      Rule XII clause 4 prohibits the introduction of certain private 
  bills. See Bills and Resolutions.


  Sec. 2 . Calling the Calendar; When in Order

      The Private Calendar is called up on the first and third Tuesdays 
  of the month after the disposal of ``such business on the Speaker's 
  table as requires reference only. . . .'' Manual Sec. 895. The calling 
  of the calendar is mandatory on the first Tuesday unless specifically 
  dispensed with by the House and, within the Speaker's discretion, on 
  the third Tuesday. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.
      On the first Tuesday of the month, after disposition of matters 
  requiring referral but before beginning the call, the Speaker has 
  recognized a Member to call up a conference report (Deschler Ch 22 
  Sec. 11.12), for a motion for a call of the House (100-1, July 8, 
  1987, p 18972), and for a unanimous-consent request (Deschler Ch 22 
  Sec. 11).
      The call has been entertained before the Speaker recognized for a 
  privileged motion to discharge a committee from a resolution of 
  inquiry (Deschler Ch 24 Sec. 8.7) and before the consideration of a 
  veto message carried over as unfinished business (94-1, Oct. 7, 1975, 
  pp 32036-41).
      On the third Tuesday, because the call is discretionary, the 
  Speaker may entertain a unanimous-consent request for business not 
  otherwise privileged, and the call does not displace other privileged 
  business. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.3.


  Sec. 3 . Waivers; Dispensing with the Call

      Deviations from the Private Calendar rule have been permitted by 
  special order or by unanimous consent. By such means the House may:

     Permit a private bill to be considered at a time other than 
         that specified by the rule. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 11.5-11.7.
     Transfer the entire calendar to days other than those 
         specified. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.8.
     Dispense with the calendar altogether during a particular 
         week. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 4.2.
     Take up other specified business during the time for the call 
         of the calendar. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.11.
     Recommit a private bill on the calendar to committee. Deschler 
         Ch 22 Sec. 12.7.

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     Restore to the calendar measures stricken therefrom. Deschler 
         Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 12.13-12.15.
     Rescind actions previously taken in connection with the 
         calendar. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 12.16, 12.17.

      Rule XV clause 5 specifically provides for a privileged motion to 
  dispense with all or part of the call of the Private Calendar by a 
  two-thirds vote. Manual Sec. 895; Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.1. The motion 
  is debatable for 10 minutes, divided between the proponent and an 
  opponent of the motion. Manual Sec. 895.


  Sec. 4 . Objections; Screening Procedures

      Under rule XV clause 5, a bill called on the Private Calendar on 
  the first Tuesday of the month that is objected to by two or more 
  Members is automatically recommitted to the committee reporting it. On 
  the third Tuesday of each month the same procedure is followed, with 
  the exception that omnibus private bills are in order regardless of 
  objection. See Sec. 6, infra.
      The Majority Leader and the Minority Leader each appoint three 
  Members to serve as Private Calendar objectors during a Congress. 
  Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 15.3. These official objectors screen all bills 
  that are placed on the calendar. When the calendar is called, the 
  objectors may oppose or delay the consideration of any private bill 
  that they feel is objectionable for any reason. The objectors may 
  adopt and announce specific criteria that must be satisfied if a 
  private bill is to be called up for consideration on the calendar. 
  Manual Sec. 896. For example, the objectors may require that a measure 
  be on the calendar for at least seven days before being considered. 
  Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 12.1.

                                   Form

      Speaker: This is the day for the call of the Private Calendar. The 
    Clerk will call the first bill on the Private Calendar.
      [The Clerk calls the first bill by calendar number and title.]
      Speaker: Is there objection to the consideration of the bill?. . 
    .The Chair hears none. The Clerk will report the committee 
    amendments. [The Clerk reads the amendments.]
      Speaker: Without objection, the amendments are agreed to, the 
    House bill is engrossed, read a third time and passed, and a motion 
    to reconsider is laid on the table.
      [Or]
      (If at least two Members object) Speaker: Two objections are 
    heard, and the bill is recommitted.

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  Sec. 5 . Consideration and Debate

                                   Bills

      The Speaker may not entertain a reservation of the right to object 
  to the consideration of a bill or resolution on the Private Calendar. 
  Manual Sec. 895. Bills called up from the Private Calendar are 
  considered in the House as in the Committee of the Whole. Debate on 
  bills in that forum is under the five-minute rule. However, where a 
  private bill is considered independently of the calendar, pursuant to 
  a special rule from the Committee on Rules, the House may provide for 
  consideration in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. Deschler 
  Ch 22 Sec. 11.5. If a private bill is being considered in the House, 
  debate follows the hour rule. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 13.6.

                                Amendments

      Amendments to bills called on the Private Calendar are debated 
  under strict five-minute rule, with debate limited to five minutes in 
  favor of and five minutes in opposition to an amendment. Recognition 
  in opposition to such an amendment goes first to a member of the 
  committee reporting the bill. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 13.2. Recognition of 
  Members seeking to extend the debate time ordinarily will be declined. 
  Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 13.4, 13.5. Pro forma amendments are not in 
  order. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 13.13-13.17.

                   Motions to Strike the Enacting Clause

      A motion to strike the enacting clause is in order during the 
  consideration of a private bill, including an omnibus private bill. 8 
  Cannon Sec. 2786; Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 13.10. Such motion takes 
  precedence over an amendment to strike a title of the bill and is 
  debatable under the five-minute rule. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 13.11, 
  13.12.

                     Passing Over Calendared Measures

      The House by unanimous consent may provide that a bill be passed 
  over without prejudice. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 12.4-12.6. Such a 
  bill retains its place on the calendar. A request that the bill be 
  passed over comes too late after committee amendments to the bill have 
  been adopted. 96-1, Dec. 18, 1979, pp 36758, 36759.

                                   Form

      Speaker: Today is the day for the call of the Private Calendar. 
    The Clerk will call the first bill on the Private Calendar.
      [The Clerk calls the first bill by calendar number and title.]
      Member: Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that this bill be 
    passed over without prejudice.

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  Sec. 6 . Omnibus Private Bills

                                 Generally

      Omnibus private bills consist of individual private bills 
  previously recommitted after two objections and grouped together under 
  a single bill number for rereporting, consideration, and passage. They 
  are in order on the third Tuesday only, but they may be considered on 
  the first Tuesday by unanimous consent. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.2. If 
  an omnibus bill is passed by the House, it is resolved into individual 
  bills for transmittal to the Senate and subsequently to the President. 
  Manual Sec. Sec. 895, 897.

                         Consideration and Debate

      Omnibus private bills have preference over individual private 
  bills on the calendar on the third Tuesday. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.4. 
  Such bills are read by paragraph, and no amendments are entertained 
  except to strike or reduce monetary amounts or provide limitations. 
  Matters so stricken may not again be included in an omnibus bill 
  during the session. Manual Sec. 895. Where an omnibus private bill 
  improperly includes an individual private bill previously laid on the 
  table, the Chair on presentation of a point of order may order the 
  individual bill stricken from the omnibus bill. Deschler Ch 22 
  Sec. 13.18.
      Under rule XV clause 5, the Speaker may not entertain a 
  reservation of the right to object to the consideration of an omnibus 
  private bill. Amendments to measures on the Private Calendar are 
  debatable under the five-minute rule. Debate is limited to ten 
  minutes, divided between the proponent and an opponent. The rule does 
  not admit a pro forma amendment or an extension of time under the 
  five-minute rule. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. Sec. 13.2-13.5.


  Sec. 7 . Disposition of Unfinished Business

      Private Calendar bills unfinished on one Tuesday go over to the 
  next Tuesday on which such bills are in order and are considered 
  before the call of the other bills on the calendar. 7 Cannon Sec. 854. 
  Unfinished omnibus bills follow the same procedure and go over until 
  the next Tuesday on which that class of business is again in order. 
  Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 11.13. However, when the previous question is 
  ordered on a private bill, and the bill remains unfinished at 
  adjournment, the bill comes up for disposition on the next legislative 
  day. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 2334, 2694.

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  Sec. 8 . House-Senate Action on Private Bills

      As in the case of public bills, Private Calendar bills are 
  messaged to the Senate after passage by the House. Omnibus bills on 
  their passage are resolved into several separate bills of which they 
  are composed and are messaged to the Senate as individual bills and 
  not as an omnibus bill. Manual Sec. 895; Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 14.1.
      If amended by the Senate, further consideration and disposition by 
  the House is effected by unanimous consent or by a special rule. The 
  House has, by suspension of the rules, adopted a resolution agreeing 
  to an unrelated Senate amendment of a public character to a private 
  bill. Deschler Ch 22 Sec. 14.7. This is an exception from the general 
  practice that the Speaker will not schedule private bills under 
  suspension of the rules.
      After passage in the House of an omnibus private bill, Senate 
  bills pending on the Speaker's table that are identical or similar to 
  those contained therein may be disposed of in the House by unanimous 
  consent. Similarly, after disposition in the House of a private Senate 
  bill, a similar House bill may be laid on the table by unanimous 
  consent. This procedure is followed so that two measures involving the 
  same private relief will not be messaged to the Senate. Deschler Ch 22 
  Sec. 14.3.