[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 8. Calendar Wednesday]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                     CHAPTER 8 - CALENDAR WEDNESDAY

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec.  1. In General; Forms
  Sec.  2. Business Considered on Calendar Wednesday
  Sec.  3. -- In Committee of the Whole
  Sec.  4. Privilege and Precedence of Calendar Wednesday Business
  Sec.  5. The Call of Committees
  Sec.  6. Calling Up Calendar Wednesday Business; Authorization
  Sec.  7. The Question of Consideration
  Sec.  8. Consideration and Debate
  Sec.  9. -- Use of Additional or Subsequent Wednesdays
  Sec. 10. Unfinished Business; Effect of Previous Question
  Sec. 11. Dispensing with Calendar Wednesday
        Research References
          7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 881-971
          Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4
          Manual Sec. Sec. 900, 901


  Sec. 1 . In General; Forms

      Under rule XV clause 7, the Calendar Wednesday rule, Wednesdays 
  are set apart for the consideration, pursuant to a call of committees, 
  of unprivileged bills on the House and Union Calendars. The Calendar 
  Wednesday procedure is utilized infrequently due to its cumbersome 
  operation and to the fact that unprivileged bills may be considered 
  more effectively pursuant to other procedures, such as a special order 
  from the Committee on Rules, suspension of the rules, or unanimous 
  consent. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.
      The Calendar Wednesday rule may be dispensed with and does not 
  apply during the last two weeks of a session. Manual Sec. 900; 
  Sec. 11, infra.

                                   Form

      Speaker: Today is Calendar Wednesday, and the Clerk will call the 
    roll of committees.
      Member (when his committee is called): Mr. Speaker, by direction 
    of the Committee on __________, I call up the bill H.R. ______.

      Note: Calendar Wednesday business may be called up only on formal 
  authorization by the committee. A Mem

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  ber without such authorization may not call up the bill if objection 
  is made. Sec. 6, infra.

      Speaker: This bill is on the House Calendar. The Clerk will report 
    the bill.
      [or, if the bill is on the Union Calendar . . .]
      Speaker: This bill is on the Union Calendar, and under the rule 
    the House automatically resolves itself into the Committee of the 
    Whole House on the state of the Union, with the gentleman from 
    ______, Mr. ______, in the Chair.
      Chairman: The House is in the Committee of the Whole House on the 
    state of the Union for the [further] consideration of the bill H.R. 
    ______, which the Clerk will report [by title].

      Note: When first called up, the bill is read in full unless 
  reading is dispensed with by unanimous consent. If consideration is 
  extended beyond the day, it is read by title when called up on 
  subsequent days.

      Chairman: Under the rule, general debate is limited to two hours, 
    and the Chair will recognize the gentleman from ______, Mr. ______ 
    [usually the chairman of the committee], for the hour in favor of 
    the bill and later the gentleman from ______, Mr. ______ [usually 
    the ranking minority member of the committee], for the hour in 
    opposition. The gentleman from ______, is recognized.


  Sec. 2 . Business Considered on Calendar Wednesday

      Committees called under the Calendar Wednesday rule may call up 
  for consideration any unprivileged bill on either the House or the 
  Union Calendar but not on the Private Calendar. Manual Sec. 900; 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4. No priority is given to bills on the House or 
  the Union Calendar. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 938, 963.
      The Calendar Wednesday procedure applies only to bills reported 
  from committee and not to amendments between the Houses or to 
  unreported bills. 98-2, June 28, 1984, p 19770. Another limitation of 
  rule XV clause 7(b) is that it applies only to unprivileged public 
  bills. Manual Sec. 900. A privileged bill is ineligible for 
  consideration under the Calendar Wednesday rule, whether it is 
  reported from the floor or delivered to the Clerk. 7 Cannon Sec. 936. 
  Unprivileged bills given privileged status by unanimous-consent 
  agreement or special order are ineligible for consideration under the 
  Calendar Wednesday procedure. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 932-935.
      The purpose of the Calendar Wednesday rule is to preserve that day 
  for the class of legislation specified by the rule--namely, 
  unprivileged bills. Manual Sec. 900. Committee reports on bills may be 
  filed on Calendar Wednesday, but they may not be called up for 
  consideration or other action on such days. 7 Cannon Sec. 907.

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      When Calendar Wednesday business is being considered under the 
  rule, it is not in order to:

     Move a change of reference. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 884, 2117.
     Call up a conference report. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 899-901.
     Offer a motion for recess. Manual Sec. 900.
     Call up a privileged bill, even though given privileged status 
         by special order. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 932, 934, 935.
     Call up a private bill. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.10.
     Consider business coming over from Tuesday with the previous 
         question ordered. 7 Cannon Sec. 890.
     Call up a resolution of inquiry or move to discharge a 
         committee from the consideration of such a resolution. 7 Cannon 
         Sec. Sec. 896-898.

      On Calendar Wednesdays, the Speaker ordinarily declines to 
  entertain unanimous-consent requests not connected with Calendar 
  Wednesday business. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 882-888. However, the House may 
  by unanimous consent, prior to the call of committees on Calendar 
  Wednesday, permit a one-minute speech (Deschler-Brown Ch 29 
  Sec. 10.62), allow a bill to be sent to a House-Senate conference 
  (Manual Sec. 901), or permit consideration of a resolution electing a 
  committee chairman (98-2, Jan. 25, 1984, p 357).


  Sec. 3 . -- In Committee of the Whole

      When a bill on the Union Calendar is called up on Calendar 
  Wednesday, the House automatically resolves into the Committee of the 
  Whole without motion from the floor. Manual Sec. 901. When such a bill 
  comes up as the unfinished business on the next Calendar Wednesday 
  when the same committee can be recognized, the House automatically 
  resolves into the Committee of the Whole immediately without waiting 
  for the call; and debate is resumed from the point at which it was 
  discontinued on the previous Wednesday. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 940, 942, 
  966; Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.26.
      On rejection by the House of a recommendation by the Committee of 
  the Whole for peremptory disposition of a bill under consideration on 
  Calendar Wednesday, the House automatically resolves into the 
  Committee of the Whole for its further consideration. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 943.
      Resolving into the Committee generally, see Committees of the 
  Whole.


  Sec. 4 . Privilege and Precedence of Calendar Wednesday Business

      No business in order on Calendar Wednesdays may precede the call 
  of committees unless the call has been dispensed with as provided for 
  in rule XV clause 7. Manual Sec. 900; 7 Cannon Sec. 881. Calendar 
  Wednesday business

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  is privileged matter which may interrupt the daily order of business 
  as specified in rule XIV clause 1. Manual Sec. 871. It takes 
  precedence over other business privileged under the rules, except a 
  veto message privileged under the Constitution (Deschler Ch 21 
  Sec. 4.6), a question of privilege (7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 908-911; 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.5), and the administration of the oath to 
  Members (6 Cannon Sec. 22). When the call of committees is completed 
  on Calendar Wednesday, business otherwise in order may be called up on 
  that day. 7 Cannon Sec. 921.

      The call of committees on Calendar Wednesday has precedence over:

     The consideration of conference reports. 7 Cannon 
         Sec. Sec. 899-901.
     Business provided for by special order unless the special 
         order expressly specifies Wednesday and was passed by two-
         thirds vote. 7 Cannon Sec. 773; Sec. 11, infra.
     The motion to go into Committee of the Whole to consider 
         revenue and appropriation bills. 7 Cannon Sec. 904.
     Business on which the previous question is operating and 
         undisposed of at adjournment on the preceding day. 7 Cannon 
         Sec. 890.
     The motion for change of reference to committees. 7 Cannon 
         Sec. Sec. 883, 884.
     Privileged resolutions of inquiry. 7 Cannon Sec. 896.
     Contested election cases. 7 Cannon Sec. 903.
     Motions to reconsider. 7 Cannon Sec. 905.
     Certain procedural propositions relating to impeachment. 7 
         Cannon Sec. 902.
     Budget messages from the President. 7 Cannon Sec. 914.
     Senate bills privileged because of similarity to a bill on the 
         House Calendar. 7 Cannon Sec. 906.
     Unanimous-consent requests generally. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 882-
         888.

      Motions to reconsider may be entered but not considered. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 905. Privileged reports may be presented for printing but without 
  the right to call up for immediate consideration. 7 Cannon Sec. 907.


  Sec. 5 . The Call of Committees

      Committees are called seriatim in the order in which they appear 
  in rule X, the call being limited to those committees which have been 
  elected. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 922, 923, 925. Select committees with 
  legislative jurisdiction are called after standing committees. 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4. When a committee is reached during a Calendar 
  Wednesday call of committees, it is ordinarily not in order to ask 
  recognition for any purpose other than to call up a bill for 
  consideration. 6 Cannon Sec. 754.
      During a call of committees under the rule, a committee may not 
  yield or exchange its order of rotation. 7 Cannon Sec. 927. Any 
  committee declining

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  to proceed with consideration of a bill when called on Wednesday loses 
  that opportunity until again called in regular order. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 926.


  Sec. 6 . Calling Up Calendar Wednesday Business; Authorization

                                 Generally

      The Calendar Wednesday rule permits committees to call up 
  unprivileged bills from either the House Calendar or the Union 
  Calendar, provided that there has been compliance with other rules of 
  the House requiring that the measure and the report thereon be 
  available for three days prior to consideration. Manual Sec. Sec. 850, 
  900.
      Calendar Wednesday business may be called up only on formal 
  authorization by the reporting committee. 7 Cannon Sec. 929. Rule XIII 
  clause 2(b), requiring the chairman of each committee to take 
  necessary steps to bring reported measures to a vote, is sufficient 
  authority for the chairman to call up a bill on Calendar Wednesday. 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.16. However, any other committee member must 
  obtain specific authorization of his committee to call up a reported 
  bill on Calendar Wednesday. Manual Sec. 901; 4 Hinds Sec. 3128; 7 
  Cannon Sec. Sec. 928, 929. Committee authorization to a committee 
  member to ``use all parliamentary means to bring the bill before the 
  House'' is sufficient authorization to the member to call up the bill 
  on Calendar Wednesday. 8 Cannon Sec. 2217. Authority having been given 
  to one Member to call up a bill, another may not be recognized for 
  that purpose if objection is made. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 928, 929. Only 
  the member authorized by the committee reporting the bill may call up 
  that bill on Calendar Wednesday. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.12. It is 
  within the discretion of the committee to determine which member to 
  authorize to call up the bill. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.15.

                                Withdrawal

      After a bill has been called up on Calendar Wednesday, it may be 
  withdrawn at any time before amendment. 7 Cannon Sec. 930.


  Sec. 7 . The Question of Consideration

      The question of consideration may be demanded on a bill called up 
  under the Calendar Wednesday rule. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.18. The 
  question is properly raised after the Clerk has read the title of the 
  bill. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.20. The question of consideration is 
  properly raised on a Union Calendar bill in the House before going 
  into Committee of the Whole. 7 Cannon Sec. 952. If the question is 
  decided in the affirmative, the House automatically resolves itself 
  into the Committee of the Whole for the consideration of the bill. 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.20.

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      The refusal of the House to consider a bill called up under the 
  Calendar Wednesday rule does not preclude the bill from being brought 
  up under another procedure, such as pursuant to a rule from the 
  Committee on Rules. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.19.
      It is not in order to reconsider the vote whereby the House has 
  declined to consider a proposition under the Calendar Wednesday rule. 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.25.


  Sec. 8 . Consideration and Debate

                               In the House

      The hour rule for debate applies to House Calendar bills called up 
  in the House on Calendar Wednesday as on other days, and the Member in 
  charge of the bill may move the previous question at any time after 
  debate begins. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 955-957.

                         In Committee of the Whole

      The Calendar Wednesday rule allows not more than two hours of 
  general debate on any measure called up on Calendar Wednesday, to be 
  confined to the subject and to be equally divided between those 
  favoring and those opposing. Manual Sec. 900. This provision has been 
  construed as applying only in the Committee of the Whole. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 955. The two hours permitted by the rule may be reduced by the 
  House by unanimous consent to one hour. 98-2, Jan. 25, 1984, pp 357, 
  358. However, time allotted for debate under the rule may not be 
  extended in the Committee of the Whole even by unanimous consent. 7 
  Cannon Sec. 959. When a bill previously debated is called up for the 
  first time on Calendar Wednesday, consideration may proceed in the 
  Committee of the Whole as if there had been no previous debate. 7 
  Cannon Sec. 954.
      In recognizing Members to control the time in opposition to the 
  bill, the Chair recognizes minority members of the committee reporting 
  the bill in the order of their seniority on the committee. Deschler Ch 
  21 Sec. 4.24. They are entitled to prior recognition to oppose it, but 
  if no member of the committee rises to oppose it, any Member may be 
  recognized in opposition. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 958, 959. The bill is 
  read for amendment at the conclusion of an hour in favor of the bill 
  if no one rises in opposition. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 960, 961.

                                Amendments

      In the Committee of the Whole, amendments may not be offered until 
  the close of the two hours of debate, and the bill is taken up under 
  the five-minute rule and read by section for amendment. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 960. Committee

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  amendments are considered first as each section is reached. When the 
  reading of the bill under the five-minute rule has been completed, the 
  Committee rises and reports to the House. See Committees of the Whole.


  Sec. 9 . -- Use of Additional or Subsequent Wednesdays

      In its original form, the Calendar Wednesday rule was largely 
  ineffective. It permitted extended consideration of bills by a single 
  committee, to the exclusion of other committees. Sometimes Wednesdays 
  were monopolized by one committee for an entire session. This defect 
  was remedied by the adoption in 1916 of a proviso to the rule which 
  prohibited committees from occupying more than one Wednesday in 
  succession to the exclusion of other committees. 7 Cannon Sec. 881. 
  Today, a committee called under the Calendar Wednesday rule is not 
  entitled to a second Wednesday to complete its business on a bill 
  until the other committees have been called, unless the previous 
  question is operating at adjournment. 8 Cannon Sec. 2680. However, the 
  House may by two-thirds vote authorize completion on a subsequent 
  Wednesday of an unfinished bill. Manual Sec. 900; 7 Cannon Sec. 946; 8 
  Cannon Sec. 2680.
      The motion to grant a committee an additional Wednesday under the 
  second proviso of the Calendar Wednesday rule is in order in the House 
  prior to the Wednesday on which the committees are again called. 7 
  Cannon Sec. 946. The motion is not in order in the Committee of the 
  Whole. Manual Sec. 900.
      Any portion of a day is considered an entire day in the 
  apportionment of Calendar Wednesdays to committees. 7 Cannon Sec. 945.


  Sec. 10 . Unfinished Business; Effect of Previous Question

      Where the previous question has been ordered on a bill on Calendar 
  Wednesday, and the House adjourns, the bill becomes the unfinished 
  business on the next legislative day. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 895, 967; 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. Sec. 4.17, 4.28. Where a quorum fails on ordering 
  the previous question on a bill under consideration on a Calendar 
  Wednesday, and the House adjourns, the vote goes over until the next 
  Calendar Wednesday available to the committee reporting the bill. 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.29.
      When the House adjourns on Tuesday without voting on a proposition 
  on which the previous question was ordered, the question occurs not on 
  Wednesday but on Thursday. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 890-894. In one 
  instance, a bill on which the previous question had been ordered at 
  adjournment on Wednesday was taken up as the unfinished business on 
  Thursday and took

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  precedence of a motion to go into the Committee of the Whole for the 
  consideration of a bill privileged by special order. 8 Cannon 
  Sec. 2674.
      It is not in order on a regular legislative day to move to 
  postpone consideration of a pending measure to a Calendar Wednesday. 8 
  Cannon Sec. 2614. A bill postponed from a Wednesday to a subsequent 
  Wednesday becomes unfinished business to be considered when the 
  committee calling it up is called again in its turn. 7 Cannon 
  Sec. 970.


  Sec. 11 . Dispensing with Calendar Wednesday

                                 Generally

      Calendar Wednesday business may be dispensed with by unanimous 
  consent, normally pursuant to a request made by the Majority Leader 
  during the previous week; but such a request may be entertained at any 
  time prior to the beginning of the call. Deschler Ch 21 
  Sec. Sec. 4.40-4.42.
      Calendar Wednesday business may also be dispensed with pursuant to 
  motion under rule XV clause 7. A Member may propose the motion to 
  dispense with Calendar Wednesday any time on Wednesday or any 
  preceding day. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 915, 916; Deschler Ch 21 
  Sec. Sec. 4.30, 4.31. For example, the motion may precede District of 
  Columbia business under rule XV clause 4. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.33.
      Debate on the motion to dispense with Calendar Wednesday is 
  limited to 10 minutes, to be divided, five minutes in favor of the 
  motion and five minutes in opposition. Manual Sec. 900. In recognizing 
  a Member for the five minutes in opposition to the motion, the Speaker 
  extends preference to a member of the committee having the call. 
  Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.35.
      A two-thirds vote of the Members present is required for its 
  adoption. Manual Sec. 900. The motion to dispense may not be laid on 
  the table. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 4.36. If there are no bills on the 
  calendar eligible for consideration under the Wednesday call of 
  committees, a motion to dispense with the business in order on that 
  day is not required. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 918-920.

                              By Special Rule

      A special rule that provides merely that a particular bill shall 
  be in order for consideration upon adoption of the special rule, or 
  from day-to-day until disposed of, does not dispense with Calendar 
  Wednesday. 7 Cannon Sec. Sec. 773, 789. Indeed, rule XIII clause 6(c) 
  specifically precludes the Committee on Rules from reporting a special 
  rule dispensing with Calendar Wednesday business by less than a two-
  thirds vote. Manual Sec. 857. However, the Committee on Rules may 
  report a special rule permitting the Speaker

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  to entertain motions to suspend the rules, which could ultimately lead 
  to the suspension of the Calendar Wednesday rule. 8 Cannon Sec. 2267.