[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 36. Order of Business; Privileged Business]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

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                              HOUSE PRACTICE

              A. The Daily Order of Business

  Sec. 1. In General; Varying the Order of Business
  Sec. 2. Sequence of Particular Business
  Sec. 3. The Daily Practice

              B. Privileged Business

  Sec. 4. In General; Under the Constitution
  Sec. 5. Business Privileged by House Rule
  Sec. 6. -- Privilege of Particular Business
  Sec. 7. -- Privileged Motions
        Research References
          4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 3056-3152
          6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 708-757
          Deschler Ch 21 Sec. Sec. 1-8, 28-31
          Manual Sec. Sec. 869-901

                      A. The Daily Order of Business

  Sec. 1 . In General; Varying the Order of Business


      The order or sequence in which business is taken up for floor 
  consideration is governed by various House rules. A general rule for 
  the ``daily order of business'' is set forth in rule XIV clause 1. 
  Manual Sec. 869. The order of business may be affected by rule XV, 
  Business in Order on Special Days, which includes: Suspensions (clause 
  1), the Discharge Calendar (clause 2), the Private Calendar (clause 
  5), the Corrections Calendar (clause 6), and Calendar Wednesday 
  (clause 7). Manual Sec. Sec. 885-900. The order of business specified 
  by rule XV may be varied by a special order of the House as described 
  in Consideration and Debate and Special Orders of Business.
      Although rule XIV states the daily order of business, it does not 
  bind the House to a fixed daily routine. Other House rules make 
  certain important subjects privileged so as to permit the daily order 
  of business to be inter

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  rupted or even supplanted entirely for days at a time. See 
  Sec. Sec. 4-7, infra. Indeed, rule XIV clause 1 qualifies the daily 
  order of business with the following parenthetical: ``(unless varied 
  by the application of other rules and except for the disposition of 
  matters of higher precedence).'' Although privileged matters may 
  interrupt the order of business, procedural questions-- such as a vote 
  on adopting a special rule, a motion to resolve into the Committee of 
  the Whole, or the question of consideration--may precede their 
  consideration. This system enables the House to give precedence to its 
  most important business without losing the power by majority vote to 
  go to any other bills on its calendars. For a list of privileged 
  matters that may interrupt the order of business, see Manual 
  Sec. Sec. 870, 871.
      The order of business also may be affected by the Speaker's 
  discretionary authority to recognize Members on particular questions. 
  See Recognition.

                            Scheduling Business

      The business of the House is scheduled by the Speaker and the 
  Members who constitute the leadership of the majority party, acting in 
  concert with the leadership of each standing committee and the 
  majority members of the Committee on Rules. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 1. The 
  daily or weekly agenda of the House is ordinarily formulated by the 
  Leadership and implemented by special rules reported from the 
  Committee on Rules and adopted by the House. The legislative schedule 
  for the House is announced to the Members by the Majority Leader or 
  Whip or his designee or, rarely, by the Speaker himself. Deschler Ch 
  21 Sec. 1.1. Such announcement is usually a response to a question 
  asked by the Minority Leader or his designee during a ``customarily 
  long one-minute speech'' at the end of the legislative week. 105-2, 
  Mar. 27, 1998, p ____.

  Sec. 2 . Sequence of Particular Business

      The general rule specifying the daily order of business is set 
  forth in rule XIV clause 1 as follows:

     First: Prayer by the Chaplain.
     Second: Reading and approval of the Journal, unless postponed 
         under rule XX clause 8.
     Third: The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
     Fourth: Correction of reference of public bills.
     Fifth: Disposal of business on the Speaker's table as provided 
         in clause 2.
     Sixth: Unfinished business as provided in clause 3.
     Seventh: The morning hour for the consideration of bills 
         called up by committees as provided in clause 4.

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     Eighth: Motions that the House resolve into the Committee of 
         the Whole House on the state of the Union subject to clause 5.
     Ninth: Orders of the day.

      Ranked first in the daily order of business is the prayer. No 
  business is in order before the prayer, which is offered daily when 
  the House meets. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 2.
      The next order of business is the approval of the Journal. Only 
  messages from the President or the Senate may be received and 
  questions of the privileges of the House raised before the approval of 
  the Journal. No other business, including privileged business, may 
  intervene. See Journal.
      Following the approval of the Journal is the Pledge of Allegiance 
  to the Flag, which is led by a Member at the invitation of the 
  Speaker. One-minute speeches, although not provided for by rule XIV, 
  are sometimes entertained by unanimous consent following the Pledge of 
  Allegiance. Sec. 3, infra. It is then in order to offer motions or 
  unanimous-consent requests to correct the reference of public bills. 
  See Introduction and Reference of Bills.
      Rule XIV next provides for the disposal of business on the 
  Speaker's table. Under rule XIV clause 2, such business consists of 
  the referral of executive communications, messages from the President, 
  and messages from the Senate; motions to dispose of certain Senate 
  bills and resolutions; and motions to dispose of Senate amendments. 
  Manual Sec. 873. Messages from the President and messages from the 
  Senate are matters of privilege and may be received, laid before the 
  House, and disposed of whenever business permits. Deschler Ch 21 
  Sec. 2. Disposition of Senate bills, see Senate Bills; Amendments 
  Between the Houses.
      Under the prescribed order of business in rule XIV, the motion to 
  resolve into Committee of the Whole is in order after the morning hour 
  for consideration of bills reported by committees and before ``orders 
  of the day.'' The morning hour and ``orders of the day'' have not been 
  used in many years, the House relying instead on special orders, which 
  often supersede the regular order of business for lengthy periods. 4 
  Hinds Sec. 3056; see Special Orders of Business.
      An order of business resolution reported from the Committee on 
  Rules, permitting the Speaker to declare that the House resolve into 
  the Committee of the Whole to consider a particular bill, gives 
  precedence to such declaration when no other business is pending. Rule 
  XVIII clause 2(b). Under rule XVIII clause 4, the motion to resolve 
  into the Committee of the Whole is privileged for consideration of 
  general appropriation bills. The motion to resolve into the Committee 
  of the Whole may also be made privileged by the provisions of a 
  statute. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 30.8.

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      As to when particular matters are in order, see Appropriations; 
  Calendars; Conferences Between the Houses; District of Columbia 
  Business; Private Calendar; Questions of Privilege; Quorums; 
  Resolutions of Inquiry; and Veto of Bills.

  Sec. 3 . The Daily Practice

      The sequence of events on the House floor on any given day may, 
  and usually does, vary from the order prescribed by rule XIV clause 1. 
  Certain customs and norms have developed over recent years that allow 
  Members to express their concerns on matters not pending before the 
  House or scheduled for consideration in the daily or weekly agenda. 
  One-minute speeches, special-order speeches, and ``morning-hour'' 
  debate are all vehicles for this type of free expression. See 
  Consideration and Debate.
      On each legislative day, certain events do occur in a predictable 
  order. The prayer, the approval of the Journal, and the Pledge of 
  Allegiance all occur in sequence, although the actual vote on the 
  approval of the Journal may be postponed.
      Before reaching the scheduled business of the day, the Speaker 
  usually agrees to recognize Members for one-minute speeches. He may 
  limit the number if the anticipated legislative schedule is full. See 
  Consideration and Debate for practices and norms relating to such 
  speeches. Because of the precise language in the rules governing the 
  Private Calendar, the Corrections Calendar, and the discharge rule, 
  one-minute speeches may await the disposition of those types or 
  classes of business.
      Following the disposition of one-minute speeches, and throughout 
  the legislative day, the Chair lays down messages received from the 
  President or the Senate. The Chair also makes announcements concerning 
  appointments or informing the House of communications addressed to him 
  in his official capacity.
      Following one-minute speeches, the House normally proceeds to 
  business holding a privileged status for that day. That special status 
  may be set by a standing rule, by a special order reported by the 
  Committee on Rules, or by an order previously adopted by the House 
  either by unanimous consent or motion to suspend the rules.
      Once this business is reached, the prescribed order is still 
  subject to some flexibility. Certain record votes may be postponed or 
  ``clustered'' to occur in sequence, pursuant to the Speaker's 
  authority under rule XX clause 8.
      When scheduled business has been completed, it is again customary 
  for Members to be given an opportunity to address the House on other 

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   Special-order speeches may be granted, by unanimous consent for five 
  minutes or by designation of party leaders for up to one hour a 
  Member. Limits on the number and duration of such speeches have been 
  mutually agreed upon by the leadership of the two parties and enforced 
  by the exercise of the Speaker's power of recognition.

                          B. Privileged Business

  Sec. 4 . In General; Under the Constitution

      Privileged business is business of such importance as to enjoy 
  precedence over the regular order of business. It is business that can 
  supersede or interrupt other matters that might otherwise be called up 
  or be pending before the House. Manual Sec. Sec. 853-856, 870, 871.
      Privileged questions are to be distinguished from what are termed 
  ``questions of privilege.'' Privileged questions relate to the order 
  or priority of business under the rules of the House, whereas 
  ``questions of privilege'' pertain to the safety and dignity of the 
  House, to the integrity of its proceedings, or to the rights or 
  reputation of its Members under rule IX. 3 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2654, 2718; 
  see Questions of Privilege.
      Privilege may derive from language used in the Constitution, from 
  the rules and practices of the House, and from statutes enacted 
  pursuant to the legislative rulemaking power. For example, a veto 
  message from the President is privileged for consideration when 
  received by the House. This privilege arises from article I, section 
  7, clause 2 of the Constitution. See Veto of Bills. Likewise, since 
  the exclusive power of the House in the impeachment of civil officers 
  arises from article I, section 2, clause 5 of the Constitution, the 
  House has determined that propositions to impeach, and reports from a 
  committee investigating charges of impeachment, are highly privileged. 
  See Impeachment. Similarly, since article VI, clause 3 of the 
  Constitution provides that Representatives shall take an oath, the 
  administration of the oath to Members is privileged. A Member-elect 
  appearing during a session may be administered the oath as a matter of 
  the highest privilege that may interrupt other business. See Oaths.
      Certain propositions are privileged for consideration because of 
  indirect constitutional mandate. Examples include concurrent 
  resolutions for adjournment sine die or to a day certain and motions 
  incident to establishing a quorum, which are discussed in Adjournment 
  and Quorums. However, privilege is not conferred merely because the 
  question is one committed to the House under the Constitution. Manual 
  Sec. 702. For example, a resolution to confirm the nomination of the 
  Vice President, a duty committed to the

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  House under the 25th amendment to the Constitution, is not privileged 
  for consideration. Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 28.

  Sec. 5 . Business Privileged by House Rule

      A variety of bills, reports, resolutions, and motions are 
  privileged under the House rules. Some committees are given the power 
  to report to the House at any time on certain subjects. See 
  Committees. Certain kinds of reports by a committee are privileged, 
  including reports on the contempt of witnesses and on resolutions of 
  inquiry, which are discussed in Contempt and Resolutions of Inquiry.
      In order to retain its privilege, a privileged report must be 
  submitted as privileged from the floor while the House is in session 
  (and not filed in the hopper). A committee may, however, obtain by 
  unanimous consent permission to file a privileged report with the 
  Clerk while the House is not in session, or a committee may file with 
  the Clerk without unanimous consent after the time for compiling views 
  has expired. Rule XIII clause 2(c); Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 29.
      Privilege of matters relating to election contests, see Election 
  Contests and Disputes.

  Sec. 6 . -- Privilege of Particular Business

      The House rules make certain important subjects privileged, which 
  permit the daily order of business to be interrupted or even 
  supplanted entirely for days at a time. Among the privileged matters 
  that may interrupt the order of business are:

     General appropriation bills. Rule XIII clause 5.
     Conference reports. Rule XXII clause 7.
     Motions to request or agree to a conference. Rule XXII clause 
     Special orders reported by the Committee on Rules. Rule XIII 
         clause 5.
     Consideration of amendments between the Houses after 
         disagreement. Rule XXII clause 4.
     Questions of privilege. Rule IX; see Questions of Privilege.
     Bills coming over from a previous day with the previous 
         question ordered. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5510-5517.
     Bills returned with the objections of the President. 4 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 3534-3536.

      Some propositions are privileged for consideration on certain days 
  of the week or month. On any Monday or Tuesday, for example, the 
  Speaker may recognize Members to move to suspend the rules and pass 
  bills. Rule XV clause 1. The second and fourth Mondays of the month 
  are set apart for District of Columbia business. Rule XV clause 4. 
  Bills on the Private

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  Calendar are called on the first Tuesday of the month and also on the 
  third Tuesday if directed by the Speaker. Rule XV clause 5. The 
  Speaker has the discretion to dispense with the call of the Private 
  Calendar on the third Tuesday. Manual Sec. 897. The Speaker has 
  discretion to direct the call of Corrections Calendar bills on the 
  second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Rule XV clause 6.
      Other classes of business not only are given a prescribed day but 
  also are keyed to a specific reference in the order of business 
  prescribed in rule XIV clause 1. For example, motions to discharge, 
  when perfected and otherwise eligible, can be called up after the 
  approval of the Journal. Rule XV clause 2. District of Columbia 
  business is given a position following ``disposal of such business on 
  the Speaker's table as requires reference only.'' Rule XV clause 4. 
  Both the provisions that designate a day for the class of business, 
  and those that give the class a specified place in the order of 
  business, can be changed by the House by adoption of a special order 
  from the Committee on Rules, a unanimous-consent agreement, or a 
  motion to suspend the rules.
      The privileged status that is conferred on certain classes of 
  business does not necessarily carry with it an exemption from 
  applicable layover requirements of the House rules. Thus, a conference 
  report may be called up for consideration as privileged business only 
  after the report has been filed and is in compliance with the three-
  day and two-hour availability requirements of rule XXII clause 8. See 
  Conferences Between the Houses.
      When the Speaker is faced with competing Members seeking 
  recognition for consideration of different items of business, he must 
  determine whether one class or type of business is of a higher 
  precedence than the other. In making these determinations, he relies 
  on the House rules that give the matter precedence and on prior 
  rulings of the Chair that may predetermine his choice. For a 
  compilation of such rulings, see Deschler Ch 21 Sec. 31. They are of 
  lesser relevance in the modern practice since the House usually 
  determines the order of consideration by adoption of a special order 
  reported from the Committee on Rules. Also, the priority of 
  propositions of equal privilege may be determined by the Chair as 
  within his power of recognition.

  Sec. 7 . -- Privileged Motions

      Certain motions relating to the order of business are given 
  precedence under the rules of the House. Examples include the motion 
  to suspend the rules, which may be used to change the order of 
  business as well as to adopt a measure, and the motion to dispense 
  with Calendar Wednesday. See Sus

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  pension of Rules and Calendar Wednesday. The motion that the House 
  resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole to consider a general 
  appropriation bill is likewise privileged under the rules. See 
      When called up pursuant to the provisions of the discharge rule 
  under rule XV clause 2(d), a motion to discharge a committee is 
  privileged; and the Speaker may decline to recognize for a matter not 
  related to the proceedings. 7 Cannon Sec. 1010. Such motions take 
  precedence over business merely privileged under the general rules of 
  the House. 7 Cannon Sec. 1011; see Discharging Measures From 
      If authorized by the committee (or committees) with jurisdiction 
  over the bill, a motion to send a matter to conference is privileged 
  under rule XXII clause 1. Manual Sec. 1069. The motion is privileged 
  at any time the House is in possession of the papers if the 
  appropriate committee has authorized the motion and the Speaker in his 
  discretion recognizes for that purpose. Manual Sec. 1070. A motion to 
  discharge or instruct conferees is privileged under rule XXII clause 
  7(c). See Conferences Between the Houses.
      For a discussion of precedence of secondary motions, see 
  Amendments; Lay on the Table; Postponement; Previous Question; 
  Reconsideration; and Refer and Recommit.