[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 113th Congress]
[House Document 112-161]
[Rules of the House of Representatives]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]
business in order on special days
suspended except by a two-thirds vote. In 1828 it was amended to provide
that the order of business, as established by the rules, should not be
changed except by a two-thirds vote. Originally contemplating motions to
suspend the rules on any day, the rule was amended in 1847 to restrict
the motion to Mondays of each week, and, in 1880, to the first and third
Mondays of each month. In 1874 the old limit of 10 days at the end of
the session was reduced to six days. In the 93d Congress, the rule was
amended to permit motions to suspend the rules on the first and third
Mondays and on the Tuesdays immediately following those days and to
eliminate the distinction between days on which committees and
individuals had preference (H. Res. 6, Jan. 3, 1973, pp. 26, 27). In the
95th Congress, the rule was amended to permit such motions on every
Monday and Tuesday (H. Res. 5, Jan. 4, 1977, 95th Cong., pp. 53-70).
During the first session of the 108th Congress, the House authorized the
Speaker to entertain motions that the House suspend the rules on
Wednesdays through the second Wednesday in April as though under this
clause (sec. 3(d), H. Res. 5, Jan. 7, 2003, p. 11). That authority was
extended by unanimous consent through the last Wednesday in June (Apr.
30, 2003, p. 10063) and by resolution through the entire 108th Congress
(H. Res. 297, June 26, 2003, p. 16275). In the 109th Congress, the House
amended the rule to permit motions to suspend the rules every Wednesday
(sec. 2(e), H. Res. 5, Jan. 4, 2005, p. 43). Before the House recodified
its rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former
clause 1 of rule XXVII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47).
This provision (formerly clause 1 of rule XXVII) developed from a rule
adopted in 1794, which provided that no rule should be rescinded without
one day's notice. In 1822 a paragraph was added that no rule should be
885. Motions to suspend the rules.
1. (a) A rule may not be
suspended except by a vote of two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum
being present. The Speaker may not entertain a motion that the House
suspend the rules except on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and during
the last six days of a session of Congress.
Although the normal use of the motion is to pass or adopt a
noncontroversial measure, the motion may also be used to change or
suspend a rule or order that is susceptible to suspension or to suspend
the parliamentary law of Jefferson's Manual (V, 6796, 6862). The rules
forbid the Speaker to entertain a motion to suspend the rules relating
to the privilege of the floor (clause 2(b) of rule IV; V, 7283; VIII,
3634), the use of the Hall of the House (clause 2(b) of rule IV; V,
7270), or the introduction of persons in the galleries (clause 7 of rule
XVII; VI, 197).
The motion to suspend may include a series of actions, such as the
discharge of a committee from consideration of a bill and the passage of
it (V, 6850), the reconsideration of the vote passing a bill, amendment
of it, and passage again (V, 6849), the permission for a committee to
report several bills (V, 6857), an order to the Clerk to incorporate in
the engrossment of a general appropriation bill a provision not
otherwise in order (IV, 3845), an authorization to the House to
entertain a specified motion to suspend the rules on a future day not a
suspension day (IV, 3845), a motion to take a bill (V, 6288; VIII, 3425)
or a motion to reconsider, from the table (V, 5640). A motion to suspend
may provide for agreeing to a conference report that has been ruled out
of order by the Speaker (Dec. 20, 1974, p. 41860) or may provide for
passage of a bill that consists of the text of two bills previously
passed by the House (Sept. 19, 2000, p. 18510). One motion to suspend
the rules having been rejected, the Speaker may recognize for a similar
motion (Dec. 21, 1973, pp. 43270-81).
A motion to suspend the rules may provide for the passage of a bill
regardless of whether it has been reported by committee, referred to a
calendar, or even previously introduced (VIII, 3421; July 16, 1996, p.
17228). It may include an amendment without the formality of committee
approval (June 22, 1992, p. 15617). Copies of reports on bills
considered under suspension are not required to be available in advance.
No advance notice to Members of bills to be called up under suspension
of the rules is required (Mar. 20, 1978, p. 7535; Jan. 22, 2007, p.
1895) including to the sponsor (July 30, 2010, p. _). However, if a
special rule requires that the object of a motion to suspend the rules
be announced on the floor at least one hour before the Chair's
entertaining the motion, unanimous consent is required to permit the
Chair to entertain the motion before that time (Sept. 28, 1996, p.
Sec. 886. Nature of the motion to suspend the
Originally, when the House was operating under the older rules for the
order of business, the motion was used to establish a special order of
business for the consideration of a particular measure (IV, 3152, 3162;
V, 6852). In 1890, the House adopted rules for the order of business
that enabled the House on any day to consider public bills on its
calendars. About the same time, the House perfected the process of
establishing a special order of business by a majority vote through a
report from the Committee on Rules (IV, 3169). As a result of these
changes, the use of the motion to suspend gradually changed from one
that established a special order of business to one that passes or
adopts a measure (V, 6790, 6846, 6847). The latter motion suspends all
rules inconsistent with its purposes, including a rule requiring that a
recess be taken (V, 5752) or that a quorum be present when a bill is
reported from committee (Sept. 22, 1992, p. 26932).
Some older precedents indicate that the right of a Member to have read
the paper on which the Member is called to vote is not changed by the
fact that the procedure is by suspension of the rules (V, 5277; VIII,
3400), and in earlier instances the separate motion to suspend the rules
and dispense with reading of pending measures was held in order (V,
5278-84). However, under the modern practice, only the motion to suspend
the rules is itself read. The Clerk reports the title of the bill and a
motion that the measure be read in full is not in order (July 30, 2010,
p. _). Amendments included in the motion are not reported separately.
Where a motion to suspend the rules and agree to a resolution that
provided for concurring in a Senate amendment with an amendment
consisting of the text of a bill introduced in the House, the Speaker
ruled that the reading of the resolution itself was sufficient and that
it could be re-read to the House only by unanimous consent (Dec. 21,
1973, pp. 43251-63).
For a discussion of debate on the motion and the Chair's recognition
of a Member to control time in opposition to the motion, see Sec. 891,
Sec. 886a. Consideration of the motion to suspend the
The motion that the House ``suspend the rules and pass [or adopt]''
a measure is not subject to the demand for a division of the question,
either as to the two branches of the motion or as to distinct
substantive propositions in the subject of the motion (V, 6141-6143).
The motion may not be amended (V, 5322, 5405, 6858; Deschler, ch. 21,
Sec. 14.6; Apr. 11, 2000, p. 5206; July 30, 2011, p. _), and the power
to withdraw and modify the motion rests with its proponent (May 10,
2006, p. 7807). The motion may not be postponed (V, 5322) or laid on the
table (V, 5405). The motion to reconsider may not be applied to a
negative vote on the motion (V, 5645, 5646; VIII, 2781; Sept. 28, 1996,
p. 25797), although it may be applied to an affirmative vote (Sept. 28,
1996, p. 25796). The motion to refer may not be applied to the bill that
it is proposed to pass under suspension of the rules (V, 6860). Pursuant
to clause 1(b) of rule XV, the Speaker may entertain one motion to
adjourn pending a motion to suspend the rules but may not entertain any
other motion until the vote is taken on the motion to suspend the rules.
In the later practice, if the motion includes both suspension of the
rules and action on the subject, it is admitted even though another
matter is pending (V, 6834), the yeas and nays are demanded on another
privileged motion (V, 6835), or the previous question has been ordered
or moved on another matter (V, 6827, 6831-6833; VIII, 3418; Sept. 17,
1990, p. 24695). Earlier rulings did not permit a motion to suspend the
rules to permit a vote to be taken in gross on a series of pending
Senate amendments (V, 6828, 6830). The motion to suspend the rules has
been ruled out of order when the House is considering a bill under a
special order (V, 6838) or when a question of privilege under rule IX is
before the House (V, 6825, 6826; VI, 553, 565), and yields to such
questions of privilege (III, 2553; VI, 565). The motion to suspend the
rules has been held of equal privilege with the motion to instruct
conferees under former clause 1(c) of rule XXVIII (current clause 7(c)
of rule XXII), which is of the highest privilege (Mar. 1, 1988, pp.
2749, 2751, 2754). A motion to suspend the rules and approve the Journal
was held in order, although the Journal had not been read and the highly
privileged motion to fix the day to which the House should adjourn was
pending (IV, 2758). Moreover, in the absence of a motion to suspend, the
ordinary motions relating to business of the House may be made on
suspension days as on other days (IV, 3080).
The motion to suspend the rules may be made on days other than
suspension days by unanimous consent (V, 6795) or by adoption of a
resolution reported by the Committee on Rules. On suspension days the
motion to suspend the rules has been admitted at the discretion of the
Speaker since 1881 (V, 6791-6794, 6845; VIII, 3402-3404; Nov. 2, 2009,
p. _), and no appeal may be taken from the Speaker's denial of
recognition (II, 1425).
Sec. 887. Precedence of the motion to suspend the
In the early practice, when the motion to suspend the rules was used
to enable a matter to be taken up for consideration out of order, it was
not admitted when a subject was already before the House (V, 5278, 6836,
6837, 6852, 6853). However, a motion to suspend the rules was in order
to dispense with the reading of a pending measure (V, 5278). A bill
taken up under this early practice might be amended by the House (V,
6842, 6856) or withdrawn by the mover, in which case another Member
might not present it (V, 6854, 6855).
Before the 93d Congress, the rule gave to individuals preference on
the first Monday of the month for making motions to suspend the rules,
and preference on the third Mondays for committees to make the motion
(V, 6790). If on a committee day an individual motion was made and
seconded, it was then too late to make a point of order (V, 6809). In
rare instances, under earlier House practice, the Speaker called the
committees in regular order for motions to suspend the rules, but this
method was not required (V, 6810, 6811). The earlier practice also
required a motion to be formally and specifically authorized by a
committee (V, 6805-6807), including specific authorization to include an
amendment (V, 6812); but after the motion was seconded and debate had
begun it was too late to raise a question as to the authorization (V,
6808). The committee could not present a bill that had not been referred
to it (V, 6813) or was not within its jurisdiction (V, 6848).
clause 6 of rule XX the yeas and nays were ordered (IV, 3053-3055; Dec.
21, 1973, pp. 43251-63).
Sec. 888. Individual and committee motions to suspend the
Authorization by a committee is not required for the Speaker to
recognize for a motion to suspend the rules (VIII, 3410), including a
motion to suspend the rules and pass a measure ``as amended'' (June 22,
1992, p. 15617).
Sec. 889. The second of the motion to suspend the
Before the 102d Congress, certain motions to suspend the rules were
required to be seconded, if demanded, by a majority by tellers, but this
requirement was eliminated from the rule (H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 1991, p.
39). The requirement for a second was adopted in 1874, was rescinded two
years later, but was again adopted in 1880. The object of it was to
prevent consumption of the time of the House by forcing consideration of
undesirable propositions (V, 6797). The requirement (formerly clause 2
of rule XXVII) was amended in the 96th Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan. 15,
1979, pp. 7-16) so that a second was not required where printed copies
of the proposed measure were available. The constitutional right of a
Member to demand the yeas and nays, or the right of a Member under
clause 1(b) of rule XX to demand a recorded vote, did not exist on the
question of ordering a second under the former clause 2 of rule XXVII,
which only permitted the ordering of a second by tellers if a quorum was
present (V, 6032-6036; VIII, 3109; Dec. 16, 1981, p. 31851). The fact
that a majority of the Members of the House did not pass between the
tellers on the question of ordering a second did not conclusively show
that a quorum was not present in the Chamber, and the Speaker could
count the House to determine whether a quorum was actually present (Dec.
16, 1981, p. 31851). However, where a quorum failed on the vote for a
Sec. 889a. Withdrawal of motion.
A motion to suspend the
rules may be withdrawn at any time before the Chair puts the question
and a voice vote is taken thereon (V, 6840, 6844; VIII, 3405, 3419; June
5, 2012, p. _). The motion may be withdrawn by unanimous consent, even
after the Speaker has put the question on its adoption and postponed
further proceedings (Deschler, ch 21 Sec. 13.23; Dec. 5, 2012, p. _).
This provision (formerly clause 8 of rule XVI) was adopted in 1868 (V,
5743), and amended in 1911 (VIII, 2823). A technical change was effected
in the 110th Congress (sec. 505(c), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 2007, p. 19
(adopted Jan. 5, 2007)). A motion for a recess (V, 5748-5751) and for a
call of the House when there was no doubt of the presence of a quorum
(V, 5747) were held to be dilatory motions within the meaning of the
rule. But where a motion to suspend the rules has been made and, after
one motion to adjourn has been acted on, a quorum has failed, another
motion to adjourn has been admitted (V, 5744-5746).
Sec. 890. Dilatory motions pending motions to suspend
(b) Pending a motion that the House suspend the rules, the Speaker
may entertain one motion that the House adjourn but may not entertain
any other motion until the vote is taken on the suspension.
the bill, in which event some Member in favor is recognized for debate
(VIII, 3416; Oct. 5, 2004, pp. 20850-52, 20862). When the mover and the
opponent divide their time with others, the practice as to alternation
of recognitions is not insisted on so rigidly as in other debate (II,
1442). Debate should be confined to the object of the motion and may not
range to the merits of a bill not scheduled for suspension on that day
(Nov. 23, 1991, p. 34189).
This provision (formerly clause 2 of rule XXVII) was adopted in 1880
(V, 6821). It was amended and redesignated from clause 3 to clause 2 of
rule XXVII in the 102d Congress to conform to the repeal of the former
clause 2, relating to the requirement of a second (H. Res. 5, Jan. 3,
1991, p. 39). Before the House recodified its rules in the 106th
Congress, this provision was found in former clause 2 of rule XXVII.
Former clause 2 consisted of paragraph (b) and another provision
currently found in clause 1(a) of rule XIX permitting 40 minutes debate
on an otherwise debatable question on which the previous question has
been ordered without debate (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). Before the
adoption of this provision in 1880 (V, 6821) the motion to suspend the
rules was not debatable (V, 5405, 6820). The 40 minutes of debate is
divided between the mover and a Member opposed to the bill, unless it
develops that the mover is opposed to
Where recognition for the 20 minutes in opposition is contested, the
Speaker will accord priority first on the basis of true opposition, then
on the basis of committee membership, and only then on the basis of
party affiliation, the latter preference inuring to the minority party
(VIII, 3415; Nov. 18, 1991, p. 32510). The Chair will not examine the
degree of opposition to the motion by a member of the committee who
seeks the time in opposition (Aug. 3, 1999, p. 19275). Any challenge to
the Member recognized to control the time in opposition to the motion
must be made when the time is allocated by the Chair (May 15, 1984, p.
12215; Speaker Wright, June 2, 1987, p. 14223).
Discharge motions, second and fourth Mondays
This paragraph formerly included a provision dealing with the
Speaker's authority to postpone further proceedings on motions to
suspend the rules. It was added in the 93d Congress (H. Res. 998, Apr.
9, 1974, pp. 10195-99), amended in the 95th Congress (H. Res. 5, Jan. 4,
1977, pp. 53-70), and amended further in the 96th Congress (H. Res. 5,
Jan. 15, 1979, pp. 7-16). It was deleted entirely in the 97th Congress
(H. Res. 5, Jan. 5, 1981, pp. 98-113) when all of the Speaker's
postponing authorities were consolidated into clause 5 of rule I
(current clause 8 of rule XX).
Sec. 891. The 40 minutes of debate on motion to suspend
(c) A motion that the House suspend the rules is debatable for
40 minutes, one-half in favor of the motion and one-half in opposition
(b)(1) A Member may present to the Clerk a motion in writing to
(A) a committee from consideration of a public bill or public
resolution that has been referred to it for 30 legislative days; or
ation of a public bill or public resolution that has been reported by a
committee or has been referred to a committee for 30 legislative days.
(B) the Committee on Rules from consideration of a resolution that
has been referred to it for seven legislative days and that proposes a
special order of business for the consider
(2) Only one motion may be presented for a bill or resolution. A
Member may not file a motion to discharge the Committee on Rules from
consideration of a resolution providing for the consideration of more
than one public bill or public resolution or admitting or effecting a
nongermane amendment to a public bill or public resolution.
the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees.
(c) A motion presented under paragraph (b) shall be placed in the
custody of the Clerk, who shall arrange a convenient place for the
signatures of Members. A signature may be withdrawn by a Member in
writing at any time before a motion is entered on the Journal. The Clerk
shall make the signatories a matter of public record, causing the names
of the Members who have signed a discharge motion during a week to be
published in a portion of the Congressional Record designated for that
purpose on the last legislative day of the week and making cumulative
lists of such names available each day for public inspection in an
appropriate office of the House. The Clerk shall devise a means for
making such lists available to offices of the House and to the public in
electronic form. When a majority of the total membership of the House
shall have signed the motion, it shall be entered on the Journal,
published with the signatories thereto in the Record, and referred to
(d)(1) On the second and fourth Mondays of a month (except during the
last six days of a session of Congress), immediately after the Pledge of
Allegiance to the Flag, a motion to discharge that has been on the
calendar for at least seven legislative days shall be privileged if
called up by a Member whose signature appears thereon. When such a
motion is called up, the House shall proceed to its consideration under
this paragraph without intervening motion except one motion to adjourn.
Privileged motions to discharge shall have precedence in the order of
their entry on the Journal.
(2) When a motion to discharge is called up, the bill or resolution to
which it relates shall be read by title only. The motion is debatable
for 20 minutes, one-half in favor of the motion and one-half in
(e)(1) If a motion prevails to discharge the Committee on Rules from
consideration of a resolution, the House shall immediately consider the
resolution, pending which the Speaker may entertain one motion that the
House adjourn but may not entertain any other dilatory motion until the
resolution has been disposed of. If the resolution is adopted, the House
shall immediately proceed to its execution.
resolution shall be privileged if offered by a Member whose signature
appeared on the motion to discharge. The motion to proceed is not
debatable. If the motion to proceed is adopted, the bill or resolution
shall be considered immediately under the general rules of the House. If
unfinished before adjournment of the day on which it is called up, the
bill or resolution shall remain the unfinished business until it is
disposed of. If the motion to proceed is rejected, the bill or
resolution shall be referred to the appropriate calendar, where it shall
have the same status as if the committee from which it was discharged
had duly reported it to the House.
(2) If a motion prevails to discharge a committee from consideration
of a public bill or public resolution, a motion that the House proceed
to the immediate consideration of such bill or
(f)(1) When a motion to discharge originated under this clause has
once been acted on by the House, it shall not be in order to entertain
during the same session of Congress--
(A) a motion to discharge a committee from consideration of that
bill or resolution or of any other bill or resolution that, by relating
in substance to or dealing with the same subject matter, is
substantially the same; or
(B) a motion to discharge the Committee on Rules from
consideration of a resolution providing a special order of business for
the consideration of that bill or resolution or of any other bill or
resolution that, by relating in substance to or dealing with the same
subject matter, is substantially the same.
dered out of order under subparagraph (1) shall be stricken from that
(2) A motion to discharge on the Calendar of Motions to Discharge
Committees that is ren
This clause (formerly clause 3 of rule XXVII) was adopted December 8,
1931, and amended January 3, 1935 (VII, 1007). It displaced a rule
providing for a motion to instruct a committee to report a public bill
or resolution. The first discharge rule was adopted in the 61st Congress
(June 17, 1910, pp. 8439, 8445). It was amended during the 62d Congress
(Apr. 4-5, 1911, pp. 18, 80). It was further amended in the 62d Congress
(H. Res. 407, Feb. 3, 1912, p. 1685), the 68th Congress (H. Res. 146,
Jan. 18, 1924, p. 1143), and the 69th Congress (H. Res. 6, Dec. 7, 1925,
p. 383). This provision was redesignated from clause 4 to clause 3 in
the 102d Congress to conform to the repeal of the former clause 2 of
rule XXVII, relating to the requirement of a second; it was at the same
time amended to enable debate on a resolution discharged from the
Committee on Rules (H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 1991, p. 39). Under the previous
form of the rule, where the Committee on Rules was discharged from
further consideration of a resolution the House immediately voted on
adoption of the resolution (Speaker Rayburn, Jan. 24, 1944, p. 631).
In the 103d Congress, after a successful petition under this clause
placed on the calendar a motion to discharge the Committee on Rules from
further consideration of a resolution to require publication of the
names of Members who had signed pending discharge petitions, the clause
was so amended (H. Res. 134, Sept. 28, 1993, p. 22698). In the 104th
Congress the clause was amended to ensure the periodic publication of
such names (sec. 219, H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 468). Before the 103d
Congress signatures on a motion to discharge a committee were not made
public until the requisite number had signed the motion (VII, 1008; Apr.
12, 1934, p. 6489). In the 105th Congress the clause was amended to
clarify that, to be a proper object of a discharge petition, a
resolution providing a special rule must address the consideration of
only one measure and must not propose to admit or effect a nongermane
amendment (H. Res. 5, Jan. 7, 1997, p. 121). A clerical correction was
effected in the 107th Congress (sec. 2(x), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2001, p.
26) and a technical correction was effected in the 110th Congress (sec.
505(d), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 2007, p. 19 (adopted Jan. 5, 2007)). The
112th Congress clarified that paragraph (c) does not require the
disclosure of actual signatures (sec. 2(f), H. Res. 5, Jan. 5, 2011, p.
_). The 113th Congress removed several references to a ``standing''
committee (sec. 2(f), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2013, p. _).
218 signatures and is entered on the Journal, the withdrawal is printed
in the Record (Apr. 23, 1998, p. 6590).
The phrase ``a majority of the total membership of the House'' was
construed to mean 218 Members (Speaker Byrns, Apr. 15, 1936, p. 5509),
not including Delegates or the Resident Commissioner; and a Delegate or
the Resident Commissioner may not sign a discharge petition even by
unanimous consent (Oct. 1, 2003, p. 23853). The rule does not authorize
signature of discharge motions by proxy (VII, 1014). When a Member
withdraws a signature from a discharge petition at any time before it
The rule does not apply to a bill that has been reported by a
committee during the interval between the placing of a motion to
discharge on the calendar and the day when such motion is called up for
action in the House (Apr. 23, 1934, p. 7156). The Committee on Rules may
not be discharged from further consideration of a resolution providing
for an investigating committee (Apr. 23, 1934, p. 7161).
The death or resignation of a Member who has signed a motion does not
invalidate the signature (May 31, 1934, p. 10159). It may be withdrawn
by the Member's successor (Dec. 7, 1943, p. 10388; Jan. 17, 1946, p. 96;
Mar. 5, 1946, p. 1968; July 30, 1946, pp. 10464, 10491; Mar. 2, 1948,
pp. 1993, 2001; Jan. 16, 1950, p. 436). The seven days that the motion
must be on the calendar before it may be called up begins to run as of
the day the motion is placed on the calendar (Dec. 14, 1937, p. 1517). A
discharge petition in the 102d Congress received the requisite number of
signatures on the same day it was filed (May 20, 1992, p. 12222), and
subsequently by unanimous consent the House dispensed with the motion to
discharge and agreed to consider the object of the petition (a special
order of business resolution) on a date certain under the same terms as
if discharged by motion (June 4, 1992, p. 13618). In the 103d Congress a
discharge petition also received the requisite number of signatures on
the same day it was filed (Feb. 24, 1994, p. 2999). In the 103d Congress
a petition received the requisite number of signatures to enable a
motion to discharge a resolution amending this rule to require
publication of Members signing a discharge petition (Sept. 8, 1993, p.
20361). In the 107th Congress a petition received the requisite
signatures to enable a motion to discharge a rule providing for the
consideration of a measure to provide campaign finance reform (Jan. 24,
2002, pp. 145-56).
The right to close debate on a motion to discharge a committee is
reserved to the proponent of the motion (VII, 1010a); and the chair of
the committee being discharged, if opposed to the motion, has been
recognized to control the 10 minutes in opposition (Aug. 10, 1970, p.
Where a measure not requiring consideration in the Committee of the
Whole House on the state of the Union is brought before the House by a
successful motion to discharge, the Member moving its consideration is
recognized in the House under the hour rule (Aug. 10, 1970, p. 28004).
The point of order provided in clause 4 of rule XXI (formerly clause
5(a) of rule XXI) does not apply to an appropriation in a bill taken
away from a committee by the motion to discharge (VII, 1019a).
Adverse report by the Committee on Rules, second and fourth Mondays
Under Jefferson's Manual (Sec. 364, supra) a line of Members waiting
to sign a discharge petition should proceed to the rostrum from the far
right-hand aisle and should not stand between the Chair and Members
engaging in debate (Oct. 24, 1997, p. 23293).
892. Motion to discharge a committee.
2. (a) Motions to
discharge committees shall be in order on the second and fourth Mondays
of a month.
District of Columbia business, second and fourth Mondays
This provision was initially adopted January 18, 1924, amended
December 8, 1931 (VIII, 2268), January 3, 1949 (p. 16), January 3, 1951
(p. 18), January 4, 1965 (p. 24) (inserting the so-called ``21-day
rule''), January 10, 1967 (H. Res. 7, p. 28) (deleting the ``21-day
rule'' in effect in the 89th Congress), January 3, 1975 (H. Res. 988,
93d Cong., Oct. 8, 1974, p. 34470). Before the House recodified its
rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found only in former
clause 4(c) of rule XI. It is currently found in both this provision and
clause 6(e) of rule XIII (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47).
893. Adverse report by Rules Committee.
3. An adverse
report by the Committee on Rules on a resolution proposing a special
order of business for the consideration of a public bill or public joint
resolution may be called up under clause 6(e) of rule XIII as a
privileged question by a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner on a
day when it is in order to consider a motion to discharge committees
under clause 2.
on Government Reform and Oversight (and in the 106th and 110th
Congresses to reflect a change in the name of a committee) (sec. 202, H.
Res. 6, Jan. 4, 1995, p. 465; H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47; sec.
215(f), H. Res. 6, Jan. 4, 2007, p. 19). Before the House recodified its
rules in the 106th Congress, this provision was found in former clause 8
of rule XXIV (H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47).
The first rule allocating a fixed day for District of Columbia
business was adopted in 1870. In 1890 the rule (formerly clause 8 of
rule XXIV) was amended (IV, 3304). It was again amended December 8, 1931
(VII, 872). In the 104th Congress it was amended to reflect that the
jurisdiction of the former Committee on the District of Columbia had
been subsumed within the amalgamated jurisdiction of the newly
The Committee on Government Reform and Oversight (now Oversight and
Government Reform) may not, on a District day, call up a bill reported
from another committee (IV, 3311). If certain of the committee's bills
are on one of the calendars of the Committees of the Whole, a motion to
go into committee to consider them is in order (IV, 3310). Bills
reported from the District Committee (now Oversight and Government
Reform) are not so privileged as to prevent their being taken up under
call of committees on Wednesday (VII, 937). Business unfinished on one
District day does not come up on the next unless called up (IV, 3307;
VII, 879, 880). The question of consideration may not be demanded
against District business generally, but may be demanded against any
bill as it is presented (IV, 3308, 3309).
Private Calendar, first and third Tuesdays
On District days it is in order to go into the Committee of the Whole
to consider revenue or general appropriation bills (VI, 716-718; VII,
876, 1123). Consideration of conference reports is in order on District
Monday (VIII, 3202). District of Columbia business is in order on the
second and fourth Mondays of the month before or after other business
(such as motions to suspend the rules), and the fact that the House has
considered some District of Columbia business before motions to suspend
the rules does not affect the eligibility of further such business after
suspensions have been completed (Sept. 17, 1984, p. 25523).
thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present, agree to a motion
that the House dispense with the call.
894. District of Columbia.
4. The second and fourth Mondays
of a month shall be set apart for the consideration of such District of
Columbia business as may be called up by the Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform after the disposition of motions to discharge
committees and after the disposal of such business on the Speaker's
table as requires reference only.
(b)(1) On the third Tuesday of a month, after the disposal of such
business on the Speaker's table as requires reference only, the Speaker
may direct the Clerk to call the bills and resolutions on the Private
Calendar. Preference shall be given to omnibus bills containing the
texts of bills or resolutions that have previously been objected to on a
call of the Private Calendar. If two or more Members, Delegates, or the
Resident Commissioner object to the consideration of a bill or
resolution so called (other than an omnibus bill), it shall be
recommitted to the committee that reported it. Two-thirds of the Members
voting, a quorum being present, may adopt a motion that the House
dispense with the call on this day.
(2) Omnibus bills shall be read for amendment by paragraph. No
amendment shall be in order except to strike or to reduce amounts of
money or to provide limitations. An item or matter stricken from an
omnibus bill may not thereafter during the same session of Congress be
included in an omnibus bill. Upon passage such an omnibus bill shall be
resolved into the several bills and resolutions of which it is composed.
The several bills and resolutions, with any amendments adopted by the
House, shall be engrossed, when necessary, and otherwise considered as
passed severally by the House as distinct bills and resolutions.
(c) The Speaker may not entertain a reservation of the right to object
to the consideration of a bill or resolution under this clause. A bill
or resolution considered under this clause shall be considered in the
House as in the Committee of the Whole. A motion to dispense with the
call of the Private Calendar under this clause shall be privileged.
Debate on such a motion shall be limited to five minutes in support and
five minutes in opposition.
895. Interruption of the regular order on Tuesdays for
consideration of the Private Calendar.
5. (a) On the first Tuesday of a
month, the Speaker shall direct the Clerk to call the bills and
resolutions on the Private Calendar after disposal of such business on
the Speaker's table as requires reference only. If two or more Members,
Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner object to the consideration of a
bill or resolution so called, it shall be recommitted to the committee
that reported it. No other business shall be in order before completion
of the call of the Private Calendar on this day unless two-
Sec. 896. Tuesday as a day for private
This provision (formerly clause 6 of rule XXIV) was adopted in
the 62d Congress in lieu of special orders under which pension and
private business formerly had been considered. The rule was amended on
April 23, 1932 (VII, 846) and was adopted in its present form on March
27, 1935 (pp. 4480-89, 4538). When the House recodified its rules in the
106th Congress, this provision was transferred from former clause 6 of
rule XXIV and the archaic reference to the ``Calendar of the Committee
of the Whole House'' was changed to the ``Private Calendar'' (H. Res. 5,
Jan. 6, 1999, p. 47). A Member serving as an ``official objector'' for
the Private Calendar has periodically included in the Record an
explanation of how bills on the Private Calendar are considered (see,
e.g., Dec. 5, 1995, p. 35354; June 17, 1997, p. 11015; Nov. 17, 2003, p.
29279). Clause 4 of rule XII prohibits consideration of certain private
bills. Under former clause 6(e)(2) of rule XV (current clause 7(b) of
rule XX), the Speaker has discretion to recognize a Member to move a
call of the House before the call of the Private Calendar (July 8, 1987,
p. 18972). Unanimous consent is required to place the call at another
time during the day (July 16, 1996, p. 17224; Apr. 21, 1998, p. 6184),
including after one-minute speeches (Dec. 18, 2012, p. _).
ing amounts of money carried in the bill or to provide limitations, and
debate on those permissible motions was under the five-minute rule.
After the passage of an omnibus bill, it is resolved into the various
private bills of which it is composed and each is engrossed and messaged
to the Senate as if individually passed; thus it is possible, after
passage of the omnibus bill, to lay on the table a private House or
Senate bill that was included therein (by unanimous consent) (Sept. 17,
1968, p. 27184).
An omnibus private bill is normally passed over by the Clerk when the
Private Calendar is called on the first Tuesday of the month, but the
House may prescribe, by special order, that such omnibus bills shall be
passed over (June 27, 1968, p. 19106). During the consideration of the
First Omnibus Bill of 1968, seven roll calls occurred and seven of the
15 bills carried therein were stricken by motion (Sept. 17, 1968, pp.
27165-84). Amendments to the bill were strictly limited by the rule to
those striking or reduc
On the third Tuesday of the month, the calendar is not called unless
the Speaker so directs (Oct. 16, 1990, p. 29646); and in those cases,
omnibus bills on the Calendar are called before individual bills thereon
(Feb. 17, 1970, pp. 3605-13). A motion to dispense with the call of the
Private Calendar on the third Tuesday of each month is likewise in order
(provided that the Chair has not exercised discretionary authority (Nov.
17, 1981, p. 27770 (sustained by tabling of appeal)) to dispense with
Sec. 897. Methods of considering omnibus
During the consideration of omnibus bills the Chair declines to recognize
Members for unanimous-consent requests to address the House (May 7,
1935, p. 7100); motions to strike the last word are not in order, and
requests for extension of time under the five-minute rule are not
entertained (Speaker Byrns, Mar. 17, 1936, pp. 3890, 3894).
Calendar Call of Committees, Wednesdays
Sec. 898. Former Corrections Calendar.
For the former
Corrections Calendar rule, see Sec. 898 of the House Rules and Manual
for the 111th Congress (H. Doc. 110-162).
Sec. 899. Former Consent Calendar.
For the former Consent
Calendar rule, see Sec. 899 of the House Rules and Manual for the 111th
Congress (H. Doc. 110-162).
debate on a measure considered under this clause shall be confined to
the measure and may not exceed two hours equally divided between a
proponent and an opponent.
(b) A bill or resolution on either the House or the Union Calendar,
except bills or resolutions that are privileged under the Rules of the
House, may be called under this clause. A bill or resolution called up
from the Union Calendar shall be considered in the Committee of the
Whole House on the state of the Union without motion, subject to clause
3 of rule XVI. General
(c) This clause does not apply during the last two weeks of a session
(d) Precedents, rulings, or procedures in effect before the One
Hundred Eleventh Congress regarding the priority of business and the
availability of other business on Wednesday shall be applied only to the
extent consistent with this clause.
This clause (formerly clause 7 of rule XXIV), was adopted March 1,
1909, and amended March 15, 1909. The last sentence of paragraph (b)
(first proviso of former clause 7 of rule XXIV) was adopted January 18,
1916. The clause was rewritten in the 111th Congress to provide for
Calendar Wednesday business from a committee only upon its request (sec.
2(e), H. Res. 5, Jan. 6, 2009, p. 7). For a history of the clause as it
existed before that Congress, and related precedents, see Sec. Sec. 900,
901 of the House Rules and Manual for the 110th Congress (H. Doc. 109-
157). Paragraph (d) was added in the 113th Congress (sec. 2(f), H. Res.
5, Jan. 3, 2013, p. _).
900. Calendar Wednesday business.
6. (a) On Wednesday of
each week, business shall not be in order before completion of the call
of those committees (except as provided by clause 4 of rule XIV) whose
chair, or other member authorized by the committee, has announced to the
House a request for such call on the preceding legislative day.
When a bill on the Union Calendar is called up on Calendar Wednesday
the House automatically resolves itself into the Committee of the Whole
House on the state of the Union (VII, 939; Jan. 25, 1984, p. 358), and
when a Union Calendar bill is the unfinished business the Speaker
declares the House in Committee of the Whole without motion (VII, 940,
The question of consideration may be raised on a bill on the House
Calendar on Calendar Wednesday, even after one Wednesday has been
devoted to its consideration (VIII, 2447), and the question of
consideration is properly raised on Union Calendar bills before
automatically resolving into Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union (VII, 952).
During the 61st and 62d Congresses it was held that the call of
committees rested where the call left off on the preceding day, whether
the last call was on a Wednesday or during the morning hour on another
day, thus making but one committee call under the two rules. But under
the later practice there have been two distinct calls of committees, one
under clause 4 of rule XIV (formerly clause 4 of rule XXIV), the morning
hour, and another under Calendar Wednesday (VII, 944) when committees
are called twice (VII, 924; Mar. 12, 2008, p. 3853).
The same rule of debate applies to House Calendar bills called up on
Calendar Wednesday as on other days, and the Member in charge of the
bill may move the previous question at any time (VII, 955).
The previous question having been ordered on a bill on Calendar
Wednesday, the bill becomes the unfinished business on Thursday (VII,
It is in order to consider a vetoed bill on Calendar Wednesday,
because such a question is privileged under the Constitution (VII, 912),
but a bill privileged by reason of the Rules of the House cannot be
called up on Calendar Wednesday (VII, 932); for example, a general
appropriation bill (VII, 904), or a bill under consideration by reason
of a special order, unless the special order expressly sets aside
Calendar Wednesday (VII, 773), or a conference report (VII, 899). A
motion to reconsider an action taken on a bill on Tuesday may be
entered, but may not be considered on Calendar Wednesday (VII, 905).
Privileged bills may be reported but not considered on Calendar
Wednesday (VII, 907), except by unanimous consent (Jan. 25, 1984, p.
357). The Speaker has entertained a unanimous-consent request for
business (to send a bill to conference) (Mar. 28, 1984, p. 6869) and for
one-minute speeches (Mar. 21, 1984, pp. 6187, 6188; May 7, 2008, p.
7993) before the call of committees on Calendar Wednesday. District of
Columbia business is eligible for consideration on Calendar Wednesday
(VII, 937). A motion to adjourn (May 7, 2008, pp. 7996, 8000) and the
administration of the oath (May 7, 2008, p. 7997; VI, 22) may interrupt
the call of committees. Once Calendar Wednesday proceedings are
completed, other business may be conducted (VII, 921).
It has been held that if no Member opposed to the bill desires to
claim the hour specified in the rule for general debate against the
bill, the time may be claimed by a Member who is in favor of the bill
(VII, 962), but this principle has been questioned (VII, 961).
Calendar Wednesday must have been given to its chair by a committee (IV,
Clause 2(b) of rule XIII (formerly clause 2(l)(1) of rule XI),
requiring the chair of each committee to report or cause to be reported
promptly measures approved by the committee and to take such necessary
steps to bring the matter to a vote, is sufficient authority for the
chair to call up a properly-noticed bill on Calendar Wednesday, but any
other committee member must obtain specific authority of the committee
to call up a reported bill on Calendar Wednesday (VII, 928, 929; Feb.
22, 1950, p. 2162; Feb. 1, 1984, p. 1193; Sept. 12, 1984, p. 25100; Apr.
18, 2007, p. 9201). Before the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946
and the subsequent adoption of former clause 2(l)(1)(A) of rule XI,
authority to call up a bill on
Sec. 901. Decisions on Calendar Wednesday.
The rule applies
to unprivileged bills only, and when a bill otherwise unprivileged is
given a privileged status by unanimous consent or by rule it is
automatically rendered ineligible for consideration on Calendar
Wednesday (VII, 932-935). The rule does not apply to amendments between
the Houses, unreported bills, or Senate bills being held at the
Speaker's desk (Mar. 12, 2008, p. 3854). House Calendar bills have no
preference over Union Calendar bills (VII, 938).