House Rule XV - Business in order on special days

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Changes to rule in the 111th Congress (2009-2010)

House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) released this summary of the rule changes at the beginning of the 111th Congress:

"CALENDAR WEDNESDAY: This provision amends clause 6 of rule XV to require the Clerk to read only those committees where the committee chair has given notice to the House on Tuesday that he or she will seek recognition to call up a bill under the Calendar Wednesday rule. This will replace the requirement that the Clerk read the list of all committees, regardless of whether a committee intends to utilize the rule. The provision makes conforming changes to clause 6 of rule XV and clause 6 of rule XIII, including the deletion of the requirement of a two-thirds vote to dispense with the proceedings under Calendar Wednesday. [1]

Rule XV for the 111th Congress

Suspensions

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.

(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.
(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 thereto.

Discharge motions, second and fourth Mondays

2. (a) Motions to discharge commit-tees shall be in order on the second and fourth Mondays of a month.

(b)(1) A Member may present to the Clerk a motion in writing to discharge—
(A) a committee from consideration of a public bill or public resolution that has been referred to it for 30 legislative days; or
(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 consideration of a public bill or public resolution that has been reported by a standing committee or has been referred to a standing committee for 30 legislative days.
(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.
(c) A motion presented under para-graph (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 signatures 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 signatures thereto in the Record, and referred to the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees.
(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 opposition thereto.
(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.
(2) If a motion prevails to discharge a standing committee from consideration of a public bill or public resolution, a motion that the House proceed to the immediate consideration of such bill or 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.
(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.
(2) A motion to discharge on the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees that is rendered out of order under subparagraph (1) shall be stricken from that calendar.

Adverse report by the Committee on Rules, second and fourth Mondays

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.

District of Columbia business, second and fourth Mondays

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.

Private Calendar, first and third Tuesdays

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-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present, agree to a motion that the House dispense with the call.

(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.

Calendar Call of Committees, Wednesdays

6.

(a) On Wednesday of each week, business shall not be in order before completion of the call of those commit- tees (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.
(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 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.
(c) This clause does not apply during the last two weeks of a session of Congress.

Rule XV for the 110th Congress

Suspensions

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.

(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.
(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 thereto.

Discharge motions, second and fourth Mondays

2. (a) Motions to discharge commit-tees shall be in order on the second and fourth Mondays of a month.

(b)(1) A Member may present to the Clerk a motion in writing to discharge—
(A) a committee from consideration of a public bill or public resolution that has been referred to it for 30 legislative days; or
(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 consideration of a public bill or public resolution that has been reported by a standing committee or has been referred to a standing committee for 30 legislative days.
(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.
(c) A motion presented under para-graph (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 signatures 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 signatures thereto in the Record, and referred to the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees.
(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 opposition thereto.
(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.
(2) If a motion prevails to discharge a standing committee from consideration of a public bill or public resolution, a motion that the House proceed to the immediate consideration of such bill or 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.
(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.
(2) A motion to discharge on the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees that is rendered out of order under subparagraph (1) shall be stricken from that calendar.

Adverse report by the Committee on Rules, second and fourth Mondays

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.

District of Columbia business, second and fourth Mondays

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.

Private Calendar, first and third Tuesdays

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-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present, agree to a motion that the House dispense with the call.

(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.

Calendar Call of Committees, Wednesdays

6. (a) On Wednesday of each week, business shall not be in order before completion of the call of the committees (except as provided by clause 4 of rule XIV) unless two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present, agree to a motion that the House dispense with the call. Such a motion shall be privileged. Debate on such a motion shall be limited to five minutes in support and five minutes in opposition.

(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 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.
(c) When a committee has occupied the call under this clause on one Wednesday, it shall not be in order on a succeeding Wednesday to consider unfinished business previously called up by that committee until the other committees have been called in their turn unless—
(1) the previous question has been ordered on such unfinished business; or
(2) the House adopts a motion to dispense with the call under paragraph (a).
(d) If any committee has not been called under this clause during a session of a Congress, then at the next session of that Congress the call shall resume where it left off at the end of the preceding session.
(e) This clause does not apply during the last two weeks of a session of Congress.
(f) The Speaker may not entertain a motion that the Speaker be authorized to declare a recess on a Wednesday except during the last two weeks of a session of Congress.

Rule XV for the 109th Congress

Suspensions

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.

(b) Pending a motion that the House suspend the rules, the Speaker may entertain one motion that the House adjourn. After the result of such a motion is announced, the Speaker may not entertain any other motion until the vote is taken on the suspension.
(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 thereto.

Discharge motions, second and fourth Mondays

2. (a) Motions to discharge committees shall be in order on the second and fourth Mondays of a month.

(b)(1) A Member may present to the Clerk a motion in writing to discharge_
(A) a committee from consideration of a public bill or public resolution that has been referred to it for 30 legislative days; or
(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 consideration of a public bill or public resolution that has been reported by a standing committee or has been referred to a standing committee for 30 legislative days.
(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.
(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 signatures 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, printed with the signatures thereto in the Record, and referred to the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees.
(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 opposition thereto.
(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. After the result of such a motion to adjourn is announced, the Speaker 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.
(2) If a motion prevails to discharge a standing committee from consideration of a public bill or public resolution, a motion that the House proceed to the immediate consideration of such bill or 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.
(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.
(2) A motion to discharge on the Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees that is rendered out of order under subparagraph (1) shall be stricken from that calendar.

Adverse report by the Committee on Rules, second and fourth Mondays

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.

District of Columbia business, second and fourth Mondays

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 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.

Private Calendar, first and third Tuesdays

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-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present, agree to a motion that the House dispense with the call.

(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.

Calendar Call of Committees, Wednesdays

6. (a) On Wednesday of each week, business shall not be in order before completion of the call of the committees (except as provided by clause 4 of rule XIV) unless two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present, agree to a motion that the House dispense with the call. Such a motion shall be privileged. Debate on such a motion shall be limited to five minutes in support and five minutes in opposition.

(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 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.
(c) When a committee has occupied the call under this clause on one Wednesday, it shall not be in order on a succeeding Wednesday to consider unfinished business previously called up by that committee until the other committees have been called in their turn unless_
(1) the previous question has been ordered on such unfinished business; or
(2) the House adopts a motion to dispense with the call under paragraph (a).
(d) If any committee has not been called under this clause during a session of a Congress, then at the next session of that Congress the call shall resume where it left off at the end of the preceding session.
(e) This rule does not apply during the last two weeks of a session of Congress.
(f) The Speaker may not entertain a motion for a recess on a Wednesday except during the last two weeks of a session of Congress.

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Note: Updates to the rules for the 110th Congress were obtained by Congresspedia staff from House Rules Committee staff. The full source is available upon request.

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