Days Reserved for Special Business in the House
Days Reserved for Special Business
in the House
Specialist on the Congress
Government and Finance Division
As presented in the following table and described below, several provisions in the
rules of the House provide for certain types of business to be privileged for consideration
on specified days, some under special procedures. For more information on legislative
process, see [http://www.crs.gov/products/guides/guidehome.shtml].
Table 1. Days Reserved for Special Business
Monday T uesday Wednesday
Every Monday:Every Tuesday:Every Wednesday:
Motions to suspend the rules Motions to suspend the rules Motions to suspend the rules
Call of Committees under the
Second and Fourth Mondays:First and Third Tuesdays:
Motions to discharge Consideration of measures on
committeesthe Private Calendar
Consideration of District of
!Motions to suspend the rules are in order every Monday, Tuesday, and
Wednesday (Rule XV, clause 1). A suspension motion may be debated
for 40 minutes (equally divided between a proponent and opponent), may
not be amended from the floor, and must pass by a vote of two-thirds of
those present and voting. In addition, the suspension procedure
effectively waives all rules of the House that would prevent consideration
of a measure, so that no points of order may be raised against a measure
being considered under suspension. House rules place no formal
restrictions on the types of measures that may be considered under
suspension, but party rules effectively restrict the procedure to use in
considering relatively noncontroversial measures.
!Motions to discharge committees (for measures that have been placed
on the Discharge Calendar after securing signatures from a majority of
Representatives (218 with no vacancies) on a discharge petition) are in
order on the second and fourth Mondays of each month (Rule XV, clause
2). If a discharge motion is successful, the measure may be considered
in the House or the Committee of the Whole, as appropriate.
!Consideration of District of Columbia business (for measures on either
the House or Union Calendar) is privileged on the second and fourth
Mondays of each month (Rule XV, clause 4), and could occur in the
House or the Committee of the Whole, as appropriate. This privilege is
rarely used in modern practice.
!Consideration of measures on the Private Calendar is privileged on the
first and third Tuesdays of each month (Rule XV, clause 5). Private bills
are those of a private, rather than public, nature (i.e., they apply only to
specified individuals, corporations, or other entities). Measures called up
from the Private Calendar are normally passed by unanimous consent.
However, if two or more Members object to the measure, it is
recommitted to the committee that reported it. The Speaker is required
to direct the clerk to call measures on the Private Calendar on the first
Tuesday, but consideration on the third Tuesday is discretionary.
Consideration of measures on the Private Calendar may also be dispensed
with by two-thirds vote.
!The Call of Committees under the Calendar Wednesday procedure is
privileged every Wednesday (Rule XV, clause 6). Any measure not
otherwise privileged would be eligible for consideration in the House or
the Committee of the Whole, as appropriate, under this procedure.
However, under modern practice the procedure is routinely waived by