Unanimous Consent Agreement / Time Limitation Agreement (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Unanimous Consent Agreement / Time Limitation Agreement

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A device used in the Senate to expedite legislation. Much of the Senate’s legislative business, dealing with both minor and controversial issues, is conducted through unanimous consent or unanimous consent agreements. On major legislation, such agreements are usually printed and transmitted to all senators in advance of floor debate. Once agreed to, they are binding on all members unless the Senate, by unanimous consent, agrees to modify them. An agreement may list the order in which various bills are to be considered, specify the length of time bills and contested amendments are to be debated and when they are to be voted upon and, frequently, require that all amendments introduced be germane to the bill under consideration. In this regard, unanimous consent agreements are similar to the “rules” issued by the House Rules Committee for bills pending in the House.

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