Nongermane Amendment (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Nongermane Amendment

Creative Commons License photo credit: bfelice

An amendment that would add new and different subject matter to, or may be irrelevant to, the bill or other measure it seeks to amend. Senate rules permit nongermane amendments in all but a few specific circumstances.

The amending process in the Senate provides lawmakers an opportunity to make changes in the text of a measure (or pending amendment) during its consideration. Senators generally have wide freedom to offer as many amendments as they want, including nongermane changes. In fact, an important feature of the Senate is that it lacks a general germaneness rule. This absence grants any Senator an opportunity to raise issues and to offer extraneous “riders” to pending legislation. However, Senators’ freedom to amend and to offer nongermane amendments can be restricted in certain circumstances, such as when the Senate invokes cloture (which limits further debate on a measure) or agrees by unanimous consent to impose restrictions on the offering of amendments.

Senate Amendment Process: General Conditions and Principles,” CRS Report 98-707 GOV

Germaneness is required in the House by House Rule XVI (Motions and Amendments), Clause 7, which provides:

7. No motion or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.

Also see “Christmas Tree” Bill.




Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: Citizen Advocacy in State Legislatures and Congress: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

Testifying Before Congress

The Federal Budget Process: A description of the federal and congressional budget processes, including timelines, from TheCapitol.Net

For more than 35 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Our on-site training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.

TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, 874-4, for custom on-site training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X

TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan small business.

Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™

Select publications from TheCapitol.Net

Comments are closed.