Adjourn (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms


Golden Gate Bridge ~ San Francisco, CA
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gaffke Photography v2.8

Adjourn: Formal motion to end a day’s session of a chamber of Congress.

A motion to adjourn in the Senate (or a committee) ends that day’s session. Adjournment is not a recess. Because procedures are so strictly determined when a new legislative day is created, the Senate may recess rather than adjourn at the end of the previous day’s session. Recessing does not create a new legislative day. A legislative day continues until the Senate adjourns at the end of a daily session. When all business for a day has been completed, the Senate majority leader (or a designee) comes to the floor to announce that no further voting or business is expected for that day. The majority leader also normally announces the anticipated schedule for the next session. The Senate at that point either recesses or adjourns, or allows other senators to speak as if in morning business. When all senators who wish to speak are finished, a senator will yield the floor. The presiding officer will announce that the Senate is in recess or has adjourned until the next scheduled session.

In the House, when the last special order is concluded, a member moves that the House adjourn. The gavel comes down, and the House adjourns for the day.

When either the House or Senate is in session, a flag flies over the respective chamber. If a chamber recesses rather than adjourns, the flag remains flying until the next adjournment.


Sine Die: Senate Adjourns


Also see







Legislative Drafter's Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Pocket Constitution

Pocket Constitution

Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

Congressional Procedure

Congressional Procedure, from TheCapitol.Net

For more than 40 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 custom on-site and online 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, MAS, for custom on-site and online training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X

TheCapitol.Net is now owned by the Sunwater Institute.

Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™

Select publications from TheCapitol.Net