From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms
Unanimous Consent Agreement / Time Limitation Agreement
A device used in the Senate to expedite legislation by spelling out the process for considering a proposal. 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.
Senate filibusters, unanimous consent and cloture
- Unanimous Consent (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Filibuster / Unlimited Debate (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Chapter 1.G. Senate; Chapter 5.E. Unanimous Consent Agreements (“Time Agreements”); Ch. 8.K. Senate Morning Business; in Congressional Procedure
- “The Senate ‘Two-Hour Rule’ Governing Committee Meeting Times,” CRS Report R45170 (21-page PDF)
- “House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies,” CRS Report R41083 (220-page PDF)
- “Presidential Appointments to Full-Time Positions in Independent and Other Agencies During the 114th Congress,” CRS Report R45028 (47-page PDF)
- “Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate,” CRS Report R40948 (11-page PDF)
- “Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate,” CRS Report RL30360 (29-page PDF)
- “Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the Senate,” CRS Report 98-306 (7-page PDF)
- “How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction,” CRS Report RS20668 (10-page PDF)
- “The Decline of Lawmaking Reflects a Diminished Congress,” by William Yeatman, CATO, May 10, 2021
Sen Cruz’s S2195 Passes with Unanimous Consent
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