Five-Minute Rule (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Five-Minute Rule

Creative Commons License photo credit: Moe_

A debate-limiting rule of the House that is invoked when the House sits as the Committee of the Whole. Under the rule, a member offering an amendment is allowed to speak five minutes in its favor, and an opponent of the amendment is allowed to speak five minutes in opposition. Debate is then closed. Members may then make a motion to “strike the last word” or “strike the requisite number of words,” that is, offer a pro forma amendment to gain five minutes to speak on an amendment. At the end of five minutes, the pro forma amendment is considered withdrawn. Time under the five-minute rule cannot be reserved, and a member may not speak more than once on an amendment. In practice, amendments regularly are debated more than 10 minutes, with members gaining the floor by offering pro forma amendments or obtaining unanimous consent to speak longer than five minutes.


Five Minute Speech in Support of Kucinich’s Afghanistan Resolution


Five-Minute Speeches: On Mondays and Tuesdays the House convenes early to allow members to make five-minute speeches on any subject. No legislative business is conducted during this time, called morning hour.

Also see


Morning Hour Debate in the House – October 24, 2017







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