From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms
Discharge Calendar / a Committee / Petition / Resolution
Discharge a Committee: To remove a measure from committee to which it has been returned in order to make it available for floor consideration. This is attempted more often in the House than in the Senate, and the procedure rarely is successful.
The discharge rule in the House (Rule XV) allows a measure to come to the floor for consideration, even if the committee of referral does not report it and the leadership does not schedule it. In the House, if a committee does not report a bill within 30 days after the measure is referred to it, any member may file a discharge motion. Once offered, the motion is treated as a petition needing the signatures of 218 members (a majority of the House.) After the required signatures have been obtained, there is a delay of seven days. Thereafter, on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, except during the last six days of a session, any member may enter a motion to discharge the committee. The motion is handled like any other discharge petition in the House.
Occasionally, to expedite non-controversial legislative business, a committee is discharged by unanimous consent of the House, and a petition is not required.
Discharge Calendar: The House calendar to which motions to discharge committees are referred when they have the required number of signatures (218) and are awaiting floor action. Short title for it is Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees.
Discharge Petition: a motion to discharge.
Discharge Resolution: A special motion in the Senate that any senator may introduce to relieve a committee from consideration of a bill before it. The resolution can be called up for Senate approval or disapproval in the same manner as any other Senate business.
Rep. Love Signs Discharge Petition, Coverage on KSTU
- Calendar of Motions to Discharge Committees (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- § 6.80, House Floor: Methods of Consideration, § 6.81, Discharge Petition, in Congressional Deskbook
- Chapter 3.F. Amendment Procedure; Chapter 3.G. Reporting Legislation to the Floor; Chapter 4.B. Scheduling of Legislation; Chapter 4.E. Privileged Business; in Congressional Procedure
- Discharge Calendars, FDsys
- Congressional Calendars – Govinfo.gov
- House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House, Chapter 19. Discharging Measures From Committees, FDsys
- House Practice – Govinfo.gov
- Senate Rule XVII, Reference to Committees; Motions to Discharge; Reports of Committees; and Hearings Available
- Congressional Leadership and Committees
- “Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives,” CRS Report RL32207 (20-page PDF)
- “The Discharge Rule in the House,” CRS Report 97-552 (11-page PDF)
- “Discharge Procedure in the House,” CRS Report 98-394 (5-page PDF)
- “Expedited or ‘Fast-Track’ Legislative Procedures,” CRS Report RS20234 (7-page PDF)
- “Discharge Petitions and the House Discharge Rule,” CRS Insight IN10910 (3-page PDF)
- “House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies,” CRS Report R41083 (220-page PDF)
- “Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-2017,” CRS Report R40879 (86-page PDF)
- “The Senate’s ‘Executive Calendar’,” CRS Report 98-438 (6-page PDF)
- “Discharging a Senate Committee from Consideration of a Nomination,” CRS Insight IN10468 (3-page PDF)
- “Expedited Procedures in the House: Variations Enacted into Law,” CRS Report RL30599 (20-page PDF)
- “How Measures Are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction,” CRS Report RS20067 (10-page PDF)
- “The Budget Resolution and the Senate’s Automatic Discharge Process,” CRS Insight IN11693 (5-page PDF)
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