Discharge Calendar / a Committee / Petition / Resolution (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Discharge Calendar / a Committee / Petition / Resolution

Sluice, by Steve Parker
Sluice, by Steve Parker

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


Also see:







Testifying Before Congress

Testifying Before Congress

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


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