Morning Hour / Morning Business
The time set-aside at the beginning of each legislative day for the consideration of regular, routine business.
The “hour” is of indefinite duration in the House, where a period is set aside at the beginning of the day for members to address the House. On the first legislative day of the week, between 12:00 and 2:00 pm, members are recognized for up to five minutes for these speeches, alternating between majority and minority members on a rotating basis. On the middle days of the week, the time set aside for Morning Hour is between 10:00 am and 12:00 p.m. There are no Morning Hour debates on the last legislative day of the week.
In the Senate, it is the first two hours of a session following an adjournment, as distinguished from a recess. The morning hour can be terminated earlier if the morning business has been completed. Business includes such matters as messages from the president, communications from the heads of departments, messages from the House, the presentation of petition, reports of standing and select committees and the introduction of bills and resolutions. During the first hour of the morning hour in the Senate, no motion to proceed to the consideration of any bill on the calendar is in order except by unanimous consent. During the second hour, motions can be made but must be decided without debate. Senate committees may meet while the Senate conducts morning hour. In practice, the Senate often does this business instead by unanimous consent at other convenient points in the day.
Congress.gov: Executive Business in the Senate
- § 6.170, Legislative and Calendar Days; Morning Hour and Morning Business, in Congressional Deskbook
- Chapter 8.A. Introduction; Ch. 8.K. Senate Morning Business; in Congressional Procedure
- Senate Rule VII: Morning Business
- “Special Order Speeches and Other Forms of Non-Legislative Debate in the House,” CRS Report RS21174 (7-page PDF)
- “Morning Hour Debates,” CRS Report RS20131 (9-page PDF)
- Eight Mechanisms to Enact Procedural Change in the U.S. Senate, CRS Insight IN10875 (5-page PDF)
- “The Senate ‘Two-Hour Rule’ Governing Committee Meeting Times,” CRS Report R45170 (21-page PDF)
- “The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor,” CRS Report RS20722 (17-page PDF)
- “How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction,” CRS Report RS20668 (10-page PDF)
- “The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the House Floor,” CRS Report RL30725 (22-page PDF)
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