One-Minute Speeches (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

One-Minute Speeches


Lions Recognized in the House of Representatives
(Note the time of this one-minute speech)


Addresses by House members at the beginning of a legislative day. The speeches may cover any subject but are limited to one minute.

At the beginning of most days, some members are seated in the front row of the chamber. This alignment indicates these members’ desire to make one-minute speeches. These speeches are made in the well of the House. One-minute speeches are allowed when the Speaker recognizes members to address the House for one minute [and revise and extend his remarks]. The Speaker is authorized to announce a limitation on the number of members recognized on a day for one-minute speeches, and can even announce that no “one minutes” will be allowed or that they will be postponed to later in the day. One-minute speeches can be on any subject, and often are not on legislative issues. A one-minute speech might concern a congressional district issue, such as congratulations for an individual constituent or a winning sports team.

Although not provided for in the order of business specified in the rules of the House, one-minute speeches, for the purpose of debate only, are usually entertained by the Speaker immediately following the approval of the Journal and before any legislative business. Members obtain recognition recognition for one-minute speeches by requesting unanimous consent to address the House for one minute; speeches made under the procedure may not exceed one minute or 300 words (if the word-limit is exceeded, the speech will be printed in the Extensions of Remarks or Appendix of the Record). One-minute speeches are distinguished from “special-order” speeches, which may extend up to one hour and which follow the legislative program of the day. The normal procedure for one minute speeches may be varied where necessary; such speeches may, for example, exceed one minute, in the discretion of the Speaker, when no legislative business is scheduled. And the Speaker may decline to recognize for one-minute speeches before proceeding to pressing business. The Speaker has on occasion recognized for one-minute speeches after business has been conducted, where circumstances so permitted. Generally, the “one-minute rule” is followed on each day that the House is in session, in order to give Members the opportunity to express themselves on a variety of subjects while no business is under discussion.

Deschler’s Precedents, Ch. 21, § 6. One-minute Speeches

Also see Congressional Record; Deschler’s Precedents; Legislative Day; § 11.10 How to Follow Floor Proceedings in the House, in Congressional Deskbook.


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