Hour Rule / One Hour Rule
House Session 2012-02-01
One-Hour Rule: Rules are considered in the House under the one-hour rule, with time controlled by a majority floor manager. The majority floor manager customarily yields thirty minutes to the minority floor manager “for purposes of debate only.” Accordingly, special rules can be amended only if the majority floor manager offers an amendment to the rule or yields time to another member to offer an amendment, or if the previous question on the rule is defeated. (The previous question is in the form of a motion (“I move the previous question”), which, if agreed to, cuts off further debate and the possibility of amendment.)
When debating a special rule, one hour of debate is provided, again equally divided between the parties. Proceedings in the House sitting as the House are often referred to as proceedings under the one-hour rule. A special rule itself is considered in the House under the one-hour rule.
Conference reports are privileged and can be brought up when available. They are considered under the one-hour rule. The House considers impeachment resolutions under the one-hour rule or pursuant to a special rule reported from the Rules Committee and agreed to by the House. Measures in the Committee of the Whole are not considered under a one-hour rule but under what is called the five-minute rule, allowing a proponent, an opponent, and other members on each side five minutes each to speak on an amendment.
Hour Rule: When the House for parliamentary purposes is sitting as the House and has not resolved into the Committee of the Whole, House rules permit members, when recognized, to hold the floor for no more than one hour each. A special rule from the Rules Committee is privileged and is considered under this hour rule. The majority floor manager for the Rules Committee, who calls up the simple resolution containing the special rule, customarily yields one half of this one hour to the control of a minority member of the committee, the minority floor manager, “for purposes of debate only.”
Also see: Committee of the Whole; Five-Minute Rule; Floor Manager; Impeachment; Previous Question; Special Rule; § 6.80 House Floor: Methods of Consideration, § 6.100 Consideration of a Special Rule on the House Floor, § 6.280 Conference Committees, § 11.10 How to Follow Floor Proceedings in the House, in Congressional Deskbook.
- House Rule XIV – Order and Priority of Business
- House Rule XVII – Decorum and Debate
- House Rule XIX – Motions Following The Amendment Stage
- House Rule XXII – House And Senate Relations
- House Committee on Rules
- “The Discharge Rule in the House: Principal Features and Uses,” CRS Report 97-552 (11-page PDF)
- “The Discharge Rule in the House: Recent Use in Historical Context,” CRS Report 97-856 (50-page PDF)
- “Procedural Distinctions Between the House and the Committee of the Whole,” CRS Report 98-143 (5-page PDF)
- “The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction,” CRS Report 95-563 (18-page PDF)
- “Floor Consideration of Conference Reports in the House,” CRS Report 98-736 (3-page PDF)
- “Considering Measures in the House Under the One-Hour Rule ,” CRS Report 98-427 (6-page PDF)
- “Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction,” CRS Report 96-708 (15-page PDF)
- “Resolving Legislative Differences in the Congress: Conference Committees and Amendments Between the Houses,” CRS Report 98-696 (40-page PDF)
- “Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the House of Representatives,” CRS Report 98-307 (6-page PDF)
- “Blue-Slipping: Enforcing the Origination Clause in the House of Representatives,” CRS Report RS21236 (4-page PDF)
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