Educational Stuff  

Enactment of a Law

House Floor Action

The House rules designate special legislative days which have been established to expedite certain types of unprivileged business. The special legislative days are: Calendar Wednesday (every Wednesday), District of Columbia (the second and fourth Mondays), suspension of the rules (every Monday and Tuesday), and the Corrections Calendar (the first and third Mondays). Private Calendar business, if any, is considered on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, and discharge motions on the second and fourth Mondays.

Generally speaking, after the regular routine business each morning, including the approval of the Journal, the House proceeds to the consideration of whatever bills or resolutions are to be acted on that day. The order varies somewhat, as follows: (1) On days set aside for certain procedures, such as suspension motions on Mondays and Tuesdays, bills and resolutions are called up in pursuance of the procedure, as defined by House rules in each instance; (2) under unanimous consent, bills are called up in pursuance of such requests made and granted by the House, regardless of the regular rules of procedure; and (3) privileged matters, such as general appropriation bills and conference reports, may be called up by the Members in charge of them at almost any time after they have lain over for three days, providing the Representative in charge is recognized by the Speaker.

The House also can determine the order of its business and decide what bill to take up by adopting a special rule (simple House resolution) reported by the Rules Committee. The procedure for consideration of such measures is defined in each instance in the special rule. A special rule to call up a bill may be debated for an hour before it is voted on. Bills called up under special rules are usually major or controversial pieces of legislation.

Bills which are first considered in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union are considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule, after which the Committee of the Whole reports them back to the House for action on any amendments that may have been adopted, and then for the vote on final passage.

In the House, as in the Senate, bills are read three times before they are passed. After a Senate bill is passed by the House, with or without amendment, it is returned to the Senate; if there are amendments, the amendments are engrossed before being messaged to the Senate. All House engrossments are printed on blue paper.

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