Suspension of the Rules in the House: Principal Features

September 15, 2015 (98-314)

Suspension of the rules is a procedure that the House of Representatives often uses on the floor to act expeditiously on legislation. This procedure is governed primarily by clause 1 of House Rule XV. When a bill or some other matter is considered "under suspension," floor debate is limited, all floor amendments are prohibited, and a two-thirds vote is required for final passage.

Typically, a Member whom the Speaker has recognized will say, for example, "Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 1234." By making that motion, the Member triggers the use of the suspension procedure under Rule XV. However, this same procedure can be used for other legislative purposes. For example, a Member can move to suspend the rules and agree to a conference report, or concur in a Senate amendment to a House bill, or take some other action.

There are nine principal features of the suspension procedure.

There is no suspension calendar. Instead, during the last floor session of each week, a Member of the majority party leadership usually makes a public announcement on the floor about the bills that have been scheduled tentatively for consideration under suspension during the following week. Bills scheduled to be considered under suspension of the rules are generally made available in advance at

For additional information, see the Parliamentarian's notes following clause 1 of Rule XV in the House Rules and Manual; pages 881-889 of House Practice; and volume 6, chapter 21, sections 9-15 of Deschler's Precedents, available through the website of the Government Publications Office.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist on the Congress and the Legislative Process ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])


This report was written by [author name scrubbed], a former Senior Specialist in the Legislative Process at CRS. The listed author updated the report and can respond to inquiries on the subject.



The party rule, and the legislative protocol that provides further guidance, is available at


A "legislative day" begins the first time the House meets after an adjournment and ends when the House adjourns again.