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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

When can the Members speak on the floor?

  • During Morning Hour Debate, Members can speak for 5 minutes 
  • During the beginning of Legislative Business, right after the Pledge of Allegiance, Members can speak for 1      minute
  • During the end of the Legislative Day, Members can speak for 1 minute
  • During Special Orders Speeches (Please see "What are Special Orders Speeches?")

What are Special Orders speeches?

  • Special Orders occur after Legislative Business and the final One Minute speeches
  • Each side is allowed 1 “Leadership Hour” and 2 half hours (a total of 4 hours are allowed)
  • Republicans and Democrats alternate speaking order daily 
  • Slots during special orders are alternated between Democrats and Republicans
  • Special Orders are never allowed to go beyond 10:00pm
  • Members must be on the floor when it is their turn to be recognized (if not time is forfeited)

Who should I contact to reserve time on the floor for Five Minute and Special Order speeches?

  • Deborah Rowe with the Democratic Majority Leader's Office.

When are Five Minutes and One Minutes speeches allowed?

     First Legislative Day of the Week

  • Members can give 5 minute speeches, during morning hour, beginning at 12 p.m.
  • Members can give 1 minute speeches, at 2 p.m., unlimited per side.
  • Members can give 1 minute speeches, at the end of legislative business, unlimited per side.

    Middle Legislative Day(s) of the Week

  • Members can give 5 minute speeches, during morning hour, beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Members can give 1 minute speeches, 15 per side, at 12 p.m.
  • Members can give 1 minute speeches, at the end of legislative business, unlimited per side.

     Last Legislative Day of the Week

  • Members can give 1 minute speeches, 5 per side, at 9 a.m.
  • Members can give 1 minute speeches, at the end of legislative business, unlimited per side.

Note: Members can only give one 1 minute and one 5 minute per legislative day. 

When and where can Bills, Cosponsors, Amendments, Extensions and General Leave be delivered?

  • During Legislative Business- deliver to the Main House Door
  • During Special Orders and Recess- deliver to the Speaker’s Lobby
  • Not in session- deliver to the Democratic Cloakroom

Note: All bills and joint resolutions requires a signed Constitutional Authority Statement

How can a Member add or remove a Cosponsor?

  • To add a cosponsor, complete a cosponsor form that includes the original signature of the primary sponsor, bill number, date, current congress, and session
  • To be removed as a cosponsor, the Member must request unanimous consent from the House floor to have their name removed from the bill

How can a Member get a written speech into the Congressional Record if they are unable to make it to the floor?

  • All Extensions of Remarks and General Leave Remarks must have an original signature of the submitting Member (no faxed or electronic copied will be accepted)
  • Extensions of Remarks (on any desired topic) may be brought to the floor at any time while the House is in session in order to be submitted to the Congressional Record
  • General Leave Remarks (a written statement on a bill being considered by the House) may be brought to the floor within 5 days of the bill's consideration 

Note: Any Congressional Record insert may be submitted electronically- a signed hardcopy must also be submitted

What is the correct language for a Member at the beginning and end of One Minutes speeches?

I ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks...

What is the correct language for a Member at the beginning and end of Five Minutes or Special Order speeches?

I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the subject of my special order...

What can a Member do if they missed vote(s) or a vote was recorded incorrectly?

  • Members have the option of seeking recognition from the Floor to explain a missed vote(s) or incorrectly recorded vote(s)
  • Members may compose a written explanation for a missed vote(s) or incorrectly recorded vote(s) that is submitted to the Clerk for printing in the Congressional Record
  • Members are able to submit a missed vote(s) or incorrectly recorded vote(s) form provided by the House Democratic Cloakroom

Personal Explanation Form

How does my Member request a Leave of Absence?

If a Member is absent and misses votes for a substantial period of time, the Member or his/her staff may request a Leave of Absence from the House. Upon request, the Cloakroom staff will complete a Leave of Absence form which states the dates of the Member’s absence and the reason for the absence (if stated). The form is signed by Majority Leader Hoyer and laid before the House at the conclusion of legislative business for the day.

Whether or not one chooses to request a Leave of Absence, a Member may wish to prepare a statement on how he/she would have voted on the votes that were missed. These statements, like any statement for the Congressional Record, must bear an original signature of the Member. If a statement is submitted to the Cloakroom before the House adjourns that day, it will be printed in the Record immediately following that vote.  The template for the missed votes letter can be found on the “Legislative Forms” tab.

Cloakroom Extensions:

  • 57330: Main line for the Democratic Cloakroom
  • 57400: Recording of up-to-the-minute House floor proceedings
  • 51600: Recording of legislative program for the week