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In legislatures, a quorum call is used to determine if a quorum is present. Since attendance at debates is not mandatory in most legislatures, it is often the case that a quorum of members is not present while debate is ongoing. A member wishing to delay proceedings (for example, to allow other members time to get to the chamber in order to join debate) may request that the presiding officer determine whether a quorum is present. If a quorum does not appear to be present, debate is suspended.
What happens after debate stops depends on the legislature in question. In the United States Congress, bells are rung in the various congressional office buildings to indicate to members that their presence is required in their respective chambers. Members of the House use the same electronic system as is used for voting to register their presence; in the Senate, one of the clerks will read out a roll call of senators, who indicate their presence when called. In fact, if any Senator "suggests the absence of a quorum", the Presiding Officer must direct the roll to be called. For practical purposes, a quorum call is a delaying measure that permits the Senate leadership to work out some difficulty or to await a Senator's arrival.
Because of differences in procedure between the two bodies, quorum calls in the House are fairly rare, but they are quite common in the Senate. In both houses, while quorum calls officially last fifteen minutes, the actual amount of time given is at the discretion of the presiding officer. A motion to adjourn for lack of a quorum may be raised after the quorum call if an insufficient number of members present themselves. However, if the business is especially important, the members present may instead move a call of the house which will force all members to attend. Each House is expressly "authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as [it] may provide."
Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress. Under Article One, Congress is a bicameral legislature consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Article One grants Congress various enumerated powers and the ability to pass laws "necessary and proper" to carry out those powers. Article One also establishes the procedures for passing a bill and places various limits on the powers of Congress and the states.
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. In addition, the House of Representatives currently has six non-voting members, bringing the total membership of the US Congress to 541 or fewer in the case of vacancies.
Cloture, closure, or, informally, a guillotine is a motion or process in parliamentary procedure aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "the act of terminating something". It was introduced into the Parliament of the United Kingdom by William Ewart Gladstone to overcome the obstructionism of the Irish Parliamentary Party and was made permanent in 1887. It was subsequently adopted by the United States Senate and other legislatures. The name cloture remains in the United States; in Commonwealth countries it is usually closure or, informally, guillotine; in the United Kingdom closure and guillotine are distinct motions.
President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate. It corresponds to the speaker in some other assemblies.
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The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body, is its presiding officer, or the chair. The title was first used in 1377 in England.
Contempt of Congress is the act of obstructing the work of the United States Congress or one of its committees. Historically, the bribery of a U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative was considered contempt of Congress. In modern times, contempt of Congress has generally applied to the refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by a Congressional committee or subcommittee—usually seeking to compel either testimony or the production of requested documents.
Congressional Debate is a competitive interscholastic high school Debate event in the United States. The National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA), National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) and many state associations and national invitational tournaments offer Congressional Debate as an event. Each organization and tournament offers its own rules, although the National Forensic League has championed standardization since 2007, when it began to ask its districts to use one of a number of procedures for qualification to its National Tournament. The Pakistan Student Congress event is a conference, and not interscholastic competition.
The nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a standing rule of the Senate, such as the 60-vote rule to close debate, by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend the rules. The option is invoked when the majority leader raises a point of order that contravenes a standing rule, such as that only a simple majority is needed to close debate on certain matters. The presiding officer denies the point of order based on Senate rules, but the ruling of the chair is then appealed and overturned by majority vote, establishing new precedent.
In parliamentary procedure, unanimous consent, also known as general consent, or in the case of the parliaments under the Westminster system, leave of the house, is a situation in which no member present objects to a proposal.
The Standing Rules of the Senate are the parliamentary procedures adopted by the United States Senate that govern its procedure. The Senate's power to establish rules derives from Article One, Section 5 of the United States Constitution: "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings..."
In the Congress of the United States, a closed session is a parliamentary procedure for the Senate or the House of Representatives to discuss matters requiring secrecy.
The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the state legislative branch of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate are the two houses that make up the bicameral state legislature. There are 101 state representatives, each serving a two-year term, and 48 state senators, who serve four-year terms that are staggered so only half of the Oklahoma Senate districts are eligible in each election year. Legislators are elected directly by the people from single member districts of equal population. The Oklahoma Legislature meets annually in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
The Louisiana State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is a bicameral body, comprising the lower house, the Louisiana House of Representatives with 105 representatives, and the upper house, the Louisiana Senate with 39 senators. Members of each house are elected from single-member districts of roughly equal populations.
Deliberative assemblies – bodies that use parliamentary procedure to arrive at decisions – use several methods of voting on motions. The regular methods of voting in such bodies are a voice vote, a rising vote, and a show of hands. Additional forms of voting include a recorded vote and balloting.
The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—constitutes the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Filibuster is a tactic used in the United States Senate to prevent a measure from being brought to a vote by means of obstruction. The most common form occurs when one or more senators attempt to delay or block a vote on a bill by extending debate on the measure. The Senate rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish, and on any topic they choose, unless "three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn" vote to bring the debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII.
Procedures of the United States Congress are established ways of doing legislative business. Congress has two-year terms with one session each year. There are rules and procedures, often complex, which guide how it converts ideas for legislation into laws.