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115th Congress House Floor Procedures Manual

VII. Unanimous Consent Requests

The House does much of its non-controversial work by “unanimous consent” procedure, whereby a Member asks that something be done by or permitted by unanimous consent and no other Member objects to the request. These requests may involve debate time (similar to the language of a special rule) in order to consider a measure or conference report, or waive points of order against a measure. Before the Chair will recognize a Member for a unanimous consent request, it must be cleared by both the Majority and Minority leadership and relevant committee leadership.

In most cases, the Chair, hearing no objection, replies: “Without objection, so ordered.”

If a Member is unfamiliar with the request or its motives, the best way to find out what is behind the request is to “reserve the right to object.” This gives the Member the Floor and the opportunity to inquire about the request.

If the discussion during the “reservation of the right to object” proceeds for too long, any Member can demand “the regular order,” which means that the Member reserving the right to object should stop talking and either object or withdraw the reservation. The Member reserving the right to object may yield to another Member on the subject of the objection.

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