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Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.


Page 156

on the table, members who have exhausted their right of debate cannot again speak on the question. But if taken up on another day, no notice is taken of speeches previously made. The previous question is not exhausted if the question upon which it was ordered is taken from the table at the same session, even though it is on another day.

36. Reconsider.

   30 This motion is peculiar in that the making of the motion has a higher rank than its consideration, and for a certain time prevents anything being done as the result of the vote it is proposed to reconsider. It can be made only on the day the vote to be reconsidered was taken, or on the next succeeding day, a legal holiday or a recess not being counted as a day. It must be made by one who voted with the prevailing side. Any member may second it. It can be made while any other question is pending, even if another member has the floor, or after it has been voted to adjourn, provided the chair has


Note 30.  In the Senate not even two-thirds of the members can force a measure to its passage without allowing debate, the Senate rules not recognizing the above motions. In the House, where each speaker can occupy the floor one hour, any of these motions to cut off debate can be adopted by a mere majority, but practically they are not used until after some debate. Rule 27, §3, H. R., expressly provides that forty minutes, twenty on each side, shall be allowed for debate whenever the previous question is ordered on a proposition on which there has been no debate, or when the rules are suspended. [See note to 22.] In ordinary societies harmony is so essential that a two-thirds vote should be required to force the assembly to a final vote without allowing free debate. [back]

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