Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XIX

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Rule XIX of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, governs the subject of debate on the Senate floor.

Permission to speak[edit]

Paragraph 1a addresses the procedure on speaking. When a Senator wishes to speak, he is required to rise and address the Presiding Officer and shall not proceed until he is recognized by the Presiding Officer.

The Presiding Officer is to recognize the Senator who shall first address him. No Senator shall interrupt another Senator in debate without his consent, and to obtain such consent he shall first address the Presiding Officer, and no Senator shall speak more than twice upon any one question in debate on the same legislative day without leave of the Senate, which shall be determined without debate.

Conclusion of business[edit]

Paragraph 1b states that at "conclusion of the morning hour at the beginning of a new legislative day or after the unfinished business or any pending business has first been laid before the Senate on any calendar day, and until after the duration of three hours of actual session after such business is laid down except as determined to the contrary by unanimous consent or on motion without debate, all debate shall be germane and confined to the specific question then pending before the Senate."

Senatorial behavior related to debate[edit]

Paragraph 2 states no Senator in debate shall impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy by any Senator form of words, directly or indirectly or unbecoming a Senator.

Offensive language[edit]

Paragraph 3 states no Senator in debate shall refer offensively to any State of the Union.

Transgressions during a session[edit]

Paragraph 4 states if any Senator whether speaking or otherwise, transgresses the rules of the Senate and in the Presiding Officer's opinion, that officer shall, either on his own motion or at the request of any other Senator, call that Senator to order. When a Senator shall be called to order he shall take his seat. That Senator may not proceed without leave of the Senate. If granted, that Senator shall be upon motion that he be allowed to proceed in order, which motion shall be determined without debate. Any Senator directed by the Presiding Officer to take his seat and/or any Senator requesting the Presiding Officer to require a Senator to take his seat, may appeal from the ruling of the Chair, which appeal shall be open to debate.

Recording debate[edit]

Paragraph 5 states if a Senator is called to order for words spoken in debate, on the demand of the Senator or of any other Senator, the exceptionable words shall be taken down in writing, and read at the table for the information of the Senate.


Paragraph 6 states that whenever confusion, demonstrations pro or con takes place in the Chamber or the galleries, it shall be the duty of the Chair to enforce order on his own initiative and without suggestion or order by a Senator.

Inappropriate recognition[edit]

Paragraph 7 states that no Senator shall introduce or bring to the attention of the Senate (during its sessions), any person in the Senate galleries. That no motion be made to suspend this rule will be in order. The Presiding Officer may not entertain any request to suspend it by unanimous consent.

Address by former Presidents[edit]

Paragraph 8 states that any former President of the United States "shall be entitled to address the Senate upon appropriate notice to the Presiding Officer who shall thereupon make the necessary arrangements."