Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XXVIII

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Rule XXVIII of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, governs conference committees, reports, and open meetings.

Text of Rule XXVII[edit]

1. The presentation of reports of committees of conference shall always be in order when available on each Senator's desk, except when the Journal is being read or a question of order or a motion to adjourn is pending, or while the Senate is voting or ascertaining the presence of a quorum; and when received the question of proceeding to the consideration of the report, if raised, shall be immediately put, and shall be determined without debate.

2.

(a) Conferees shall not insert in their report matter not committed to them by either House, nor shall they strike from the bill matter agreed to by both Houses.
(b) If matter which was agreed to by both Houses is stricken from the bill a point of order may be made against the report, and if the point of order is sustained, the report is rejected or shall be recommitted to the committee of conference if the House of Representatives has not already acted thereon.
(c) If new matter is inserted in the report, a point of order may be made against the conference report and it shall be disposed of as provided under paragraph 4.

3.

(a) In any case in which a disagreement to an amendment in the nature of a substitute has been referred to conferees-
(1) it shall be in order for the conferees to report a substitute on the same subject matter;
(2) the conferees may not include in the report matter not committed to them by either House; and
(3) the conferees may include in their report in any such case matter which is a germane modification of subjects in disagreement.
(b) In any case in which the conferees violate subparagraph (a), a point of order may be made against the conference report and it shall be disposed of as provided under paragraph 4.

4.

(a) A Senator may raise a point of order that one or more provisions of a conference report violates paragraph 2 or paragraph 3, as the case may be. The Presiding Officer may sustain the point of order as to some or all of the provisions against which the Senator raised the point of order.
(b) If the Presiding Officer sustains the point of order as to any of the provisions against which the Senator raised the point of order, then those provisions against which the Presiding Officer sustains the point of order shall be stricken. After all other points of order under this paragraph have been disposed of-
(1) the Senate shall proceed to consider the question of whether the Senate should recede from its amendment to the House bill, or its disagreement to the amendment of the House, and concur with a further amendment, which further amendment shall consist of only that portion of the conference report that has not been stricken;
(2) the question in clause (1) shall be decided under the same debate limitation as the conference report; and
(3) no further amendment shall be in order.

5.

(a) Any Senator may move to waive any or all points of order under paragraph 2 or 3 with respect to the pending conference report by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. All motions to waive under this paragraph shall be debatable collectively for not to exceed 1 hour equally divided between the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their designees. A motion to waive all points of order under this paragraph shall not be amendable.
(b) All appeals from rulings of the Chair under paragraph 4 shall be debatable collectively for not to exceed 1 hour, equally divided between the Majority and the Minority Leader or their designees. An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required in the Senate to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair under paragraph 4.

6. Each report made by a committee of conference to the Senate shall be printed as a report of the Senate. As so printed, such report shall be accompanied by an explanatory statement prepared jointly by the conferees on the part of the House and the conferees on the part of the Senate. Such statement shall be sufficiently detailed and explicit to inform the Senate as to the effect which the amendments or propositions contained in such report will have upon the measure to which those amendments or propositions relate.

7. If time for debate in the consideration of any report of a committee of conference upon the floor of the Senate is limited, the time allotted for debate shall be equally divided between the majority party and the minority party.

8. Each conference committee between the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be open to the public except when managers of either the Senate or the House of Representatives in open session determine by a roll-call vote of a majority of those managers present, that all or part of the remainder of the meeting on the day of the vote shall be closed to the public.

9.

(a)
(1) It shall not be in order to vote on the adoption of a report of a committee of conference unless such report has been available to Members and to the general public for at least 48 hours before such vote. If a point of order is sustained under this paragraph, then the conference report shall be set aside.
(2) For purposes of this paragraph, a report of a committee of conference is made available to the general public as of the time it is posted on a publicly accessible website controlled by a Member, committee, Library of Congress, or other office of Congress, or the Government Printing Office, as reported to the Presiding Officer by the Secretary of the Senate.
(b)
(1) This paragraph may be waived in the Senate with respect to the pending conference report by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. A motion to waive this paragraph shall be debatable for not to exceed 1 hour equally divided between the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their designees.
(2) An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this paragraph. An appeal of the ruling of the Chair shall be debatable for not to exceed 1 hour equally divided between the Majority and the Minority Leader or their designees.
(c) This paragraph may be waived by joint agreement of the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader of the Senate, upon their certification that such waiver is necessary as a result of a significant disruption to Senate facilities or to the availability of the Internet.