Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XXXI

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Rule XXXI of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, governs executive sessions as it relation to proceedings on confirmations.

Text of Rule XXXI[edit]

  1. When nominations shall be made by the President of the United States to the Senate, they shall, unless otherwise ordered, be referred to appropriate committees; and the final question on every nomination shall be, "Will the Senate advise and consent to this nomination?" which question shall not be put on the same day on which the nomination is received, nor on the day on which it may be reported by a committee, unless by unanimous consent.
  2. All business in the Senate shall be transacted in open session, unless the Senate as provided in rule XXI by a majority vote shall determine that a particular nomination, treaty, or other matter shall be considered in closed executive session, in which case all subsequent proceedings with respect to said nomination, treaty, or other matter shall be kept secret: Provided, That the injunction of secrecy as to the whole or any part of proceedings in closed executive session may be removed on motion adopted by a majority vote of the Senate in closed executive session: Provided further, That any Senator may make public his vote in closed executive session.
  3. When a nomination is confirmed or rejected, any Senator voting in the majority may move for a reconsideration on the same day on which the vote was taken, or on either of the next two days of actual executive session of the Senate; but if a notification of the confirmation or rejection of a nomination shall have been sent to the President before the expiration of the time within which a motion to reconsider may be made, the motion to reconsider shall be accompanied by a motion to request the President to return such notification to the Senate. Any motion to reconsider the vote on a nomination may be laid on the table without prejudice to the nomination, and shall be a final disposition of such motion.
  4. Nominations confirmed or rejected by the Senate shall not be returned by the Secretary to the President until the expiration of the time limited for making a motion to reconsider the same, or while a motion to reconsider is pending unless otherwise ordered by the Senate.
  5. When the Senate shall adjourn or take a recess for more than thirty days, all motions to reconsider a vote upon a nomination which has been confirmed or rejected by the Senate, which shall be pending at the time of taking such adjournment or recess, shall fall; and the Secretary shall return all such nominations to the President as confirmed or rejected by the Senate, as the case may be.
  6. Nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session at which they are made shall not be acted upon at any succeeding session without being again made to the Senate by the President; and if the Senate shall adjourn or take a recess for more than thirty days, all nominations pending and not finally acted upon at the time of taking such adjournment or recess shall be returned by the Secretary to the President, and shall not again be considered unless they shall again be made to the Senate by the President.
(a) The Official Reporters shall be furnished with a list of nominations to office after the proceedings of the day on which they are received, and a like list of all confirmations and rejections.
(b) All nominations to office shall be prepared for the printer by the Official Reporter, and printed in the Congressional Record, after the proceedings of the day in which they are received, also nominations recalled, and confirmed.
(c) The Secretary shall furnish to the press, and to the public upon request, the names of nominees confirmed or rejected on the day on which a final vote shall be had, except when otherwise ordered by the Senate.