Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule XXII

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Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, governs the precedence of motions in the Senate.[1]

Among other things, Rule XXII describes the means that the Senate may invoke to bring debate to a close ("cloture"). Sixteen Senators may propose, and the President of the Senate shall offer, this motion: "Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be brought to a close?"[2]

A vote of three-fifths of the Senate will cause the debate to conclude after thirty hours with discussion only on the motion or bill, unless the Senate votes by a three-fifths majority to extend debate.[2]

Debate may also be interrupted by a question of order (under Rule XX). When the Senate Majority Leader raises a question of order that only a simple majority is needed to close debate, this is the first step to instituting the constitutional option (the so-called "nuclear option").


  1. ^ "What is Rule 22?" Archived 2011-05-21 at the Wayback Machine., Rule22 Blog, 5/28/2011.
  2. ^ a b "STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE REVISED TO JANUARY 24, 2013" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. January 23, 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2018.