After completion of the scheduled legislative business, it is customary at the end of the day for the House to consider miscellaneous unanimous consent requests that were not made earlier in the day, including personal requests of individual Members.
Such requests can only be made by the Member benefiting from the request. These include to:
- Make a correction in the Congressional Record;
- Have a Member’s name removed as a cosponsor of a bill or resolution (this request may also be made by the original sponsor of the measure);
- Include extraneous material exceeding two pages in the Congressional Record, which must be accompanied by a cost estimate from Government Publishing Office.
Members are allowed to be absent and excused on grounds of necessity which can include a death in the family, illness or official business. A request for a leave of absence should be made through the Cloakroom and signed by the appropriate party leader. Such requests are laid before the House each evening, accepted by unanimous consent, and made a part of the Congressional Record.
Extension of Remarks:
Members may insert comments in the section of the Congressional Record entitled “Extension of Remarks” by submitting to the Cloakroom such remarks with the Member’s original signature. It is no longer necessary to obtain “permission” to include extensions in the Congressional Record. All material submitted must bear an original Member’s signature in the upper right-hand corner of the front page — stamps, copies, or facsimiles are not permitted — and the Member’s typed name to be sure of identification. Members must be sure clerks will title the extension themselves.
If the extraneous material to be inserted will exceed two pages of the Congressional Record, it must be submitted to the Government Publishing Office in advance for a cost estimate. When the estimate is received, the Member must ask leave of the House in person that it be printed, notwithstanding the cost. At the beginning or the end of the day, the Member must ask unanimous consent to extend his or her remarks in the Congressional Record and to include therein extraneous material notwithstanding the fact that it exceeds two pages. As part of the unanimous consent request, the Member also should include a cost estimate by the GPO. (As of February 2013, it is estimated that each page of the Congressional Record costs $380.00.)
Extensions should be delivered to the Cloakroom, handed to the Congressional Record clerks who sit at the bottom tier of the rostrum during session, or delivered to the Office of the Official Reporters of Debates in Room HT-59 of the Capitol by 5:00 p.m. or 15 minutes after the House adjourns, whichever is later.
Special-order speeches are given after legislative business is completed for the day. They may be on any topic, and may either be given orally or submitted in writing (as with extensions of remarks). Special orders cannot be requested more than one week in advance.
Pursuant to the Speaker’s announced policy of January 3, 2017, the Chair may recognize Members for special-order speeches for up to four hours. Special-order speeches may not go beyond 10:00 p.m. The four-hour limitation is divided between the Majority and Minority parties. Each party is entitled to reserve its first hour for respective leaderships or their designees. The second hour reserved to each party is divided into two 30-minute periods.
Any questions concerning special orders should be directed to the Cloakrooms.
A motion to adjourn closes the business of the day.