Committee of the Whole Rises:
Usually a special rule will provide that, automatically following the disposition of all amendments, the Committee of the Whole rises and reports the bill back to the House. If the rule does not include this provision, the Majority manager of the bill will be recognized to make such a motion. The Committee of the Whole then rises and the Speaker or a Speaker pro tempore resumes the Chair.
Separate Votes on Amendments Adopted in the Committee of the Whole:
The Chair, now the Speaker, asks the House: “Is a separate vote demanded on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole?” Separate votes may be demanded only on amendments adopted by the Committee. Amendments that were defeated may not be voted on again. If there is no request for any separate votes, the amendments adopted are put before the House en bloc. On the other hand, if an amendment has been adopted by a narrow margin or a voice vote in the Committee of the Whole, at this point, the opponents may try to reverse the outcome by demanding a separate vote on it in the House.
Under a special rule, the ordering of the previous question is typically automatic to ensure that the measure makes it to final passage; therefore, no vote on the previous question is allowed. In the absence of such a provision (such as on appropriations bills considered without a special rule), the Speaker will move that the previous question be ordered “without objection.” If an objection is heard, the motion for the previous question must be voted on.
At the beginning of the 111th Congress the rules were changed to allow the Speaker to indefinitely postpone consideration of a measure, if that measure is being considered pursuant to a rule or special order of the House, notwithstanding of the operation of the previous question (rule XIX, clause 1(c)).
Engrossment and Third Reading of the Bill:
This is a routine motion that orders the Clerk to prepare the measure for transmission to the Senate and read its title (the “third reading”).
Motion to Recommit:
After the engrossment and third reading of a bill or joint resolution (but not simple resolutions or concurrent resolutions), a Member opposed to the measure is given preference in recognition to offer a motion to recommit the measure to any committee. This nondebatable motion is traditionally the right of the Minority and gives them one last chance to return the measure to committee. The Rules Committee may not report a special rule on a bill or joint resolution that denies a motion to recommit if offered by the Minority Leader or a designee.
Adoption of a motion to recommit has the effect of sending the measure back to a committee, typically the committee of primary jurisdiction, until such time the committee takes further action on it, delaying final passage indefinitely.
In order of priority, the Minority Leader and then Minority party members on the committee handling the bill, by seniority, have the right to offer the motion. This does not preclude Members of the Majority party from offering the motion to recommit. They “qualify” to offer the motion if they state that they oppose the bill. The Member who qualifies and offers the motion usually votes against final passage of the bill if the motion to recommit fails.