Committee of the Whole

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  • All members of a legislative body acting as one committee. Rules that govern committees would, therefore, apply, instead of the legislative body's usual procedures, resulting in expedited action. In the United States, a Committee of the Whole exists in the House of Representatives. The committee deliberates and debates legislation but cannot independently pass bills. Action is expedited because there is a smaller quorum requirement (100 members instead of a simple majority), a “five-minute rule” for debates (five minutes allowed to express support and five minutes allowed to express disapproval), and prohibition of the time-consuming motions “to adjourn, lay a measure on the table, recess, recommit, reconsider, or for the previous question.” The recommendations of the committee are reported to the full House by the committee ...

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