Discharge Petition

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  • A process in which a bill is forced out of committee without the go-ahead from committee leadership. Discharge petitions are only associated with the House of Representatives and state legislatures. A discharge petition can be filed after a pending bill has not been acted on for 30 legislative days. A discharge petition requires 218 votes, a majority of the House, to be passed. The process allows greater power to individual representatives than traditional House leadership.

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