Parliamentary Procedure... At a Glance

Here are some motions you might make, how to make them, and what to expect of the rules.

To Do This... You Say This... May You Interrupt the Speaker? Do You Need a Second? Is it Debatable? Can it be Amended? What Vote is Needed? Can it be Reconsidered?
ADJOURN MEETING "I move that we adjourn."

No

Yes

No

No

Majority

No

CALL AN INTERMISSION "I move that we recess for..."

No

Yes

No

Yes

Majority

No

COMPLAIN ABOUT NOISE, HEAT, ETC. "I rise to a question of privilege..."

Yes

No

No

No

No vote

No (usually)

TEMPORARILY SUSPEND CONSIDERATION OF AN ISSUE "I move to table the motion."

No

Yes

No

No

Majority

No

END DEBATE AND AMENDMENTS "I move the previous question."

No

Yes

No

No

2/3

No *1

POSTPONE DISCUSSION FOR A CERTAIN TIME "I move to postpone the discussion until..."

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

Yes

GIVE CLOSER STUDY OF SOMETHING "I move to refer the matter to committee."

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

Yes *2

AMEND A MOTION "I move to amend the motion by..."

No

Yes

Yes *3

Yes

Majority

Yes

INTRODUCE BUSINESS "I move that..."

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Majority

Yes

The motions listed above are in order of precedence.

There is no order in the table below.

PROTEST BREACH OF RULES OR CONDUCT "I rise to a point of order."

Yes

No

No

No

No Vote *4

No

VOTE ON A RULING OF THE CHAIR "I appeal from the chair's decision."

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Majority *5

Yes

SUSPEND RULES TEMPORARILY "I move to suspend the rules so that..."

No

Yes

No

No

2/3

No

AVOID CONSIDERING AN IMPROPER MATTER "I object to consideration of this motion."

Yes

No

No

No

2/3 *6

- *7

VERIFY A VOICE VOTE BY HAVING MEMBERS STAND "I call for a division" or "Division!"

Yes

No

No

No

No Vote

No

REQUEST INFORMATION "Point of information."

Yes

No

No

No

No Vote

No

TAKE UP A MATTER PREVIOUSLY TABLED "I move to take from the table..."

No

Yes

No

No

Majority

No

RECONSIDER A HASTY ACTION "I move to reconsider the vote on..."

Yes

Yes

- *8

No

Majority

No

Notes:

*1 = Unless vote on question is not yet taken *5 = A majority vote in negative needed to revert ruling of chair
*2 = Unless the committee has already taken up the subject *6 = A 2/3 vote in negative needed to prevent consideration of main motion.
*3 = Only if the motion to be amended is debatable *7 = Only if the main question or motion was not, in fact, considered
*4 = Except in doubtful cases. *8 = Only if motion to be reconsidered is debatable.