One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices [January 23, 2013]   [open pdf - 203KB]

"Recognition for one-minute speeches (commonly called 'one minutes') in the House of Representatives is the prerogative of the Speaker. A period for one minutes usually takes place at the beginning of the legislative day after the daily prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and approval of the previous day's 'Journal.' During this time, Representatives ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute on a topic of their choice. In addition, one-minute speeches are often permitted after legislative business ends, but before special order speeches begin. The rules of the House do not provide for one-minute speeches. Instead, one minutes have evolved as a 'unanimous consent practice' of the chamber. During one-minute speeches, Members must abide by the rules of the House, the chamber's precedents, and the 'Speaker's announced policies,' in that order. The term 'Speaker's announced policies' refers to the Speaker's policies on certain aspects of House procedure, such as recognition for one minutes. […] Members need not reserve one-minute speeches in advance through their party's leadership. Nevertheless, the party leadership communication arms--known as the 'Democratic Message Group' and the 'Republican Theme Team'--sometimes coordinate party Members to deliver one minutes on the issue designated as the party's daily message. These party Members usually receive priority seating for recognition purposes. This report will be updated if rules and procedures change."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30135
Public Domain
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