Considering Legislation on the House Floor: Common Practices in Brief [March 14, 2014] [open pdf - 223KB]
"This brief overview explains the most common ways legislation is considered on the House floor, and it describes the types of questions most likely to be voted on and the opportunities for legislative debate that are most frequently used by Members. […] The most common method used to consider bills and resolutions in the House is suspension of the rules. This method has evolved as a way for measures that enjoy widespread support to be quickly processed by the House. […] A two-thirds vote is required to pass a measure under suspension. Many suspension motions are passed by voice vote. Most major bills, however, are considered through a multi-stage process involving the Committee on Rules. Special rules are House resolutions reported by the Committee on Rules that set the terms for debating and amending measures. Through special rules, the House majority can customize floor procedures for considering each bill."
CRS Report for Congress, R43424