ABSTRACT

Voting and Quorum Procedures in the House of Representatives [Updated March 26, 2020]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "The Constitution requires that a quorum, defined as a majority of the House, be present on the floor when the House transacts business. The House, however, always presumes that a quorum is present unless and until its absence is demonstrated conclusively. The rules of the House strictly limit the occasions on which a Representative may make a point of order that a quorum is not present. In current practice, Members usually make such a point of order only when a vote is taking place. If a majority of the Members fails to respond to a quorum call or participate in an electronically recorded vote conducted in the House, the House must adjourn or take steps necessary to secure the attendance of enough Members to constitute a quorum. Questions to be decided on the floor are usually first put to a voice vote. Such votes--in which those present on the floor respond by answering together 'aye' (after the presiding officer asks how many are in favor) or 'no' (after the presiding officer asks how many are opposed)--are very common in the House. For such votes, no public record shows how individual Members voted. In practice, such votes might be taken with few Members present on the floor. Before the final result of a voice vote is announced, however, any Member may demand a division vote or seek an electronically recorded vote. Members' positions on these votes are publicly recorded."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, 98-988
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2020-03-26
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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