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Monday, April 1, 2013

Amendments in the Senate: Types and Forms

Christopher M. Davis
Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process

The amending process is central to the consideration of legislation by the Senate, and the rules, practices, and precedents that underlie this process frequently depend on distinguishing among amendments based on their type and form. The way in which an amendment is crafted, and the circumstances in which it is offered, can have an impact on its consideration. When an amendment to a measure is offered in the Senate, and while the amendment is pending, it is normally in order for other amendments to be offered dealing with the same portion of the measure. The relative precedence of an amendment determines whether it can be offered while another amendment is pending, and, if it can, that it be voted on first. Amending opportunities available in the Senate depend on what amendments have already been offered, and several different “amendment trees” can develop depending on circumstances. Precedence depends on the relationship between the degree, form, and scope of the pending amendments and the ones to be offered. Distinguishing among the types and forms of amendments therefore has implications for what alternatives the Senate may choose among, and how many amendments may be pending at one time.

Date of Report: March 25, 2013
Number of Pages: 4
Order Number: 98-614
Price: $19.95

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