SENATE RESOLUTION 120--MODIFYING EXTENDED DEBATE IN THE SENATE TO IMPROVE THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 51
(Senate - March 26, 2015)

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[Pages S2052-S2053]
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   SENATE RESOLUTION 120--MODIFYING EXTENDED DEBATE IN THE SENATE TO 
                    IMPROVE THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

  Mr. MERKLEY (for himself and Mr. Udall) submitted the following 
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and 
Administration:

                              S. Res. 120

       Resolved,

     SECTION 1. EXTENDED DEBATE.

       Paragraph 2 of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the 
     Senate is amended by striking the second undesignated 
     paragraph and inserting the following:
       ``Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be 
     brought to a close? And unless that question shall be decided 
     in the negative by one more than two-fifths of the Senators 
     duly chosen and sworn (except on a measure or motion to amend 
     the Senate rules, in which case the necessary vote shall be 
     two-thirds of the Senators present and voting in the 
     affirmative, a quorum being present), then cloture has been 
     invoked.
       ``If that question is on disposition of a bill or joint 
     resolution, a resolution or concurrent resolution, a 
     substitute amendment for a bill or resolution, a motion with 
     respect to amendments between the Houses, a conference 
     report, or advice and consent to a nomination or treaty, and 
     if such question shall be decided in the affirmative by a 
     majority of Senators voting, a quorum being present, and in 
     the negative by more than two-fifths of the Senators duly 
     chosen and sworn (or in the affirmative by less than two-
     thirds of the Senators voting, a quorum being present, in the 
     case of a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules), then 
     it shall be in order for the Majority Leader (or his or her 
     designee) to initiate a period of extended debate upon the 
     measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, 
     or the unfinished business, in relation to which the motion 
     to close debate was offered, in which case the period of 
     extended debate shall begin one hour later.
       ``During a period of extended debate, such measure, motion, 
     or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished 
     business, shall be the unfinished business to the exclusion 
     of all other business, except on action or motion by the 
     Majority Leader (or his or her designee).
       ``During a period of extended debate it shall not be in 
     order for a Senator other than the Majority Leader (or his or 
     her designee) to raise a question as to the presence of a 
     quorum, except immediately prior to a vote or when it has 
     been more than forty-eight hours since a quorum was 
     demonstrated. If upon a roll call it shall be ascertained 
     that a quorum is not present, then the Senate shall adjourn 
     to a time previously decided by order of the Senate or, if no 
     such time has been established, then to a time certain 
     determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with 
     the Minority Leader.
       ``During a period of extended debate a motion to adjourn or 
     recess shall not be in order, unless made by the Majority 
     Leader (or his or her designee) or if the absence of a quorum 
     has been demonstrated. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 of rule 
     XIX, there shall

[[Page S2053]]

     be no limit to the number of times a Senator may speak upon 
     any question during a period of extended debate.
       ``If, during the course of extended debate, the Presiding 
     Officer puts any question to a vote, the Majority Leader (or 
     his or her designee) may postpone any such vote, which shall 
     occur at a time determined by the Majority Leader, after 
     consultation with the Minority Leader, but not later than the 
     time at which a quorum is next demonstrated.
       ``If at any time during a period of extended debate no 
     Senator seeks recognition, then the Presiding Officer shall 
     inquire as to whether any Senator seeks recognition. If no 
     Senator seeks recognition, then the Presiding Officer shall 
     again put the question as to bringing debate to a close (and 
     the Majority Leader or his or her designee may postpone such 
     vote in accordance with the preceding paragraph), which shall 
     be decided without further debate or intervening motion. If 
     that question shall be decided in the affirmative by a 
     majority of Senators voting, a quorum being present, then 
     cloture has been invoked and the period of extended debate 
     has ended. If that question shall be decided in the negative 
     by a majority of Senators voting, a quorum being present, 
     then the period of extended debate has ended.
       ``If cloture is invoked, then the measure, motion, other 
     matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, 
     in relation to which the motion to close debate was offered, 
     shall remain the unfinished business to the exclusion of all 
     other business until disposed of.''.

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