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How Congress Works

Rules of the Senate


PDF of Rule XI

1. No memorial or other paper presented to the Senate, except original treaties finally acted upon, shall be withdrawn from its files except by order of the Senate.

2. The Secretary of the Senate shall obtain at the close of each Congress all the noncurrent records of the Senate and of each Senate committee and transfer them to the National Archives and Records Administration for preservation, subject to the orders of the Senate.

3. When the reading of a paper is called for, and objected to, it shall be determined by a vote of the Senate, without debate.

4. Every motion or resolution to print documents, reports, and other matter transmitted by the executive departments, or to print memorials, petitions, accompanying documents, or any other paper, except bills of the Senate or House of Representatives, resolutions submitted by a Senator, communications from the legislatures or conventions, lawfully called, of the respective States, shall, unless the Senate otherwise order, be referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. When a motion is made to commit with instructions, it shall be in order to add thereto a motion to print.

5. Motions or resolutions to print additional numbers shall also be referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration; and when the committee shall report favorably, the report shall be accompanied by an estimate of the probable cost thereof; and when the cost of printing such additional numbers shall exceed the sum established by law, the concurrence of the House of Representatives shall be necessary for an order to print the same.

6. Every bill and joint resolution introduced or reported from a committee, and all bills and joint resolutions received from the House of Representatives, and all reports of committees, shall be printed, unless, for the dispatch of the business of the Senate, such printing may be dispensed with.