Previous question


Previous question

Previous question, in parliamentary procedure (also known as calling for the question, calling the question, close debate and other terms) is a motion to end debate, and the moving of amendments, on any debatable or amendable motion and bring that motion to an immediate vote.

Explanation and Use

It is often invoked by a member saying, "I call [for] the question."

Previous question (RONR)
Class Subsidiary motion
In order when another has the floor? No
Requires second? Yes
Debatable? No
May be reconsidered? Yes, but if vote was affirmative, only before any vote has been taken under it. A negative vote on this motion can be reconsidered only until such time as progress in business or debate has made it essentially a new question.
Amendable? No
Vote required: Two-thirds

Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR)

Under Robert's Rules of Order and other parliamentary authorities, when a call for the question is made, a two-thirds vote is required to end debate. The motion for the previous question itself is not debatable.

The Standard Code (TSC)

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure criticizes the "previous question" terminology as being confusing, and instead calls this motion the motion to close debate, the motion to vote immediately, or the motion to close debate and vote immediately.[1] Regardless of the terminology, a two-thirds vote is required to end debate.

Legislative Use

In legislative bodies, this concept is frequently referred to as cloture. The number of votes required for cloture varies, for example in the United States Senate, the vote required is three-fifths of the total number of Senators. Additionally, cloture in the U.S. Senate does not immediately end debate on the pending question, but rather imposes strict limitations on debate. It is therefore more akin to the motion to limit debate found in Robert's Rules, than the motion for the previous question.

  1. ^ AIP; Sturgis, Alice F. (2001). The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th ed. ed.). p. 235. 



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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Previous question — Previous Pre vi*ous, a. [L. praevius going before, leading the way; prae before + via the way. See {Voyage}.] Going before in time; being or happening before something else; antecedent; prior; as, previous arrangements; a previous illness. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Previous question — Question Ques tion, n. [F., fr. L. quaestio, fr. quaerere, quaesitum, to seek for, ask, inquire. See {Quest}, n.] 1. The act of asking; interrogation; inquiry; as, to examine by question and answer. [1913 Webster] 2. Discussion; debate; hence,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • previous question — n. the question, put as a motion, whether a matter under consideration by a parliamentary body should be voted on immediately: defeat of the motion permits further consideration …   English World dictionary

  • previous question — /priviəs ˈkwɛstʃən/ (say preeveeuhs kweschuhn) noun Parliamentary Procedure the question whether a vote shall be taken on a main question, moved before the main question is put in order to cut off debate …   Australian English dictionary

  • previous question — noun Date: circa 1715 a parliamentary motion to put the pending question to an immediate vote without further debate or amendment that if defeated has the effect of permitting resumption of debate …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • previous question — Parl. Proc. a move that a vote be taken at once on a main question, used esp. as a means of cutting off further debate. [1690 1700] * * * …   Universalium

  • previous question — pre′vious ques′tion n. gov a parliamentary motion that a vote be taken at once on the main question, cutting off further debate • Etymology: 1690–1700 …   From formal English to slang

  • previous question — noun a motion calling for an immediate vote on the main question under discussion by a deliberative assembly • Hypernyms: ↑gesture, ↑motion, ↑order, ↑rules of order, ↑parliamentary law, ↑parliamentary procedure …   Useful english dictionary

  • Previous — Pre vi*ous, a. [L. praevius going before, leading the way; prae before + via the way. See {Voyage}.] Going before in time; being or happening before something else; antecedent; prior; as, previous arrangements; a previous illness. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Previous to — Previous Pre vi*ous, a. [L. praevius going before, leading the way; prae before + via the way. See {Voyage}.] Going before in time; being or happening before something else; antecedent; prior; as, previous arrangements; a previous illness. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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