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Opportunities to Speak

This section explains the opportunities members have available to speak on any subject of his or her choosing outside of the time traditionally reserved for debating bills. These times are known as “Morning Hour,” “One-Minute speeches,” and “Special Orders.” For additional information, please contact the Republican Cloakroom (x57350). 

Morning Hour debate (also known as Five-Minute speeches)

A period is set aside at the beginning of the day for members to address the House for up to five minutes on any topic of their choosing. On the first legislative day of the week following an in session week, Morning Hour begins at 12:00 p.m. and in no event extends past 1:50 p.m. On the first legislative day of the week following a recess week, there will not be Morning Hour. On the middle days of the legislative week, Morning Hour begins at 10:00 a.m. and in no event extends past 11:50 a.m. Members are recognized alternating between majority and minority members on a rotating basis. There will be no Morning Hour debate on the last legislative day of the week. 

One-Minute speeches

A member has two opportunities to address the House in a One-Minute speech: 1) Immediately following the Pledge of Allegiance, or 2) At the end of the legislative day. Please be advised that members may only be recognized for one One-Minute speech per day. At the beginning of the week, the Speaker of the House will announce how many One-Minutes will be allowed each day during the first opportunity to speak, prior to the start of legislative business. The number of One-Minutes at the end of each legislative day is generally unlimited. A One-Minute speech may be on any topic; however, members may be interested in speaking on a weekly theme provided by Conference. 

When it is the Member’s turn, the Chair will say, “For what purpose does the gentleman/gentlelady from (State) seek recognition?” The Member should first address the chair directly and say, “I seek unanimous consent to address the House for one minute, and to revise and extend my remarks.” At this point, the Chair will say, “Without objection,” and the Member may approach the microphone and begin their One-Minute speech. 

Special Orders

After legislative business and the final period of One-Minutes, members have the opportunity to take part in Special Order speeches. Both parties will be allowed one “Leadership Hour” and two half-hour Special Orders each day, time permitting. The majority and minority alternate who controls the first hour each day, and each subsequent block of time alternates between the majority and minority. Under no circumstances will Special Orders be allowed to run past 10:00 p.m. 

On the day of, the Leader’s floor staff will confirm with the member that he or she still plans to use their time. Occasionally, the assigned member may decline to control the Leadership Hour or an assigned half-hour, at which time the floor staff will contact another member on the list or other members who have expressed interest in controlling the time. ANY MEMBER WHO SIGNS UP AND CONFIRMS CONTROLLING THE TIME MUST BE ON THE FLOOR IN ORDER TO CLAIM THAT TIME. The floor staff will monitor how time is progressing and contact the next member on the list, providing the Member with an approximate time when their Special Order will begin. If the member is not on the floor when it is their turn to be recognized, the time is forfeited and can lead to forfeiture of all subsequent Special Orders, resulting in the House adjourning for the day. 

Members may not sign up with their leadership for any special-order speeches earlier than one week prior to the special order. The Chair will not recognize a Member for more than one special-order speech per week, nor may a Member sign up for a second special-order speech in the same week. However, a member may participate in multiple Special Orders a week that are hosted by another member. Additional guidelines may be established for such sign-ups by the respective leaderships.

How does a member reserve time to speak? 

Five-Minute and One-Minute speeches cannot be reserved and are doled out on a first come, first served basis. For Special Orders, Members wishing to reserve a 60 minute or 30 minute Special Order should contact the Republican Cloakroom (x57350). Please note that the Leadership Hour is reserved for members who wish to speak on a topic that is consistent with the House Republican message.

How can a member get a written speech inserted in the Congressional Record when the member is unable to actually give the Speech on the Floor? 

April 6, 2020 Update: Per the Speaker’s announced policy, staff are now able to submit certain documents electronically during this public health crisis. Extension of Remarks may be submitted electronically to At this time, the Cloakroom cannot accept hard copies as per prior practice. 

Members can submit written statements to the Congressional Record on any bill considered by the House within five legislative days of the bill’s consideration, commonly known as “general leave.” Members may also insert written statements on any desired topic in the Extension of Remarks section of the Congressional Record. Both Extensions of Remarks and General Leave documents are limited to two printed pages of the Congressional Record which is roughly equivalent to five single-spaced typed pages. These written materials must bear the original signature of the submitting member. Floor staff cannot accept faxed or electronic copies of Extension of Remarks or General Leave Statements. Staff should bring the statements to the Cloakroom or directly to the Reporters of Debate (HT-59) while the House is in session. In addition to the hard copy, an electronic copy may be sent to the Reporters of Debate to help ensure that the member’s statement is printed properly. Click here for instructions on how to submit electronic copies. In order to insert something into the Congressional Record which is longer than the two-page limit, the member must obtain a cost estimate from GPO and get unanimous consent to get the materials inserted into the Record. For further information, please call the Office of Official Reporters at (x55621).