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Senate Rules & Procedures


“All legislative bodies need rules to follow if they are to transact business in an orderly fashion,” wrote Senator Robert C. Byrd, “and if they are to operate fairly, efficiently, and expeditiously.” The legislative process on the Senate floor is governed by a set of standing rules—first adopted in 1789 and revised on seven separate occasions—along with a body of precedents, a variety of established and customary practices, and ad hoc arrangements the Senate makes to meet specific parliamentary and political circumstances.