Motions Classified According to their Object

55. Motions Classified According to their Object. Instead of immediately adopting or rejecting a resolution as originally submitted, it may be desirable to dispose of it in some other way, and for this purpose various motions have come into use, which can be made while a resolution is being considered, and for the time being, supersede it. No one can make any of these motions while another member has the floor, excepting as shown in 64, which see for the circumstances under which each motion can be made.

The following list comprises most of these motions, arranged in eight classes, according to the object for which each motion is used. [The names of the motions are printed in Italics; each class is treated separately, as shown by the references.]

Motions Classified.

  (1) To Amend or Modify ....................................... [ 56]
    (a) Amend.
    (b) Commit.
  (2) To Defer action .......................................... [ 57]
    (a) Postpone to a certain time.
    (b) Lie on the Table.
  (3) To Suppress Debate ....................................... [ 58]
    (a) Previous Question.
    (b) An Order limiting or closing Debate.
  (4) To Suppress the question ................................. [ 59]
    (a) Objection to its Consideration.
    (b) Postpone Indefinitely.
    (c) Lie on the Table.
  (5) To Consider a question the second time ................... [ 60]
    (a) Reconsider.
  (6) Order and Rules .......................................... [ 61]
    (a) Orders of the day.
    (b) Special Orders.
    (c) Suspension of the Rules.
    (d) Questions of Order.
    (e) Appeal.
  (7) Miscellaneous ............................................ [ 62]
    (a) Reading of Papers.
    (b) Withdrawal of a Motion.
    (c) Questions of Privilege.
  (8) To close a meeting ....................................... [ 63]
    (a) Fix the time to which to Adjourn.
    (b) Adjourn.

To Amend or Modify

56. To Amend or Modify. (a) Amend. If it is desired to modify the question in any way, the proper motion to make is to "amend," either by "adding" words, or by "striking out" words; or by "striking out certain words and inserting others;" or by "substituting" a different motion on the same subject for the one before the assembly; or by "dividing the question" into two or more questions, as the mover specifies, so as to get a separate vote on any particular point or points. Sometimes the enemies of a measure seek to amend it in such a way as to divide its friends, and thus defeat it.

When the amendment has been moved and seconded, the chairman should always state the question distinctly, so that every one may know exactly what is before them, reading first the paragraph which it is proposed to amend; then the words to be struck out, if there are any; next, the words to be inserted, if any; and finally, the paragraph as it will stand if the amendment is adopted. He then states that the question is on the adoption of the amendment, which is open to debate, the remarks being confined to the merits of the amendment, only going into the main question so far as is necessary in order to ascertain the propriety of adopting the amendment.

This amendment can be amended, but an "amendment of an amendment" cannot be amended. None of the undebatable motions mentioned in 66, except to fix the time to which to adjourn, can be amended, nor can the motion to postpone indefinitely.

(b) Commit. If the original question is not well digested, or needs more amendment than can well be made in the assembly, it is usual to move "to refer it to a committee." This motion can be made while an amendment is pending, and it opens the whole merits of the question to debate. This motion can be amended by specifying the number of the committee, or how they shall be appointed, or when they shall report, or by giving them any other instructions. [See 53 on committees, and 46 (c) on their appointment.]