To Amend

23. To Amend. This motion takes precedence of nothing but the question which it proposed to amend, and yields to any Privileged [ 9], Incidental [ 8] or Subsidiary [ 7] Question, except to Indefinitely Postpone. It can be amended itself, but this "amendment of an amendment" cannot be amended. An Amendment may be inconsistent with one already adopted, or may directly conflict with the spirit of the original motion, but it must have a direct bearing upon the subject of that motion. To illustrate: a motion for a vote of thanks could be amended by substituting for "thanks" the word "censure;" or one condemning certain customs could be amended by adding other customs.

An Amendment may be in any of the following forms: (a) to "add or insert" certain words or paragraphs; (b) to "strike out" certain words or paragraphs, the question, however, being stated by the Chair thus: "Shall these words (or paragraphs) stand as a part of the resolution?" and if this is adopted (that is, the motion to "strike out," fails) it does not preclude either amendment or a motion to "strike out and insert;" (c) "to strike certain words and insert others," which motion is indivisible, and if lost does not preclude another motion to strike out the same words and insert different ones; (d) to "substitute" another motion on the same subject for the one pending; (e) to "divide the question" into two or more questions, as the mover specifies, so as to get a separate vote on any particular point or points [see 4].

If a paragraph is inserted it should be perfected by its friends previous to voting on it, as when once inserted it cannot be struck out or amended except by adding to it. The same is true in regard to words to be inserted in a resolution, as when once inserted they cannot be struck out, except by a motion to strike out the paragraph, or such a portion of it as shall make the question an entirely different one from that of inserting the particular words. The principle involved is that when the assembly has voted that certain words shall form a part of a resolution, it is not in order to make another motion which involves exactly the same question as the one they have decided. The only way to bring it up again is to move a Reconsideration [ 27] of the vote by which the words were inserted.

In stating the question on an Amendment the Chairman should read (1) the passage to be amended; (2) the words to be struck out, if any; (3) the words to be inserted, if any; and (4) the whole passage as it will stand if the amendment is adopted. [For amending reports of committees, and propositions containing several paragraphs, see 44.]

The numbers prefixed to paragraphs are only marginal indications, and should be corrected, if necessary, by the clerk, without any motion to amend.

The following motions cannot be amended:

  To Adjourn (when unqualified) ............................ See  11.
  For the Orders of the Day ................................  ''  12.
  All Incidental Questions .................................  ''   8.
  To Lie on the Table ......................................  ''  19.
  For the Previous Question ................................  ''  20.
  An Amendment of an Amendment .............................  ''  23.
  To Postpone Indefinitely .................................  ''  24.
  Reconsider ...............................................  ''  27.

An Amendment to Rules of Order, By-Laws or a Constitution shall require previous notice and a two-thirds vote for its adoption [see 45].