Standing Rules of the United States Senate, Rule VI

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Rule VI of the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, established by the Committee on Rules and Administration, relates to a quorum and absentee Senators.

The Definition of Quorum[edit]

Clause 1 of Rule VI provides the definition of quorum. A quorum of Senators is a simple majority of sworn Senators, according to the Standing Rules of the United States Senate.[1]

Absence of Senators[edit]

Clause 2 of Rule VI states that Senators must have permission to be absent from Senate business.[2]

Quorum Call[edit]

Clause 3 of Rule VI provides the procedure for determining if there is a quorum of Senators in the Senate chamber. Any Senator can ask for a call of the roll at any time. In such an event "the Presiding Officer shall forthwith direct the Secretary to call the roll and shall announce the result, and these proceedings shall be without debate.[3]

Absent Senators May Be Sent For[edit]

Clause 4 provides the protocol to be followed if a quorum is not present. After a simple majority vote by the Senators then present, it is the duty of the Sergeant at Arms "to request, and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators."[4] If a quorum of Senators is not present in the Senate chamber, no business can be conducted "except to adjourn, or to recess pursuant to a previous order entered by unanimous consent."[5]