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Roberts Rules of Order Revised
1. How Business Is Conducted in Deliberative Assemblies
. > 7. Debate.
Henry M. Robert
Roberts Rules of Order Revised.
After a question has been stated by the chair, it is before the assembly for consideration and action. All resolutions, reports of committees, communications to the assembly, and all amendments proposed to them, and all other motions except the Undebatable Motions mentioned in 45, may be debated before final action is taken on them, unless by a two-thirds vote the assembly decides to dispose of them without debate. By a two-thirds vote is meant two-thirds of the votes cast, a quorum being present. In the debate each member has the right to speak twice on the same question on the same day (except on an appeal), but cannot make a second speech on the same question as long as any member who has not spoken on that question desires the floor. No one can speak longer than ten minutes at a time without permission of the assembly.
Debate must be limited to the merits of the
immediately pending question
that is, the last question stated by the chair that is still pending; except that in a few cases the main question is also open to debate [
]. Speakers must address their remarks to the presiding officer, be courteous in their language and deportment, and avoid all personalities, never alluding to the officers or other members by name, where possible to avoid it, nor to the motives of members. [For further information on this subject see Debate,
, and Decorum in Debate,