Parliamentary Motions that are Debatable, Amendable, and the Required Vote

Gavel & Stryker

Robert’s Rules of Order is the most widely adopted parliamentary authority in the United States, containing rules of order for deliberative assembly and parliamentary procedure.

In this publication, you can find reliable reference tables and explanations of procedures for legally binding assembly and general parliamentary law.  This reference helps for traditional, formal, and law-abiding procedure for law adoption.

It is the duty of the presiding officer to enforce the council’s rules and procedures, whether those procedures be that of the Robert’s Rules of Order, or something similar.   But in the interest of time and simplicity, it is great when an officer can use tools such as this “Chart of Parliamentary Procedure Motions” as a cross-reference during council meetings.  Here is a simplified list of motions and whether those motions are generally accepted as debatable, amendable, and what the required vote is.

Parliamentary Procedure Motions: Motions that are debatable, amendable, and require a vote (based on Robert’s Rules)





Adjournment No No Majority
Recess No Yes Majority
Lay on Table No No Majority
Close Debate No No 2/3
Limit/Close Debate No Yes 2/3
Postpone Definitely Yes Yes Majority
Refer to Committee Yes Yes Majority
Amend Amendment Yes No Majority
Amend Main Motion Yes Yes Majority
Main Motion Yes Yes Majority
Point of Order No No None
Inquiry No No None
Objection to Consideration No No 2/3
Roll call No No None
Appeal Decision of Chair Yes No Majority
Divide Question No Yes Majority
Suspend Rules No No 2/3

Chart of basic parliamentary motions prepared by Dr. Pani Krohne, executive director of the South Carolina School Boards Association. Krohne, president of the SC Association of Parliamentarians – Capital Unit, presented on the topic of parliamentary procedure at the 2012 Municipal Attorneys Association Annual Meeting. For more information, visit (keyword: MAA).

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