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Motion to Send Back to Committee A Proposal

Guest Mark H

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I have a question regarding a motion to send back to committee a proposal.  In our club, a standing committee reviews proposals to amend the club rules and bylaws.  The committee reviews the proposal and reviews it for consistency with the existing rules and bylaws and works with the member(s) submitting the proposal. 

The proposal is mailed out in advance of the next scheduled meeting and presented to membership.  After a discussion the proposal is voted on.   Several times the proposal is neither approved or rejected, rather a motion is made from the floor to send the proposal back to the committee. 

It's been suggested that a motion to send back to committee is out of order.   That the proposal should be either approved or rejected.  

What is the rule on this, and where would I find it in Robert's Rules of Order?

Thank you!

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There is no such rule in RONR. A motion to send a proposal back to a committee ( to re-commit) is perfectly valid. Since you have a standing committee whose purpose is to review bylaw amendments, you are restricted to sending the proposal back to that committee; that is, you can not create a different special committee to review this proposal.

However, assuming this proposal already was reviewed by your standing committee, and that the committee made a recommendation on it, what is the basis for sending it back again?

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"The term recommit is applied to a motion that proposes to refer a question a second time, either to the same committee that previously considered it or to a different one.
"All of the rules in this section, except when stated to the contrary, apply equally ... to a motion to recommit."

(RONR 11th ed., p. 168, line 23-28)

Adding: agree with Mr. Lages' comment that you are restricted, in this case, as to which committee you can recommit to.


Edited by Atul Kapur
Addition as noted
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13 minutes ago, Guest Mark H said:

It's been suggested that a motion to send back to committee is out of order.  

When someone pulls this one, ask the "suggestor" to produce sch a rule.  Chances are quite good, he/she won't be able to.

"Just where is that written?" resolves a whole lot of questions.

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Yes, I realize that. The short paragraph on page 168:23-25 makes no claim. However, the first paragraph on page 559:1-6 implies, at least to me, that the situation has changed from when the committee first considered the bylaws and the present when additional "amendments are desired."

But recommitting a motion over and over again to the same committee without anything being different or any other instructions does not seem to be consistent with the rules on the renewal of motions.

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