While watching the impeachment hearing with Ambassador Taylor, I sometimes heard committee members ask to enter articles (e.g. opinion articles from the New York times or an article from Politco) into the "Congressional Record". Sometimes members making such a request would mention the term "unanimous consent". A few times, I heard committee chairman Schiff reply "without objection" and sometimes requesting members would reply to that with a simple thank you.

It's not clear to me what this procedure entails.

Firstly, it seems the committee chairman can overrule the unanimous consent and simply agree.

Secondly, it's a bit weird to me how brief these interactions are as the hearing will simply continue the hearing. What happens when the chair agrees to enter something into the Congressional Record? Does it simply appear on some congressional website or is there something more to it? Is the document associated with the specific hearing, the specific committee, or some general record?

  • Could you clarify what's missing from the account on Wikipedia? Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 23:11
  • @JohnDallman feel free to write an answer based on that. I initially thought there was more to it than that but it may be that it's just a publication that's published (on paper? and) online.
    – JJJ
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


The Congressional Record is the formal record of debates in Congress. Sometimes, members of Congress want to enter something written in advance into the debate. They can do that by reading it out loud, but that’s time-consuming. Instead, members can have the text inserted directly into the Record. This technically would need a vote, but it’s basically unheard-of for anyone to actually oppose the request.

Firstly, it seems the committee chairman can overrule the unanimous consent and simply agree.

“Without objection” doesn’t mean no one can object; it just means that the chair can’t imagine anyone objecting and doesn’t feel like taking the time to ask if there are any. If another member does want to object they could interrupt, but as I said, no one ever objects to having something read into the Record.

  • I believe you can also have physical evidence read into the record as well, if it furthers the point a person is trying to make. It pretty much is identical to a lawyer submitting something in evidence or having the record reflect a non-verbal response (opposing council can object based on a number of possible problems, but doesn't have too.).
    – hszmv
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 14:12

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