If a bill does not pass and dies is there a way to reintroduce it in the U.S. I am referring to the Keystone Pipeline for example and am confused by the fact that it might not pass this time around but when the republicans take over it has a greater chance of passing.

  • 1
    Sure, if it passes it can be repealed too. What would you think would prevent it from being reintroduced?
    – user1873
    Nov 16, 2014 at 1:56
  • Can it be reintroduced an infinite number of times?
    – bha
    Nov 16, 2014 at 11:20
  • Yes, any Congress can introduce and pass any bill it chooses. With that said, if it were blatantly unconstitutional, there would be appeals, and likely a stay that would prevent it from being implemented.
    – Kennah
    Nov 17, 2014 at 0:57
  • Reductio ad absurdum: When congress would decide not to pass a bill to raise taxes, would that prohibit them from ever raising taxes in the future?
    – Philipp
    Nov 23, 2014 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


A Congressional session is 2 years long. A new one begins each time Congress faces re-election. Congress just faced re-election, which is the republican takeover to which you refer. It will be the 114th Session of Congress (which we just refer to as the 114th Congress). They will be allowed to bring up any motion that the 113th Congress struck down, including the pipeline proposition.

Also, rules about how often Congress can propose the same idea change as often as every two years. They begin each session choosing their rules - usually a slightly amended version of what the previous session had. Each new session is a clean slate, but Congress can consider the same motion multiple times in a single session as well.

The ability to do this depends on rules that Congress writes for itself, as prescribed by Article 1 Section V Clause II of the U.S. Constitution, "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...".

In basic parliamentary procedure, revisiting a motion is not particularly difficult, it simply requires an extra step: the "motion to reconsider" is voted on separately before the motion can be amended or reintroduced.

The Senate (currently) only allows reconsideration of a motion if suggested by a senator who either was on the prevailing side, or who simply did not vote.

The House (currently) allows reconsideration of a motion by a member of the prevailing side - no such privilege is given for members who simply did not vote on the motion.

1003. The motion to reconsider.

  1. When a motion has been carried or lost, it shall be in order on the same or succeeding day for a Member on the prevailing side of the question to enter a motion for the reconsideration thereof. The entry of such a motion shall take precedence over all other questions except the consideration of a conference report or a motion to adjourn, and may not be withdrawn after such succeeding day without the consent of the House. Once entered, a motion may be called up for consideration by any Member. During the last six days of a session of Congress, such a motion shall be disposed of when entered.

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