In parliamentary procedure in the United States, a motion to postpone to a certain time (or postpone definitely or postpone) is used to delay action on a pending question until a different day, meeting, hour or until after a certain event. Then, when that time comes, the consideration of the question is picked up where it was left off when it was postponed.

Explanation and use

Postpone to a certain time (RONR)
ClassSubsidiary motion
In order when another has the floor?No
Requires second?Yes
May be reconsidered?Yes
Vote requiredMajority, unless it makes the question a special order, in which case a two-thirds vote is required

Using Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), action on a pending question may be postponed to another time. Alternatively, a motion can be postponed until after a specific event has occurred, such as after an officer makes a relevant report. A postponed question becomes an order of the day (a general order or a special order in the order of business) for the time to which it is postponed.[1] Postponing a motion is permitted so long as:

Under Demeter's Manual, if a motion to postpone definitely specifies a time that falls after the next regular meeting, or after a certain event which will not occur until after the next regular meeting, then it is treated as a motion to postpone indefinitely, which effectively ends consideration of the pending question.[2]

A motion to postpone an action or event that was previously scheduled is distinct from the subsidiary motion to postpone to a certain time, and is a type of the motion to amend something previously adopted.[3]

Generally, a motion to postpone is applied to a main motion and not to other motions alone.[4]

Debate on the motion to postpone to a certain time should be brief and confined only to the reasons for and time of the postponement.[5] Amendments to it may only relate to the desired date that the assembly will resume consideration or if the question is to be a special order.[5]

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (TSC) treats the motion to postpone to a certain time similar to that in RONR. A difference is that TSC does not allow this motion to be reconsidered.[6]

Improper use of tabling a motion

Frequently, a motion is improperly "tabled" until the next meeting. In this case, the proper procedure would have been to postpone the motion to the next meeting.[7]


  1. ^ Robert, Henry M.; et al. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-306-82020-5.
  2. ^ Demeter, George (1969). Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure, Blue Book, p. 89
  3. ^ Robert 2011, p. 180
  4. ^ Robert 2011, p. 181
  5. ^ a b Robert 2011, p. 182
  6. ^ Sturgis, Alice (2001). The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, 4th ed., p. 58–62
  7. ^ Robert III, Henry M. (2011). "Frequently Asked Questions about RONR (Question 12)". The Official Robert's Rules of Order Web Site. The Robert's Rules Association. Retrieved 2016-02-13.