Art. 71 Business for consideration
Business in the Federal Assembly includes in particular:
- drafts made by its committees or by the Federal Council of legislative enactments of the Federal Assembly;
- parliamentary initiatives and motions of its members, parliamentary groups and committees as well as cantonal initiatives;
- reports from its committees or from the Federal Council;
- nominations for elections and proposals relating to the confirmation of election nominations;
- proposals relating to procedure made by its members, parliamentary groups, committees or by the Federal Council;
- declarations of the councils or of the Federal Council;
- petitions and submissions;
- appeals, applications and objections.
Art. 72 Submission of business
1Business originating from members or organs of the councils shall become pending in the councils on its submission to the Parliamentary Secretariat.
2Popular initiatives and requests made by a canton for the guarantee of its constitution shall become pending in the Assembly on their submission to the Federal Chancellery.
3Other business shall become pending in both chambers of the Federal Assembly on its submission to the Assembly.
Art. 73 Withdrawal of business
1Business may be withdrawn by its originator at any time before either chamber has taken a decision thereon for the first time.
2A parliamentary initiative or a cantonal initiative may no longer be withdrawn after it has been endorsed by a committee entrusted with its preliminary examination.
3The Federal Council may not withdraw business that it has introduced.
Art. 74 Procedure for legislative bills
1Each council shall consider and decide first of all whether it wishes to approve the introduction of a bill (introductory debate).
2If it approves the introduction of a bill, it must thereafter examine the enactment article by article (detailed consideration).
3Introduction shall be mandatory in the case of popular initiatives, budgets, annual reports, accounts, objections to treaties between cantons or between cantons and foreign states, the guarantee of cantonal constitutions, and in relation to the legislature plan and the financial plan.1
4After the conclusion of the first detailed consideration, a vote is taken in each chamber on the text in its entirety. If approval of introduction is mandatory, no vote is taken on the text in its entirety other than in the case of budgets and accounts.
5If a bill is rejected by a chamber in the vote on the entire text, this is equivalent to non-approval of introduction. The rejection of a budget or of accounts in the vote on the entire text is equivalent to a referral back to the Federal Council.
6If a bill is approved for introduction, it may be abandoned at the request of the committee responsible for the preliminary examination or the Federal Council if it has become unnecessary.2
1 Amended by Annex No 1 of the FA of 26 Sept. 2014 (New Management Model for the Federal Administration), in force since 1 Jan. 2016 (AS 2015 1583; BBl 2014 767).
2 Inserted by No I of the FA of 21 June 2013 (Improvements in the Organisation and Procedures of Parliament), in force since 25 Nov. 2013 (AS 2013 3687; BBl 2011 6793 6829).
Art. 75 Referral for review
1Either council may refer a bill that it has approved for introduction, or any other item of business, back to the Federal Council or the committee entrusted with its examination for review or amendment.
2It may also refer individual sections or provisions for review at a later stage in the deliberations.
3The proposal for referral must indicate what should be reviewed, amended or added.
Art. 76 Proposals
1Any assembly member may submit proposals on a pending matter for consideration in the council and in the committee responsible for the preliminary examination. He or she may apply to the relevant committee for the submission of a parliamentary initiative or of a committee motion.
1bisA bill may only be submitted with a proposal if thereby:
- a pending bill is to be divided up;
- a counter-proposal is to be made to a popular initiative on the same constitutional issue (Art. 101).1
2Proposals that relate to procedure (points of order) must normally be dealt with immediately.
3A reconsideration of any decision made may be requested by means of a point of order until a chamber has concluded its deliberations on an item of business.2
3bisA point of order requesting the reconsideration of a decision on introduction is not permitted.3
3terA point of order requesting the repeat of a vote concluding the Council’s deliberations on an item of business may only be made immediately after the vote.4
4Proposals that have been rejected by the majority of a committee may be submitted as minority proposals.
Art. 77 Urgency clause
1Where it is intended that a draft Federal Act be declared urgent, the urgency clause shall be exempted from the vote on the enactment in its entirety.
2A decision on the urgency clause may be made only after a successful resolution of differences.
3If the urgency clause is rejected, the Drafting Committee shall correct the wording of the provisions on the referendum and its entry into force after consulting the presidents of the committees entrusted with the preliminary examination.1
Art. 78 Voting procedure
1Where a question may be divided into more than one part, each part may, on request, be voted on separately.
2If two proposals in respect of the same subject matter have been submitted and they either relate to the same part of the text or mutually exclude each other, a vote is held on which of the two is to be accepted.
3If it is not possible to vote on which proposal to accept, then the proposals shall be voted on individually.
4No vote is held on unopposed proposals.
5The number of votes is always counted in the case of:
- votes on entire bills;
- votes on a compromise motion;
- votes on provisions requiring the agreement of a majority of the members of each of the two parliamentary chambers (Art. 159 para. 3 Cst.);
- final votes.1
Art. 79 Elimination vote
1If more than two proposals have been made on the same subject matter, then an elimination vote must be held until a vote can be held on which of two proposals is to be accepted.
2The order of voting on the proposals must be structured in such a way that a vote is held first on the proposals that differ the least from each other in content, working through the proposals until those that differ the most are reached.
3If it is not possible to decide on the order of voting according to the criteria laid down in paragraph 2, an elimination vote is held dealing firstly with the proposals of the assembly members, then the proposals of the committee minorities and finally the proposal of the Federal Council. A vote is then held to decide between the proposal that wins the elimination vote and the proposal of the committee majority.
4The order of voting on the proposals may not be altered by a contingent proposal.1
1 Inserted by No I of the FA of 21 June 2013 (Improvements in the Organisation and Procedures of Parliament), in force since 25 Nov. 2013 (AS 2013 3687; BBl 2011 6793 6829).
Art. 80 Voting by the Council President
1The Council President shall not participate in the vote. In the event of a tie, the President shall have the casting vote.
2If the agreement of the majority of the members of each council is required, the Council President shall participate in the vote.
Art. 81 Final vote
1A final vote shall be held on:
- a federal act;
- an ordinance of the Federal Assembly;
- a federal decree that is subject to a mandatory or an optional referendum.1
1bisThe final vote shall be held as soon as the chambers have reached unanimous decisions on the bill and have approved the wording revised by the Drafting Committee. The two chambers shall hold the final vote on the same day.2
2If both chambers approve the bill then the enactment has been passed by the Federal Assembly.
3If one or both chambers reject the bill then the enactment is not passed.
Art. 82 Publication of the voting results
The Standing Orders of the Councils shall determine the cases in which the result of the vote is published in the form of a list of members’ names with the votes they cast.