The transcriptional regulatory protein RfaH controls expression of several operons that encode extracytoplasmic components in bacteria. Regulation by RfaH occurs during transcript elongation and depends on a 5'-proximal, transcribed nucleic acid sequence called ops that induces transcriptional pausing in vitro and in vivo. We report that RfaH recognizes RNA polymerase transcribing RfaH-regulated operons by interacting with the ops sequence in the exposed nontemplate DNA strand of ops-paused transcription complexes. Although RfaH delays escape from the ops pause, once escape occurs, RfaH enhances elongation by suppressing pausing and rho-dependent termination without apparent involvement of other accessory proteins. This activity predicts a cumulative antitermination model for RfaH's regulation of ops-containing operons in vivo.