Page images

case, but without debate; if there be no appeal, the decision of the Chair shall be submitted to. If the decision be in favor of the member called to order, he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, he shall not be permitted to proceed, in case any member object, without leave of the House;† and if the case require it, he shall be liable to the censure of the House.-April 7, 1789, and March 13, 1822.

62. If a member be called to order for words spoken in debate, the person calling him to order shall repeat the words. excepted to, and they shall be taken down in writing at the Clerk's table; and no member shall be held to answer, or be subject to the censure of the House, for words spoken in debate, if any other member has spoken, or other business has intervened, after the words spoken, and before exception to them shall have been taken.-September 14, 1837.

63. No member shall speak more than once to the same question without leave of the House-April 7, 1789-unless he be the mover, proposer, or introducer of the matter pending; in which case he shall be permitted to speak in reply, but not until every member choosing to speak shall have spoken.-January 14, 1840.

64. If a question depending be lost by adjournment of the House, and revived on the succeeding day, no member who shall have spoken on the preceding day shall be permitted again to speak without leave. ‡-April 7, 1789.

65. While the Speaker is putting any question, or ad

*See rule 2, with note appended to it.

That part of this rule which is printed in italics was adopted on the 13th March, 1822, with the exception of the words "in case any member object," which were inserted on the 14th September, 1837.

There is no proceeding in the House to which this rule can be applied. It was originally framed in reference to that law of Parliament which says that all pending questions are lost by adjournment, and to be again considered must be moved anew. In the rules as revised and established on the 7th January, 1802, the prohibition to speak on the next day was confined to those who had spoken twice on the preceding day. It so remained until the 14th January, 1840, when the word twice was left out.

dressing the House, none shall walk out of or across the House; nor in such case, or when a member is speaking, shall entertain private discourse; nor while a member is speaking, shall pass between him and the Chair.-April 7, 1789. Every member shall remain uncovered during the session of the House.-September 14, 1837. No member or other person shall visit or remain by the Clerk's table while the ayes and noes are calling, or ballots are counting.-September 14, 1837.

66. All questions relating to the priority of business to be acted on shall be decided without debate.-February 21, 1803.


67. All committees shall be appointed by the Speaker, unless otherwise specially directed by the House, in which case they shall be appointed by ballot ;* and if upon such ballot the number required shall not be elected by a majority of the votes given, the House shall proceed to a second ballot, in which a plurality of votes shall prevail; and in case a greater number than is required to compose or complete a committee shall have an equal number of votes, the House shall proceed to a further ballot or ballots.-January 13, 1790.

68. The first named member of any committee shall be the chairman; and in his absence, or being excused by the House, the next named member, and so on, as often as the case shall happen, unless the committee, by a majority of their number, elect a chairman.t-December 28, 1805.

*The rule as originally adopted, April 17, 1789, directed that the Speaker should appoint all committees, unless the number was directed to consist of more than three members; in which case, the ballot was to be resorted to.

+ The occasion of this rule was this: Mr. John Cotton Smith, of Connecticut, had been chairman of the Committee of Claims for several years, and on the 5th November, 1804, was reappointed. On the succeeding day he was excused from service on the committee, and his colleague, Samuel W. Dana, was appointed in his stead." The committee considered Mr. Dana its chairman; he

69. Any member may excuse himself from serving on any committee at the time of his appointment, if he is then a member of two other committees.--April 13, 1789.

70. It shall be the duty of a committee to meet on the call of any two of its members, if the chairman be absent, or decline to appoint such meeting.-December 20, 1805.

71. The several standing committees of the House shall have leave to report by bill or otherwise.-March 13,


72. No committee shall sit during the sitting of the House without special leave.--November 13, 1794.

73. No committee shall be permitted to employ a clerk at the public expense, without first obtaining leave of the House for that purpose. --December 14, 1838.

74. Thirty-four standing committees shall be appointed at the commencement of each Congress,* viz:

declined to act, contending that he was the tail. Being unable to agree, the committee laid the case before the House on the 20th November. Up to this time there was no rule or regulation as to the head of a committee. The usage had been that the first named member acted; but it was usage only. The subject was referred to a committee. On the 22d November, 1804, the committee reported, and recommended that the first named member be the chairman; and in case of his absence, or of his being excused by the House, the committee should appoint a chairman by a majority of its votes. The House rejected this proposition. The Committee of Claims the next day notified the House that, unless some order was taken in the premises, no business could be done by the committee during the session; and thereupon, on the 20th December, 1805, the House adopted the above rule. In this case the Committee of Claims availed itself of the privilege contained in the last clause of the rule, and elected Mr. Dana chairman, much against his wishes.

Prior to the revision of the rules, in March, 1860, it was provided that the standing committees should be appointed at the commencement of each session. At the said revision the Committee on Engraving was abolished, and its duties transferred to the House members of the Committee on Public Printing.-(See Rule 100.) Originally the Committee of Claims was charged with revolutionary and land claims, and all sorts of pensions. On the 22d December, 1813, the duties of that committee were divided, and a committee was appointed called the Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims. On the 9th of December, 1-25, a separate committee on Revolutionary Pensions was created, leaving the business of Invalid pensions to the committee created on the 29d December,

A Committee of Elections.-Nov. 13, 1789.

A Committee of Ways and Means.-Jan. 7, 1802.

A Committee on Appropriations.-March 2, 1865.

A Committee on Banking and Currency.-March 2, 1865.
A Committee on the Pacific Railroad.-March 2, 1865.

A Committee of Claims.-Nov. 13, 1794.*

A Committee on Commerce.-Dec. 14, 1795.t

A Committee on Public Lands.-Dec. 17, 1805.

A Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads.—Nov. 9, 1808. §
A Committee for the District of Columbia -Jan. 27, 1808.
A Committee on the Judiciary.-June 3, 1813.

A Committee on Revolutionary Claims.-Dec. 22, 1813.||
A Committee on Public Expenditures.-Feb. 26, 1814.
A Committee on Private Land Claims.— April 29, 1816. ¶

To consist of nine members


1813. On the 13th December, 1825, four days after its institution, the desig nation of the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions was changed to the Committee on Military Pensions, and it was charged with both revolutionary and invalid pensions. On the 10th January, 1831, the Committee on Military Pensions became the present Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, and an additional committee was created called the Committee on Invalid Pensions; and the pension business was apportioned to the two committees, as set out in the duties assigned to the committees.

[blocks in formation]

+ This committee was originally a Committee on Commerce and Manufactures. On the 8th December, 1819, a Committee on Manufactures was constituted, but no duties have been assigned to that committee in the rules.

The 3d of January, 1805, was the first time at which it was proposed to appoint a Committee on Public Lands. The proposition was then made by Mr. John Boyle, of Kentucky, and was rejected. On the 17th December, 1805, the committee was constituted for the first time. Previous to that day the business relating to the lands of the United States was either sent to the Committee of Claims or to a select committee, and frequently in parts to both.

From the earliest stages of the government a select committee was annually raised upon the subject of "the Post Office and Post Roads," and was always composed of a member from each State. A standing committee was instituted on the 9th November, 1808, and, like the select committees, was directed to be composed of a member from each State. On the 23d December, 1811, it was directed to be composed of the same number of members as the other standing


Sce note (*) page 175.

When the Committee on Private Land Claims was first constituted, it was composed of five members-two less than the other committees. On the 19th December, 1817, it was directed to be composed of seven members.

A Committee on Manufactures.-Dee. 8, 1819.*
A Committee on Agriculture.-May 3, 1820.*

A Committee on Indian Affairs.-Dec. 18, 1821.*
A Committee on Military Affairs.- March 13, 1822.
A Committee on the Militia.-Dec. 10, 1835.

A Committee on Naval Affairs.-March 13, 1822.
A Committee on Foreign Affairs.-March 13, 1822.
A Committee on the Territories.-Dec. 13, 1825.
A Committee on Revolutionary Pensions.-Dec. 9, 1825.†
A Committee on Invalid Pensions.-Jan. 10, 1831.
A Committee on Roads and Canals --Dec. 15, 1831.
A Committee on Mines and Mining.-Dec. 19, 1865.
A Committee on Freedmen's Affairs.-Dec. 4, 1866.
A Committee on Education and Labor.-March 21, 1867.
A Committee on the Revision of the Laws.-July 25, 1868.
A Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures.—Jan.
21, 1864-March 2, 1867.

A Committee on Patents.-Sept. 15, 1837.

To consist of nine members each.

To consist of seven members.

A Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds.-Sept. 15, 1837.

A Committee of Accounts.-Nov. 7, 1804.‡

A Committee on Mileage.-Sept. 15, 1837.

To consist of five members


75. It shall be the duty of the Committee of Elections to examine and report upon the certificates of election, or other credentials, of the members returned to serve in this House, and to take into their consideration all such petitions and other matters touching elections and returns as shall or may be presented or come into question, and be referred to them by the House.-November 13, 1789; November 13, 1794.

76. It shall be the duty of the Committee on Appropriations to take into consideration all executive communications and such other propositions in regard to carrying on the several departments of the government as may be presented and referred to them by the House.-March 2, 1865.


*There are no duties assigned to the Committees on Manufactures, Agriculture, and Indian Affairs, in the rules.

+ See note (*) page 175.

The Committee of Accounts was first constituted as a select committee on the 7th of November, 1804. It was made a standing committee December 17,

« PreviousContinue »