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member who has risen may respect, as an expression of impatience of the House against further debate; yet if he chooses, he has a right to go on.



When the House commands, it is by an "order." fact, principles, and their own opinions and purposes, are expressed in the form of resolutions.

[A Resolution for an allowance of money to the clerks being moved, it was objected to as not in order, and so ruled by the Chair; but on an appeal to the Senate, (i. e., a call for their sense by the President, on account of doubt in his mind, according to Rule 16,) the decision was overruled. Jour. Sen., June 1, 1796. I presume the doubt was, whether an allowance of money could be made otherwise than by bill.]


[Every bill shall receive three readings previous to its being passed; and the President shall give notice at each whether it be first, second, or third; which readings shall be on three different days, unless the Senate unanimously direct otherwise. Rule 26.]


[One day's notice, at least, shall be given of an intended motion for leave to bring in a bill. Rule 25.]

When a member desires to bring in a bill on any subject, he states to the House in general terms the causes for doing it, and concludes by moving for leave to bring in a bill enti tled, &c. Leave being given on the question, a committee is appointed to prepare and bring in the bill. The mover and seconder are always appointed of this committee, and one or more in addition. Hakew., 132; Scob., 40.

It is to be presented fairly written, without any erasure or interlineation, or the Speaker may refuse it.

1 Grey, 82, 84.

Scob., 41;


When a bill is first presented, the clerk reads it at the table, and hands it to the Speaker, who, rising, states to the House the title of the bill; that this is the first time of reading it; and the question will be, whether it shall be read a second time? then sitting down to give an opening for objections. If none be made, he rises again, and puts the question, whether it shall be read a second time? Hakew., 137, 141. A bill cannot be amended on the first reading, (6 Grey, 286;) nor is it usual for it to be opposed then, but it may be done, and rejected. D'Ewes, 335, col. 1; 3 Hats., 198.


The second reading must regularly be on another day. Hakew., 143. It is done by the Clerk at the table, who then hands it to the Speaker. The Speaker, rising, states to the House the title of the bill; that this is the second time of reading it; and that the question will be, whether it shall be committed or engrossed and read a third time? But if the bill came from the other house, as it always comes engrossed, he states that the question will be, whether it shall be read a third time? and before he has so reported the state of the bill, no one is to speak to it. Hakew., 143, 146. [In the Senate of the United States, the President reports the title of the bill; that this is the second time of reading it; that it is now to be considered as in a Committee of the Whole; and the question will be, whether it shall be read a third time? or that it may be referred to a special committee?]


If on motion and question it be decided that the bill shall be committed, it may then be moved to be referred to Committee of the Whole House, or to a special committee. If the latter, the Speaker proceeds to name the committee. Any member also may name a single person, and the Clerk is to write him down as of the committee. But the House have a controlling

power over the names and number, if a question be moved against any one; and may in any case put in and put out whom they please.

Those who take exceptions to some particulars in the bill are to be of the committee, but none who speak directly against the body of the bill; for he that would totally destroy will not amend it, (Hakew., 146; Town., col. 208; D' Ewes, 634, col. 2; Scob., 47:) or, as it is said, (5 Grey, 145,) the child is not to be put to a nurse that cares not for it, (6 Grey, 373.) It is therefore a constant rule "that no man is to be employed in any matter who has declared himself against it." And when any member who is against the bill hears himself named of its committee, he ought to ask to be excused. Thus (March 7, 1606) Mr. Hadley was, on the question being put, excused from being of a committee, declaring himself to be against the matter itself. Scob., 46.

[No bill shall be committed or amended until it shall have been twice read; after which it may be referred to a committee. Rule 27.]

[In the appointment of the standing committees, the Senate will proceed, by ballot, severally to appoint the chairman of each committee; and then, by one ballot, the other members necessary to complete the same; and a majority of the whole number of votes given shall be necessary to the choice of a chairman of a standing committee. All other committees shall be appointed by ballot, and a plurality of votes shall make a choice. When any subject or matter shall have been referred to a committee, any other subject or matter of a similar nature may, on motion, be referred to such committee. Rule 34.]

The Clerk may deliver the bill to any member of the committee, (Town., col. 138;) but it is usual to deliver it to him who is first named.

In some cases the House has ordered a committee to withdraw immediately into the committee chamber and act on and bring back the bill, sitting in the House. Scol., 48.

committee meet when and where they please, if the House has not ordered time and place for them, (6 Grey, 370;) but they can only act when together, and not by separate consultation and consent-nothing being the report of the committee but what has been agreed to in committee actually assembled. A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum for business. Elsynge's Method of Passing Bills, 11.

Any member of the House may be present at any select committee, but cannot vote, and must give place to all of the committee, and sit below them. Elsynge, 12; Scob., 49.

The committee have full power over the bill or other paper committed to them, except that they cannot change the title or subject. 8 Grey, 228.

The paper before a committee, whether select or of the whole, may be a bill, resolutions, draught of an address, &c., and it may either originate with them or be referred to them. In every case the whole paper is read first by the clerk, and then by the chairman, by paragraphs, (Scob., 49,) pausing at the end of each paragraph, and putting questions for amending, if proposed. In the case of resolutions on distinct subjects, originating with themselves, a question is put on each separately, as amended or unamended, and no final question on the whole, (3 Hats., 276;) but if they relate to the same subject, a question is put on the whole. If it be a bill, draught of an address, or other paper origi nating with them, they proceed by paragraphs; putting questions for amending either by insertion or striking out, if proposed; but no question on agreeing to the paragraphs separately; this is reserved to the close, when a question is put on the whole for agreeing to it as amended or unamended. But if it be a paper referred to them, they proceed to put questions of amendment, if proposed, but no final question on the whole, because all parts of the paper, having been adopted by the House, stand, of course, unless altered or struck out by a vote. Even if they are opposed to the whole paper, and think it cannot be made good by

amendments, they cannot reject it, but must report it back to the House without amendments, and there make their opposition.

The natural order in considering and amending any paper is, to begin at the beginning, and proceed through it by paragraphs, and this order is so strictly adhered to in Parliament, that when a latter part has been amended, you cannot recur back and make any alteration in a former part. 2 Hats., 90. In numerous assemblies this restraint is doubtless important. [But in the Senate of the United States, though in the main we consider and amend the paragraphs in their natural order, yet recurrences are indulged; and they seem, on the whole, in that small body, to produce advantages overweighing their inconveniences.]

To this natural order of beginning at the beginning, there is a single exception found in parliamentary usage. When a bill is taken up in committee, or on its second reading, they postpone the preamble till the other parts of the bill are gone through. The reason is, that on consideration of the body of the bill, such alterations may therein be made as may also occasion the alteration of the preamble. Scob., 50; 7 Grey, 431.

On this head the following case occurred in the Senate, March 6, 1800: A resolution which had no preamble having been already amended by the House so that a few words only of the original remained in it, a motion was made to prefix a preamble, which having an aspect very different from the resolution, the mover intimated that he should afterwards propose a correspondent amendment in the body of the resolution. It was objected that a preamble could not be taken up till the body of the resolution is done with; but the preamble was received, because we are in fact through the body of the resolution: we have amended that as far as amendments have been offered, and, indeed, till little of the original is left. It is the proper time, there

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