Page images
PDF
EPUB

seconded, and a question put whether it shall be received? But a cry from the house of “received,” or even its silence, dispenses with the formality of this question. It is then to be read at the table and disposed of.

SECTION XX.
MOTIONS.

When a motion has been made, it is not to be put to the question or debated, until it is seconded. Scob. 21. The senate of the United States say, no motion shall be debated until the same shall be seconded. Rule 6. It is then and not till then in possession of the house, and cannot be withdrawn but by leave of the house. It is to be put into writing, if the house or speaker require it, and must be read to the house by the speaker as often as any member desires it for his information. 2 Hats. 82. No motion shall be debated or put, unless the same be seconded: when a motion is seconded, it must be stated by the speaker before debate; and every such motion shall be reduced to writing, if the speaker or any member desire it. R. of A. 9. After a motion is stated by the speaker, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the house; but may be withdrawn at any time before decision or amendment. —R. of A. 10. A motion to adjourn shall be always in order, and shall be decided without debate. R. of A. 12. A motion for commitment, until it is decided, shall preclude all amendment of the main question. R. of A. 15. A motion that the chairman leave the chair, shall always be in order, and shall take place of any other motion. R. of A. 32. The order of the day shall have the preference to any motion before the house. R. of A. 31. No motion for reconsideration shall be in order, unless on the same day, or day following that on which the decision proposed to be reconsidered took place, nor unless one of the majority shall move such reconsideration. A motion for reconsideration being put, and lost, shall not be renewed; nor shall any subject be a second time reconsidered, without unanimous consent. R. of A. 34.

On a motion in committee of the whole house, to rise and report, the question shall be decided without debate. R. of A. 53.

A motion to reconsider the vote upon the final passage of any bill, requiring the assent of two-thirds of all the members elected to this house, shall be made by a member who voted against the bill; and two-thirds of the members present shall be required to reconsider the same. R. of A. 54.

It might be asked whether a motion for adjournment or for the orders of the day, can be made by one o) ber, while another is speaking ! It cannot. When two members offer to speak, he who rose first is to be heard, and it is a breach of order in another to interrupt him, unless by calling him to order, if he departs from it. And the question of order being decided, he is still to be heard through. A call for adjournment, or for the order of the day, or for the question, by gentlemen from their seats, is not a motion. No motion can be made without rising and addressing the chair. Such calls are themselves breaches of order, which though the member who has risen may respect, as an expression of the impatience of the house against further debate, yet, if he chooses, he has a right to go on.

SECTION XXI.
RESOLUTIONS.

When the house commands, it is by an “order.” But facts, principles, their own opinions, and purposes, are expressed in the form of resolutions. All resolutions offered must be proposed and read through at the place of the member moving the same, then handed to the speaker, by him announced, and then read through by the clerk. In practice, there are three kinds of resolutions. 1. Resolutions of the house not concurrent.

2. Resolutions of the house concurrent. 3. Resolutions from senate concurrent. The first of these may be considered whenever the house shall direct. The second is governed by the following rule: Every order, resolution and vote, to which the concurrence of the senate shall be necessary, shall be read to the house, and laid upon the table, on a day preceding that in which the same be moved, unless the house shall otherwise allow. R. of A. 16. It has been usual under this rule, to decide that such “allowance” must be unanimous, unless the rule be dispensed with. Resolutions concurrent, from the senate, it has been supposed, do not come within this rule; but that they may be acted upon as soon as received. This, however, is incorrect.

SECTION XXII.
BILLS, LEAVE TO BRING IN.

Every bill shall be introduced by motion for leave, or by an order of the house on the report of a committee, and one day’s notice at least shall be given of a motion to bring in a bill, unless the house unanimously allow the same to be brought in without such previous notice. R. of A. 21. 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 entitled, &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. Scob. 41. 1 Grey 32, 84. The printed copies of bills which are brought into this house, by any member or committee, and ordered to be

Bills, first reading—Bills, second reading. 121

printed, shall contain the name of the member or com

mittee bringing in or reporting such bill. R. of A. 22.

SECTION XXII.
BILLS, FIRST READING.

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 at 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.

SECTION XXIV.
BILLS, SECOND READING.

Every bill shall receive three several readings previous to its being passed; and the second and third reading shall be on different days, and the third reading shall be on a day subsequent to that in which it has passed a committee of the whole house, unless the house unanimously direct otherwise. R. of A. 23. No bill shall be committed or amended, until it has been twice read. R. of A. 24. 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 7 and before he has L2

so reported the state of the bill, no one is to speak to it. Hakew. 143, 146. In the assembly, the speaker reports the title of the bill; that this is the second time of reading it. Bills are often read first and second time by their title, by unanimous consent of the house: and after second reading, the speaker puts this question, “Shall this bill be committed to a committee of the whole house !” “Gentlemen, as many as agree thereto, will please to say aye-those opposed, will please to say no.” He then pronounces it “carried” or “lost,” as the case may be.

SECTION XXV.
BILLS, commitment.

No bill shall be amended or committed until it has been twice read.—R. of A. 24. A motion for commitment, until it is decided, shall pre Gclude all amendment of the main question.—R. of A. 15. If on motion and question it be decided, that the bill shall be committed, it may then be moved to be referred to a 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 controuling 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’Euses, 634. col. 2 Scob. 47, or as is said, 5 Grey I45, 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,

**----- *----------------~~~~

« PreviousContinue »