Page images

presented to the President for his approval or iisap:)roval. Some enrolled bills that were retoed are arong thc records of the House of Representatives. Approved bills are in the lational Archives, those approved before May 24, 1950, having been received from the Secretary of State and those ai'ter that date from the Federal R: sister Division.

luxecutive separtment: One of the major functional subdivisions of the exec

utive branch of the Government, the head of which is a rember of the President's Cabinet. See also independent agency.

Executive Document: A cocunent that originated with an agency in the execu

tive branch of the Government and was printed by order of the House or the Senate House Executive Documents were ninbered in cach Congress and were designated in the manner H. Ex. Doc. 49th, 40th Cong., Ist sess. In 1895 the series was consolidated with the Miscellaneous Document series, and the resulting series became known as House Documents. See also document.

Executive hearings: (1) Hearings that are held behind closed doors and not

osen to the public. (2) The recorded testimony presented at such hearings is rarely, if ever, printed. It usually exists only in handwritten or type script forn and is ava:lable for examination only by properly authorized persons. See also hearings and public hearings.

Federal: Pertaining to a union of States under a comion government with

Tirited porrors. As cormonly used, the word refers to the United States
Government, which is often spoken of as the "Federal Government."

Fiscal Year: The 12-month period used in accounting for the receipt and ex

penditure of funds from the United States Treasury, beginning on July 1 of one calendar year and ending on June 30 of the next.

Government: As used in this inventory, the Government of the United States.

Usually when other governments" are referred to, they are indicated as "State government," "county government," or "city government."

Hearings: (1) Meetings of cowrittees at which interested parties give tes

timony during the consideration of proposed legislation or during the conduct of investigations. Only a small proportion of all bills introduced are sufficiently important to warrant the holding of formal hearings. Hearings are of two kinds, nar.ely, executive hearings and public hearings, which see, (2) The recorded testimony presented at such hearings.

Hopper: The container in which bills are placed when introduced. Placing

a bill, in the hopper is another way of saying that a bill has been introduced.

House Calendar: A calendar on which are placed all bills or joint resolu

tions of a public character not raising revenue nor directly nor indirectly appropriating money or property.

House Document: See document,

Impeachment: The bringing of charges by the House of R-presentatives against

an official of the Government that question his right or qualifications to hold office. Maladministration or misconduct while in office is usually the basis of the charges. The trial of an impeached officer is conducted before the Senate with the Chief Justice of the United States presiding.

Independent agency: An agency of the executive branch of the Government that

opcrates independently of an executive department. The head of an independent agency is not a member of the President's Cabinet.

Individual ledzer: A volume which lists, under the name of each Member, all

bills and resolutions introduced by that Member.

Joint committee: A comnittee consisting of l.lenders of both Houses and having

jurisdiction over matters of joint interest. liost joint co zittees are standing corusittees, but special joint committces are created at times.

Joint resolution: (1) A form of proposed legislation similar to a bill,

which in former usage served a limited purpose or was tenporary in its effect. In present usare, 10 fever, a joint resolution is al lost identical to a bill. A joint resolution (except a joint resolution proposing an amendinent to the Constitution) requires the signature of the President or passage over his veto before it !ecomes law. It is designated in the manner H. J. Fes. 25, 70th Cong., ist sess. Like bills, there may also be original joint resolutions, reported, c. lendir, and desk copies of joint resolutions, engrossed joint resolutions, and enrolled joint resolutions. (2) The approved joint rosolution, which is treated as an act and which since 1941 has been numbered in the same series as acts that originated as bills.

Journal: The only official record of the proceedings on the floor of the

House, which is read to the House each day and ap roved. The journal
is printed, but the manuscript journals may be available in two forms,
namely, rough and finished. The rough journal consists of the first
draft of the proceedings that is urafted from the minute book, which
see. The finished journal is generally prepared from the rouch journal
after it has been revised and corrected. The finished journal is used
as copy for the printer.

Law: See private law and public law.

Lay on the table: See tablc.

Memorial: A docunent in the form of a petition, but which usually opposes

a contenplated or proposed action. A menorial carries no prayer. Sone petitions, especially those fron State legislatures, are tenne i "memorials."

Minute book: (1) A book kept during the proceedings of the House that

contains a brief outline of proceedings as they occur. The minute book is used to prepare the journal. (2) Committee book containing minutes of the committee's proceedings.

Miscellaneous Documents: Petitions, memorials, communications from non

Government sources, special reports, reports from independent agencies, and other miscellaneous documents that were ordered printed by the House. These were numbered in each Congress in the manner H. Misc. Doc. 23, 41st Cong., 1st sess. In 1895 this series was consolidated with the Executive Document series, and the resulting

series became known simply as House Documents. See also document. Motion: A proposal made to a deliberative body for its approval or disap

proval. A motion may be made verbally, but the Speaker may require a

House motion to be put in writing. Motion to discharge: A motion to remove a bill or joint resolution from

further consideration by the committee to which it was referred. Newspaper book: A record of newspapers and periodicals furnished to Mem

bers of Congress through the Clerk's Office. Order: A direction to carry out an action that has already been agreed

to by the House. Orders of the Day: Agreements to do certain things it given times on

given days. They provided a method of disposing of certain business

of the House, but they have now been abandoned as impractical. Original bill: A bill in the forn in which it was introduced, in hand

written or typewritten form or consisting of a printed copy of a
like bill that had been introduced in an earlier Congress. The bill,
after introduction, is assigned a number and is printed.

Pass: To act favorably on a bill or a joint resolution. See also agree

to. Petition: A written request to either House of Congress asking that some

thing be done. A petition contains a prayer that the requested action

be taken. See also memorial. Petition book: A register in which the receipt of petitions and subsequent

actions on them are recorded. This book is kept in the office of the Bill Clerk.

Pocket veto: See veto.
Private Calendar: A calendar of the Committee of the Whole House on which

all bills or joint resolutions of a private character are placed.
See also private law.

Private law: A law to grant a pension, authorize payent of a claim, or

affori another forn of relief to a private individual or legal entity.

Public hearings: (1) Hearings that are open to the public. (2) "he recoried

testimony presented at sich hearings. It is usually printed and is distributed by the committee before which the hearings were held. See also hearings and excutive hearin s.

Public law: A law that is of universal application, that is clothed with any

public interest, or that anplies to a class of persons as opposed to a law that applies only to a svecified individual or legal entity.

Quorum call: A roll call made for the purpose of deternining the presence

of a quorun, which is necessary for the transaction of business.

Refer: To assign a bill, communication, or other document to a comittee for

Cits consideration. The House journal indicates the cosiittee to which any bill or document was referred.

Register: A list, kept curre:tly, on cocuienis received or actions taken.

Report: (1) To bring back to the House, with recommendations, a bill or other

matter that was referred to a committee or that originated in the committee (2) A report of a committee, or a report received from an executive agency or a non-Government source that is required to submit reports by law. Beginning with the 16th Congress, committee reports were printed in a separate series. They are usually numbered and indicate the bills or other matters to which they refer; they are identified in the manner H. Rept. 240, 70th Cone., 2d sess. Reports from executive agencies or other sources frequently are printed as House Documents. See also document.

Reported copy of a bill: The copy of a bill that has been reported out of

a corunittee for consideration on the floor of the House, Such a bill is usually placed on one of the House calendars but may be brought up for imcdiate consideration without being placed on a calendar.

Resolution: See simple resolution, concurrent resolution, and joint resolu


Roll call: (1) The calling of the roll. for the purpose os deternining the

presence or a quorun or for recording the yeas and nays. (2) The record of roll calls taken. Roll calls are nwndered in sequence and are rtained in the files. See also quorum calis and yeas and nays.

Rough: Pertaining to a first drart from which a finished or "151.100 thi copy

is transcribed or printed, as in rough journal.

Secret journal: A journal of proceedings that were ordered to be kept se

cret. The injunction of secrecy has been removed from the secret journals listed in the inventory.

Select committee: A committee appointed to perform a special function that

is beyond the authority or capacity of a standing committee. A select committee is usually created by a simple resolution, which outlines its duties and powers, and its members are appointed by the Speaker. A select committee expires upon the completion of its assigned duties.

Sergeant at Arms: An officer of the House who maintains order during sessions

of the House; executes the cormands of the House, and processes issued by its authority; and keeps accounts for the salaries and milcare of Members and Delegates and pays them as provided by law. The symbol of his authority is the mace, which he bears while enforcing order. No records of the Sergeant at Ams are among House records in the National Archives.

Session: A meeting of the Congress that continues from day to day until a

sine die adjournment. Two or more sessions may occur within the 2-year period covered by a Congress.

Sinple resolution: A measure whos: authority extends only to the House in

which it originates. It does not contain legislation and does not re-
quire concurrence of the other House, or Presidential approval. Such
resolutions are used to express the will of the House originating it,
to create special committees, to authorize the printing of special re-
ports or additional copies of reports or hearings, and to request infor-
mation from administrative agencies. Simple resolutions are usually
printed and assigned numbers and are referred to in the manner H. Res.
25, 75th Cons., Ist sess.

Speaker: A herber of the House elected by its me ibership as its permanent

presiding officer. Unlike the President of the Senate, who is not a Merber of that body, the Speaker can vote on all matters, but normally does not except in case of a tie vote.

Speaker pro tempore: A Member appointed by the Speaker to perform the duties

of the Chair in his absence. Such appointments do not extend beyond
3 legislative days. In case of illness, the Speaker may, with the ap-
proval of the House, appoint a Speaker pro tempore for a period of 10
days. Under certain circumstances, the House may elect a Speaker pro
te:apore for the period of the Speaker's absence.

[blocks in formation]

Standing committee: A committee that is created und:r Rule X of the Rules

of the House of Representatives. Forty-four such committees existed bofore the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 reduced the number to 19. The powers and duties of each standing com ittee are set forth in Rule XI and the membership of each comittee is elected on motion or resolution from the loor at the beginning of ach Congress.

Statute: A law enacted by a legislative body. The laws enacted by Congress are contained in a series of volumes entitled Statutes at Large.

« PreviousContinue »