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Clause offered on report of bill be read second time ) Ayes.
334. With amendments be engrossed ......
395. That a bill be now read a third time.
.. Noes. Receive a rider ...................
260. Pass ...........................
To agree to the whole or any part of report ....
That the House do now resolve into committee . Speaker. That he now leave the chair, after order Noes. 291.
to go into committee ............ That he issue warrant for a new writ .......... Member. That none be absent without leave Witness. That he be further examined .......... Ayes. 344. Previous question ............................. Noes. Blanks. That they be filled with the largest sum.. La Amendments. That words stand part of......... Lords. That their amendment be read a second
Noes. time...... ............................. Messenger be received .......
........ Noes. Adjournment. Till the next sitting day, if before 4 L
o'clock ......... If after 4 o'clock .......
......... Noes. · Over a sitting day (unless a previous resolution).. Ayes. Over the 30th of January .........
Noes. For sitting on Sunday, or any other day not being a l Ave
sitting day ..... The one party being gone forth, the Speaker names two tellers from the affirmative and two from the negative side, who first count those sitting in the House and report the number to the Speaker. Then they place themselves within the door, two on each side, and count those who went forth as they come in, and report the number to the Speaker. Mem. in Hakew., 26
A mistake in the report of the tellers may be rectified after the report made. 2 Hats., 145, note.
But in both Houses of Congress all these intricacies are avoided. The ayes first rise, and are counted standing in their places by the President or Speaker. Then they sit, and the noes rise and are counted in like manner.
In Senate, if they be equally divided, the Vice-President announces his opinion, which decides.
The Constitution, however, has directed that “the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of these present, be entered on the journal.” And again : that in all cases of reconsidering a bill disapproved by the President and returned with his objections," the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each House respectively."
When it is proposed to take the vote by yeas and nays, the President or Speaker states that “the question is whether, e. &., the bill shall pass-that it is proposed that the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journal. Those, therefore, who desire it, will rise." If he finds and declares that one-fifth have risen, he then states that * those who are of opinion that the bill shall pass are to answer in the affirmative; those of the contrary opinion in the negative.” The Clerk then calls over the names alphabetically, notes the yea or nay. of each, and gives the list to the President or Speaker, who declares the result. In the Senate, if there be an equal division, the Secretary calls on the Vice President and notes his affirmative or negative, which becomes the decision of the House. (In the Senate.)
Rule XII-Clause 1. 1. When the yeas and nays are ordered, the names of Senators shall be called alphabetically, and each Senator shall, without debate, declare his assent or dissent to the question, unless excused by the Senate; and no Senator shall be permitted to vote after the decision shall have been announced by the Presiding Officer, but may for sufficient reasons, with unanimous consent, change or withdraw his vote. No motion to suspend this rule shall be in order, nor shall the Presiding Officer entertain any request to suspend it by unanimous consent.
In the House of Commons, every member must give his vote the one way or the other, Scob., 24, as it is not permitted to any one to withdraw who is in the House when the question is put, nor is any one to be told in the division who was not in when the question was put. 2 Hats., 140.
This last position is always true when the vote is by yeas and nays; where the negative as well as affirmative of the question is stated by the President at the same time, and the vote of both sides begins and proceeds pari passu. It is true also when the question is put in the usual way, if the negative has also been put; but if it has not, the member entering, or any other member may speak, and even propose amendments, by which the debate may be opened again, and the question be greatly deferred. And as some who have answered ay may have been changed by the new arguments, the affirmative must be put over again. If, then, the member entering may, by speaking a few words, occasion a repetition of a question, it would be useless to deny it on his simple call for it.
While the House is telling, no member may speak or move out of his place; for if any mistake be suspected, it must be told again. Mem. in Hakew., 26; 2 Hats., 143.
If any difficulty arises in point of order during the division, the Speaker is to decide peremptorily, subject to the future censure of the House if irregular. He sometimes permits old experienced members to assist him with their advice, which they do sitting in their seats, covered, to avoid the appearance of debate; but this can only be with the Speaker's leave, else the division might last several hours. 2 Hats., 143.
The voice of the majority decides ; for the lex majoris partis is the law of all councils, elections, &c., where not otherwise expressly provided. Hakew., 93. But if the House be equally divided, semper presumatur pro negante ; that is, the former law is not to be changed but by a majority. Towns., col. 134.
But in the Senate of the United States, the Vice-President decides when the House is divided. Const. U. S., I, 3.
When from counting the House on a division it appears that there is not a quorum, the matter continues exactly in the state in which it.
was before the division, and must be resumed at that point on any future day. 2 Hats., 1 26.
1606, May 1, on a question whether a member having said yea may afterwards sit and change his opinion, a precedent was remembered by the Speaker, of Mr. Morris, attorney of the wards, in 39 Eliz., who in like case changed his opinion. Mem. in Hakew., 27.
After the bill has passed, and not before, the title may be amended, and is to be fixed by a question; and the bill is then sent to the other House.
1798, Jan. A bill on its second reading being amended, and on the question whether it shall be read a third time negatived, was restored by a decision to reconsider that question. Here the votes of negative and reconsideration, like positive and negative quantities in equation, destroy one another, and are as if they were expunged from the journals. Consequently the bill is open for amendment, just so far as it was the moment preceding the question for the third reading; that is to say, all parts of the bill are open for amendment except those on which votes have been already taken in its present stage. So, also, it may be recommitted. (In the Senate.)
Rule XIII. 1. When a question has been decided by the Senate, any Senator voting with the prevailing side may, on the same day or on either of the next two days of actual session thereafter, move a reconsideration ; and if the Senate shall refuse to reconsider, or upon reconsideration shall affirm its first decision, no further motion to reconsider shall be in order unless by unanimous consent. Every motion to reconsider shall be decided by a majority vote, without debate, and may be laid on the table without affecting the question in reference to which the same is made, which shall be a final disposition of the motion.
2. When a bill, resolution, report, amendment, order, or message, upon which a vote has been taken, shall have gone out of the possession of the Senate, and been communicated to the House of Representatives, the motion to reconsider shall be accompanied by a motion to request the House to return the same, which last motion shall be acted upon immediately, and without debate, and if determined in the negative, shall be a final disposition of the motion to reconsider.
* The rule permitting a reconsideration of a question affixing to it no limitation of time or circumstance, it may be asked whether there is no limitation? If, after the vote, the paper on which it is passed has been parted with, there can be no reconsideration; as if a vote has been for the passage of a bill, and the bill has been sent to the other House. But where the paper remains, as on a bill rejected; when, or under what circumstances, does it cease to be susceptible of reconsideration? This remains to be settled; unless a sense that the right of reconsideration is a right to waste the time of the House in repeated agitations of the same question, so that it shall never know when a question is done with, should induce them to reform this anomalous proceeding.
In Parliament a question once carried cannot be questioned again at the same session, but must stand as the judgment of the House.
Towns., col. 67; Mem, in Hakew., 33. And a bill once rejected, another of the same substance cannot be brought in again the same session. Hakew., 158; 6 Grey, 392. But this does not extend to prevent putting the same question in different stages of a bill; because every stage of a bill submits the whole and every part of it to the opinion of the House, as open for amendment, either by insertion or omission, though the same amendment has been accepted or rejected in a former stage. So in reports of committees, l. g., report of an address, the same question is before the House, and open for free discussion. Towns., col. 26; 2 Hats., 98, 100, 101. So orders of the House, or instructions to committees, may be discharged. So a bill, begun in one House, and sent to the other, and there rejected, may be renewed again in that other, passed and sent back. Ib., 92; 3 Hats., 161. Or if, instead of being rejected, they read it once and lay it aside or amend it, and put it off a month, they may order in another to the same effect, with the same or a different title. Hakew., 97, 98.
* The rule now fixes a limitation.