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other papers belonging to its archives, arranged alphabetically, and under the head of the Congress at which they were last

acted upon.

He keeps a book in which are entered, numerically, the titles of all bills and joint resolutions, opposite which are noted, as they occur, all proceedings of the House thereon, also all proceedings of the Senate as they are reported to the House.

He places appropriate indorsements upon all papers presented in the House, and, after entering the same in books kept for the purpose, sends to the Government Printing Office all such as are ordered to be printed, and distributes the same to the appropriate committees.

He engrosses upon paper all bills, joint resolutions, and resolutions of the House, and amendments of the House to Senate bills and joint resolutions which pass the House of Representatives, certifying the date of the passage of the same at the foot thereof,

He enrolls upon parchment all House bills and joint resolu. tions which have passed both Houses, certifying upon the back that the same originated in the House, and then delivers them to the Committee on Enrolled Bills.

He journalizes all petitions, bills, and other papers handed to him under Rule XXII; furnishes a transcript thereof to the official reporters of debates for publication in the Record, and, having indorsed them appropriately, takes them to the rooms of the proper committee, and receives a receipt therefor from its clerk or chairman. He also keeps what is called the “Petition Book,” in which is entered, alphabetically, each petition as presented.

He keeps what is called the “Newspaper Book,” in which are entered the accounts of members for newspapers, and orders from the publishers such newspapers and periodicals as may be directed.

He distributes to members, governors, State legislatures, etc., all public documents (other than extra numbers) required by law, rule, or resolution, to be distributed.

He purchases, keeps, and distributes the stationery required for the use of the House. (See Stationery.)

He keeps the library of the House, in which are kept copies of all documents printed by order of either House.

It is the duty of the Clerk, subject to the approval of the Committee on Accounts, to provide all necessary furniture required for the use of the House and its committees.

At the commencement and close of each session of Congress he shall take an inventory of all the furniture, books, and other public property in the several committee and other rooms under his charge, and report the same to the House, which report shall be referred to the Committee on Accounts to ascertain and determine the amount for which he shall be held liable for missing articles.

By the act of August 7, 1882 (Sess. Laws, 1, 47, p. 334), it is. made the duty of the Clerk to cause to be sold all waste paper and useless documents and condemned furniture that may accumulate in his office, and cover the proceeds into the Treasury, and make report thereof to the House at the commencement of each regular session.

He is required to notify parties in contested-election cases of the receipt of testimony, and to prepare and have printed the records in such cases. (See Elections, Contested.)


The chairman shall appoint the clerk or clerks of his committee, subject to their approval, who shall be paid at the public expense, the House having first provided therefor.-Rule X, clause 4.

Such provision is usually made for a part or the whole of the session, as may be deemed necessary. The Committee on Accounts reports what committees shall have clerks.

The following committees have permanent or annual clerkships, viz: On Claims, on Ways and Means, on the Public Lands, on Appropriations, on War Claims, on Invalid Pensions, on the Judiciary, on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, on the District of Columbia, on Agriculture, on Military Affairs, on Foreign Affairs, on Naval Affairs, on Rivers and Harbors, on Indian Affairs, on the Post-Office and PostRoads, on Public Buildings and Grounds, on Elections, on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and on Accounts.

The committees on Ways and Means, on Appropriations, and on War Claims have each an annual assistant clerk, while several committees have, by resolution, an additional session clerk.

The clerks of the several committees of the House shall, within three days after the final adjournment of a Congress, deliver to the Clerk of the House all bills, joint resolutions, petitions, and other papers referred to the committee, together with all evidence taken by such committee under the order of the House during the said Congress, and not reported to the House; and in the event of the failure or neglect of any clerk of a committee to comply with this rule, the Clerk of the House shall, within three days thereafter, take into his keeping all such papers and testimony.-Rule XXXVIII.

Hereafter clerks of committees of either branch of Congress (except those whose salaries are fixed by specific appropriations) shall be paid not more than six dollars per day, and during the session only.—Stats. at L., vol. 18, p. 345.

The pay of the clerks to committees of the House of Representatives, heretofore authorized by the House, who are paid during the session only, shall begin from the time such clerks entered upon the discharge of their duties as clerks to committees, which shall be ascertained and evidenced by the certificates of the chairmen of the several committees employing clerks for the session only.--Stats. at L., vol. 22, p. 378.


Each Member and Delegate of the House of Representatives of the United States may, on the first day of every month during sessions of Congress certify to the Clerk of the House of Representatives the amount which he has paid or agreed to pay for clerk hire necessarily employed by him in the discharge of his official and representative duties during the previous month, and the amount so certified shall be paid by the Clerk out of the contingent fund of the House on the fourth day of each month to the person or persons named in each of said certificates so filed: Provided, That the amount so certified and paid for clerical services rendered to each Member and Delegate shall not exceed one hundred dollars for any month during the session: And provided further, That the provisions of this resolution shall not apply to members who are chairmen of committees entitled under the rules to a clerk.-Stats. at L., Vol. 27, p. 757.


This committee has the right to report at any time bills relating to coinage.-See Rule XI, clause 57.

(See Committees.)


(See Committees.)


The distinction between commissions and committees is that the latter are constituted of Meinbers of the existing House while the former may consist of persons not members.

Neither House can continue any portion of itself in any parliamentary function beyond the end of the session without the consent of the other branch. When done, it is by a bill constituting them commissioners for that particular purpose.Manual, p. 184.

Commissions are sometimes created by law, to be appointed from Members elect to a succeeding Congress, who are charged with the investigation of certain subjects, and are required to report to a succeeding Congress.

Joint commissions authorized by law, or the members on the part of the House, of such commission may propose amendments to appropriation bills which, being germane, retrench expenditures.-See Rule XXI, clause 2.

By the act of March 3, 1893, a joint commission, consisting of three Senators and three Representatives, was created and empowered to inquire into and examine the status of the laws organizing the Executive Departments, bureaus, divisions, the rules, regulations, and methods of conducting the same, and the operations thereof.-Stats, at L., vol. 27, p. 682.

The present President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives are empowered to fill vacancies that may occur by resignation or otherwise on this commission.Stats. at L., vol. 28, p. 211.

By the act of August 18, 1894, a joint commission, consisting of five Senators and five Representatives, was created and empowered to investigate the Ford Theatre disaster and to report by bill or otherwise whether in equity and justice the Government should compensate the sufferers of that disaster for the injuries sustained by them.- Stats. at L., vol. 28, p. 392.


Commit and refer are practically synonymous terms.

It shall be in order, pending the motion for or after the previous question shall have been ordered on its passage, for the Speaker to entertain and submit a motion to commit, with or without instructions, to a standing or select committee; and a motion to lay upon the table shall be in order on the second and third reading of a bill.—Rule XVII, clause 1.

The motion to commit is amendable, as by adding instructions to the committee.--Journal, 1, 47, p. 1724. Also by striking out one committee and inserting another.

A division of the question is not in order on a motion to commit with instructions or on the different branch of instruction.Journals, 1, 17, p. 507; 1, 31, pp. 1337, 1395; 1, 32, p. 611.

A motion to commit, under clause 1, Rule XVII, with or without instructions, is subject to amendment, under Rule XIX, unless precluded by ordering the previous question on the motion to commit.-Journal, 1, 48, p. 1430.

It is not in order to move to lay on the table the motion to commit provided in clause 1, Rule XVII, the object of the rule being to permit a direct vote on the motion to commit.-Congressional Record, 1, 49, p. 694.

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