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companied by the vouchers and receipts for each item, which account and vouchers shall be sworn to by the party presenting the same, and no charges for witness fees shall be allowed in said accounts unless made in strict conformity to section one. hundred and twenty-eight, Revised Statutes of the United States.- Stats. at L., vol. 20, p. 400.
All questions relating to the right of a member to his seat have uniformly been held to be questions of privilege, and hence take precedence of other business.
ELECTORAL VOTE. The President of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shail then be counted; the person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation fron, each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the VicePresident; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.- Amendments to Const., Art. XII.
Although the House of Representatives has not since the Forty-third Congress recognized the former joint rules as operative, and though no other joint rules have since that Congress been adopted by the two Houses, the proceedings indicated in the former joint rule 22 were pursued in counting the electoral vote prior to the act of February 3, 1887. By this act (24 Stats, at Large, p. 373) the principal provisions of the old joint rule were enacted into permanent law.
The provisions of this law which relate to the counting of the electoral vote are as follows:
SEC. 4. That Congress shall be in session on the second Wednesday in February succeeding every meeting of the electors.
The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of one o'clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their presiding officer.
Two tellers.shall be previously appointed on the part of the Senate and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom, shall be handed, as they are opened by the President of the Senate, all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes, which certificates and papers shall be opened, presented, and acted upon in the alphabetical order of the States, beginning with the letter A; and said tellers, having then read the same in the presence and hearing of the two Houses, shall make a list of the votes as they'shall appear from the said certificates;
And the votes having been ascertained, and counted in the manner and according to the rules in this act provided, the result of the same shall be delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice-President of the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the Journals.of the two Houses.
Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received.
When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision;
And no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section three of this act from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may re
ject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified.
If more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State shall have been received by the President of the Senate, those votes, and those only, shall be counted which shall have been regularly given by the electors who are shown by the determination mentioned in section two of this act to have been appointed, if the determination in said section provided for shall have been made, or by such successors or substitutes, in case of a vacancy in the board of electors so ascertained, as have been appointed to fill such vacancy in the mode provided by the laws of the State;
But in case there shall arise the question which of two or more of such State anthorities determining what electors have been appointed, as mentioned in section two of this act, is the lawful tribunal of such State, the votes regularly given of those electors, and those only, of such State shall be counted whose title as electors the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide is supported by the decision of such State so authorized by its laws;
And in such case of more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a State, if there shall have been no such determination of the question in the State aforesaid, then those votes, and those only, shall be counted which the two Houses shall concurrently decide were cast by lawful electors appointed in accordance with the laws of the State, unless the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently decide such votes not to be the lawful votes of the legally appointed electors of such State.
But if the two Honses shall disagree in respect of the counting of such votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors whose appointment shall have been certified by the Executive of the State, under the seal thereof, shall be counted.
When the two Houses have yoted, they shall immediately again meet, and the presiding officer shall then announce the decision of the questions submitted.
No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the ob). jections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of.
SEC. 5. That while the two Houses shall be in meeting as provided in this act the President of the Senate shall have power to preserve order; and no debate shall be allowed and no question shall be put by the presiding officer except to either House on a motion to withdraw.
SEC. 6. That when the two Houses separate to decide upon an objection that may have been made to the counting of any electoral vote or votes from any State, or other question arising in the matter, each Senator and Representative may speak to such objection or question five minutes, and not more than once;
But after such debate shall have lasted two hours it shall be the duty of the presiding officer of each House to put the main question without further debate.
SEC. 7. That at such joint meeting of the two Houses seats shall be provided as follows: For the President of the Senate, the Speaker's chair; for
the Speaker, immediately upon his left; the Senators, in the body of the Hall upon the right of the presiding officer; for the Representatives, in the body of the Hall not provided for the Senators; for the tellers, Secretary of the Senate, and Clerk of the House of Representatives, at the Clerk's desk; for the other officers of the two Houses, in front of the Clerk's desk and upon each side of the Speaker's platform.
Such joint meeting shall not be dissolved until the count of electoral votes shall be completed and the result declared;
And no recess shall be taken unless a question shall have arisen in regard to counting any such votes, or otherwise under this act, in which case it shall be competent for either House, acting separately, in the manner hereinbefore provided, to direct a recess of such House not beyond the next calendar day, Sunday excepted, at the hour of 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
But if the counting of the electoral votes and the declaration of the result shall not have been completed before the fifth calendar day next after such first meeting of the two Houses, no further or other recess shall be taken by either House.
It was formerly the practice, after the declaration by the joint meeting of the election of the President and Vice-President, to appoint a joint committee, consisting of two Members of the House and one Senator, to wait on the persons elected and inform them thereof. This formality has, however, for many years been omitted.
It is customary for the two Houses, prior to the day on which the counting of the electoral vote is required to begin, to fix by concurrent resolution the hour at which the two Houses will convene in joint session for that purpose.—See Congressional Record, 2, 52, pp. 642, 847.
In anticipation of the choice of President devolving upon it, the House of Representatives of the second session, Eighteenth Congress, adopted a set of rules for its government in said election.—Journal, 2, 18, pp. 212 to 215. For the subsequent proceedings of the House in conducting said election.-- See ibid., pp. 220, 221, 222.
ENACTING WORDS. The enacting clause of all acts of Congress hereafter enacted shall be in the following form:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.-R. S., sec. 7.
The resolving clause of all joint resolutions shall be in the following form:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.—R. S., sec. 8.
No enacting or resolving words shall be used in any section of an act or resolution of Congress except in the first.—R. S., sec. 9.
And each section shall be numbered, and shall contain as nearly as may be, a single proposition of enactment.-R. S., sec. 10.
MOTION TO STRIKE OUT.
A motion to strike out the enacting words of a bill shall have precedence of a motion to amend; and, if carried, shall be considered equivalent to its rejection. Whenever a bill is reported from a Committee of the Whole with an adverse recommendation, and such recommendation is disagreed to by the House, the bill shall stand recommitted to the said committee without further action by the House. But before the question of con. currence is submitted, it is in order to entertain a motion to refer the bill to any committee, with or without instructions, and when the same is again reported to the House it shall be referred to the Committee of the Whole without debate.—Rule XXIII, clause 7.
The question which arises upon a report from the Committee of the Whole that the enacting words be stricken out is, “Shall the enacting words be stricken out?" and the previous question is exhausted upon the taking of such vote.—Journals, 1, 33, p. 872; 3, 31, p. 479; 1, 35, p. 107.
A bill being reported from a Committee of the Whole with the recommendation that the enacting clause be stricken out, a motion to lay the bill on the table was held to be not in order.—Journal, 1, 43, p. 629.
A recommendation of a Committee of the Whole or a motion to strike out enacting clause is subject to debate in the House.Journal, 2, 53, pp. 21, 22.
Pending consideration in Committee of the Whole of an ap* propriation bill by paragraphs for amendment, but before the reading of all the paragraphs has been completed, an amend. ment striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting a substitute was proposed and debated. Held, That, no further amendment being proposed to the text of the bill, it was in