« PreviousContinue »
It continues to be a House, and, therefore, though it acts in some respects as a committee, in others it preserves its character as a House. Thus (3) it is in the daily habit of referring its business to a special committee. 4. It admits of the previ. ous question. If it did not, it would have no means of preventing an improper discussion; not being able, as a committee is, to avoid it by returning into the House, for the moment it would resume the same subject there, the XXVth rule declares it again a quasi-committee. 5. It would doubtless exercise its powers as a House on any breach of order. 6. It takes a question by yea and nay, as the House does. 7. It recetves messages from the President and the other House. 8. In the midst of a debate it receives a motion to adjourn, and adjourns as a House, not as a committee.- Vanual, p. 145.
A bill considered in the House as in Committee of the Whole” is subject to all parliamentary motions, such as for the previous question, to lay on the table, etc., the only effect of this order being to limit debate on amendments to five minutes, and even this “five-minute” debate may be cut off by the previous question,
A motion to recommit is one mode of consideration, and when a bill is being considered in the House as in Committee of the Whole it is in order at any time to move to recommit the bill thus being considered.--Speaker pro tempore McMillin, Journal, 1, 52, p. 32.
A bill being considered in the House as in Committee of the Whole, it was held that it would be in order to submit a substitute for the entire bill, only after the reading of the bill by sections should be concluded.—Mr. Richardson, Speaker pro tempore, Journal, 2, 53, p. 485. IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION, COMMITTEE ON.
IMPEACHMENT. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.- Const., 1, 2, 3.
The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.—Const., 2, 4, 17.
Propositions to impeach any civil officer under the foregoing clause of the Constitution are privileged.—Journal, 1, 48, p. 495; 2. 48, pp. 27, 28.
The proceedings in the case of the impeachment of Judge Peck, in the Twenty-first, Congress, were as follows:
The House having resolved that he be impeached of “high misdemeanors in office” (Journal, 1, 21, pp. 265, 566), it was ordered that Mr. - and Mr. — be appointed a committee to go to the Senate, and at the bar thereof, in the name of the House of Representatives and of all of the people of the United States, to impeach James H. Peck, judge of the district court of the United States for the district of Missouri, of high misdemeanors in office, and acquaint the Senate that the House of Representatives will, in due time, exhibit particular articles of impeachment against him and make good the same; and that said committee do demand that the Senate take order for the appearance of the said James H. Peck, to answer to said impeachment.” .
The House, then, on motion, appointed a committee of five to prepare and report to the House articles of impeachment against James H. Peck, district judge of the United States for the district of Missouri, for misdemeanors in said office (p. 574).
A message was received from the Senate notifying the House " that the Senate will take proper order therein, of which due notice shall be given to the House of Representatives” (p. 574.)
The committee appointed to prepare articles of impeachment made their report (p. 581), which was committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union (p. 588), and, having been considered therein, was reported with amendments, and so agreed to by the House (pp. 591 to 595).
It was then ordered “that five managers be appointed by ballot to conduct the impeachment against James H. Peck, judge of the district court of the United States for the district of Missouri, on the part of the House,” who were thereupon appointed (p. 595). .
It was then ordered that the articles agreed to by the House to be exhibited in the name of themselves and of all the people of the United States against James H. Peck, in maintenance of their impeachment against him for high misdemeanors in
office, be carried to the Senate by the managers appointed to conduct said impeachment." And the Clerk was directed to inform the Senate of the appointment of said managers, and of the last-mentioned order of the House (p. 596).
A message was received from the Senate informing the House of the time at which it would resolve itself into a court of impeachment, when it would receive the managers appointed to exhibit the articles of impeachment (p. 603).
The managers having carried said articles to the Senate, made report of the fact to the House (p. 605).
The Senate notified the House of its issue of summons to Judge Peck (p. 606), and of its order that he file his answer and plea with its Secretary by a certain day (p. 625).
The House resolved that it would, on the day above named, "and at such an hour as the Senate shall appoint, resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House and attend in the Senate" on the trial of the said impeachment (p. 711).
The Senate on the same day notified the House that it was ready to proceed upon the impeachment of James H. Peck, judge, etc., in the Senate Chamber, which chamber was prepared with accommodations for the reception of the House of Representatives (p. 717).
Thereupon the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House, and proceeded to the Senate in that capacity. Having spent some time therein, they returned into the chamber of the House, and the Speaker having resumed the chair, the chairman of the Committee of the Whole reported the proceedings which had taken place, and that the Senate, sitting as a high court of impeachment, had adjourned to meet at the next session (p. 717).
At the next session (2, 21) Mr. Buchanan, from the managers, reported to the House a replication to the answer and plea of Judge Peck, which was agreed to by the House; and the said managers were instructed to maintain the same at the bar of the Senate, and the Senate were informed thereof (pp. 47, 48).
The Senate notified the House of their readiness to proceed to trial (p. 52), and the House resolved that from day to day it would resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole, and attend the same (p. 97).
Subsequently the House resolved that the managers be in. structed to attend the trial, and that the attendance of the House be dispensed with until otherwise ordered (p. 141).
The managers having announced that the testimony had closed (p. 175), the House resolved that during the argument of counsel it would, from day to day, attend in the Senate (p. 186).
The report of the final action of the Senate in the case, made to the House by the chairman of the Committee of the Whole (p. 236).
[The rules of proceedings of the Senate in cases of impeachment will be found in “ Trial of Judge Peck,” pp. 56 to 59.]
For further information on the subject of impeachment, see 66 Chase's Trial,” and “ Trial of Judge Peck."
The following is a list of impeachment cases prosecuted in the Congress of the United States.
First. William Blount, a Senator of the United States from Tennessee. Violation of the neutrality laws of the United States.
Second. John Pickering, district judge, New Hampshire, 1803–'04. Malfeasance in office, viz, imprisonment of an attorney for an alleged contempt of court, in this: reviewing in a newspaper a decision of the judge.
Third. Samuel Chase, associate justice of Supreme Court United States, 1804–05. Malfeasance in office. (Chase's Trial.)
Fourth. James Peck, United States district judge for Missouri, 1826–'31. (Peck's Trial.)
Fifth. West W. Humphreys, United States district judge for Tennessee. Advocating secession, and giving aid and comfort to the rebellion. December 29, 1860. (See Congressional Globe, 2, 37, vol. 3, No. 44.)
Sixth. Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. Fortieth Congress, 1868.
Seventh. William W. Belknap, Secretary of War. First session Forty-fourth Congress.
(See Postpone, Motion to.)
The Clerk shall, as soon after the close of each session as possible, complete the printing and distribution to Members and Delegates of the Journal of the House, together with an accurate index.-Rule III, clause 3.
An index of the acts passed at each session of Congress shall be prepared under the direction of the Department of State.—Stats, at Large, Vol. 18, p. 401.
The Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate are directed to procure and file, for the use of their respective Houses, copies of all reports made by each committee of all succeeding Congresses, and at the close of each session of Congress to cause said reports to be indexed and bound, one copy to be deposited in the library of each House and one copy in the room of the committee from which the reports eminated.-Stats. at Large, Vol. 24, p. 346.
On the 18th of June, 1878 (second session Forty-fifth Congress), the House adopted the following preamble and resolution, viz:
Whereas the records of the proceedings of Congress have become so extensive that ready reference to any matter contained in them is almost impossible, and the want of uniformity in the method of indexing the various volumes renders inaccessible much information that is valuable; and
Whereas the business of legislation would be greatly aided and expedited by a proper index of the Journals: Therefore,
Be it resolved, That there shall be prepared, under the direction and supervision of the Committee on Rules, a general index of the Journals of Congress.
Resolved, That the Committee on Rules are authorized to select and employ a proper person to prepare such general index, at a compensation not to exceed $2,500 per annum, to be paid out of the contingent fund of the House for the ensuing fiscal year, and to be under the direction of the Committee on Rules as the prosecution of the work proceeds.
Subsequently an assistant to this clerk was provided. Still later, by the act approved February 26, 1889, provision was made for eight assistant index clerks, to be appointed by the Committee on Rules.—Stats. at Large, vol. 25, p. 709. Provision for the payment of these clerks was annually made in the legislative appropriation bill until the second session Fifty-first Congress, when, the work being still uncompleted, the appropriation was discontinued.