Page images

It devolves upon the Clerk's office, under the usage, to prepare indexes to “ Executive Documents," " Miscellaneous Documents," “ Reports of Committees," " Reports of Court of Claims,” “ Bills and Joint Resolutions,” etc.


(See Committees.)

INDIAN DEPREDATION CLAIMS. Jurisdiction of, conferred on Court of Claims.-See Ante, p. 298.


(See Resolutions.) INSTRUCTIONS TO COMMITTEES. 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.Rule XVII, clause 1. But it has been held that a division of the question is not in order on such a motion.-Journal, 1, 31, pp. 1307, 1395; 1, 32, p. 11.

A motion to commit may be amended by adding instructions to the committee.Journal, 2, 47, p. 1724.

A motion to commit or refer with instructions to report a cer. tain amendment is not in order if the proposed amendment is not in order to the pending bill.—Journal, 1, 48, pp. 1247, 1248.

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.

Where a committee has failed to report a resolution of inquiry within one week after its reference, as required by clause 5, Rule XXII, a motion instructing said committee to report the same within a given time is in order as presenting a “privileged question.”Journal, 1, 49, p. 1420.

Where the House has by resolution instructed the Committee on Appropriations to report a certain provision in an appro. priation bill, whicb without such instructions, would be out of

5385— 26

order, such provision when reported is not subject to a point of order that it changes existing law, or is otherwise in conflict with the rules of the House.-Congressional Record, 1, 50, p. 7057; 2, 52, p. 1306.

Pending the consideration of the report of a conference committee it is in order to instruct the conferees on the part of the House respecting any matter in dispute between the Houses.Congressional Record 1, 49, p. 7404. But where the House has taken action on the matter reported, as by insisting on its disagreement asking a further conference and appointing conferees, the subject is no longer before the House and it is then too late to move an instruction to the conferees.-Ibid., p. 7405.

The motion to insist, etc., takes precedence over the motion to instruct, but instructions to conferees are in order after the House has insisted and asked or agreed to a further conference and before the conferees are appointed.—Congressional Record, 1, 49, p. 7598.

It is not in order to instruct conferees to insist on a proposed amendment inconsistent with the text upon which both Houses have agreed.-Congressional Record, 2, 51, pp. 3610, 3611.

(See Commit; Recommit.)


No Member shall vote on any question if he has a direct personal or pecuniary interest in the event of such question.”— Rule VIII, clause 1. Where proposed legislation affects a class as distinct from individuals, it has always been held that a Member has a right to vote.- Journal, 1, 43, pp. 771, 772.

It is for the Member himself and not for the Chair to decide as to his right to vote in a particular case.-Congressional Record, 2, 44, p. 2132.

The fact that a Member is in custody of the Sergeant-atArms under a warrant issued during a call of the House, and is awaiting the action of the House on his own case, does not disqualify him from voting on a motion to excuse another Member who is in the same situation with himself.-Congressional Record, 1, 52, p. 4181.


(See Committees.)


(See Committees.)


(See Committees.)

JEFFERSON'S MANUAL. The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Jefferson's Manual shall govern the House in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the Standing Rules and Orders of the House and Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives.-Rule XLIV. (Jefferson's Manual,—ante, pp. 101 to 192.)


(See Commissions.)

JOINT COMMITTEES. There are four committees of the two Houses, established by law or rule, which are styled joint committees. They each consist of two practically separate and distinct committees which act independently of each other in respect to the legislative business of their respective Houses. They have, however, joint supervision and control of certain public works and institutions, such as the Library of Congress, Public Printing, etc.

The joint committees are:

The Committee on Printing, established by law.-R. S., sec. 3656;

The Committee on the Library.-Rule XI, clause 48; and
The Committee on Enrolled Bills.-Rule XI, clause 50.

The Committee on Disposition of Useless Papers in Executive Departments.- Stats, at L., vol. 25, p. 672.

The Committee on Enrolled Bills was established as a joint · committee by the joint rules formerly in force. The members of this joint committee on the part of each House, according to the practice, examine and correct enrolled bills originating, respectively, in their own House. All reports from this committee are made exclusively to the House of Representatives, where the enrolled bill is signed first by the Speaker and thence transmitted by the Clerk to the Senate for the signature of the Vice-President.

The Committee on the Disposition of Useless Papers is provided for by the act of February 16, 1889 (Stat. at L., vol. 25, p. 672), and was first appointed in the Fifty-third Congress. (See Journal 1, 53, p. 76.)


The resolving clause of a joint resolution is, “ Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled” (R. S., sec. 8), and, in all respects, joint resolutions are governed by the same rules as bills, the word “ bill,” where it occurs in the rules, being held to apply equally to a “joint resolution.”—Congressional Globe, 3, 27, p. 384.

Joint resolutions, like bills, are numbered serially in the order of their introduction, and are abbreviated thus: (H. Res.-), indicating House joint resolution, (S. R. -) Senate joint resolution.

Joint resolutions can not be amended so as to convert them into bills or simple resolutions, nor can bills or simple resolutions be so amended as to convert them into joint resolutions.

Joint resolutions of State or Territorial legislatures, being in fact mere memorials, may be presented (as petitions are delivered to the Clerk) by delivery thereof to the Speaker, with the subject-matter, reference, and member's name indorsed thereon. (See Rule XXII, clause 3.)

By the Constitution of the United States and the rules of the two Houses, no absolute distinction is made between bills and joint resolutions, either in regard to the mode of proceeding with them before they become laws, or their force and effect afterwards. For more than fifty years, however, a very marked distinction seems to have been recognized in the legislation of . Congress, and the form of joint resolution was resorted to chiefly, and almost entirely, for such purposes as the following, viz: “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution;” “to express the sense of Congress;" to construe provisions in former laws;" "to admit new States;” “ to direct or regulate the printing of documents;”. and, until the second session of the Twentyseventh Congress, no instance is to be found of an appropriation elsewhere than in a bill. During the first fifty years of the Government the whole number of joint resolutions passed scarcely amounted to two hundred, while since that period the number has been quadrupled, and at the Forty-first Congress alone amounted to more than five hundred. The increase within the latter period in the number of joint resolutions containing appropriations has been in a still greater proportion. The early and long-continued practice of Congress indicates that the framers of the Constitution who sat in the First and succeeding Congresses, and those who followed them for many years, construed the constitutional provision that “no money shall be withdrawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law” as requiring the highest character of law-namely, bills, not joint resolutions. (See Resolutions.)


(See Rules.)

JOURNAL Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members present, be entered on the Journal.Const., 1, 5; 3,5.

The Constitution of the United States requires that " objections" returned to the House by the President with a bill shall be entered “at large on their Journal;” and in all cases the votes of both Hlouses on the passage of a bill so returned shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the Journal of each house, respectively.- Const., 1, 7, 2, 6.

« PreviousContinue »