Page images

navigation may properly be referred to either the Committee on Rivers and Harbors or the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce.Journal, 1, 52, p. 107.

A provision in the sundry civil appropriation bill, making appropriation for the improvement of rivers and harbors pursuant to contracts authorized by a river and harbor appropriation act, was held to be in order as within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Appropriations.-Congressional Record, 2, 52, p. 1065.

Where the House has by resolution instructed the Committee on Appropriations to report a certain provision in an appropriation bill, which, without such instructions, would be out of 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, 2, 52, p. 1306.

The jurisdiction of a committee of conference is confined to matters in dispute between the two Houses, and such committee has no authority to report, as an amendment, a provi. sion which is neither germane to the text of the bill nor to the amendment which is the subject of disagreement.—Journal, 2, 52, pp. 137-139. (See Committees.)


(See Committees.)

LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. The Secretary of State shall furnish the Congressional Printer with a correct copy of every act and joint resolution as soon as possible after its approval by the President of the United States, or after it shall have become a law in accordance with the Constitution without such approval; and also of every treaty between the United States and any foreign government after it shall have been duly ratified and proclaimed by the President, and of every postal convention made between the PostmasterGeneral, by and with the advice and consent of the President, on the part of the United States, and equivalent officers of foreign governments on the part of their respective countries.R. S., secs. 210 and 3803.

The Congressional Printer, on receiving from the Secretary of State a copy of any act or joint resolution, or treaty, shall immediately cause an accurate printed copy thereof to be executed and sent in duplicate to the Secretary of State, for revision. On the return of one of the revised duplicates, he shall at once have the marked corrections made, and cause to be printed, and sent to the Secretary of State, any number of copies which he may order, not exceeding five hundred, and to be printed separately, and sent to the two Houses of Congress, the usual number.—R. 8., sec. 3805.

At the close of each session of Congress there shall be printed and bound for the use of the Senate three thousand, and for the use of the House of Representatives ten thousand copies of all acts and resolutions so furnished, with a complete alphabetical index, prepared under the direction of the joint Committee on Public Printing.-R. S., sec. 3807.

By the act of March 3,1875 (Laws, 2, 43, p. 401), this index is to be prepared under the direction of the Department of State.

The Secretary of the Interior shall cause to be published, at the close.of every session of Congress, and as soon as practicable, eleven thousand copies of the acts and resolutions passed by Congress, the amendments to the Constitution adopted, and all public treaties and postal conventions made and ratified since the then last publication of the laws.—R. S., sec. 3808. REVISION OF.

The Revised Statutes (first edition) as orginally adopted at the first session of the Forty-third Congress embrace statutes of a general and permanent nature in force December 1, 1873.

By the act of March 2, 1877, a new edition of the Revised Statutes was authorized, in which should be incorporated all amendments made to the original text subsequent to December 1, 1873, and up to the close of the Forty-fourth Congress, the same to be prepared by the 1st day of January, 1878. This volume is known as the second edition, or the edition of 1878.

By joint resolution of June 7, 1880 (21 Stat. L., p. 308), the publication of a supplement to the Revised Statutes was authorized, which should embrace statutes, general and permanent in their nature, passed subsequent to the adoption of the Revised Statutes, including laws of the Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Congresses.

Under this resolution a supplement was published in 1881, designated Volume 1. It was then supposed that other volumes might follow as subsequent legislation should require. But the act of April 3, 1890 (26 Stat. L., p. 50), provided for a continuation of the publication to be issued in one volume, embracing the general laws passed after the Revised Statutes and including those of the Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth, Fortyninth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Congresses. By authority of that act the Supplement to the Revised Statutes, edition 1891, was published. It practically supersedes Volume 1, as the general laws now in force therein contained are embraced in the present publication, which contains all the perinanent general laws in . force November 2, 1891, passed subsequently to the Revised Statutes, from 1874 to 1891, inclusive.


(See Motions.)

When a question is under debate, motions have precedence in the following order: To fix the day to which the

House shall adjourn, To adjourn,

Which are not debatable. . To take a recess, To lay on the table, For the previous question,

(See Rule XVI, clause 4.)

When the House has under consideration a bill of the Senate it is not considered respectful to that body to lay the bill on the table. When adverse action on such bill is desired it is usual to postpone, recommit, or to postpone it indefinitely.

A motion to suspend the rules and agree to an undebatable motion—e.g., a motion to lay on the table—is, pursuant to Rule XXVIII, subject to debate for thirty minutes.—Journal, 2, 52, pp. 142, 143.

A negative vote on a motion to lie on the table may be reconsidered.—Journal 2, 32, p. 234.

If a motion to reconsider be laid on the table, the latter vote can not be reconsidered.Journals, 3, 27, p. 334; 1, 33, p. 357.


[ocr errors]

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 lie on the table is in order pending the consideration of Senate amendments to a bill.—Journal, 1, 33, p. 1250.

An order for the main (previous) question to be put does not preclude the motion to lie on the table, but it may be made at any stage of the proceeding between the demand for the previous question and the final action of the House under it.— Journals, 1, 26, p. 490; 1, 30, p. 175. But it was held by Mr. Speaker Randall that pending the vote on the demand for the previous question on agreeing to a resolution, the motion to lay the resolution on the table was not in order, on the ground that no question was under debate; the demand for the previous question not being debatable.Journal, 2, 45, p. 1090. It was also, for the same reason, held that after the previous question is ordered the motion to lay on the table is not in order.—Journal, 2, 53, pp. 139, 140.

Where a motion has already been made and negatived to lay a bill on the table, and no change or alteration has been made in the bill, or no proceeding directly touching its merits has since taken place, the motion to lay on the table can not be repeated.Journal, 2, 27, p. 890. But under the invariable practice, the motion may be entertained at every new stage of the Lill or proposition, and upon any proceeding having been had touching its merits.

Motions to adjourn, to fix the day to which the House shall adjourn, for a recess, and for the previous question, can not be laid on the table. Nor is it the practice to move to lay on the table motions to postpone to a day certain, to postpone indefinitely, to refer, or to amend.

A motion to resolve into Committee of the Whole can not be laid on the table. · The House having already reconsidered a vote refusing to lay a bill on the table, and having again refused to lay the bill

on the table, it is not in order to repeat the motion to reconsider the vote by which the House refused to lay on the table, thus indefinitely piling up motion on motion.-Journal, 1, 52, p. 115.

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.

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 not in order.Journal, 1, 43, p. 629.

It was held not to be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which an appeal from a decision of the Chair has been laid on the table.—Journal, 1, 44, p. 1492.


Under the parliamentary law, this motion is only made “ when the House has something else which claims its present attention, but would be willing to reserve in their power to take up a proposition whenever it shall suit them.”—Manual, p. 119. But in the House of Representatives it is usually made for the purpose of giving a proposition or bill its “ death blow;" and when it prevails, the measure is rarely ever taken up again during the session.

In general, whatever adheres to the subject of this motion goes on the table with it; as, for example, where a motion to amend is ordered to lie on the table, the subject which it is proposed to amend goes there with it.—Cushing, p. 565. But it is not so with the Journal, where it is voted to lay upon the table a proposed amendment thereto (Journal, 1, 26, p. 28), nor with the subject out of which a question or order may arise, where the appeal is laid on the table, the decision of the Chair being thereby virtually sustained (Journal, 1, 26, p. 529), nor with the bill or other proposition, where the motion to reconsider a vote thereon is laid on the table.

Where a bill is laid on the table pending the motion to refer and print, the motion to print, as well as all other motions converted with it, accompanies it.Journal, 2, 32, p. 195. But

« PreviousContinue »