Page images

tered on the Journal” (Const., 1, 5, 3, 5). And “in all such cases” (reconsideration of vetoed bills) “the votes of both Houses 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(Ibid., 1, 7, 2, 6).

“One-fifth of those present” is construed to mean one-fifth of the last vote; but if a count of the other side-i, e., those opposed to the yeas and nays—be called for, then one-fifth of those who vote on the question of ordering the yeas and nays, constitute the number required to order them. (See Cong. Record, 1, 49, vol. 17, part 1, p. 176; Journals, 1, 45, p. 290; 2, 50, p. 204; 1, 51, p. 903.)

A quorum is not required to vote on the question of ordering the yeas and nays, nor on the question of reconsidering the vote by which the yeas and nays have been ordered or refused.— Congressional Record, 1, 50, p. 7546.

Ordering the yeas and nays is a proceeding by which the method of taking a vote is determined, and is not the transaction of business.Journal, 2, 50, p. 204.

After the yeas and nays are ordered and a Member has answered to his name the roll call must progress without debate.Cong. Globe, 1, 31, p. 1686; Journal, 1, 47, pp. 597641.


The yeas and nays may be called for while a vote on a division or by tellers is being taken (Cong. Globe, 2, 28, p. 121), or while the Speaker is announcing the result of such vote (Ibid., 1, 29, p. 420), or even after the announcement, and before passing to any other business (Ibid., 1, 31, p. 277); but not after the result is announced, if delayed until the Speaker shall be in the act of putting another question.Journal, 1, 32, p. 254.

The yeas and nays may be demanded on questions arising during a call of the House in like manner as on other occasions.—Journal, 1, 16, p. 376.

Whenever on any question a quorum fails to vote, either by the Speaker's count or by tellers, a demand for the yeas and nays takes precedence over a motion for a call of the House. Journal, 3, 46, p. 596,

The yeas and nays can not be taken on any question in Com. mittee of the Whole.-Congressional Globe, 1, 28, p. 618.

The yeas and nays can not be demanded on seconding the motion to suspend the rules; the vote on seconding the motion being required to be taken by tellers, and the question of suspending the rules not being in fact before the House until seconded by a majority, as counted by tellers. (See Rule XXVIII, clause 2:)


A Member has the right to change his vote before the decision of the question has been finally and conclusively pronounced by the Chair (Journal, 2, 20, pp. 357, 358); but not afterwards.

And it is not competent for a Member to have the Journal amended, so as to have the record of his vote changed upon a representation that such vote, though recorded as given, was given under a misapprehension.Journals, 2, 8, p. 167; 2, 27,

p. 263.

A Member has a right to have an erroneous record of his vote corrected after the announcement of the result of a vote.—Journal, 1, 38, pp. 586, 587.

Every Member shall be present within the Hall of the House during its sittings, unless excused or necessarily prevented; and shall vote on each question put, unless, on motion made before division or the commencement of the roll call and decided without debate, he shall be excused, or unless he has a direct personal or pecuniary interest in the event of such question; and on a roll call, should he not vote, he shall answer o present.Rule VIII, clause 1.

Pairs shall be announced by the Clerk, after the completion of the second roll call, from a written list furnished him, and signed by the Member making the statement to the Clerk, which list shall be published in the Record as a part of the proceedings, immediately following the names of those not voting: Provided, That pairs shall be announced but once during the same legislative day.--Rule VIII, clause 2.

Upon every roll call the names of Members shall be called alphabetically by surname, except when two or more have the same surname, in which case the name of the State shall be added; and if there be two such Members from the

5585_ 37

same State, the whole name shall be called; and after the roll has been once called, the Clerk shall call in their alphabetical order the names of those not voting; and thereafter the Speaker shall not entertain a request to record a vote.--Rule XV, clause 1.

The following was on April 17, 1894, adopted by the House as the second clause of Rule XV:

Upon every roll call, and before the beginning thereof, the Speaker shall name two Members, one from each side of the pending question, if practicable, who, shall take their places at the Clerk's desk to tell the names of at least enough Members who are in the Hall of the House during the roll call who do not respond, when added to those responding, to make a quorum. If a quorum does not respond on the roll call, then the names of those so noted as present shall be reported to the Speaker, who shall cause the list to be called from the Clerk's desk and recorded in the Journal; and in determining the presence of a quorum to do business those who voted, those who answered present, and those so reported present shall be considered. Members noted may, when their names are called, record their votes, notwithstanding the provisions of clause 1 of this rule.Rule XV, clause 2.

Under the foregoing clause the roll is called twice, as provided in clause 1, before the tellers are required to report the names of Members present and failing to vote.Journal, 2, 53, p. 338.

After the announcement of the result of a vote taken by the yeas and nays it is too late to insist on a recapitulation of the vote.Journal, 1, 52, p. 115.

Where by an error of the Clerk in reporting the vote by yeas and nays the Speaker announces a result different from thrat shown by the roll, the status of the question must be determined from the vote as actually recorded.-Congressional Record, 1, 49, p.7546. If, however, by reason of such error the Speaker announces that the House decides to adjourn, and the House does in fact accordingly disperse and adjourn, although the vote as actually recorded shows a refusal to adjourn, the session of the House when it next meets will be considered not a continuation of the preceding session but as of a new legislative day.-Congressional Record, 2, 49, p. 314.


Where the yeas and nays are ordered and taken on a pending proposition and no quorum appears, the order of the House for the yeas and nays remains in force until reconsidered; and should the House adjourn without disposing of such pending question, it would come up after the reading of the Journal on the following day. But if the proposition, on which the yeas and nays were ordered, was being considered on a day assigned a committee (as, for instance, the Committee on the District of Columbia), it would go over as unfinished business and be first in order when such committee again had a day.-Journal, 1, 49, pp. 1566, 1885.

A motion can not be withdrawn after the yeas and nays have been ordered on agreeing to it.Journal, 2, 53, p. 324.

An appeal can not be withdrawn after the yeas and nays have been ordered on a motion to lay such appeal on the table.Congressional Record, 1, 51, p. 6353.

It is not in order to demand the question of consideration against a proposition on which the yeas and nays have been ordered, even though an adjournment has intervened.Journal, 1, 51, p. 941.

It is not in order to repeat a demand for the yeas and nays, which has been once refused (Cong. Globe, 1, 29, p. 304; 2, 30, p. 623; Journal, 1, 33, p. 939), until such refusal is reconsidered.

The right to make the point of no quorum voting was held to be waived by a demand for and a refusal of the yeas and nays.Journal, 2, 52, p. 58; 1, 53, p. 30.

An order of the yeas and nays (Journal, 1, 19, p. 796; 1, 30, p. 405), or a refusal of the yeas and nays (Cong. Globe, 2, 30, p. 623), may be reconsidered.

Where a motion to reconsider a vote by which the yeas and nays have been ordered prevails, the question immediately recurs on ordering the yeas and hays, when, if again ordered by one-fifth of the Members voting, a further motion to reconsider would not be in order.Journal, 1, 45, p. 290.

(See Vote.)

« PreviousContinue »