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1. The Speaker shall take the chair on every legislative day precisely at the hour to which the House shall have adjourned at the last sitting, immediately call the members to order, and on the appearance of a quorum, cause the journal of the proceedings of the last day's sitting to be read, having previously examined and approved the same.

2. He shall preserve order and decorum, and in case of disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries, or in the lobby, may cause the same to be cleared.

3. He shall have general control, except as provided by rule or law, of the hall of the House, and the disposal of the unappropriated rooms in that part of the Capitol assigned to the use of the House imtil further order.

4. He shall sign all acts, addresses, joint resolutions, writs, warrants, and subpænas of, or issued by order of the House, and decide all questions of order subject to an appeal by any member, on which appeal no member shall speak more than once, unless by permission of the House.

5. He shall rise to put a question, but may state it sitting; and shall put questions in this form, to wit: “As many as are in favor (as the question may be) say Ay"; and after the affirmative voice is expressed, "As many as are opposed say No"; if he doubts, or a division is called for, the House shall divide; those in the affirmative of the question shall first rise from their seats, and then those in the negative; if he still doubts, or a count is required by at least one-fifth of a quorum, he shall name one from each side of the question, to tell the members in the affirmative and negative; which being reported, he shall rise and state the decision.

6. He shall not be required to vote in ordinary legislative proceedings, except where his vote would be decisive, or where the House is engaged in voting by ballot; and in all cases of a tie vote the question shall be lost.

7. He shall have the right to name any member to perform the duties of the chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment: Procidell, houerer, That in case of his illness, he may make such appointment for a period not exceeding ten days, with the approval of the House at the time the same is made; and in his absence and omission to make such appointment, the Honse shall proceed to elect a Speaker pro tempore, to act during his absence.



There shall be elected by a vira roce vote at the commencement of each Congress, to continue in office until their successors are chosen and qualified, a Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arins, Doorkeeper, Postmaster, and Chaplain, each of whom shall take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and for the true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office, to the best of his knowledge and ability, and to keep the secrets of the House, and each shall appoint all of the employés of his department provided for by law.



1. The Clerk shall, at the commencement of the first session of each Congress, call the members to order, proceed to call the roll of members by States in alphabetical order, and, pending the election of a Speaker pro tempore, preserve order and decorum, and decide all questions of order, subject to appeal by any member.

2. He shall make, and cause to be printed and delivered to each member, or mailed to his address, at the commencement of every regular session of Congress, a list of the reports which it is the duty of any officer or department to make to Congress, referring to the act or resolution and page of the volume of the laws or journal in which it may be contained, and placing under the name of each officer the list of reports required of him to be made; also make a weekly statement of the resolutions and bills upon the Speaker's table, accompanied with a brier reference to the orders and proceedings of the House upon each, and the dates of such orders and proceedings, which statement shall be printed.

3. He shall note all questions of order, with the decisions thereon, the record of which shall be printed as an appendix to the journal of each session; and complete, as soon after the close of the session as possible, the printing and distribution to members and delegates of the journal of the House, together with an accurate and complete index; retain in the library at his office, for the use of the members and officers of the House, and not to be withdrawn therefrom, two copies of all the books and printed documents deposited there; send, at the end of each session, a printed copy of the journal thereof to the executive and to each branch of the legislature of every State and Territory; preserve for and deliver or mail to each member and delegate an extra copy, in good binding, of all documents printed by order of either house of the Congress to which he belonged; attest and allix the seal of the House to all writs, war. rants, and subpoenas issued by order of the House, certify to the passage of all bills and joint resolutions, make or approve all contracts, bargains, or agreements relative to furnishing any matter or thing, or for the performance of any labor for the House of Representatives, in pursuance of law or order of the House, keep full and accurate accounts of the disbursements out of the contingent fund of the House, keep the stationery accounts of members and delegates, and pay them as provided by law.



1. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to attend the House during its sittings, to maintain order under the direction of the Speaker, and, pending the election of a Speaker or Speaker pre tempore, under the direction of the Clerk; execute the commands of the House, and all processes issued by authority thereof, directed to him by the Speaker; keep the accounts for the pay and mileage of members and delegates, and pay them as provided by law.

2. The symbol of his office shall be the mace, which shall be borne by him while enforcing order on the floor.

3. He shall give bond to the United States, with sureties to be approved by the Speaker, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, for the faithful disbursement of all moneys entrusted to him by virtue of his office and the proper discharge of the duties thereof, and no member of Congress shall be approved as such surety.



1. The Doorkeeper shall enforce strictly the rules relating to the privileges of the hall and be responsible to the House for the official conduct of his employes.

2. At the commencement and close of each session of Congress he shall take an inventory of all the furniture, books, and other public property in the several committee and other rooms under his charge, and report the same to the House, which report shall be referred to the Committee on Accounts to ascertain and determine the amount for which he shall be held liable for missing articles.

3. He shall allow no person to enter the room over the hall of the House during its sittings; and fifteen minutes before the hour for the meeting of the House each day, he shall see that the floor is cleared of all persons except those privileged to remain.


The Postmaster shall superintend the post-office kept in the Capitol for the accommodation of Representatives, Delegates, and officers of the House, and be held responsible for the prompt and safe delivery of their mail.


The Chaplain shall attend at the commencement of each day's sitting of the House and open the same with prayer.

Rule VIII.


1. 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 com.

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