Page images
PDF
EPUB

will make the division equal; and, in case of such equal division, the question shall be lost.

10. In all cases where other than members of the House may be eligible to an office by the election of the House, there shall be a previous nomination.

11. All acts, addresses, and joint resolutions, shall be signed by the Speaker ; and all writs, warrants, and subpænas, issued by order of the House, shall be under his hand and seal, attested by the Clerk.

12. In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries or lobby, the Speaker, (or Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House) shall have power to order the same to be cleared.

13. No person, except members of the Senate, their Secretary, Heads of Departments, Treasurer, Comptrollers, Register, Auditors, Postmaster General, President's Secretary, Chaplains to Congress, Judges of the United States, Foreign Ministers and their Secretaries, Officers who, by name, have received, or shall hereafter receive, the thanks of Congress for their gallantry and good conduct displayed in the service of their country, the Commissioners of the Navy Board, Governor, for the time being, of any State or Territory of the Union, who may

attend at the seat of the General Government during the session of Congress, and who may choose to avail himself of such privilege, such gentlemen as have been Heads of Departments, or Members of either branch of the Legislature, and, at the discretion of the Speaker, persons, who belong to such Legislatures of foreign Governments as are in amity with the United States, shall be admitted within the Hall of the House of Representatives.

14. Stenographers, wishing to take down the debates, may be admitted by the Speaker, who shall assign such places to them on the floor or elsewhere, to effect their object, as shall not interfere with the convenience of the House.

ORDER OF BUSINESS OF THE SESSION.

15. After six days from the commencement of a second or subsequent session of any Congress, all bills, resolutions, and reports, which originated in the House, and at the close of the next preceding session remained undetermined, shall be resumed and acted on in the same manner as if an adjournment had not taken place.

ORDER OF BUSINESS OF THE DAY.

16. As soon as the Journal is read, the Speaker shall call for petitions from the members of each State, and delegates from each Territory, beginning with Maine, and the Territory

of Wisconsin, alternately; and if, on any day, the whole of the States and Territories shall not be called, the Speaker shall begin on the next day where he left off the previous day: Provided, that, after the first thirty days of the session, petitions shall not be received, except on the first day of the meeting of the House in each week.

17. The petitions having been presented and disposed of, reports from committees shall be called for and disposed of, in doing which the Speaker shall call upon each standing committee, in the order they are named in the 58th and 85th rules; and, when all the standing committees have been called on, then it shall be the duty of the Speaker to call for reports from select committees; if the Speaker shall not get through the call upon the committees before the House passes to other business he shall resume the next call where he left off. Resolutions shall then be called for in the same order, and disposed of by the same rules which apply to petitions: Provided, that no member shall offer more than one resolution, or one series of resolutions all relating to the same subject, until all the States and Territories shall have been called.

18. After one hour shall have been devoted to reports from

committees and resolutions, it shall be in order, pending the consideration or discussion thereof, to entertain a motion that the House do now proceed to dispose of the business on the Speaker's table, and to the orders of the day; which, being decided in the affirmative, the Speaker shall dispose of the business on his table in the following order, viz. : 1st. Messages and other Executive communications. 2d. Messages from the Senate, and amendments proposed by

the Senate to bills of the House. 3d. Bills and resolutions from the Senate on their first and

second reading, that they be referred to committees and put under way; but if, on being read a second time, no motion be made to commit, they are to be ordered to their third reading, unless objection be made; in which case, if not otherwise ordered by a majority of the House, they are to be laid on the table in the general file of bills on

the Speaker's table, to be taken up in their turn. 4th. Engrossed bills and bills from the Senate on their third

reading. 5th. Bills of the House and from the Senate, on the Speaker's

table, on their engrossment, or on being ordered to a third reading, to be taken up and considered in the order of time in which they passed to a second reading.

The messages, communications, and bills on his table having been disposed of, the Speaker shall then proceed to call the orders of the day.

19. The business specified in the two preceding rules shall be done at no other part of the day, except by permission of the House.

LOCAL OR PRIVATE BUSINESS.

20. Friday and Saturday in every week shall be set apart for the consideration of private bills and private business, in preference to any other, unless otherwise determined by a majority of the House.

OF DECORUM AND DEBATE.

[ocr errors]

21. When any member is about to speak in debate, or deliver any matter to the House, he shall rise from his seat, and respectfully address himself to “ Mr. Speaker," and shall confine himself to the question under debate, and avoid personality.

22. If any member, in speaking or otherwise, transgress the rules of the House, the Speaker shall, or any member may, call to order; in which case, the member so called to order shall immediately sit down, unless permitted to explain ; and the House shall, if appealed to, decide on the case, but without debate: if there be no appeal, the decision of the Chair shall be submitted to. If the decision be in favour of the member called to order, he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, he shall not be permitted to proceed in case any member object, without leave of the House ; and, if the case require it, he shall be liable to the censure of the House.

23. If a member be called to order for words spoken in debate, the person calling him to order shall repeat the words excepted to, and they shall be taken down in writing at the Clerk's table; and no member shall be held to answer, or be subject to the censure of the House, for words spoken in debate, if any other member has spoken, or other business has intervened, after the words spoken, and before exception to them shall have been taken.

24. When two or more members happen to rise at once, the Speaker shall name the member who is first to speak.

25. No member shall speak more than twice to the same question, without leave of the House, nor more than once until every member choosing to speak shall have spoken.

26. If a question depending be lost by adjournment of the House, and revived on the succeeding day, no member, who shall have spoken twice on the preceding day, shall be permitted again to speak without leave.

27. Whilst the Speaker is putting any question, or addressing the House, none shall walk out of or across the House;

nor, in such case, or when a member is speaking, shall entertain private discourse; nor, whilst a member is speaking, shall pass between him and the Chair. Every member shall remain uncovered during the sessions of the House. No member or other person shall visit or remain by the Clerk's table while the ayes or noes are calling, or ballots are counting.

28. No member shall vote on any question in the event of which he is immediately and particularly interested, or in any case where he was not within the bar of the House when the question was put. And when any member shall ask leave to vote, the Speaker shall propound to him the question—“ Were you within the bar when your name was called ?"

29. Upon a division and count of the House on any question, no member without the bar shall be counted.

30. Every member who shall be in the House when the question is put, shall give his vote, unless the House, for special reasons, shall excuse him. All motions to excuse a member from voting, shall be made before the House divides, or before the call of the yeas and nays is commenced ; and any member requesting to be excused from voting, may make a brief verbal statement of the reasons for making such request, and the question shall then be taken without further debate.

31. When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be stated by the Speaker; or, being in writing, it shall be handed to the Chair, and read aloud by the Clerk, before debated.

32. Every motion shall be reduced to writing, if the Speaker or any member desire it.

33. After a motion is stated by the Speaker, or read by the Clerk, it shall be deemed to be in the possession of the House, but may be withdrawn at any time before a decision or amendment.

34. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone to a day certain, to commit or amend, to postpone indefinitely; which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are arranged; and no motion to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to

« PreviousContinue »