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postpone indefinitely, being decided, shall be again allowed on the same day, and at the same stage of the bill or proposition. A motion to strike out the enacting words of a bill shall have precedence of a motion to amend, and, if carried, shall be considered equivalent to its rejection.
35. When a resolution shall be offered, or a motion made, to refer any subject, and different committees shall be proposed, the question shall be taken in the following order:
The Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union; the Committee of the Whole House; a Standing Committee; a Select Committee.
36. A motion to adjourn shall be always in order; that, and the motion to lie on the table, shall be decided without debate.
37. The hour at which every motion to adjourn is made, shall be entered on the Journal.-(Oct. 9th, 1837.)
38. The previous question shall be in this form: “Shall the main question be now put ?” It shall be only admitted when demanded by a majority of the members present; and, until it is decided, shall prelude all amendment, and further debate of the main question. On a motion for the previous question, and prior to the seconding of the same, a call of the House shall be in order ; but, after a majority shall have seconded such motion, no call shall be in order prior to a decision of the main question.
39. On a previous question there shall be no debate. All incidental questions of order arising after a motion is made for the previous question, and pending such motion, shall be decided, whether on appeal or otherwise, without debate.
40. When a question is postponed indefinitely, the same shall not be acted upon again during the session.
41. Any member may call for the division of a question, which shall be divided if it comprehend propositions in substance so distinct, that one being taken away, a substantive proposition shall remain for the decision of the House. A motion to strike out and insert shall be deemed indivisible; but a motion to strike out being lost, shall preclude neither amendment, nor a motion to strike out and insert.
42. Motions and reports may be committed at the pleasure of the House.
43. No motion or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under colour of amendment. No bill or resolution shall, at any time, be amended by annexing thereto, or incorporating therewith, any other bill or resolution pending before the House.
44. When a motion has been once made, and carried in the affirmative or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority to move for the reconsideration thereof, on the same or the succeeding day; and such motion shall take precedence of all other questions, except a motion to adjourn.
45. When the reading of a paper is called for, and the same is objected to by any member, it shall be determined by a vote of the House.
46. The unfinished business in which the House was engaged at the last preceding adjournment shall have the preference in the orders of the day; and no motion on any other business shall be received, without special leave of the House, until the former is disposed of.
47. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of the Senate shall be necessary, shall be read to the House, and laid on the table, on a day preceding that in which the same shall be moved, unless the House shall otherwise expressly allow.
48. Petitions, memorials, and other papers addressed to the House, shall be presented by the Speaker, or by a member in his place; a brief statement of the contents thereof shall be made verbally by the introducer; they shall not be debated on the day of their being presented; nor on any day assigned by the House for the receipt of petitions after the first thirty days of the session, unless where the House shall direct otherwise, but shall lie on the table, to be taken up in the order in which they were presented. 49. A proposition requesting information from the President
of the United States, or directing it to be furnished by the head of either of the Executive Departments, or by the Postmaster General, or to print an extra number of any document or other matter, excepting messages of the President to both Houses at the commencement of each session of Congress, and the reports and documents connected with or referred to
in it, shall lie on the table one day for consideration, unless l otherwise ordered by the unanimous consent of the House ;
and all such propositions shall be taken up for consideration in the order they were presented, immediately after reports are called for from select committees; and, when adopted, the Clerk shall cause the same to be delivered.
50. Any fifteen members (including the Speaker, if there be one), shall be authorised to compel the attendance of absent members.
51. Upon calls of the House, or in taking the yeas and nays on any question, the names of the members shall be called alphabetically.
52. Any member may excuse himself from serving on any committee at the time of his appointment, if he is then a member of two other committees.
53. No member shall absent himself from the service of the House, unless he have leave, or be sick and unable to attend.
54. Upon the call of the House, the names of the members shall be called over by the Clerk, and the absentees noted; after which, the names of the absentees shall again be called over, the doors shall then be shut, and those for whom no excuse, or insufficient excuses are made, may, by order of those present, if fifteen in number, be taken into custody as they appear, or may be sent for and taken into custody, wherever to be found, by special messengers to be appointed for that purpose.
55. When a member shall be discharged from custody, and admitted to his seat, the House shall determine whether such discharge shall be with or without paying fees; and, in like
manner, whether a delinquent member, taken into custody by a special messenger, shall, or shall not, be liable to defray the expense of such special messenger.
56. A Sergeant-at-arms shall be appointed, to hold his office during the pleasure of the House, whose duty it shall be to attend the House during its sittings; to execute the commands of the House from time to time, together with all such process, issued by authority thereof, as shall be directed to him by the Speaker.
57. The fees of the Sergeant-at-arms shall be, for every arrest, the sum of two dollars; for each day's custody and releasement, one dollar; and for travelling expenses for himself or a special messenger, going and returning, one-tenth of a dollar
mile. 58. Twenty-seven standing committees shall be appointed at the commencement of each session, viz. :
A Committee of Elections,
To consist of nine members each.
A Committee on Patents,
To consist of five members each.
59. It shall be the duty of the Committee of Elections to examine and report upon the certificates of election, or other credentials of the members returned to serve in this House; and to take into their consideration all such petitions, and other matters touching elections and returns, as shall or may be presented, or come into question, and be referred to them by the House.
60. It shall be the duty of the Committee of Ways and Means to take into consideration all such reports of the Treasury Department, and all such propositions relative to the revenue, as may be referred to them by the House; to inquire into the state of the public debt, or the revenue, and of the expenditure; and to report, from time to time, their opinion thereon; [to examine into the state of the several public Departments, and particularly into the law making appropriations of moneys, and to report whether the moneys have been disbursed conformably with such laws; and also to report from time to time, such provisions and arrangements as may
be necessary to add to the economy of the Departments, and the accountability of their officers.]*
In preparing bills of appropriations for other objects, the
* That portion of the duty of the Committee of Ways and Means which is printed within brackets, was, originally, adopted on the 7th January, 1802. On the 26th February, 1814, the Committee on Public Expenditures was created, and added to the list of Standing Committees; the duties of this latter Committee are exactly those contained in that portion of the duties of the Committee of Ways and Means which are referred to in this note as within brackets.-See Rule 71. The words ought to be stricken from the specification of the duties of the Committee of Ways and Means.