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87. It shall be the duty of the said committees to examine into the state of the accounts and expenditures respectively submitted to them, and to inquire and report particularly

Whether the expenditures of the respective Departments are justified by law :

Whether the claims from time to time satisfied and discharged by the respective Departments are supported by sufficient vouchers, establishing their justness both as to their character and amount :

Whether such claims have been discharged out of funds appropriated therefor; and whether all moneys have been disbursed in conformity with appropriation laws: and

Whether any, and what provisions are necessary to be adopted, to provide more perfectly for the proper application of the public moneys, and to secure the Government from demands unjust in their character, or extravagant in their amount.

And it shall be, moreover, the duty of the said committees to report, from time to time, whether any, and what, retrenchment can be made in the expenditures of the several Departments, without detriment to the public service; whether any, and what, abuses at any time exist in the failure to enforce the payment of moneys which may be due to the United States from public defaulters or others : and to report, from time to time, such provisions and arrangements as may be necessary to add to the economy of the several Departments, and the accountability of their officers.*

88. The several standing committees of the House shall have leave to report by bill or otherwise.

89. No committee shall sit during the sitting of the House, without special leave.

Session 12th Congress, (1812). At the 1st Session of the 25th Congress, (1837,) a Standing Committee on Mileage was created for the especial purpose of ascertaining and reporting the mileage for which each member shall receive pay.-See Rule 85.

* See notes to Rules 60 and 71.

90. The Clerk of the House shall take an oath for the true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office, to the best of his knowledge and abilities, and shall be deemed to continue in office until another be appointed.

91. It shall be the duty of the Clerk to make, and cause to be printed and delivered to each member, at the commencement of every session of Congress, a list of the reports which it is the duty of any officer or Department of the Government 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, and the time when the report may be expected.

92. It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the House, at the end of each session, to send a printed copy of the Journals thereof to the Executive, and to each branch of the Legislature, of every State.

93. All questions of order shall be noted by the Clerk, with the decision, and put together at the end of the Journal of every session.

94. Whenever confidential communications are received from the President of the United States, the House shall be cleared of all persons, except the members, Clerk, Sergeantat-arms, and Doorkeeper, and so continue during the reading of such communications, and (unless otherwise directed by the House) during all debates and proceedings to be had thereon. And when the Speaker, or any other member shall inform the House that he has communications to make, which he conceives ought to be kept secret, the House shall, in like manner, be cleared, till the communication be made; the House shall then determine whether the matter communicated requires secrecy or not, and take order accordingly.

95. The Sergeant-at-arms and the Doorkeeper shall be sworn to keep the secrets of the House,

96. All questions relating to the priority of business to be acted on shall be decided without debate.


97. Every bill shall be introduced on the report of a committee, or by motion for leave. In the latter case, at least one day's notice shall be given of the motion; and the motion shall be made, and the bill introduced, if leave is given when resolutions are called for: such motion, or the bill when introduced, may be committed.

98. Every bill shall receive three several readings in the House, previous to its passage; and bills shall be despatched in order as they were introduced, unless where the House shall direct otherwise; but no bill shall be twice read on the same day, without special order of the House.

99. The first reading of a bill shall be for information; and, if opposition be made to it, the question shall be, “Shall this bill be rejected?” If no opposition be made, or if the question to reject be negatived, the bill shall go to its second reading without a question.

100. Upon the second reading of a bill, the Speaker shall state it as ready for commitment or engrossment; and if committed, then a question shall be, whether to a select or standing committee, or to a Committee of the Whole House: if to a Committee of the Whole House, the House shall determine on what day; if no motion be made to commit, the question shall be stated on its engrossment; and if it be not ordered to be engrossed on the day of its being reported, it shall be placed in the general file on the Speaker's table, to be taken up in its order. But, if the bill be ordered to be engrossed, the House shall appoint the day when it shall be read the third time.

101. Not more than three bills, originating in the House, shall be committed to the same Committee of the Whole;

and such bills shall be analogous in their nature, which analogy shall be determined by the Speaker.

102. After commitment and report thereof to the House, or at any time before its passage, a bill may be re-committed.

103. All bills ordered to be engrossed shall be executed in a fair round hand.

104. No amendment by way of rider shall be received to any bill on its third reading.

105. When a bill shall pass, it shall be certified by the Clerk, noting the day of its passage at the foot thereof.


106. It shall be a standing order of the day, throughout the session, for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union.

107. In forming a Committee of the Whole House, the Speaker shall leave his chair, and a chairman to preside in committee, shall be appointed by the Speaker.

108. Upon bills committed to a Committee of the Whole House, the bill shall be first read throughout by the Clerk, and then again read and debated by clauses, leaving the preamble to be last considered: the body of the bill shall not be defaced or interlined; but all amendments, noting the page and line, shall be duly entered by the Clerk on a separate paper, as the same shall be agreed to by the committee, and so reported to the House. After report, the bill shall again be subject to be debated and amended by clauses, before a question to engross it be taken.

109. All amendments made to an original motion in committee shall be incorporated with the motion, and so reported.

110. All amendments made to a report committed to a Committee of the Whole House shall be noted and reported, as in the case of bills.

111. All questions, whether in committee or in the House,

shall be propounded in the order in which they were moved, except that in filling up blanks, the largest sum and longest time shall be first put.

112. No motion or proposition for a tax or charge upon the people shall be discussed the day in which it is made or offered ; and every such proposition shall receive its first discussion in a Committee of the Whole House.

113. No sum or quantum of tax or duty, voted by a Committee of the Whole House, shall be increased in the House until the motion or proposition for such increase shall be first discussed and voted in a Committee of the Whole House; and so in respect to the time of its continuance.

114. All proceedings touching appropriations of money shall be first discussed in a Committee of the Whole House.

115. The rules of proceedings in the House shall be observed in a Committee of the Whole House, so far as they may be applicable, except the rule limiting the time of speaking; but no member shall speak twice to any question, until every member choosing to speak shall have spoken.

116. No standing rule or order of the House shall be rescinded or changed without one day's notice being given of the motion therefor. Nor shall any rule be suspended, except by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members present. Nor shall the order of business, as established by the rules of the House, be postponed or changed, except by a vote of at least two thirds of the members present.

117. It shall be in order for the Committee on Enrolled Bills to report at any time.

118. The rules of Parliamentary Practice, comprised in Jefferson's Manual, shall govern the House in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the Standing Rules and Orders of the House, and the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives.

119. No person shall be permitted to perform divine service in the chamber occupied by the House of Representatives, unless with the consent of the Speaker.

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