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Rules of the House.
[H. OP R.
necessity happened, there was no doubt that the might be wanted, were it only to take care of the permission would be granted.
fire. Mr. W. SMITH, Mr. MURRAY, and Mr. GILES, Mr. Sedgwick said that then there would be said a few words, and, in the end, Mr. Smith with occasion to make him swear an oath of secrecy, drew his amendment.
and to form a rule to that effect. The proposal Another rule was read, which directs clearing was negatived. the House of all persons, except the members and The rules were then, on motion, agreed to by the Clerk, when confidential communications are the House, as follows: received from the President, Mr. W. Smith
STANDING RULES AND ORDERS OF THE inquired why the Sergeant-at-Arms was not, as
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. formerly, to be admitted. Mr. MURRAY replied that the committee had not thought his presence First.- Touching the Duty of the Speaker. essentially necessary. No motion was made on He shall take the Chair every day at the hour to this subject.
which the House shall have adjourned on the precedThe reading of the Rules was then finished. ing day; shall immediately call the members to order, The Committee rose, and the Chairman reported and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall cause the that there had been one amendment adopted. Journal of the preceding day to be read.
The House then took up the rules. One of He shall preserve decorum and order; may speak to them hath these words:
points of order, in preference to other members, rising
from his seat for that purpose, and shall decide ques"A Sergeant-at-Arms shall execute the commands tions of order, subject to an appeal to the House by any of the House, from time to time, either by himself or a two members. special messenger, to be by him appointed for that pur He shall rise to put a question, but may state it sitpose."
Questions shall be distinctly put in this form, to wit: Mr. Hillhouse objected to the words in italics,
“As many as are of opinion that (as the question may as they now stand, because they give the Sergeant be) say Ay;" and after the affirmative voice is express, a discretionary power of going idle, and hiring ed, “ As many as are of a contrary opinion, say No." another person to do his business. He proposed, If the Speaker doubts, or a division be called for, the as an amendment, to add these words, " or in case House shall divide; those in the affirmative of the quesof sickness."
tion shall first rise from their seats, and afterwards those Mr. VENABLE preferred. as an amendment, to in the negative. If the Speaker still doubts, or a count strike out all the words in italics.
be required, the Speaker shall name two members, one Mr. Hillhouse had once thought of that; but from each side, to tell the numbers in the affirmative ; be recollected that the Sergeant might be sent to which being reported, he shall then name two others, Georgia to arrest a member. After proceeding one from each side, to tell those in the negative; which three fourths of the way, he falls sick; and not being also reported, he shall rise, and state the decibeing able to proceed further himself, nor having sion to the House. time at such a distance to consult the House, the
All committees shall be appointed by the Speaker, result will be that, unless he is qualified to appoint which case they shall be appointed by ballot; and if,
unless otherwise specially directed by the House ; in a delegate in his room, the orders of the House upon such ballot, the number required shall not be electwill not be executed. Mr. Venable still thought it better to leave out proceed to a second ballot, in which a plurality of votes
ed, by a majority of the votes given, the House shall the clause, than suffer a Sergeant-at-Arms to ap- shall prevail; and in case a greater number than are point an officer for that House. The words were, required to compose or complete the committee, shall on a motion to that effect, struck out.
have an equal number of votes, the House shall proceed Another clause was for appointing a Committee to a further ballot or ballots. of Commerce. On motion, it was agreed to add In all cases of ballot by the House, the Speaker shall the words and Agriculture.
vote; in other cases he shall not vote, unless the House One of the rules is in these words:
be equally divided, or unless his vote, if given to the
minority, will make the division equal ; and, in case of “No petition to controvert the election of a member such equal division, the question shall be lost. returned to serve in this House, shall be received, un All acts, addresses, and joint resolutions, shall be less the same be presented within fifty days after the signed by the Speaker; and all writs, warrants, or submember petitioned against shall take his seat."
pænas, issued by order of the House, shall be under his Mr. Giles wished to hear a reason for this re- hand and seal
, attested by the Clerk. striction, in point of time, from any of the gentle
In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in men, who were on the committee that framed the the gallery or lobby, the Speaker, (or Chairman of the report before the House. He had doubts of its order the same to be cleared.
Committee of the Whole House,) shall have power to propriety.
Mr. SEDGWICK inclined to think that the rule Secondly-Of Decorum and Debate. should be expunged. It was a delicate matter When any member is about to speak in debate, or to pass restrictions, wherein they might be per- deliver any matter to the House, he shall rise from his sonally interested.' The clause was struck out. seat, and respectfully address himself to Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Goodhue objected that the Doorkeeper If any member, in speaking, or otherwise, transgress should not be excluded from the House during the the rules of the House, the Speaker shall, or any memreading of confidential communications. He ber may, call to order; in which case the member so
H. OF R.)
[DECEMBER, 1795. called to order shall immediately sit down, unless per In all other cases of ballot than for committees, a mamitted to explain; and the House shall, if appealed to, jority of the votes given shall be necessary to an elecdecide on the case, but without debate. If there be no tion; and when there shall not be such majority on the appeal, the decision of the Chair shall be submitted to. first ballot, the ballot shall be repeated until a majority If the decision be in favor of the member called to order, be obtained. he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, and the In all cases when others than members of the House case require it, he shall be liable to the censure of the may be eligible, there shall be a previous nomination. House.
If a question depending be lost by adjournment of When two or more members happen to rise at once, the House, and revived on the succeeding day, no memthe Speaker shall name the member who is first to ber who has spoken twice on the day preceding shall be speak.
permitted again to speak without leave. No member shall speak more than twice to the same Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurquestion, without leave of the House ; nor more than rence of the Senate shall be necessary, shall be read to once, until every member choosing to speak shall have the House, and laid on the table, on a day preceding spoken.
that in which the same shall be moved, unless the House Whilst the Speaker is putting any question, or ad- shall otherwise expressly allow. dressing the House, none shall walk out of, or across Petitions, memorials, and other papers, addressed to the House ; nor in such case, or when a member is the House, shall be presented by the Speaker, or by a speaking, shall entertain private discourse; nor, whilst member in his place, and shall not be debated or decided a member is speaking, shall pass between him and the on the day of their being first read, unless where the Chair.
House shall direct otherwise ; but shall lie on the table, No member shall vote on any question in the event to be taken up in the order they were read. of which he is immediately and particularly interested ; Any fifteen members, (including the Speaker, if there or in any other case where he was not present when the is one,) shall be authorized to compel the attendance of question was put.
absent members. Upon a division and count of the House on any ques
Upon calls of the House, or in taking the yeas and tion, no member without the bar shall be counted. nays on any question, the names of the members shall
Every member who shall be in the House when a be called alphabetically. question is put, shall give his vote, unless the House, Any member may excuse himself from serving on for special reasons, shall excuse him.
any committee at the time of his appointment, if he is When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be then a member of two other committees. stated by the Speaker, or, being in writing, it shall be No member shall absent himself from the service of handed to the Chair, and read aloud by the Clerk, be- the House, unless he have leave, or be sick, and unable fore debated.
to attend. Every motion shall be reduced to writing, if the Upon a call of the House, the names of the members Speaker or any member desire it.
shall be called over by the Clerk, and the absentees After a motion is stated by the Speaker, or read by noted; after which, the names of the absentees shall be the Clerk, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the again called over, the doors shall then be shut, and those House, but may be withdrawn at any time before a de- for whom no excuse, or insufficient excuses are made, cision or amendment.
may, by order of the House, be taken into custody, as When a question is under debate, no motion shall be they appear, or may be sent for, and taken into custody, received, unless to amend it, to commit it, for the pre- wherever to be found, by special messengers to be apvious question, to postpone it to a day certain, or to pointed for that purpose. adjourn.
When a member shall be discharged from custody, A motion to adjourn shall be always in order, and and admitted to his seat, the House shall determine shall be decided without debate.
whether such discharge shall be with, or without, payThe previous question shall be in this form : “Shalling fees; and, in like manner, whether a delinquent the main question be now put?” It shall only be ad- member, taken into custody by a special messenger, mitted when demanded by five members; and, until it shall, or shall not, be liable to defray the expense of such is decided, shall preclude all amendment and further special messenger. debate of the main question.
A Sergeant-at-Arms shall be appointed, to hold his On a previous question, no member shall speak more office during the pleasure of the House, whose duty it than once without leave.
shall be to attend the House during its sitting; to exAny member may call for the division of a question, ecute the commands of the House, from time to time, where the sense will admit of it.
together with all such process issued by authority thereA motion for commitment, until it is decided, shall of, as shall be directed to him by the Speaker. preclude all amendment of the main question.
The fees of the Sergeant-at-Arms shall be, for every Motions and reports may be committed at the plea- arrest, the sum of two dollars; for each day's custody sure of the House.
and releasement, one dollar; and for traveling expenNo new motion or proposition shall be admitted un- ses of himself, or a special messenger, going and returnder color of amendment, as a substitute for the motion ing, one-tenth of a dollar per mile. or proposition under debate.
Four standing committees shall be appointed at the When the reading of a paper is called for, and the commencement of each session, viz: same is objected to by any member, it shall be deter A Committee of Elections, a Committee of Claims, mined by a vote of the House.
a Committee of Commerce and Manufactures—to conThe unfinished business in which the House was en-sist of seven members each: And a Committee of Regaged at the time of the last adjournment, shall have visal and Unfinished Business—to consist of three the preference in the Orders of the Day; and no motion members. on any other business shall be received, without special It shall be the duty of the said Committee of Elections leave of the House, until the former is disposed of. to examine and report upon the certificates of election
Rules of the House.
[H. OF R.
or other credentials of the members returned to serve in The first reading of a bill shall be for information ; this House, and to take into their consideration all such and, if opposition be made to it, the question shall be, petitions and other matters touching election, and re “Shall the bill be rejected ?" If no opposition be made, turns, as shall or may be presented, or come in ques: or if the question to reject be negatived, the bill shall go tion, and be referred to them by the House.
to its second reading without a question. It shall be the duty of the said Committee of Claims Upon the second reading of a bill, the Speaker shall to take into consideration all such petitions and matters state it as ready for commitment or engrossment; and, or things touching claims or demands on the United if committed, then a question shall be, whether to a seStates, as shall be presented, or shall or may come in lect committee, or to a Committee of the Whole ; if to question, and be referred to them by the House, and to a Committee of the Whole House, the House shall dereport their opinion thereupon together with such pro- termine on what day. But, if the bill be ordered to be positions for relief therein, as to them shall seem expe- engrossed, the House shall appoint the day when it dient.
shall be read the third time. After commitment and It shall be the duty of the said Committee of Com- report thereof to the House, a bill may be recommitted, merce and Manufactures to take into consideration all or at any time before its passage. such petitions and matters or things, touching the com All bills ordered to be engrossed shall be executed in merce and manufactures of the United States, as shall a fair round hand. be presented, or shall or may come in question, and be When a bill shall pass, it shall be certified by the referred to them by the House, and to report, from time Clerk, noting the day of its passing at the foot thereof. to time, their opinion thereon. It shall be the duty of the said Committee of Revisal
Fourthly.-Of Committees of the Whole House. and Unfinished Business to examine and report what
It shall be a standing order of the day, throughout laws have expired, or are near expiring, and require to the session, for the House to resolve itself into a Combe revived or further continued; also, to examine and mittee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. report from the Journal of the last session, all such mat
In forming a Committee of the Whole House the ters as were then depending and undetermined. It Speaker shall leave his Chair, and a Chairman to preshall also be the duty of the said committee to revise side in Committee shall be appointed by the Speaker. the laws for the establishment of offices, and to report,
Upon bills committed to a Committee of the Whole from time to time, such provisions or expenses attending House, the bill shall be first read throughout by the them, at may appear to have become necessary.
Clerk, and then again read and debated by clauses, No committe: shall sit, during the sitting of the leaving the preamble to be last considered; the body of House, without special leave.
the bill shall not be defaced or interlined; but all amendThe Clerk of the House shall take an oath for the ments, noting the page and line, shall be duly entered by true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office, the Clerk on a separate paper, as the same shall be to the best of his knowledge and abilities; and shall agreed to by the Committee, and so reported to the be deemed to continue in office until another be ap- be debated
and amended by clauses before a question to
House. After report, the bill shall again be subject to pointed.
It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the House, at the engross it be taken. end of each session, to send a printed copy of the Jour
All amendments made to an original motion in Comnal thereof to the Executive, and to each branch of the mittee, shall be incorporated with the motion, and so Legislature, of every State.
reported. Whenever confidential communications are received
All amendments made to a report committed to a from the President of the United States, the House shall Committee of the Whole House, shall be noted and rebe cleared of all persons, except the members and the ported as in the case of bills. Clerk, and so continue during the reading of such
All questions, whether in Committee or in the House, communications, and (unless otherwise directed by the shall be propounded in the order in which they were House) during all debates and proceedings to be had moved, except that in filling up blanks the largest sum thereon. And when the Speaker, or any other member, and longest time shall be first put. shall inform the House that he has communications to
No motion or proposition for a tax or charge upon make, which he conceives ought to be kept secret, the the People shall be discussed the day in which it is House shall, in like manner, be cleared till the commu- made or offered, and every such proposition shall receive nication be made; the House shall then determine whe- its first discussion in a Committee of the Whole House. ther the matter communicated requires secrecy or not, mittee of the Whole House, shall be increased in the
No sum or quantum of tax or duty voted by a Comand take order accordingly.
House, until the motion or proposition for such increase Thirdly.- Of Bills.
shall be first discussed and voted in a Committee of the Every bill shall be introduced by motion for leave, or tinuance.
Whole House; and so in respect to the time of its conby an order of the House, on the report of a committee ; and, in either case, a committee to prepare the same shall be first moved and discussed in a Committce of
All proceedings touching appropriations of money, shall be appointed. In cases of a general nature, one the Whole House. day's notice, at least, shall be given of the motion to
The rules of proceeding in the House shall be obbring in a bill; and every such motion may be com- served in Committee, so far as they may be applicable, mitted. Every bill shall receive three several readings in the except the rule limiting the times of speaking.
No standing rule or order of the House shall be reHouse previous to its passage; and all bills shall be scinded without one day's notice being given of the despatched in order as they were introduced, unless motion therefor. where the House shall direct otherwise ; but no bill shall be twice read on the same day without special or
Joint Rules and Orders of the two Houses. der of the House.
In every case of an amendment of a bill agreed to in
H. OF R.)
Address to the President.
one House and dissented to in the other, if either House
Tuesday, December 15. shall request a conference, and appoint a committee for that purpose, and the other House shall also appoint a
Mr. Heath laid the following motion on the committee to confer, such committees shall, at a conve
table: nient hour, to be agreed on by their Chairman, meet in Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire the Conference Chamber, and state to each other verb- whether any and what amendments may be necessary ally, or in writing, as either shall choose, the reasons of to the act regulating processes in the Courts of the their respective Houses for and against the amendment, United States. and confer freely thereon. When a message shall be sent from the Senate to the table:
Mr. Livingston laid the following motion on the House of Representatives, it shall be announced at the door of the House by the Doorkeeper, and shall be
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inrespectfully communicated to the Chair by the person should be made in the penal laws of the United States,
quire and report whether any and what alterationsby whom it may be sent.
The same ceremony shall be observed when a message by substituting milder punishments for certain crimes shall be sent from the House of Representatives to the for which infamous and capital punishments are now Senate.
inflicted. Messages shall be sent by such persons as a sense of Mr. Smith, of S. C., laid the following motion propriety in each House may determine to be proper. on the table:
While bills are on their passage between the two Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire Houses, they shall be on paper, and under the signature and report what proceedings had been had in pursuance of the Secretary or Clerk of each House, respectively.
of the act passed at the last session for the promulgaAfter a bill shall have passed both Houses, it shall tion of the laws of the United States, and whether any be duly enrolled on parchment by the Clerk of the House and what amendments may be necessary to the said act.. of Representatives, or the Secretary of the Senate, as the bill may have originated in the one or the other
ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT. House, before it shall be presented to the President of Sundry memorials and petitions having been the United States.
presented and relerred, When bills are enrolled, they shall be examined by a The House then resolved itself into a Committee Joint Committee of one from the Senate, and two from of the whole, Mr. Muhlenberg in the Chair
, on the House of Representatives, appointed as a Standing the draft of an answer to the PRESIDENT's Speech. Committee for that purpose, who shall carefully com- The following sentence being under considerapare the enrolment with the engrossed bills as passed, in the two Houses, and, correcting any errors that may
tion : be discovered in the enrolled bills, make their report “ Contemplating that probably unequalled spectacle forthwith to the respective Houses.
of national happiness, which our country exhibits, to After examination and report, each bill shall be signed the interesting summary which you, sir, have been in the respective Houses, first by the Speaker of the pleased to make, in justice to our own feelings, permit House of Representatives, and then by the President of us to add the benefits which are derived from your prethe Senate.
siding in our councils, resulting as well from the undiAfter a bill shall have thus been signed in each House, minished confidence of your fellow-citizens, as from it shall be presented by the said committee to the Pre- your zealous and successful labors in their service.” sident of the United States for his approbation, it being Mr. PARKER moved to strike out the words first endorsed on the back of the roll, certifying in which House the same originated ; which endorsement shall cils," to the end. He owned that the United
probably unequalled," and from the word "counbe signed by the Secretary or Clerk (as the case may States owe much to the President for his serbe) of the House in which the same did originate, and vices on most occasions; but he had sometimes. shall be entered on the Journal of each House. The erred as other men. He could not for his own said committee shall report the day of presentation to the President, which time shall also be carefully entered part subscribe to the expressions contained in the on the Journal of each House.
words which he had moved to strike out; his conAll orders, resolutions, and votes, which are to be fidence in the PRESIDENT was diminished in conpresented to the President of the United States for his sequence of a late transaction. approbation, shall also, in the same manner, be pre
Mr. SHERBURNE called for a division of the viously enrolled, examined, and signed; and shall be question; that a question should first be put upon presented in the same manner, and by the same com- the words “ probably unequalled," and afterwards mittee, as provided in case of bills.
upon striking out the latter part of the clause, When the Senate and House of Representatives shall The question was accordingly put upon the judge it proper to make a joint Address to the Presi- words "probably unequalled," and they were dent, it shall be presented to him in his Audience Cham- struck out 43 to 39. ber by the President of the Senate, in the presence of Mr. Murray rose to make a few observations the Speaker and both Houses.
on the motion for striking out from the word Ordered, That a Committee of Commerce "councils.” As a Representative from Maryland, and Manufactures be appointed, pursuant to the he said, he could not on this occasion be contented Standing Rules and Orders of the ouse ; when to give a silent vote. The Legislature of that Mr. Goodhue, Mr. Bourne, Mr. Livingston, Mr. State had not long since declared, that their conSWANWICK, Mr. S. Smith, Mr. Parker, and Mr. fidence in the President remains undiminished; W. Smith, were appointed, and the House ad- and though his single sentiment might be deemed journed.
unimportant when viewed in connexion with the
Address to the President.
unanimous vote of his State, yet he was free to Mr. FREEMAN, agreed to confine his motion to declare, that his confidence in the Chief Magis- striking out the word "undiminished.” trate had experienced no diminution. The Legis Mr. SEDGWICK doubted whether, after a division lature of Maryland, he observed, had foreseen that of the question, and a question being taken on the attempts would be made, and saw that unjustifi- first part
, a modification of the second part would able attempts were actually making to diminish be in order. the confidence of the people in the PRESIDENT; The Chairman declared it in order. they therefore resolved to give the sanction of Mr. SEDGWICK viewed the present motion as their unanimous vote to his character, declaring even more objectionable than the first; it went that the PRESIDENT retained their confidence, and directly to a denial of undiminished confidence for that he had merited it. Though not bound by the the PRESIDENT on the part of the House and the opinion of the Legislature of that State, he con- public. There was a time, he said, when no man ceived it his duty not to give a silent vote on the could have supposed that the period would have present occasion.
arrived, that in the popular branch of the GovernMr. Giles had hoped that nothing would have ment, the confidence of the people and their Rebeen brought before the House calculated to dis- presentatives ia that man could have been questurb the harmony that ought to subsist, by involv- tioned. ing the discussion of delicate points. He had as Having been on the committee that framed the much zeal as any man for the preservation of the answer, and maturely considered the subject in PRESIDENT's fame and reputation; but he could every part, he would mention some of the obsernot go the length of the expressions in the clause vations that occurred to his mind particularly in objected to. He could not agree to it in its pre- favor of the part now objected to. Lest in the sent shape, because the assertion in it does not course of them his sensibility on this subject correspond with the fact. After this remark, there should betray him into some warmth of exprescould not, he conceived, be any inconsistency in sion, he begged leave to premise that he wished Foting against the word and still feeling a regard to wound the feelings of no man. for the PRESIDENT. He hoped his fame and repu It was proper he said to inquire into facts on tation might never receive a stain, but pass un- which the expression now objected to was groundimpaired to posterity. He should vote for strik- ed. Is the confidence of the people in the services, ing out.
and patriotism, and wisdom, of the Chief MagisMr. FREEMAN wished the motion might be so trate diminished ? His experience led him to say modified as to involve the striking out of the word no; then, in the existing circumstances, is it not "undiminished” only. Though he for himself, he right for the Representatives to make the declaraobserved, might say that his confidence in the tion to their constituents and the world ? To supPRESIDENT was undiminished, he could not utter pose the people, who, at the present moment, enthe same sentiment in behalf of the people at joyed so many blessings under the PRESIDENT'S large. In his opinion the confidence of a part (a administration, could feel their confidence in him very small one perhaps) of the people was dimin-impaired, would suppose a baseness of disposition ished; though that of a majority might be un- unworthy of them and of the services he has renshaken.
dered. Who could review the glorious conduct of Mr. Harper said he had no difficulty in de- our Chief during the conflict of the Revolution, his claring, that his own confidence in the PRESIDENT unwearied labors for the public good, his bravery, was undiminished, but he could not go so far as moderation, and humanity; who could observe him to pledge himself that that of all the people was in his happy retirement, covered with glory, and so." He never, he said, had been in the habit accompanied by the blessings of his country; then of worshipping the PRESIDENT. He considered forsaking his retirement, putting at bazard the him as a man, not infallible, but as a wise, honest, mighty mass of his reputation, and be insensible and faithful public servant, and he was prepared of his services? Who could review the critical in all places and situations to declare this opinion; situation in which he preserved our peace and but he was not ready to pronounce concerning the prosperity during a glorious administration of six opinion of the people of the United States. Some years; who could review these things and not time hence they may become unanimous in their have his heart filled with gratitude and esteem ? confidence; but he could not say that it was not di- He expressed his belief, that a late measure of the minished. He was ready to declare for himself Executive was less the object of the dislike of but not for others. If called upon to declare some, than affording the opportunity for the vent whether a majority, whether four-fifths of the of passions and feelings deep-rooted before. people retained their confidence in the PRESIDENT, As to the sense of the people of the PRESIDENT, he could declare it as his opinion in the affirma- he believed it unaltered, as to his immediate contive; but the clause as it stands includes the whole, stituents he was sure it was; and if so, it was the and he declared as it stood could not command duty of the House to make the declaration to the his vote. He concluded by expressing his inten- world-a duty the House owed to themselves and tion, when it would be in order, to introduce a their constituents, and the more binding from the modification of the clause, so as to express the un- nature of the Government the people had chosen. diminished confidence of the House in the Presi Though the PRESIDENT had twice been called DENT.
to the Presidency by the unanimous and unsoliMr. Parker, in coincidence with the wish of cited voice of his fellow-citizens; though in obe