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Committees. That A take the
chair, To agree to the whole or any
part of report, That the H. do now resolve
into committee, Speaker. That he now leave Noes.
the chair, after order to
go into committee, That he issue warrant for a
new writ, Member. That none be ab
sent without leave, Witness. That he be further examined,
Ayes. Previous question,
Noes. Blanks. That they be filled with the largest sum,
Ayes. Amendments. That words
stand part of
ting day, if before 4 Ayes.
. previous resolution) Over the 30th of January,
other day, not being a sit- > Ayes.
The one party being gone forth, the speaker names two tellers from the affirmative, and two from the negative side, who first count those sitting in the house, and report the nunber to the speaker. Then they place themselves within the door, two on each side, and count and nays
those who went forth, as they come in, and report the number to the speaker. Mem. in Hakew. 26.
A mistake in the report of the tellers may be rectified after the report made. 2 Hats. 145. note.
But in both houses of congress, and in the assembly of New-York, all these intricacies are avoided. The ayes first rise and are counted, standing in their places, by the president or speaker. Then they sit, and the noes rise and are counted in like manner.
In the U. S. senate, if they be equally divided, the vice-president announces his opinion, which decides. In assembly of New York, the speaker exercises a like power. By the 11th rule of the U. S. senate, when the yeas
shall be called for by one fifth of the members present, each member called upon, shall, unless for special reasons he be excused by the senate, declare openly and without debate, his assent or dissent to the question. In taking the yeas and nays, and upon the call of the house, the names of the members shall be taken alphabetically.
When it is proposed to take the vote by yeas and nays, the president or speaker states, that “ the question is, whether e. g. the bill shall pass ? that it is proposed that the yeas
shall be entered on the journal. Those therefore who desire it will rise." If he finds and declares that one fifth have risen, he then states that “those who are of opinion that the bill shall pass are to answer in the affirmative, those of the contrary opinion in the negative.” The clerk then calls over the names alphabetically, notes the yea or nay of each, and gives the list to the president or speaker, who declares the result. In senate of U. S. if there be an equal division, the secretary calls on the vice-president, and notes his affirmative or negative, which becomes the decision of the house.
In assembly, upon a division, either in the house, or in committee of the whole house, the names of those who vote for, and those who vote against the question, shall be entered upon the minutes, if any ten members require it. R. of A. 30.
That in all cases where a bill, order, resolution, or mo
tion, shall be entered on the journals of this house, the name of the member moving the same shall also be entered on the journals. R. of A. 37.
The clerk calls over the names, enters down the votes, tells them over and declares the result of the vote.
If the house is equally divided, the speaker gives the casting vote which is noted accordingly.
The speaker shall not vote in any case, unless where the vote shall be by ballot; or when the house shall be equally divided; or when his vote added to the minority, shall make an equal division; and in case of such equal division, the question shall be lost. R. of A. 4.
In the house of commons, every member must give his vote the one way or the other. Scob. 24. as it is not permitted to any one to withdraw who is in the house when the question is put, nor is any one to be told in the division who was not in when the question was put. 2 Hats. 140.
This last position is always true when the vote is by yeas and nays; where the negative as well as affirmative of the question is stated by the president at the same time, and the vote of both sides begins and proceeds pari passu. It is true also when the question is put in the usual way, if the negative has also been put. But if it has not, the member entering, or any other member, may speak, and even proposę amendments by which the debate may be opened again, and the question be greatly deferred. And as some who have answered aye, may have been changed by the new arguments, the affirmative must be put over again. If then the member entering may, by speaking a few words, occasion a repetition of the question it would be useless to deny it on his simple call for it,
While the house is telling, no member may speak, or move out of his place; for if any mistake be suspected, it must be told again. Mem. in Hakew. 26. 2 Hats. 143.
Every member who shall be present when a question is stated from the chair, shall vote for or against the same, unless the house shall excuse him, or unless he be immediately interested in the question; in which case he shall not vote; but no member shall be permitted to vote upon any question, unless present when his name is called upon a division in its regular order. R. of A. 18.
If any difficulty arises in point of order during the di
vision, the speaker is to decide peremptorily, subject to the future censure of the house if irregular. He sometimes permits old experienced members to assist him with their advice, which they do, sitting in their seats, covered, to avoid the appearance of debate; but this can only be with the speaker's leave, else the division might last several hours. 2 Hats. 143.
The voice of the majority decides. For the lex majoris partis is the law of all councils, elections, &c. where not otherwise expressly provided. Hakew. 93. But if the house be equally divided“ semper presumatur pro negante;" that is, the former law is not to be changed but by a majority. Town. col. 134.
But in the senate of the United States, the vice-president decides, when the house is divided. Constitution United States I. 3.
When from counting the house on a division, it appears that there is not a quorum, the matter continues exactly in the state in which it was before the division, and must be resumed at that point on any future day. 2 Hats. 126.
1606, May 1, On a question whether a member having said yea, may afterwards sit and change his opinion ? a precedent was remembered by the speaker, of Mr. Morris, attorney of the wards in 39 Eliz. who in like case changed his opinion. Mem. in Hakew. 27.
When a question, in senate of the U. S. 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. Rule 22.
1798, January. A bill on its second reading, being amended, and on the question whether it shall be read a third time negatived, was restored by a decision to reconsider that question. Here the votes of negative and reconsideration, like positive and negative quantities in equation, destroy one another, and are as if they were expunged from the journals. Consequently the bill is open for amendment, just so far as it was the moment preceding the question for the third reading. That is to say, all parts of the bill are open for amendment, except those on which votes have been already taken in its present stage. So also it may be recommitted.
The rule permitting a reconsideration of a question affixing to it no limitation of time or circumstance, it may be asked whether there is no limitation ? If, after the vote, the paper on which it is passed has been parted with, there can be no reconsideration: as if a vote has been for the passage of a bill, and the bill has been sent to the other house. But where the paper remains, as on a bill rejected; when, or under what circumstances does it cease to be susceptible of reconsideration ?
This remains to be settled : unless a sense that the right of reconsideration is a right to waste the time of the house in repeated agitations of the same question, so that it shall never know when a question is done with, should induce them to reform this anomalous proceeding.
No motion for re-consideration shall be in order, unless on the same day or day following that on which the decision proposed to be re-considered took place, vor unless one of the majority shall move such re-consideration. A motion for re-consideration being put and lost, shall not be renewed, nor shall any subject be a second time re-considered without unanimous consent. A. 34.
A motion to reconsider the vote upon the final passage of any bill, requiring the assent of two-thirds of all the members elected to this house, shall be made by a member who voted against the bill; and two-thirds of the members present shall be required to reconsider the
R. of A. 54. Notice of such intended reconsideration ought to be given in the house, as soon after the decision of the point about which the reconsideration is to be moved, as posible; otherwise the subject matter may be beyond the reach of the house, by being sent to the senate or otherwise.
In parliament, a question once carried, cannot be questioned again at the same session ; but must stand