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FOR CONDUCTING BUSINESS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Touching the Duty of the Speaker, 1. He shall take the chair every day precisely at the hour to which the house shall have adjourned on the precediny day; shall immediately call the members to order, and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall cause the journal of the preceding day to be read.
2. He shall preserve decorum and order; may speak to points of order in preference to other members, rising from his seat for that purpose, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the house by any two members; on which appeal no member shall speak more than once unless by leave of the house.
3. He shall rise to put a question, but may state it sitting
4. Questions shall be distinctly put in this form, to wit: “As many as are of opinion that (as the question may be) say aye;" and, after the affirmative voice is expressed, as many as are of the contrary opinion say
If the speaker doubts, or a division be called for, the house shall divide : those in the affirmative of the question shall first rise from their seats, and afterwards those in the negative. If the speaker still doubts, or a count be required, the speaker shall name two members, one from each side, to tell the members in the affirmative, which being reported, he shall then name two others, one from each side, to tell those in the negative, which being also reported, he shall rise and state the decision to the house.
5. When any motion or proposition is made, the question, “ Will the house now consider it ?" shall not be put,
unless it is demanded by some member, or is deemed necessary by the speaker.
6. The speaker shall examine and correct the journal before it is read. He shall have a general direction of the hall. He shall have the right to name any member to perform the duties of the chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment.
7. All committees shall be appointed by the speaker, unless otherwise specially directed by the house, in which ease they shall be appointed by ballot; and if, upon such ballot, the number required shall not be elected by a majority of the votes given, the house shall proceed to a second ballot, in which a plurality of votes shall prevail ; and, in case a greater number than is required to compose or complete a committee shall have an equal number of votes, the house shall proceed to a further ballot or ballots.
8. In all other cases of ballot than for committees, a majority of the votes given shall be necessary to an election; and when there shall not be such a majority on the first ballot, the ballot shall be repeated until a majority be obtained.
9. In all cases of ballot by the house, the speaker shall vote; in other cases he shall not vote, unless the house be equally divided, or unless his vote, if given to the minority, 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 any 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, the treasurer, comptroller, register, auditor, post master-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 in the Union, who may attend at the seat of the general government during the sessions 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 covenience 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 this 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 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, first from the standing, and then from the select committees, shall be called for, and disposed of. And not more than one hour in each day shall be devoted to the subject of reports from committees, and resolutions; after which the speaker shall dispose of the bills, messages, and communications, on his table, and then proceed to call the orders of the day.
The above business shall be done at no other part of the day, except by permission of the house.
Of Decorum and Debate.
18. 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.
19. 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 favor of the member called to order, he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, he shall not be permitted to proceed without leave of the house : and, if the case require it, he shall be able to the censure of the house.
20. When two or more members happen to rise at once, the speaker shall name the member who is first to speak.
21. No member shall speak more than twice to the same question, without leave of the house, nor wore than
every member choosing to speak shall have spoken.
22. 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.
23. No member shall vote on any question in the event of which he is immediately and particularly interested;
any case where he was not present when the ques. tion was put.
24. Upon a division and count of the house on any question, no member without the bar shall be counted.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. Every motion shall be reduced to writing, if the speaker or any member desire it.
28. 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.
29. 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 com mit 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 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.
30. 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.
31. A motion to adjourn shall be always in order after 4 o'clock, P. M. but before that hour it shall not be in order, if there be at the time any question pending be- · fore the house; that, and the motion to lie on the table shall be decided without debate.