Sidor som bilder

him to say

the same, with sundry amendments,” or the two first with, and the three last without, amendments. If, however, the committee, should not come to any decision on any bill had under consideration, the chairman, instead of reporting 66 with or without amendments," as in the foregoing instance, would say they had instructed

" that the committee had come to no resolution thereon.” This is the form of procedure in the case of the committee of the whole on the state of the Union.

When the house is resolved simply into committee of the whole house, and have risen, the chairman reports the bills, reciting the titles, with or without amendments, or in the event of not getting through the bills, he says, but having made some progress therein, he is directed so to report, and to ask leave to sit again. The speaker repeats the report of the chairman, and puts the question, “Shall the committee have leave to sit again ?" Leave is usually granted to sit again.

After the report of bills, with or without amendments, from the committee of the whole, and com. mittee of the whole upon the state of the Union, the proceedings are exactly alike. The speaker, on receiving the report of the chairman of the committee, says: 66 The chairman of the commit. tee of the whole house," or "on the state of the Union,” if that be the committee, “ report that they have had under consideration the bill (reading the title) and directed him to report it with sundry amendments; and bill without amend. ments.” The speaker then says, (as to the bill reported without amendments, that the bill is still open for amendments. If no amendment should be offered, he adds, “ No amendments being offered, the question will be on ordering the bill to be engrossed, and read a third time,” and rising, says, “ Gentlemen, as many as are in favour of ordering the bill (naming it) to be engrossed and read a third time, will please to say Aye. The contrary opinion will please to say No." "If the ayes carry it, he will say, “ The ayes have it; the bill will be engrossed,” which consists in copying it off in a fine round hạnd, free from all kinds of interlineations.

The bills reported to the house with amend. ments, are next taken up; when the speaker, handing the bill, with the amendments, to the clerk, says,

“ The clerk will read the amend. ments,” which being done, he says, “ The amend. ments are before the house;" for they are still subject to amendments, as well as the main body of the bill. If no proposition is made to amend, he says, “the question will be on concurring with the committee in their amendments,” and rising, he puts the question in the usual form, on agreeing to the amendments being carried, he rises and

says, “ Gentlemen, as many as concur in the bill as amended will say Aye. The contrary opi. nion will say No ;" which being carried, he puts the question on ordering the bill to be engrossed for a third reading, which, if carried, he asks, “When shall this bill have its third reading ?" If it be early in the session, they usually say to-morrow, but if near the rising of congress, they say now. The speaker, if he finds a majority in favour of its being read that day, says, “It will be engrossed forthwith.”

If the bill is not a very long one, some one of its friends will have had it engrossed in readiness for its immediate reading ; or if not, in a short time it is prepared and handed to the speaker, who delivers it to the clerk, and an. nounces “The third reading of an engrossed bill,” when the clerk reads it through. The bill is now open to debate, but cannot be amended, except by unanimous consent, or by going again into a committee of the whole for amendments. This is occasionally done, but bills are usually perfected before the third reading. It sometimes, however, happens, with all the attention bestowed upon a bill, that it must be amended in the


sug: gested, even after it is engrossed. The bill is engrossed on sheets, and it is therefore not so dif. ficult to make amendments, as might at first be imagined. The bill, being now read the third time, the speaker says: “ This bill originated in this house, and has now been read a third time, the question will be on its passage.”. And rising, says: “ Gentlemen, as many as are of the opinion that this bill do pass, will say Aye. The contrary opinion will say No.” If the majority of the voices seem to be in its favour, he will say appear to have it," and pausing, if no one calls for a division, he says, “ The ayes have it—the bill is passed.” In congress, as in parliament, the question on the title is taken last, as it is no part of the bill. The speaker reads the title, and asks “Shall this be the title of the bill ?" No one objecting, he says:

" The title is agreed to." If, however, the bill should be one of great interest, the yeas and nays would be

66 The ayes


doubtless called, either on the engrossment or on the passage of the bill. This is done by some member rising in his place, and saying, “ Mr. Speaker, I ask the yeas and nays.

The speaker, rising, says,

“ The yeas and nays are demanded by the gentleman from

As many as second the call, will please rise;" when the speaker counts the number up, and reports to the house how many

If he finds the number equal to onefifth of the members present, he says, “ The yeas and nays are ordered.” The constitution grants to one-fifth the right of calling the yeas and nays. If, however, the members who do not rise in favour of the call, think there were not one-fifth of the members standing for the call, they request the speaker to count those voting in the negative, which he of course does, and if he finds himself in error, he corrects the mistake, and the


and nays are not ordered. It generally happens that the speaker's count is correct, as he soon learns, even without counting, by the glance of his eye, whether there is a sufficient number up. are carried, the speaker says, “ The yeas and nays are ordered.” The yeas and nays being ordered, the speaker directs the clerk to call the names of the members, which is done alphabetically. After he has called, and received an answer from, every one of the members, the call cannot be interrupt. ed by any one. By the rules of the house, every member is bound to vote, unless excused, or unless he falls under the provision of the 28th Rule.

Rule 28. No member shall vote on any question in the event of which he is immediately and par

If they

ticularly interested, or in any case where he was not within the bar of the house when the question was put. And when any member shall ask leave to vote, the speaker shall propóund to him the question : “ Were you within the bar when your name was called ?"

Rule 29. Upon a division and count of the house on any question, no member without the bar shall be counted.

Rule 30. 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. All motions to excuse a member from voting shall be made before the house di. vides, or before the call of the yeas


is commenced; and any member requesting to be excused from voting, may make a brief verbal statement of the reasons for making such request, and the question shall then be taken without further debate.

The yeas and nays being called, the two clerks compare their tallies, one of them hands the vote to the chair, while the other reads over the names of the yeas first and then the nays, that each member may know how he has his name registered. If there be any mistake, or any member wishes to vote differently from the registered vote, or if any desire to vote whose names are not on the list of yeas and nays read over by the clerk, if they were within the bar at the time their names were called, they rise and ask to have their names called. But to avoid all violation of the rule, the speaker asks each member, before he takes his vote, after the yeas and nays have

« FöregåendeFortsätt »