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is advancing in every species of refinement, and will shortly be one of the most interesting cities of the Union.


Rule 82. It shall be the duty of the committee on public buildings and grounds, to consider all subjects relating to the public edifices and grounds within the city of Washington, which may be referred to them, and report their opinion thereon, together with such propositions relating thereto as may seem to them expedient.

The people of the district of Columbia, as well as the nation at large, are greatly indebted to the committee on public grounds, for all that they have done, and still desire to do, in improving the walks around the capitol. They have lately recommended the purchase of an elegant selection of rare plants, in the possession of one of the best florists in the country, to be transferred to the public grounds. With that addition, the lawn around the capitol will be one of the most beautiful places in the republic. The people of this country wish to see the capitol at Washington adorned in a style worthy of the illustrious patriot who gave his name to the city and his fame to the world.


Rule 85. It shall be the duty of the committee on mileage to ascertain and report to the sergeantat-arms, the distance for which each member shall receive pay.

The mileage of members is frequently agitated

in congress, but I know of no more accurate mode of settling the subject, than under the provisions of the present law. Some complain about the mileage of distant members and delegates. But it should be borne in mind, that those gentlemen cannot conveniently return home during the session. Some, on account of the distance, bring their families with them, at great expense to Washington; while gentlemen in the neighbourhood of congress, frequently return to their homes. One thing no one who has been a member can question, and that is, that no man can get rich by congress pay and mileage. Take, for instance, the case of a man residing in the extreme north, which is tolerably distant; his pay will not, one session with another, equal that of the door-keeper of the house, or a chief clerk in one of the departments. Now out of his $2000, for he can get no more, he has to pay $12 or 14 per week, and maintain a family at home; and if he be a professional man, and should have the misfortune to be in congress for eight or ten years, he will have lost the benefits of his profession; so that at the end of his term, he is not only out of congress, but out of his profession. I am well satisfied that no member of congress saves any money, either in pay or mileage; and that eastern members ought to be content with western mileage, particularly if they do not want the capitol rolled with the widening wave to the



Rule 62. General appropriation bills shall be in order in preference to any other bills of a pub

lic nature, unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the house.

Rule 63. No appropriation shall be reported in such general appropriation bills, or be in order as an amendment thereto, for any expenditure not previously authorised by law.

These rules are generally adhered to; but amendments are often made in the senate to appropriation bills, inconsistent with it, which have sometimes to be concurred in, especially towards the close of the session, when the rule occasionally yields to save the bill.


Rule 106. It shall be a standing order of the day, throughout the session, for the house to resolve itself into committee of the whole house on the state of the Union.

Rule 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.

Rule 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.

Rule 114. All proceedings touching appropriations of money shall be first discussed in a committee of the whole house.

Rule 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.

The committee of the whole on the state of the Union is a committee of very extensive powers. It is in this committee that the consideration of great national subjects are discussed. The president's message, of late, has been largely debated in this committee: perhaps disadvantageously for the despatch of business.


Friday and Saturday in every week shall be set apart for the consideration of private bills and private business, in preference to any other, unless otherwise determined by a majority of the house.


Having gone through the most important steps conected with the organization and mode of transacting the business of the House of Representatives, I here present under the head of Conferences, some of the most important decisions to be found in our journals, from our earliest congressional history up to the present time. They embrace a mass of cases that cannot fail to be highly interesting to every gentleman who desires to be familiar with the congressional practice of our country.

On the Apportionment Bill, of 1792.

A conference was requested and granted, and Mr. Madison, one of the managers on the part of the house, reported, That they had, according to order, attended to that duty, and that, after offering the reasons for disagreement on the part of the house, and hearing those that were offered by the managers on the part of the senate in answer thereto, the several propositions offered by the managers on the part of the house for accommodating the said disagreement not being acceded to, by the managers on the part of the senate, they had mutually determined to separate from the said conference, without any agreement.

The house afterwards reconsidered its disagreement to the amendments of the senate, and the bill became a law.

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