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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, nor 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. R. of 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 same. 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
as the judgment of the house. Town. col. 67. Mem. in Hakew. 33. And a bill once rejected, another of the same substance cannot be brought in again the same session. Hakew. 158. 6 Grey 392. But this does not extend to prevent putting the same question in different stages of a bill; because every stage of a bill submits the whole and every part of it to the opinion of the house, as open for amendment, either by insertion or omission, though the same amendment has been accepted or rejected in a former stage. So in reports of committees, e.g. report of an address, the same question is before the house, and open for free discussion. Town. col. 26. 2
Hats. 98, 100, 101. So orders of the house, or instructions to committees may be discharged. So a bill, begun in one house, sent to the other, and there rejected, may be renewed again in that other, passed and sent back. Ib. 92. 3 Hats. 161. Or if, instead of being rejected, they read it once and lay it aside, or amend it, and put it off a month, they may order in another to the same effect with the same or a different title. Hakew. 97, 98.
Divers expedients are used to correct the effects of this rule; as by passing an explanatory act, if any thing has been omitted or ill expressed, 3 Hats. 278. or an act to enforce, and make more effectual an act, &c. or to rectify mistakes in an act, &c. or a committee on one bill may be instructed to receive a clause to rectify the mistakes of another. Thus, June 24, 1685, a clause was inserted in a bill for rectifying a mistake committed by a clerk in engrosssing a bill of supply. 2 Hats. 194, 6. Or the session may be closed for one, two, three or more days, and a new one commenced. But then all matters depending must be finished, or they fall, and are to begin de novo. 2 Hats. 94, to 98. Or a part of the subject may be taken up by another bill, or taken up in a different way. 6 Grey 304, 316.
And in cases of the last magnitude, this rule has not been so strictly and verbally observed as to stop indispensable proceedings altogether. 2 Hats. 92, 98. Thus when the address on the preliminaries, of peace, in 1782. had been lost by a majority of one, on account of the importance of the question, and smallness of the major
ity, the same question in subtance, though with some words not in the first, and which might change the opinion of some members, was brought on again and carried; as the motives for it were thought to outweigh the objection of form. 2 Hats. 99, 100.
A second bill may be passed to continue an act of the same session; or to enlarge the time limited for its execution. 2 Hats. 95, 98. This is not in contradiction to the first act.
BILLS FROM THE OTHER HOUSE.
When a bill or resolution which shall have passed in one house, is rejected in the other, notice thereof shall be given to the house in which the same may have passed. Joint R. of S. and A. 2.
Messages from one house to the other, shall be communicated by the respective clerks of each house, unless the house transmitting the message shall especially direct otherwise. Ib. 3.
It shall be in the power of either house to amend any amendment made by the other, to any bill or resolution. -Ib. 4.
A bill from the other house is sometimes ordered to lie on the table. 2 Hats. 97.
When bills passed in one house and sent to the other, are grounded on special facts requiring proof, it is usual either by message, or at a conference, to ask the grounds and evidence; and this evidence, whether arising out of papers, or from the examination of witnesses, is immediately communicated. 3 Hats. 48.
AMENDMENTS BETWEEN THE HOUSES.
When either house, e. g. the house of commons, sends a bill to the other, the other may pass it with amend
ments. The regular progression in this case is, that the commons disagree to the amendment; the lords insist on it; the commons insist on their disagreement; the lords adhere to their amendment; the commons adhere to their disagreement. The term of insisting, may be repeated as often as they choose, to keep the question open. But the first adherence by either, renders it necessary for the other to recede or adhere also; when the matter is usually suffered to fall. 10 Grey 148. Latterly, however, there are instances of their having gone to a second adherence. There must be an absolute conclusion of the subject somewhere, or otherwise transactions between the houses would become endless. 3 Hats. 268, 270. The term of insisting, we are told by sir John Trevor, was then (1679) newly introduced into parliamentary usage, by the lords. 7 Grey 94. It was certainly a happy innovation, as it multiplies the opportunities of trying modifications which may bring the houses to a concurrence. Either house however is free to pass over the term of insisting, and to adhere in the first instance. 10 Grey 146. But it is not respectful to the other. In the ordinary parliamentary course, there are two free conferences at least before an adherence. 10 Grey 147.
Either house may recede from its amendment and agree to the bill; or recede from their disagreement to the amendment, and agree to the same absolutely, or with an amendment. For here the disagreement and receding destroy one another, and the subject stands as before the disagreement. Elsynge 23, 27. 9 Grey 476.
But the house cannot recede from, or insist on its own amendment, with an amendment; for the same reason that it cannot send to the other house an amendment to its own act after it has passed the act. They may modify an amendment from the other house by ingrafting an amendment on it, because they have never assented to it: but they cannot amend their own amendment, because they have, on the question, passed it in that form. 9 Grey 353. 10 Grey 240. In senate, March 29, 1798. Nor where one house has adhered to their amendment, and the other agrees with an amendment, can the first house depart from the form which they have fixed by an adherence.
In the case of a money bill, the lords' proposed a mendments, become by delay, confessedly necessary. The commons, however, refused them, as infringing on their privilege as to money bills; but they offered themselves to add to the bill a proviso to the same effect, which had no coherence with the lords' amendments; and urged that it was an expedient warranted by precedent, and not unparliamentary, in a case become impracticable and irremediable in any other way. 3 Hats. 256, 266,
270, 271. But the lords refused, and the bill was lost. 1 Chand. 288. A like case, 1 Chand. 311. So the commons resolved that it is unparliamentary to strike out at a conference any thing in a bill which hath been agreed and passed by both houses. 6 Grey 274. 1 Chand. 312.
A motion to amend an amendment from the other house, takes precedence of a motion to agree or disagree. A bill originating in one house, is passed by the other with an amendment. The originating house agrees to their amendment with an amendment. The other may agree to their amendment with an amendment; that being only the second and not the third degree. For as to the amending house, the first amendment with which they passed the bill, is a part of its text; it is the only text they have agreed to. The amendment to that text by the originating house, therefore, is only in the first degree, and the amendment to that again by the amending house, is only in the second, to wit, an amendment to an amendment and so admissible. Just so when, on a bill from the originating house, the other, at its second reading, makes an amendment; on the third reading, this amendment is become the text of the bill, and if an amendment to it be moved, an amendment to that amendment may also be moved, as being only in the second degree.
It shall be in the power of either house to amend any amendment made by the other, to any bill or resolution. -Joint R. of S. & A. 4.