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203. “Public bills are in due course to be preferred in reading, and passing before private bills."
204. General appropriation bills shall be in order in preference to any other bills of a public nature, unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the House.' "In the House of Representatives, if there are various appropriations in a bill for a variety of improvements, there can be a separate vote on each appropriation, on the demand of one-fifth of the members present."3
205. The House is not in possession of a bill till it has been delivered to the Clerk to be read, or the Speaker from his chair has announced the title of it.1
206. If a bill be admitted to be read, it is to be presented fairly written, without any erasure or interlineation; and, unless it be so tendered, the Speaker may refuse it.5
207. Formal words made necessary by amendments may be added by the Clerk without any vote.
208. Objection to a bill, that it is drawn contrary to order, cannot be made on the ground of order after proceedings are had on the bill."
209. Where objections to a bill, or resolution are not made before the second reading, they are considered as waived, and cannot be sustained on the ground of order.
210. The order, and time for the presentation of bills, in Assemblies of the United States, is generally regulated by constitutional provision. See ORDER OF BUSINESS.
211. Bills are authenticated by the signature of the Secretary, and Clerk of their respective Houses."
212. With certain exceptions, made in all State Constitutions, bills may be commenced in either House.
213. Where the Senate amends a bill of the House for rais
1 Hakewell (Col.) 12, 116.
2 Rule 119 H. of R.
Cong. Globe I. 39. 2324.
Lex Parl. 274. Petyt's Miscel.
5 Scob. 41. Lex Parl. 325.
6 Hans (3) 58, 667, 673.
7 H. Jour. I. 32. 785.
8 21 Cong. Globe 807; 23 Ibid. 312.
9 Bramwell on Bills 137, 138.
ing revenue, it raises the question of constitutional powers between the two Houses, and not of order, or privilege.1
214. One House may remind the other of a bill, which, from its importance, has appeared to deserve greater despatch than the House, to which it was sent, seemed inclined to give it.2
215. Whenever a vote is improperly stated, or some error occurs, or an erroneous announcement is made of the record of the vote, at whatever period of time the discovery is made the proceedings are null and void; and the bill stands before the House for whatever action may be necessary for a correction of the vote.
216. A bill may be passed to enforce, and make more effectual an act of the same session. So a bill may be passed to continue an act of the same session."
217. It is the common course of Parliaments to pass explanatory acts of anything that has been omitted, or ill expressed, in any other act passed in the same session.o
218. When a bill is rejected by one House, they do not give notice of its rejection to the other; it passes sub silentio ; but otherwise when the bill is neglected.10
219. In Congress, the rejection is notified by message to the House in which the bill originated."
220. But it is in order to remind either House of the report of a committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses concerning a bill.12
221. If the question for commitment pass in the negative, then the question is to be put for engrossing the bill. But if the question for engrossing pass in the negative, then the question is to be put for rejecting the bill.13
1 H. Jour. II. 27. 287.
23 Hats. 48.
3 H. Jour. I. 31. 1436; II. 31. 171.
15 Cong. Globe 856; 21 Ibid. 1786.
4 H. Jour. II. 26. 31, 32.
5 H. Jour. I. 30. 1079-1081; 11 Cong. Globe 9. 25.
62 Hats. 95, 98. 7 Ibid.
8 2 Hats. 94, note.
91 Blackstone 183.
10 3 Hats. 25; 5 Grey 154; Jeff. Man. 48; 15 Cong. Globe 1084; see Cong. Man. 76.
11 Jeff. Man. ? 47.
12 S. Jour. II. 23. 239; Reg. of Deb 11. Part 2, 1661.
13 Scob. 46; Lex Parl. 330.
222. The objection to a certain bill, that it was rather of a public than a private nature, is a question of order to be determined by the Speaker.1
223. Public bills are introduced directly by members of the House; while private bills are founded upon the petitions of parties interested.2
224. "A private bill, that concerns a particular person, is not to be offered to the House till the leave of the House be desired, and the substance of such bill made known either by motion or petition. Nevertheless the Speaker hath had liberty to call for a private bill to be read every morning." 3
225. Where the rule of an Assembly establishes a certain order of business in Committee of the Whole, an amendment, if not in order to the bill itself, cannot be entertained by way of instructions to that Committee, which should first be considered in the Committee, for otherwise they would have preference over the business then pending.*
226. In every stage of a bill, every part of the bill is open to amendment, either for insertion, or omission, whether the same amendment has been in a former stage accepted, or rejected.5
227. The stages at which amendments are usually made to a bill are:
1st. In the Committee.
2d. On considering the report.
3d. On the third reading.
228. "In the Committee those amendments only can be made which are consistent with the title, or within the instructions given by the House; but, within these limits, amendments may be made contradictory of previous resolutions or votes.”
229. "On the report the amendments of the Committee may
1 12 Cong. Globe 183; 13 Ibid. 636;
C. L. & P. 2052.
2 May 271.
3 Scob. 41; Lex Parl. 374; May 401.
4 H. Jour. I. 31, 1513, 1514; 20 Cong. Globe 584.
52 Hats. 101; May 188.
6 C. L. & P. 2328.
be negatived. Amendments rejected by the Committee may be adopted, and new amendments may be made."
230. "On the third reading clauses may be added,' or amendments made which have before been rejected, and clauses may be left out of the bill which have been inserted at any previous stage."
231. Upon the second reading of a bill, its merits are generally discussed, and the Speaker shall state it as ready for commitment, amendment, or engrossment.*
This reading must regularly be upon a day after the first reading.5
232. The day having been appointed for the second reading, the bill stands in the Order Book, among the other orders of the day, and is called on in its proper turn, when that day arrives.
233. If the second reading stands as an order of the day, the motion for now reading the bill a second time need not be seconded. The same rule applies to other similar stages."
234. The order for "the second reading" cannot be discharged by ordering it read at an earlier day. This order, however, may be postponed to a more remote day; and this method is regarded as the most courteous of dismissing the bill from any further consideration, and may be resorted to in every other stage of the proceedings, except on questions for the engrossment or passing of the bill.8
If no time has been fixed the bill may be taken up before its regular time."
235. The second reading is regarded as the most important stage through which a bill must pass; for its whole principle is then at issue, and is affirmed, or denied by a vote of the House.1o
236. The second reading is the stage at which counsel are more usually heard, whenever the House have agreed that a
1 May 286.
2 C. L. & P. 2328.
3 Hakewell 139; 9 Parl. Deb. 779.
4 Hakewell 146, 250.
5 Ibid. 141, 143.
6 May 277.
7 Ibid. note.
8 Ibid. 278.
10 Ibid. 277.
public bill is of so peculiar a character as to justify the hearing of parties, whose public, or private interests are directly affected by it; notwithstanding the general principle that a public bill is of national interest, and should be canvassed in Parliament upon the grounds of public expediency. But counsel have also been heard at various other stages of bills.2
237. If after the second reading no member speaks against the bill for matter, or form, or if any speak for it without taking any exceptions to it, the question on its engrossment is in order.3
238. The test is often determined by the course the bill now takes, upon either of the three courses-commitment, amendment, or engrossment. The first may be to perfect it, the second to defeat it, the third to pass it.*
239. Sometimes engrossment is accompanied by an order for a third reading now.
When the bill is engrossed, the title is to be endorsed on the back, and not within the bill."
240. The engrossment and third reading constitute ordinarily but a single question.
241. When the time is fixed, the third reading becomes an order of the day. In this case amendments must be inserted in the engrossments, before the order is taken up."
[The practice often resorted to of considering a bill, with amendments, engrossed, that it may be put upon its passage now, is unsafe, and opens wide the door for mistake, and fraud, the law-maker not being able to know, without examination, whether or not the enrolled bill is an exact copy of the original as passed.]
242. A motion for the withdrawal of a bill may be made after the execution of any order on which it may stand.o
243. If there are any pending motions for proceeding with the order, the withdrawal may be moved as an amendment.
1 88 Com. J. 501; 90 Ibid. 587. 2 May 279.
3 Hakewell 143, 144; Lex Parl. 313. 4 Jeff. Man. 2 31.
5 Hakewell 250; Lex Parl. 316. 613 Cong. Globe 414.
7 Jeff. Man.