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These motions may be discussed as other motions made in the progress of a bill.

244. Clauses annexed to a bill after the third reading cannot be withdrawn, nor, as that is the last stage, can they be left out by way of amendment.

245. No provisos or clauses are to be tendered to a bill upon the second reading, because if it be committed, it is proper to offer them to the committee without troubling the House.'

246. If the exceptions to a bill be such that it may not be amended at the table, then the question is for committing the bill; but no bill is to be committed without some exceptions taken to it.3

247. On taking up a bill reported with amendments, the action on them is the same as in committee, seriatim, until the whole are adopted, or rejected, before any other amendment is admitted, except it be an amendment to an amendment; and when through the whole, the question is upon passing the bill to a third reading.


248. It is not in order to strike out a section while amendments are pending thereto."

249. One section of a bill may be passed over by general consent, and subsequently modified to correspond with whatever changes the House may make in other parts of the bill.

250. A substitute cannot be offered to a bill until the bill has been perfected section by section. Notice may be given of intention to move a substitute at the proper time.9

If there is a substitute pending, and also amendments which have reference to the original bill, the question must be taken on the latter before it is taken on the substitute.10

251. If a bill be rejected, the same bill, or another of the same substance, cannot be offered to the House again during the

1 May 283.

2 Scob. 46; Lex Parl. 330.

3 Scob. 46.

45 Grey 366; 6 Grey 368; 8 Grey 47, 104, 360; 1 Torbuck's Deb. 125; 3 Hats. 348.

5 Elsynge's Mem. 53.
6 Ibid.

7 Cong. Globe III. 37. 1292.

8 Ibid. I. 39. 1947.

9 Ibid. 1947.

10 Ibid. 1459; I. 40. 420.

same session; but if it be altered in any material point, both in the body, and in the title, it may be received the second time."

252. But a bill begun in one House and sent to the other, and there rejected, may be renewed again in the other, passed, and sent back.3

253. In cases of the last magnitude, this rule has not been so strictly and verbally observed, as to stop indispensable proceedings altogether.*

254. When a bill is returned from one House to the other, with amendments, which the latter cannot, consistently with their own privileges, entertain, the proper course, if the latter be willing to adopt the amendments, is to order the bill to be laid aside, and another, precisely similar, to be brought in.5

This rule applies where bills are passed by one House containing clauses which trench upon the privileges of the other."

255. Wherever any clause, or words are in a bill, though inserted by the House, yet upon any subsequent stage of the bill, the sense of the House may be again taken upon these words, and they may be left out; because every stage of a bill submits the whole, and every part of it, to the opinion of the House."


256. A part of the subject may be taken up by another bill or taken up in a different way, as done, when the address on the preliminaries of peace in 1782 had been lost by a majority. of one.9

257. Debate on the motion for the second reading must be confined to the principle of the bill,10 and not to the particular provisions therein."

258. It is against order to commit a bill until it has been read.12

1 Hakew. 158; 6 Grey 392; May 188.

2 Ibid.; May 187; 2 Grey 389; Lex Parl. 320.

82 Hats. 92, note; 3 Hats. 161; May 188.

2 Hats. 92, 99, note.

5 91 Com. Jour. 777, 810; May 190.

6 May 190.

72 Hats. 100, 101.

8 6 Grey 304, 316.

92 Hats. 99, 100, note.

10 Hans. 2. 1026.

11 Ibid. 3. 26. 855.

12 Town. col. 61; D'Ewes, 476, col.

1; Ibid. 189; Lex Parl. 328.

259. The text of a bill must be perfected before a motion to strike out will be in order.1

260. It is with great, and almost insuperable reluctance that amendments, which occasion erasures, or interlineations, are admitted at the third reading.2

261. Sometimes a proviso has been cut off from a bill; sometimes erased.3

262. This is the proper stage for filling up blanks, when the least sum, and longest time must first be put to the question ;* for if filled up before, and now altered by erasure, it would be peculiarly unsafe.”

263. At this reading, the bill is debated afresh, and for the most part is more spoken to at this time, than on any of the former readings. 6

264. Every one is at liberty to bring in a rider if he pleases." 265. In Congress it has been held, that " no amendment by way of rider shall be received to any bill on its third reading.'


266. After a third reading it is too late to recommit it generally, but it may take this course to receive some particular clause, or proviso. It is not to be committed for the matter, or body thereof, or for the purpose of being divided into two bills.

267. If it becomes necessary, the House may order it reengrossed, if burdened with amendments.10

268. Exceptions cannot be taken at the last reading, but such as emended at the table.11

269. When an essential provision has been omitted, rather than erase the bill, and thus render it suspicious, a clause

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engrossed, is added on a separate piece of paper, and called a rider, which is read, and put to the question three times.1

270. If the bill have any blanks, it must be read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole, and reported; after which it is read a third time."

271. [Practice has permitted such omission to be supplied, by simply concurring in the proposed correction.] See 188.

272. It is not according to the usual way of transmitting bills between the two Houses, for either House to acquaint the other, either by message, or through a conference, by what number any bill before them has passed.3

273. When a bill has been read three times, and passed, there should be no further alteration of it in any point.*

274. When a bill has passed one House, and been sent to the other, the provisions of which have been grounded, not upon general notoriety, but upon special facts, which are necessary to be proved by evidence, it is usual for the House to which the bill is sent, to ask, either by message, or at a conference, the grounds, and evidence upon which this bill has passed; and this evidence, whether arising out of papers, or from the examination of witnesses, is immediately communicated. But further than this, it is irregular for either House to proceed.5

275. If any informality be discovered during the progress of a bill, the House in which it originated will either order the bill to be withdrawn, or will annul all the proceedings subsequent to that which was informal; but if irregularities escape detection until the bill has passed, no subsequent notice can be taken of them, as it is the business of each House to enforce compliance with its own orders and practice."

276. In the ordinary progress of a bill, a day, or days, are allowed to intervene between each stage subsequent to the first reading; yet when any pressing emergency arises, bills are fre

1 Elsynge's Mem. 59; 6 Grey 335;

1 Blackstone 183; 3 Hats. 124; May 286.


May 286.

3 3 Hats. 20, 21, n. 48.

Hakew. 159; Lex Parl. 320.

5 3 Hats. 48.

6 May 295.

quently passed through all the stages in the same day, and even by both Houses.1

277. This unusual expedition is commonly called "a suspension of the standing orders."2

278. A departure from the usage of Parliament, during the progress of a bill, will not vitiate a statute.3

279. In case of any accidental omission in the endorsement of the bill it should be returned to the House whence it was received.1

280. Bills should not be written (enrolled) in paragraphs, but all of a piece, that there may be no blanks between the paragraphs, and hence no chance for forgery in them.5

281. A suspension of the rules is required to read an unengrossed bill the third time."

282. Enrolled bills must be signed by the Speaker of the House, and President of the Senate, during the sitting of their respective Houses."

283. Until the bill be opened, no man may speak to it.3

284. No member may speak more than once on the same bill on the same day; or even on any other day, if the debate be adjourned, unless unanimous consent be given. See DEBATE, and ORDER.

285. But if it be read more than once on the same day, he may speak once at every reading."

286. Even a change of opinion does not give a right to be heard a second time.10

287. The Constitution of the United States requires the agreement of two-thirds of each branch to pass a bill notwithstanding the objections of the President."1

288. The message accompanying a vetoed bill makes a part

158 Com. J. 645, 646; May 295.

2 May 295.

3 Ibid. 296.

4 Ibid. 298.

59 Grey 143; Parl. His. 5. 165. 6 H. Jour. I. 30. 1209; May 282; but see supra,

7 H. Jour. I. 19. 639.

8 Scob. 42; Lex Parl. 325.

9 Co. 12, 116; Hakew. 148; Scob.

58; 2 Hats. 75; Lex Parl. 316, 326. 10 Smyth's Comw. L. 2, c. 3; Arcan. Parl. 17.

11 Cons. art. 1, 2 7.

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