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had under their consideration the bill entitled, &c., and have made sundry amendments, which he will now report to the House." The bill is then before them, as it would have been if reported from a committee, and questions are regularly to be put again on every amendment; which being gone through, the President pauses to give time to the House to propose amendments to the body of the bill, and, when through, puts the question whether it shall be read a third time ?]
[After progress in amending the bill in Quasi-Committee, a motion may be made to refer it to a special committee. If the motion prevails, it is equivalent in effect to the several votes, that the committee rise, the House resume itself, discharge the Committee of the Whole, and refer the bill to a special committee. In that case, the amendments already made fall.
But if the motion fails, the Quasi-Committee stands in statu quo.]
[How far does this 28th rule subject the House, when in Quasi-Committee, to the laws which regulate the proceedings of Committees of the Whole ?] The particulars in wbich these differ from proceedings in the House are the following: 1. In a committee every member may speak as often as he pleases. 2. Thę votes of a committee may be rejected or altered when reported to the House. 3. A committee, even of the Whole, cannot refer any matter to another committee. 4. In a committee no previous question can be taken: the only means to avoid an improper discussion is to move that the committee rise; and if it be apprehended that the same discussion will be attempted on returning into committee, the House can discharge them, and proceed itself on the business, keeping down the improper discussion by the previous question. 5. A committee cannot punish a breach of order in the House or in the gallery. 9 Grey, 113. It can only rise and report it to the House, who may proceed to punish. [The first and second of these peculiarities attach to the QuasiCommittee of the Senate, as every day's practice proves,
and seem to be the only ones to which the 28th rule meant to subject them; for it continues to be a house, and therefore, though it acts in some respects as a committee, in others it preserves its character as a house. Thus (3) it is in the daily habit of referring its business to a special committee. 4. It admits of the previous question. If it did not, it would have no means of preventing an improper discussion, not being able, as a committee is, to avoid it by returning into the house, for the moment it would resume the same subject there, the 28th rule declares it again a Quasi-Committee. 5. It would doubtless exercise its powers as a house on any breach of order. 6. It takes a question by yea and nay, as the House does.
7. It receives messages from the President and the other house. 8. In the midst of a debate it receives a motion to adjourn, and adjourns as a house, not as a committee.]
SEC. XXXI.-BILLS, SECOND READING IN THE HOUSE.
In Parliament, after the bill has been read a second time, if on the motion and question it be not committed, or if no proposition for commitment be made, the Speaker reads it by paragraphs, pausing between each, but putting no question but on amendments proposed; and when through the whole, he puts the question whether it shall be read a third. time? if it come from the other house; or, if originating with themselves, whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time? The Speaker reads sitting, but rises to put questions. The Clerk stands while he reads.
[* But the Senate of the United States is so much in the
* The former practice of the Senate referred to in this paragraph has been changed by the following rule:
[The final question upon the second reading of every bill, resolution, constitutional amendment or motion, originating in the Senate, and requiring three readings previous to being passed, shall be, “Whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time?" and no amendment shall be received for discussion at the
habit of making many and material amendments at the third reading, that it has become the practice not to engross a bill till it has passed—an irregular and dangerous practice, because in this way the paper which passes the Senate is not that whicli goes to the other house, and that which goes to the other house as the act of the Senate bas never been seen in Senate. In reducing numerous, difficult, and illegible amendments into the text, the Secretary may, with the most innocent intentions, commit errors which can never again be corrected.]
The bill being now as perfect as its friends can inake it, this is the proper stage for those fundamentally opposed to make their first attack. All attempts at earlier periods are with disjointed efforts, because many who do not expect to be in favor of the bill ultimately are willing to let it go on to its perfect state, to take time to examine it themselves and to hear what can be said for it, knowing that after all, they will have sufficient opportunities of giving it their veto. Its last two stages, therefore, are reserved for this—that is to say, on the question whether it shall be engrossed and read a third time? and lastly, whether it shall pass? The first of these is usually the most interesting contest, because then the whole subject is new and engaging; and the minds of the members having not yet been declared by any trying vote, the issue is the more doubtful. In this stage, therefore, is the main trial of strength between its friends and opponents, and it behooves every one to make up his mind decisively for this question, or he loses the main battle; and
third reading of any bill, resolution, amendment, or motion, unless by unanimous consent of the members present; but it shall at all times be in order before the final passage of any such bill, resolution, constitutional amendment, or motion, to move its commitment; and should such commitment take place, and any amendment be reported by the committee, the said bill, resolution, constitutional amendment, or motion, shall be again read a second time, and considered as in Committee of the Whole, and then the aforesaid question shall be again put. Rule 29.]
accident and management may and often do prevent a successful rallying on the next and last question, whether it shall pass ?
When the bill is engrossed, the title is to be indorsed on the back, and not within the bill. Hakew.. 250.
SEC. XXXII.-READING PAPERS. Where papers
are laid before the House or referred to a committee, every member has a right to have them once read at the table before he can be compelled to vote on them; but it is a great though common error to suppose that he has a right, toties quoties, to have acts, journals. accounts, or papers on the table, read independently of the will of the House. The delay and interruption which this might be made to produce evince the impossibility of the existence of such a right. There is, indeed, so manifest a propriety of permitting every member to have as much information as possible on every question on which he is to vote, that when he desires the reading, if it be seen that it is really for information and not for delay, the Speaker directs it to be read without putting a question, if no one objects; but if objected to, a question must be put. 2 Hats., 117, 118.
. It is equally an error to suppose that any member has a right, without a question put, to lay a book or paper on the table, or have it read. on suggesting that it contains matter infringing on the privileges of the House. 16.
For the same reason, a member has not a right to read a paper in his .place, if it be objected to, without leave of the House. But this rigor is never exercised but where there is an intentional or gross abuse of the time and patience of the House.
A member has not a right even to read his own speech, committed to writing, without leave. This also is to pre. vent an abuse of time, and therefore is not refused but where that is intended. 2 Grey, 227.
A report of a committee of the Senate on a bill from the
House of Representatives being under consideration, on motion that the report of the committee of the House of Representatives on the same bill be read in the Senate, it passed in the negative. Feb. 28, 1793. .
Formerly, when papers were referred to a committee, they used to be first read; but of late only the titles, unless a member insists they shall be read, and then nobody can oppose it. 2 Hats., 117.
SEC. XXXIII.—PRIVILEGED QUESTIONS.
[*While a question is before the Senate, no motion shall be received, unless for an amendment, for the previous question, or for postponing the main question, or to commit it, or to adjourn.
Rule 8.] It is no possession of a bill unless it be delivered to the Clerk to be read, or the Speaker reads the title. Lex. Parl., 274; Elsynge Mem., 85; Ord. House of Commons, 64.
It is a general rule that the question first moved and seconded shall be first put. Scob., 28, 22; 2 Hats., 81. But this rule gives way to what may be called privileged questions; and the privileged questions are of different grades among themselves.
A motion to adjourn simply takes place of all others, for otherwise the House might be kept sitting against its will, and indefinitely. Yet this motion canuot be received after another question is actually put, and while the House is engaged in voting.
Orders of the day take place of all other questions, except
* This rule has been modified so as to specify the questions entitled to preference. The rule is now as follows:
[When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lay on the table, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to amend; which several motions shall have precedence in the order they stand arranged, and the motion for adjournment shall always be in order, and be decided without debate.]