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COMMERCE, COMMITTEE ON—COMMIT, MOTION TO.

to take into consideration all such petitions and matters or things touching the commerce of the United States as shall be presented, or shall or may come into question, and be referred to them by the House, and to report, from time to time, their opinion thereon.”—Rule 79.

[This committee was originally a Committee on Commerce and Manufactures. On the 8th December, 1819, a separate Committee on Manufactures was constituted, and the duties of the original Committee on Commerce and Manufactures have been confirmed, as above, by leaving out the words and Manufactures." There are no duties assigned in the Rules to the Committee on Manufactures.

COMMIT, MOTION TO.

committees

When it may be

“When a question is under debate, no motion shall received.

be received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone to a day certain, to com

mit or amend, to postpone indefinitely; which several Precedence with motions shall have precedence in the order in which they reference to other motions. are arranged; and no motion to commit, or to postpone Not to be re

indefinitely, being decided, shall be again allowed on the peated same day same day, and at the same stage of the bill or proposi

tion.”Rule 42. [When any one of the foregoing motions is received, the practice is not to receive one of

lower dignity until the former is disposed of.] Where different

"When a resolution shall be offered, or a motion made proposed. are to refer any subject, and different committees shall be

proposed, the question shall be taken in the following order: the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union; the Committee of the Whole House; a

standing committee; a select committee.”-Rule 43. May be amended.

A motion to commit may be amended by the addition of instructions. Also by striking out one committee and inserting another. Journals passim.

A division of the question is not in order on a motion tions not divisible.

to commit with instructions, or on the different branches of instructions. Journals, 1, 17, p. 507; 1, 31, pp. 1395,

1397; 1, 32, p. 611. A

“ Upon the second reading of a bill, the Speaker shall ready for commit

With

instruc.

state it as ready for commitment.”—Rule 118.

bini

when

inent.

mit.

[On a motion to commit, the whole question is open Debate on. to debate.]

After the previous question is ordered, if no motion to Effect of prepostpone is pending, the House is brought first “ to a on motion to comdirect vote on the motion to commit, if such motion shall have been made.”-Rule 132.

“Motions and reports may be committed at the pleas- Mctions and reure of the House.”Rule 47.

poris may be committed.

COMMITTEES.

tbe commencement of

Thirty-four standing committees shall be appointed at Standing comthe commencement of each Congress, viz: Of Elections, pointed of Ways and Means, on Appropriations, on Banking and each Congress. Currency, on the Pacific Railroad, of Claims, on Commerce, on the Public Lands, on the Post Office and Post Roads, for the District of Columbia, on the Judiciary, on Revolutionary Claims, on Public Expenditures, on Private Land Claims, on Manufactures, on Agriculture, on Indian Affairs, on Military Affairs, on the Militia, on Naval Affairs, on Foreign Affairs, on the Territories, on Revolutionary Pensions, on Invalid Pensions, on Roads and Canals, on Mines and Mining, on Freedmen's Affairs, on Education and Labor-to consist of nine members each ; on Coinage, Weights and Measures to consist of seven members ; on Patents, on Public Buildings and Grounds, of Revisal and Unfinished Business, of Accounts, and on Mileage-to consist of five members each.-Rule 74. There shall be a joint committee on Enrolled Bills, to

to be appointed at consist of two members of each House, (Joint Rule 7;) the there shall be a joint committee on the Library of Congress, gress. to consist of three members of each House, (Joint Rule 20;) there shall be a joint committee on Public Printing, consist of three members of each House. (Stat. at Large, Vol. X, p. 34.) [The rules do not designate for what period these joint committees shall be appointed; but the practice is for the Speaker to appoint them at the commencement of each Congress.

There shall be appointed, at the commencement of the Standing comfirst session in each Congress, six additional standing pointed at the com

mencementof each committees, whose duties shall continue until the first Congress. session of the ensuing Congress, viz: On Expenditures

Joint committees

commencement of each Con

the

Duties of committees

in the Department of State, on Expenditures in the Treasury Department, on Expenditures in the War Department, on Expenditures in the Post Office Department, on E.rpenditures in the Nary Department, on Expenditures in the Inte rior Department, on Expenditures on the Public Buildings, to consist of five members each.Rule 102.

For the duties of the several committees, see under

their respectire names. Comunittees, how “ All committees shall be appointed by the Speaker, appointed.

unless otherwise specially directed by the House, in which case they shall be appointed by ballot; and if upon such ballot the number required shall not be elected by a majority of the votes given, the House shall proceed to a second ballot, in which a plurality of votes shall prevail; and in case a greater number than is required to compose or complete a committee shall have an equal number of votes, the House shall proceed to a further ballot or ballots."--Rule 67. The latter mode of appointing committees is, of late years, never resorted to; but the practice has been for the House to adopt an order “that the Speaker be authorized to appoint the regular standing committees.” And after adopting such order, it is usual for the House to adjourn over for two or three

days to enable him to make the appointments.] Member may be Before a return be made a member elected may be appointed on, befürs he is sworn. named of a committee, and is to every extent a member,

except that he cannot vote until he is sworn.—Janual, p. 61. [While this is the law, it has never been the practice in the House to appoint a member on a committee until he has been sworn.]

" The first-named member of any committee shall be the chairman; and in his absence, or being excused by the House, the next-named member, and so on, as often as the case shall happen, unless the committee, by a

majority of their number, elect a chairman.”-Rule 68. Who may be ex- * Any member may excuse himself from serving on cused from serving on a comunittee. any committee at the time of his appointment, if he is

then a member of two other committees."-Rule 69. (And under the practice, it is sufficient for him to offer such an excuse at any subsequent period of the session.

Who shall be chairman of committee.

not sit while House

leave.

Committees sit.

“It shall be the duty of a committee to meet on the Who shall call a

meeting of a comall of any two of its members, if the chairman be absent, mittee. or decline to appoint such meeting.”Rule 70.

“No committee shall sit during the sitting of the Committees shall House without special leave.”--Rule 72. And “so soon is sitting, without as the House sits, and a committee is notified of it, the chairman is in duty bound to rise instantly, and the members to attend the service of the House."-- Manual, p. 70. [But upon the suggestion to the House by a member of a committee that it is important to the despatch of public business that they should have such leave, it is usually granted, especially near the close of a session. “Committees may be appointed to sit during a recess

ting during recess. by adjournment, but not by prorogation. Neither house can continue any portion of itself in any parliamentary function beyond the end of the session without the consent of the other two branches. When done, it is by a bill constituting them commissioners for the particular purpose.”—Manual, p. 136. [This has been construed (and, in view of the distinction which exists between a "session" of Parliament and of Congress, very properly so) not to restrain a committee of the House, with the leave of the House, from sitting during the recess between a first and second session of Congress.]-(See Journal, 1, 32, p. 1119.)

“No committee shall be permitted to employ a clerk Clerks of comat the public expense without first obtaining leave of the House for that purpose.”Rule 73. [Such leave is usually granted to a portion of the committees for a part or the whole of the session, as they may deem the service necessary; and three of the committees have permanent clerks, viz: of Claims, by resolution of February 18, 1843; of Ways and Means, by resolution of February 18, 1856; and on Public Lands, by resolution of May 27, 1862.

“When a resolution shall be offered or a motion made Precedence to refer any subject, and different committees shall be to refer. proposed, the question shall be taken in the following order: the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union; the Committee of the Whole House; a standing committee; a select committee.-Rule 43. [But where more than one standing committee is proposed,

of different motions

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of motion to commit over other

at same stage on

ment.

mit.

the last one proposed is first voted upon, as an amend

ment to strike out and insert.] Precedence

“When a question is under debate, no motion shall be

mo. received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the pretions, and of others over it. vious question, to postpone to a day certain, to commit or

amend, to postpone indefinitely; which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are

arranged; and no motion to postpone to a day certain, Motion to commit to commit, or to postpone indefinitely, being decided, not to be repeated

shall be again allowed on the same day, and at the same same day.

stage of the bill or proposition.”Rule 42. A bill, when "Upon the second reading of a bill, the Speaker shall ready for commit

state it as ready for commitment."-Rule 118. Previons ques

“After the previous question is ordered, if no motion House to vote first to postpone is pending, the House is first brought to a on motion to com- direct vote on the motion to commit, if such motion shall

have been made.”Rule 132. Committee can 6 A committee meet when and where they please, if only act when met together. the House has not ordered time and place for them; but

they can only act when together, and not by separate consultation and consent, nothing being the report of a committee but what has been agreed to in committee

actually assembled.”—Manual, p. 89. A quorum of a “A majority of the committee constitutes a quorum

for business.”—Manual, p. 89. But it is not necessary

that the committee shall be full when a paper is acted member was not upon.Journal, 1, 34, p. 1143. Nor is it even necessary journed meeting.

that every member shall have been notified of an adjourned meeting, if it shall appear that at such meeting a quorum was present, and that a majority of such quorum authorized a report to be made.-Same Journal, pp.

1433, 1434. Sub-committees. [Committees very frequently appoint sub-committees

to make investigations, and in such case no member of the committee, as a matter of right, can take for examination papers referred to a sub-committee.-Cong. Globe,

1, 39, p. 4019. Petitions, how to " A committee cannot receive a petition but through be referred to com. mittees. the House."- Manual, p. 70. “Members having petitions

and memorials to present may hand them to the Clerk, endorsing the same with their names, and the reference

committee.

Not necessary that committee be full.

Nor that every

fied of an

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