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nished at the usual rate for the annual charge of newspapers; and provided that, if any senator shall choose to take any newspaper other than daily, he shall be supplied with as many such papers as shall not exceed the price of three daily papers.
The second day, the president takes the ehair at the hour to which the Senate stands adjourned; and a quorum being present, he says, "There is a quorum of senators present; the secretary will read the minutes of yesterday." The journal is read, to the end that any mistake may be corrected that shall be made in the entries.
The House of Representatives sends the following communication by their clerk :
Who says, "Mr. President, I am directed to inform the Senate, that a quorum of the House of Representatives has assembled: that one of the representatives from the State of has been duly elected Speaker thereof, and that it is now ready to proceed to business." The clerk also informs the Senate, that the House of Representatives concur in the resolution of the Senate, for the appointment of a joint committee to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that quorums of both Houses have assembled, and that Congress is ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make and have
appointed A. B. C. a committee on their part. Sometimes the clerk notifies the Senate, that the House has adopted the joint resolution, and asks the concurrence of the Senate.
The joint committees report to their respective Houses, "That they waited upon the President of the United States, and informed him that quorums of the two Houses had assembled, and that they are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make; and that the President replied, that he would make his communication in writing to the two Houses of Congress this day, at 12 o'clock."
The private secretary of the President, after being announced at the bar of the Senate, informs that body that he has a message in writing from the President of the United States. This message the president submits to the Senate, which is read by the secretary.
The message being read, some senator moves, that — thousand copies of the message be printed for the use of the members. The president of the Senate then submits to the Senate a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting his annual report, and the annual report of the other officers of the government; of which, on motion, extra copies are usually ordered to be printed.
"Resolved, That the Senate will, on tomorrow, proceed to elect a secretary of the Senate.
Agreeably to the order of the day, the Senate proceeded to the election of a secretary; and, on counting the ballots, it appeared that had a majority of the votes, and was duly elected."
The secretary of the Senate, at the time of taking the oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, must take an oath or affirmation in the following form: "I, A. B., secretary of the Senate of the United States of America, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of my said office to the best of my knowledge and ability." The sergeant-at-arms is elected in the same manner, and takes the oath prescribed by law.
"Resolved, That the Senate will, on tomorrow, proceed to appoint the standing committees.
Agreeably to the order of the day, the Senate proceeded by ballot to the appointment of the standing committee, in conformity with the 34th rule, as follows:"
"In the appointment of the standing committees, the Senate will proceed by ballot, severally to appoint the chairman of each committee, and then, by one ballot, the other members necessary to complete the same;
and a majority of the whole number of votes given shall be necessary to the choice of a chairman of a standing committee. All other committees shall be appointed by ballot, and a plurality of votes shall make a choice. When any subject or matter shall have been referred to a committee, any other subject or matter, of a similar nature, may, on motion, be referred to such committee.
After the election by ballot of a chairman for each committee, the following entry is made on the journal:
Ordered, that Mr.
be chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations, and so on, through all the committees.
It frequently happens that the other members of the committees are not chosen till the succeeding day.
I find that when the Senate had proceeded by ballot, and elected the chairmen of three several committees, the president of the Senate was authorized to appoint the remaining committees for that session. Thus, Sept. 6th, 1837. Journal of the Senate.
"The Senate proceeded, agreeably to order, to the appointment by ballot, of the standing committees, and ordered that Mr. Buchanan be chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Ordered, That Mr. Wright be chairman of the Committee on Finance.
Ordered, That Mr. King, of Alabama, be chairman of the Committee on Commerce.
Whereupon, on motion of Mr. Clay, by unanimous consent, Resolved, That so much of the 34th rule as requires the appointment of the several standing committees by ballot, at the present session, be suspended, and that their appointments be made by the president of the Senate."
In the course of the first week, it is usual for each House to choose a chaplain of a different denomination, to serve during the session. When the chaplains have been elected, they alternate between the Houses, and open each day's session with prayer. Each chaplain performs his duty a few minutes before the presiding officer takes the chair.
After the Journal is read, the president shall first call for petitions, and then for reports from standing committees; and every petition, or memorial, or other paper, shall be referred of course, without putting a question for that purpose, unless the reference is objected to by a member, at the time such petition, memorial, or other paper is presented. And before any petition or memorial, addressed to the Senate, shall be received and read at the table, whether the same shall be introduced by the president or a member, a brief statement of the contents of the petition