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A journal is simply a record. At the request of one-fifth of the members present, in either house, the yeas and nays must be entered on the record. That is, the names of all the members voting for a measure, are written down together under the head of "yeas," and the names of those voting against it under the head of “nays.By this means, the votes of all the members, on the most important questions, are preserved on record.

This has a tendency to make each member careful not to give his sanction to any measure of doubtful utility, for he knows that his vote is recorded, and that the record may rise up in judgment against him at any future time.


Neither house, during the session of congress, can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other, nor to any place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

As it requires both houses to enact a law, it was necessary that some provision be made to prevent one house from obstructing the action of the other.

What is a journal ?
At the request of how many members are the yeas and nays put

on the record ? For how long can one house adjourn without the consent of the



The president of the senate pro tempore, and speaker of the house, each, receives sixteen dollars per day for their services.

The senators and representatives receive eight dollars per day during their attendance in congress, and also eight dollars for every twenty miles travel.

These sums are paid out of the public treasury of the United States.

The members of the British parliament at present, receive no pay. If our legislators were not paid, the halls of congress would be filled almost exclusively with the wealthy, and those not the most worthy or talented.

In this speculating, money-making age, few men of talent would sacrifice their time and money merely for the public good, with no hope of reward but empty fame. And those who would be willing to do so, might be too poor to spend three or six months a year at Washington at their own expense.

On the other hand, the compensation is so small as to offer little pecuniary inducement for political speculators to scramble for it.

What pay do the president of the senate pro tempore and the

speaker of the house receive ? What pay do the senators and representatives receive ? Where is the money obtained ? Do the members of the British parliament receive any pay?


“In all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, members of congress are privileged from arrest, during their attendance at the session, and in going to and returning from the same."

Both houses of the British parliament have enjoyed the same privilege from time immemorial. Parties and witnesses in a court of justice are protected in the same way, much more ought the representatives of the interests of thousands, or the senator of a state, to be preserved from interruption in the discharge of his important duties by a petty question of dollars and cents.

No member of congress can be questioned in any other place for any speech or debate in either house. The same privilege is enjoyed by the legislature of every state in the union, and also by the British parliament. This is necessary in order to secure freedom of debate.

This privilege does not give any member a right to publish a speech, in which he defames and abuses others, under pretence of performing his duty ; for such species of defamation, a member of congress is just as liable to the penalties of the law as any other man.

What peculiar privileges have members of congress ?
Do the members of the British parliament enjoy the same?
What privilege is given to members of congress in order to secure

freedom of debate ? Does this give any member a right to defame and abuse others ?

No member of congress during the time for which he has been elected, can be appointed to any civil office in the United States which has been created, or the emoluments of which have been increased during that time.

No person holding any office under the United States, can be a member of either house of congress during his continuance in office. If he wishes to be elected to congress, he must resign the other office.

This is a necessary provision, in order to prevent legislators from holding offices inconsistent with the proper discharge of their duties as legislators. It also prevents the intermingling of departments which ought to be kept distinct.


Revenue is the money received from taxes, duties, imposts, sales of public lands, rents, &c., which is collected by the nation or states for public use.

All bills for raising revenue must originate in the house of representatives.

The representatives are chosen directly by the people, and are responsible to them, and are therefore better judges of the wishes of the people than the senate. For the house of representatives represents the people, but the senate represents the states.

Can a member of congress hold any other office under the Uni

ted States ?
Why is this necessary?
What is revenue ?
In which house must bills of revenue originate ?

If the power of originating “money bills” were intrusted to the senate, it might lead to great dissatisfaction and difficulty, by giving the small states too great an influence.

Though the senate may not originate “ money bills,” yet they may propose or concur in amendments as in other bills.


We have said that every legislative act must pass both houses of congress before it can become a law. But this is not all. It must also be presented to the President of the United States for his signature. If he approves the bill he signs it, and then it becomes a law.

If the President refuses to sign it, he returns it to the house in which it originated, with his objections, which are entered at large on the journal, and then they proceed to reconsider their vote. If, after reconsideration, the bill is again passed by two-thirds, it is

Why should not money bills originate in the senate ?
Must every act be presented to the president before it can become

a law?
What if he approves and signs it?
What if he refuses to sign it?

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