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STANDING RULES AND ORDERS

FOR CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES.

TOUCHING THE DUTY OF THE SPEAKER.

1. He shall take the chair every day precisely at the hour to which the House shall have adjourned on the preceding day; shall imme. diately call the members to order; and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall cause the journal of the preceding day to be read. April 7, 1789.

2. He shall preserve order and decorum; may speak to points of order in preference to other members, rising from his seat for that purpose; and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the House by any two members-April 7, 1789; on which appeal no member shall speak more than once, unless by leave of the House.—December 23, 1811.

[Rule 22 makes it the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to aid in the enforce. ment of order, under the direction of the Speaker; and, pending the election of a Speaker, under the direction of the Clerk.]

[On the subject of “decorum,” see rules 57, 58, 61, 62, and 65.]

[Difficulties have often arisen as to a supposed discrepancy between the appeal contemplated in this rule and that referred to in Rule 61. There is no discrepancy. The question of order mentioned in the second rule relates to motions or propositions, their applicability or ncy, or their admissibility on the score of time, or in the order of business, &c. The“ call to order," mentioned in Rule 61, on which, in case of an appeal, there can be no debate, has reference only to “transgressions of the rules in speaking,” or to indecorum of any kind. See also Rule 133, in which debate on an appeal, pending a call for the previous question, is prohibited.] 3. He shall rise to put a question, but may state it sitting.–April

7, 1789. 4. Questions shall be distinctly put in this form, to wit: "As many as are of opinion that (as the question may be) say Ay"; and after the affirmative voice is expressed, “As many as are of the contrary opinion, say No." If the Speaker doubt, or a division be called for, the House shall divide; those in the affirmative of the question shall first rise from their seats, and afterward those in the negative. If the Speaker still doubt, or a count be required by at least one-fifth of a quorum of the members, the Speaker shall name two members, one from each side, to tell the members in the affirmative and negative; which being reported, he shall rise and state the decision to the House.—March 16, 1860.

5. The Speaker shall examine and correct the journal before it is read. He shall have a general direction of the hall, and the unap. propriated rooms in that part of the Capitol assigned to the House shall be subject to his order and disposal until the further order of the House. He shall have a right to name any member to perform the duties of the Chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment; provided, however, that in case of the personal illness of the Speaker, he may make such appointment for a period not exceeding ten days, with the approval of the House at the time the same is made.- December 23, 1811, May 26, 1824, and April 28, 1876.

6. No person shall be permitted to perform divine service in the chamber occupied by the House of Representatives, unless with the consent of the Speaker.- May 19, 1804.

7. In all cases of ballot by the House, the Speaker shall vote; in other cases he shall not be required to vote, unless the House be equally divided, or unless his vote, if given to the minority, will make the division equal; and in case of such equal division, the question shall be lost.-April 7, 1789.

[On a very important question, taken December 9, 1803, on an amendment to the Constitution, so as to change the form of voting for President and VicePresident, which required a vote of two-thirds, there appeared eighty-three in the affirmative, and forty-two in the negative; it wanted one vote in the affirmative to make the Constitutional majority. The Speaker (Macon, notwithstanding a prohibition in the rule as then existed, claimed and obtained bis right to vote, and voted in the affirmative; and it was by that vote that the amendment to the Constitution was carried. The right of the Speaker, as a member of the House, to vote on all questions is secured by the Constitution. No act of the House can take'it from him when he chooses to exercise it.] 8. All acts, addresses, and joint resolutions, shall be signed by the Speaker; and all writs, warrants, and subpoenas, issued by order

of the House, shall be under his hand and seal, attested by the Clerk.--November 13, 1794.

9. In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries or lobby, the Speaker (or chairman of the Committee of the Whole House) shall have power to order the same to be cleared. March 14, 1794.

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OF THE CLERK AND OTHER OFFICERS.

10. There shall be elected at the commencement of each Congress, to continue in office until their successors are appointed, a Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, Doorkeeper, and Postmaster, each of whom shall take an oath for the true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office, to the best of his knowledge and abilities, and to keep the secrets of the House; and the appointees of the Doorkeeper and Postmaster shall be subject to the approval of the Speaker; and, in all cases of election by the House of its officers, the vote shall be taken viva voce.- March 16, 1860.

[Until the adoption of this rule there was no law, resolution, rule, or oluer directing the appointment of the Clerk of the House. On the 1st of April, 1789, being the first day that a quorum of the House assembled under the new Constitution, the House immediately elected a Clerk by ballot, without a previous order having been passed for that purpose ; although in the case of a Speaker, who was chosen on the same day, an order was previously adopted. A Clerk has been regularly chosen at the commencement of every Congress since. By the rules adopted in 1789, provision was made for the appointment of a Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper. Immediately after tho organization of the government under the present Constitution, a room was set apart in the Capitol for the reception and distribution of letters and packets to and from members of the House, withoựt an order for that purpose, and was called the post-office; it was superintended by the Doorkeeper and his assistants. On the 9th of April, 1814, a special allowance was made to the Doorkeeper to meet the expenses of this office, and he was authorized to appoint a Postmaster. The office continued on this footing till April 4, 1838, when an order was passed for the appointment of a Postmaster by the House itself. The provision for the election of all the officers of the House by a viva voce vote was adopted December 10, 1839. ]

11. In all cases where other than members of the House may be eligible to an office by the election of the House, there shall be a previous nomination.--April 7, 1789.

12. In all other cases of ballot than for committees, a majority of the votes given shall be necessary to an election; and where

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there shall not be such a majority on the first ballot, the ballots shall be repeated until a majority be obtained.-- April 7, 1789. Ànd in all ballotings blauks shall be rejected, and not taken into the count in enumeration of votes, or reported by the tellers. - September 15, 1837.

13. It shall be the duty of the Clerk to make, and cause to be printed, and delivered to each member, at the commencement of every session of Congress, a list of the reports which it is the duty of any officer or department of the government to make to Congress; referring to the act or resolution, and page of the volume of the laws or Journal, in which it may be contained; and placing under the name of each officer tbe list of reports required of him to be made, and the time when the report may be expected.-March 13, 1822.

14. It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the House, at the end of each session, to send a printed copy of the Journals thereof to the executive and to each branch of the legislature of every State.November 13, 1794.

15. All questions of order shall be noted by the Clerk, with the decision, and put together at the end of the Journal of every ses. sion.December 23, 1811.

16. The Clerk shall, within thirty days after the close of each ses. sion of Congress, cause to be completed the printing and primary distribution, to Members and Delegates, of the Journal of the House, together with an accurate index to the same.—June 18, 1832.

17. There shall be retained in the library of the Clerk's office, for the use of the members there, and not to be withdrawn there. from, two copies of all the books and printed documents deposited in the library.December 22, 1826.

18. The Clerk shall have preserved for each member of the House an extra copy, in good binding, of all the documents printed by or. der of either house at each future session of Congress.-February 9, 1831.

19. The Clerk shall make a weekly statement of the resolutions and bills (Senate bills inclusive) upon the Speaker's table, accompanied with a brief reference to the orders and proceedings of the House upon each, and the date of such orders and proceedings; which statement shall be printed for the use of the members.-April 21, 1836.

20. The Clerk shall cause an index to be prepared to the acts passed at every session of Congress, and to be printed and bound with the acts.—July 4, 1832.

[The Clerk was relieved of this duty by the joint resolution of September 28, 1850, which authorized Little & Brown to furnish their Annual Statutes at Large instead of the edition formerly issued by the order of the Secretary of State, and by the act of June 20, 1874, this duty was again devolved upon the Secretary of State.] 21. All contracts, bargains, or agreements, relative to the furnishing any matter or thing, or for the performance of any labor, for the House of Representatives, shall be made with the Clerk, or approved by him, before any allowance shall be made therefor by the Committee of Accounts.-January 30, 1846.

22. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to attend the House during its sittings; to aid in the enforcement of order, under the direction of the Speaker- March 16, 1860; and, pending the election of a Speaker, under the direction of the Clerk-March 3, 1877; to execute the commands of the House from time to time; together with all such process, issued by authority thereof, as shall be directed to him by the Speaker.- April 14, 1789.

23. The symbol of his office (the mace) shall be borne by the Sergeant-at-Arms when in the execution of bis office.-- April 14, 1789.

24. The fees of the Sergeant-at-arms shall be, for every arrest, the sum of two dollars; for each day's custody and releasement, one dollar; and for traveling expenses for himself or a special messenger, going and returning, one-tenth of a dollar for each mileApril 14, 1789—necessarily and actually traveled by such officer or other person in the execution of such precept or summons.-March 19, 1860.

[But by R. S. sec. 53, and the act of June 20, 1874 (Sess. Laws, 1, 43, p. 87), it is provided that (in addition to his regular salary) he shall receive, directly or indirectly, no fees, other compensation, or emolument whatever for performing the duties of his office, or in connection therewith.]

25. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to keep the accounts for the pay and mileage of members, to prepare checks, and, if required to do so, to draw the money on such checks for the members (the same being previously signed by the Speaker, and indorsed by the member), and pay over the same to the member entitled thereto.- April 4, 1838.

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