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shall take precedence of all other questions, except a motion to adjourn—May 6, 1828_and shall not be withdrawn after the said succeeding day without the consent of the House; and thereafter any member may call it up for consideration.-March 2, 1848.
[A difference of opinion and a discrepancy in action have sometimes occurred in administering this rule. Twenty years ago, and previously, a motion to reconsider could not be made after the subject was disposed of, if there was another subject before the House, until that subject had passed away; it was then often too late to make the motion. It was under this practice that Mr. Randolph was unable to move a reconsideration of the settlement of the celebrated Missouri question (notice of which he gave out of time), as, before he could do so, the bill had been taken to the Senate. The practice of late years has been changed, so as to allow the motion to reconsider to be made at any moment within the prescribed time. If the motion be made when a different subject is before the House, it is entered, and remains until that subject is disposed of, and then “takes precedence of all other business, except a motion to adjourn.” When any final vote has been taken, and a motion made to reconsider, that motion may be laid on the table; in which case, according to the practice of several years past, the vote stands as though the motion to reconsider had not been made. This is correct; as, if the House wished to retain the matter, it would agree to the motion to reconsider, instead of laying it on the table. Motions to reconsider should be promptly acted on, otherwise it is in the power of a single member (voting on the strong side against his sentiments, solely for the purpose of placing himself in a situation to make the motion) to arrest business which a majority have determined to dispatch.] 50. In filling up blanks, the largest sum and longest time shall be first put.—April 7, 1789.
ORDER OF BUSINESS OF THE DAY.
51. As soon as the journal is read, and the unfinished business in which the House was engaged at the last preceding adjournment has been disposed of, reports from committees shall be called for and disposed of; in doing which the Speaker shall call upon each standing committee in regular order, and then upon select committees; and if the Speaker shall not get through the call upon the committees before the House passes to other business, he shall resume the next call where he left oft-September 15, 1837-giving preference to the report last under consideration : Provided, That whenever any committee shall bave occupied the morning hour on two days, it shall not be in order for such committee to report
further until the other committees shall have been called in their turn.- December 7, 1857.
[This proviso does not restrain the House from considering a report already made for a longer period than two days; simply prevents a committee from reporting further after occupying that period.
This rule, as originally adopted, was amended in the revision of the rules at the 1st session of the 36th Congress, viz: So as to provide for the consideration of the unfinished business at the last adjournment immediately after the journal is read; to give preference to the report last under consideration, without the necessity for the pendency of a motion to commit; other amendments were made at the same time, which were rescinded January 11, 1867.] 52. Reports from committees having been presented and disposed of, the Speaker shall call for resolutions from the members of each State and delegate from each Territory, beginning with Maine and the Territory last organized, alternately; and they shall not be debated on the very day of their being presented, nor on any day assigned by the House for the receipt of resolutions, unless where the House shall direct otherwise, but shall lie on the table, to be taken up in the order in which they were presented; and if on any day the whole of the States and Territories shall not be called, the Speaker shall begin on the next day where he left off the previous day: Provided, That no member shall offer more than one resolution, or one series of resolutions, all relating to the same subject, until all the States and Territories shall have been called.-January 14, 1829.
53. A proposition requesting information from the President of the United States, or directing it to be furnished by the head of either of the Executive Departments, or by.the Postmaster-General, shall lie on the table one day for consideration, unless otherwise ordered by the unanimous consent of the House-December 13, 1820—and all such propositions shall be taken up for consideration in the order they were presented, immediately after reports are called for from select committees, and when adopted, the Clerk shall cause the same to be delivered.—January 22, 1822.
54. After one hour shall have been devoted to reports from committees and resolutions, it shall be in order, pending the consideration or discussion thereof, to entertain a motion that the House do now proceed to dispose of the business on the Speaker's table, and to the orders of the day—January 5, 1832; which being decided in
the affirmative, the Speaker shall dispose of the business on his table in the following order, viz:
First. Messages and other executive communications.
Second. Messages from the Senate, and amendments proposed by the Senate to bills of the House.
Third. Bills and resolutions from the Senate on their first and second reading, that they be referred to committees and put under way; but if, on being read a second time, no motion being made to commit, they are to be ordered to their third reading, unless objection be made; in which case, if not otherwiseordered by a majority of the House, they are to be laid on the table in the general file of bills on the Speaker's table, to be taken up in their turn.
Fourth. Engrossed bills, and bills from the Senate on their third reading.
Fifth. Bills of the House and from the Senate, on the Speaker's table, on their engrossment, or on being ordered to a third reading, to be taken up and considered in the order of time in which they passed to a second reading.
The messages, communications, and bills on his table having been disposed of, the Speaker shall then proceed to call the orders of the day.-- September 14, 1837.
55. The business specified in the 54th and 130th rules shall be done at no other part of the day, except by permission of the House.—December 23, 1811.
56. The consideration of the unfinished busiuess in which the House may be engaged at an adjournment shall be resumed as soon as the journal of the next day is read, and at the same time each day thereafter until disposed of; and if, from any cause other business shall intervene, it shall be resumed as soon as such other business is disposed of. And the consideration of all other unfinished business shall be resumed whenever the class of business to which it belongs shall be in order under the rules.—March 18, 1860.
[The rule of November 13, 1794, for which this was substituted, provided that “the unfinished business in which the House was engaged at the last preceding adjournment shall have preference in the orders of the day; and no motion on any other business shall be received, without special leave of the House, until the former is disposed of.” The object of the new rule was to give the unfinished business a more certain, as well as highly privileged, position. According to the construction given this rule, the unfinished busi
ness on private-bill days is not resumed until the next private-bill day, and the first hour after the reading of the journal on Monday is devoted to the objects contemplated by the 51st and 130th rules.]
OF DECORUM AND DEBATE. 57. When any member is about to speak in debate, or deliver any matter to the House, he shall rise from his seat and respectfully address himself to “Mr. Speaker"- April 7, 1789—and shall con. fine himself to the question under debate, and avoid personality.-December 23, 1811.
58. Members may address the House or committee from the Clerk's desk, or from a place near the Speaker's chair.
59. When two or more members happen to rise at once, the Speaker shall name the member who is first to speak.--April 7, 1789.
60. No member shall occupy more than one hour in debate on any question in the House, or in committee; but a member reporting the measure under consideration from a committee may open and close the debate: Provided, That where debate is closed by order of the House, any member shall be allowed, in committee, five minutes to explain any amendment he may offer-December 18, 1847– after which any member who shall first obtain the floor shall be allowed to speak five minutes in opposition to it, and there shall be no further debate on the amendment; but the same privilege of debate shall be allowed in favor of and against any amendment that may be offered to the amendment; and neither the amendment nor an amendment to the amendment shall be withdrawn by the mover thereof, unless by the unanimous consent of the committee.-August 14, 1850: Provided further, That the House may, by the vote of a majority of the members present, at any time after the five minutes' debate has taken place upon proposed amendments to any section or paragraph of a bill, close all debate upon such section or paragraph, or at their election upon the pending amendments only.March 19, 1860.
[This proviso was adopted so as to enable a majority to get a bill out of Committee of the Whole after a reasonable time has been occupied in debating amendments, and was reported at the same time with an amendment to the 123d rule, the effect of which was to prevent a practice of doubtful propriety, by which the friends of a bill were in the habit of taking it out of Committee of the Whole by adopting a recommendation to strike out the enacting clause.]
61. If any member, in speaking or otherwise, transgress the rules of the House, the Speaker shall, or any member may, call to order; in which case the member so called to order shall immediately sit down, unless permitted to explain; and the House shall, if appealed to, decide on the case, but without debate; if there be no appeal, the decision of the Chair shall be submitted to. If the decision be in favor of the member called to order, he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, he shall not be permitted to proceed, in case any member object, without leave of the House.- March 13, 1822, and September 14, 1837; and if the case require it, he shall be liable to the censure of the House.—April 7, 1789, and March 13, 1822.
[See Rule 2, with accompanying note.]
62. If a member be called to order for words spoken in debate, the person calling him to order shall repeat the words excepted to, and they shall be taken down in writing at the Clerk's table; and no member sball be held to answer, or be subject to the censure of the House, for words spoken in debate, if any other member bas spoken, or other business has intervened, after the words spoken, and before exception to them shall have been taken.— September 14, 1837.
63. No member shall speak more than once to the same question without leave of the House-April 7, 1789—unless he be the mover, proposer, or introducer of the matter pending; in which case he shall be permitted to speak in reply, but not until every member choosing to speak shall have spoken.—January 14, 1840.
64. If a question depending be lost by adjournment of the House, and revived on the succeeding day, no member who shall have spoken on the preceding day shall be permitted again to speak without leave.- April 7, 1789.
[There is no proceeding in the House to which this rule can be applied. It was originally framed in reference to that law of Parliament which says that all pending questions are lost by adjournment, and to be again considered must be moved anew. In the rules as revised and established on the 7th January, 1802, the prohibition to speak on the next day was confined to those who had spoken twice on the preceding day. It so remained until the 14th January, 1840, when the word twice was left out.-Barclay.] 65. While the Speaker is putting any question, or addressing the House, nope shall walk out of or across the House; nor in such case, or when a member is speaking, sball entertain private dis