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proviso in the original, had been added two new provisoes by way of amendment. On a motion to strike out the section as amended, the question was desired to be divided. To do this it must be put first on striking ont either the former proviso, or some distinct member of the section. But when nothing remains but the last member of the section, and the provisoes, they cannot be divided so as to put the last member to question by itself: for the provisoes might thus be left standing alone as exceptions to a rule when the rule is taken away; or the new provisoes might be left to a second question, after having been decided on once before at the same reading; which is contrary to rule. But the question must be on striking out the last member of the section as amended. This sweeps away the exceptions with the rule, and relieves from inconsistence. A question to be divisible, must comprehend points so distinct and entire, that one of them being taken away, the other may stand entire.
But a proviso or exception, without an enacting clause, does not contain an entire point or proposition.*
Rule 58, It may be asked whether the House can be in possession of two moHo. Reps. tions or propositions at the same time? So that one of them being contrary.
decided, the other goes to question without being moved anew? The answer must be special. When a question is interrupted by a vote of adjournment, it is thereby removed from before the House, and does not stand ipso factot before them at their next meeting: but must come forward in the usual way. So when it is interrupted by the order of the day. Such other privileged questions also as dispose of the main question (e. g. the previous question, postponement or commitment,) remove it from before the House. But it is only suspended by a mo
* May 31. The same bill being before the Senate. There was a proviso that the bill should not extend. 1. To any foreign minister; nor 2. to any person to whom the President should give a passport; nor 3. to any alien merchant conforming himself to such regulations as the President shall prescribe, and a division of the question into its simplest elements was called for. It was divided into four parts, the fourth taking in the words conforming himself,' &c. It was objected that the words 'any alien merchant could not be separated from their modifying words conforming,' &c., because these words, if left by themselves, contain no substantive idea, will make no sense. But itting that the divisions of a paragraph into separate questions must be so made as that each part may stand by itself, yet the house having, on the question, retained the two first divisions, the words “any alien merchant may be struck out, and their modifying words will then attach themselves to the preceding description of persons, and become a modification of that description.
When a question is divided, after the question on the first member, the second is open to debate and amendment: because it is a known rule, that a person may rise and speak at any time before the question has been completely decided, by putting the negative as well as affirmative side. But the question is not completely put when the vote has been taken on the first member only. One-half of the question, both affirmative and negative, remains still to be put. [See Execut. Journ. June 25, 1795.] The same decision by Ex-President John Adams.
| By that fact.
tion to amend, to withdraw, to read papers, or by a question of order or privilege, and stands again before the House when these are decided. None but the class of privileged questions can be brought forward while there is another question before the House, the rule being, that when a motion has been made and seconded, no other can be received, except it be a privileged one.
Res. 115 IF, on a question for rejection, a bill be retained, it passes of course
and 116, to its next reading. [Hakew. 141. Scob. 42.) And a question for a Ho. Reps. second reading, determined negatively, is a rejection without farther page 99. question. [4 Grey, 149. And see Elsynge's memor. 42, ] in what cases questions are to be taken for rejection.
Where questions are perfectly equivalent, so that the negative of the one amounts to the affirmative of the other, and leaves no other alternative, the decision of the one concludes necessarily the other. [4 Grey, 157. ] Thus the negative of striking out amounts to the affirmative of agreeing; and therefore to put a question on agreeing after that on striking out, would be to put the same question in effect twice over. Not so in questions of amendments between the two Houses. A motion to recede being negatived, does not amount to a positive vote to insist, because there is another alternative, to wit, to adhere.
Rule 27, A bill originating in one House, is passed by the other with an
Ho. Reps. amendment. A motion in the originating House to agree to the amendment is negatived. Does there result from this a vote of disagreement, or must the question on disagreement be expressly voted ? The questions respecting amendments from another House are: 1st, to agree; 2d, disagree; 3d, recede; 4th, insist; 5th, adhere. 1st. To agree,
s of the negative of the other, and no other alternative remains. On either motion amendments to the amendment may be proposed, e. g. if it be moved to disagree, those who are for the amendment have a right to propose amendments, and to make it as perfect as they can, before the question of disagreeing is put.
3d. To recede. You may then either insist or adhere. 4th. To insist. You may then either recede or adhere. 5th. To adhere. You may then either recede or insist.
Consequently the negative of these is not equivalent to a positive vote the other way. It does not raise so necessary an implication as may authorize the Secretary by inference to enter another vote: for two alternatives still remain, either of which may be adopted by the House.
Res. 4 & The question is to be put first on the affirmative, and then on the 34.
Ho. negative side. Reps. Pp. 67 & 76.
After the Speaker has put the affirmative part of the question, any member who has not spoken before to the question, may rise and speak before the negative be put. Because it is no full question till the negative part be put. [ Scob. 23. 2 Hats. 73. ]
But in small matters, and which are of course such as receiving petitions, reports, withdrawing motions, reading papers, &c., the Speaker most commonly supposes the consent of the House, where no objection is expressed, and does not give them the trouble of putting the question formally. [ Scob. 22. 2 Hats. 79, 2, 87. 5 Grey, 129. 9 Grey, 301.]
BILLS, THIRD READING.
Res. 26 &
c. PP. & 130.
Res. 27 & To prevent bills being passed by surprise, the House, by a standing
Ho. Reps. PP.
order, directs that they shall not be put on their passage before a fixed 74 101: hour; naming one at which the house is commonly full. [Hakew. 153.]
A bill reported, and passed to the third reading, cannot on that day be read the third time and passed ;, because this would be to pass on two readings in the same day.
At the third reading, the Clerk reads the bill, and delivers it to the 29, Sen. 1
Speaker, who states the title; that it is the third time of reading the bill; and that the question will be, whether it shall pass. Formerly, the Speaker, or those who prepared a bill, prepared also a breviate, or summary statement of its contents, which the Speaker read when he declared the state of the bill at the several readings. Sometimes, however, he read the bill itself, especially on its passage. [Hakew. 136, 137, 153. Coke, 22, 115.]
Latterly, instead of this, he, at the third reading, states the whole contents of the bill verbatim; only, instead of reading the formal parts, * Be it enacted,' &c., he states, that the preamble recites so and so; the first section enacts that,' &c. the second section enacts,' &c.
A bill on the third reading is not to be committed for the matter or body thereof; but to receive some particular clause or proviso, it hath been sometimes suffered, but as a thing very unusual. [Hakew. 156.] Thus [27 El. 1584) a bill was committed on the third reading, having been formerly committed on the second; but is declared not usual. [D’Ewes, 337, col. 2, 414, col. 2.]
When an essential provision has been omitted, rather than erase the Res. 115, bill, and render it suspicious, they add a clause on a separate paper, Ho.Reps.
116, & 117, engrossed, and called à Rider, which is read and put to the question pp. 99 & three times. [Elsynge's Memorials, 59. 6 Grey, 335. 1 Blackst. 183. ] |loo. For examples of Riders, ( see 3 Hats. 121, 122, 124, 126.] Every one is at liberty to bring in a Rider, without asking leave. [10 Grey, 52.]
It is laid down, as a general rule, that amendments proposed at the second reading shall be twice read; and those proposed at the third reading, thrice read; as also all amendments from the other House. [Town. col. 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.]
It is with great, and almost invincible reluctance, that amendments are admitted at this reading, which occasion erasures or interlineations. Sometimes a proviso has been cut off from a bill; sometimes erased. [9 Grey, 513.]
This is the proper stage for filling up blanks; for, if filled up before, and now altered by erasure, it would be peculiarly unsafe.
At this reading the bill is debated afresh, and, for the most part, is more spoken to at this time than on any of the former readings. [Hakew. 153.]
The debate on the question, whether it should be read a third time, has discovered to its friends and opponents the arguments on which each side relies, and which of these appear to have intluence with the House; they have had time to meet them with new arguments, and to put their old ones into new shapes. The former vote has tried the strength of the first opinion, and furnished grounds to estimate the issue; and the question now offered for its passage, is the last occasion which is ever to be offered for carrying or rejecting it. When the debate is ended, the Speaker, holding the bill in his hand,
Re. 4, Ho. puts the question for its passage, by saying, "Gentlemen, all you who Reps. p. 67. are of opinion that this bill shall pass say aye;' and, after the answer of the ayes, “all those of the contrary opinion say “no. [Hakew. 154.] After the bill is passed there can be no further alteration of it in any point. [Hakew. 159.]
DIVISION OF THE HOUSE.
The affirmative and negative of the question having been both put and answered, the Speaker declares whether the yeas or nays have it, by the sound, if he be himself satisfied, and it stands as the judgment of the House. But, if he be not himself satisfied which voice is the greater, or if, before any other member comes into the House, or before any new motion made (for it is too late after that), any member shall rise and declare himself dissatisfied with the Speaker's decision; then the Speaker is to divide the House. [Scob. 24. 2 Hats. 140.]
When the House of Commons is divided, the one party goes forth, and the other remains in the house. This has made it important which go
Re. 4, Ho.forth, and which remain; because the latter gain all the indolent, the Rep p. 67. indifferent, and inattentive. Their general rule therefore is, that those
who give their votes for the preservation of the orders of the House shall stay in, and those who are for introducing any new matter or alteration, or proceeding contrary to the established course, are to go out. But this rule is subject to many exceptions and modifications. [2 Hats. 134. 1 Rush. p. 3, fol. 92. Scob. 43, 52. Co. 12, 116. D'Ewes, 505, col. 1. Mem. in Hakew. 25, 29.]
The one party having gone forth, the Speaker names two tellers from the affirmative, and two from the negative side, who first count those sitting in the House, and report the number to the Speaker. Then they place themselves within the door, two on each side, and count those who went forth, as they come in, and report the number to the Speaker. [Mem. in Hakew. 26.]
A mistake in the report of the tellers may be rectified after the report made. [2 Hats. 145, note.]
In the House of Commons every member must give his vote, the one
withdraw who is in the House when the question is put; nor is any
put. (2 Hats. 140.] Re. 16, p.
This last position is always true, when the vote is by yeas and nays; where the negative as well as affirmative of the question is stated by the President at the same time, and the vote of both sides begins and proceeds pari passu.* It is true, also, when the question is put in the
usual way, if the negative has also been put. But if it has not, the Re. 40, Ho.member entering, or any other member, may speak, and even propose Reps. P.) amendments, by which the debate may be opened again, and the ques
tion be greatly deferred. And as some who have answered aye may
If then the member entering may, by speaking a few words, occasion
While the House is telling, no member may speak, or move out of his place; for, if any mistake be suspected, it must be told again. [Mem.
in Hakew. 26. 2 Hats. 143.]
House, if irregular. He sometimes permits old experienced members
The voice of the majority decides. For the lex majoris partist is the
When, from counting the House, on a division, it appears that there 63,Ho.Rep. is not a Quorum, the matter continues exactly in the state in which it
Res. 62 &
* With equal gradations, i. e. alphabetically, or otherwise. † Will of the majority.