« ПредишнаНапред »
grossed forthwith.” “If the bill is not a very long one, some one of its friends will have had it engrossed in readiness for its immediate reading ; or if not, in a short time it is prepared and handed to the speaker, who delivers it to the clerk, and announces “ The third reading of an engrossed bill,” when the clerk reads it through. The bill is now open to debate, but cannot be amended, except by unanimous consent, or by going again into a committee of the whole for amendments. This is occasionally done, but bills are usually perfected before the third reading. It sometimes, however, happens, with all the attention bestowed upon a bill, that it must be amended in the way here suggested, even after it is engrossed. The bill is engrossed on sheets, and it is therefore not so dif. ficult to make amendments, as might at first be imagined. The bill, being now read the third time, the speaker says: “ This bill originated in this house, and has now been read a third time, the question will be on its passage.” And rising, says: “ Gentlemen, as many as are of the opinion that this bill do pass, will say Aye. The contrary opinion will say No.” If the majority of the voices seem to be in its favour, he will say “ The ayes appear to have it,” and pausing, if no one calls for a division, he says, “ The ayes have it—the bill is passed.” In congress, as in parliament, the question on the title is taken last, as it is no part of the bill. The speaker reads the title, and asks “Shall this be the title of the bill ?” No one objecting, he says: "The title is agreed to.” If, however, the bill should be one of great interest, the yeas and nays would be
doubtless called, either on the engrossment or on the passage of the bill. This is done by some member rising in his place, and saying,-“ Mr. Speaker, I ask the yeas and nays.” The speaker, rising, says, “ The yeas and nays are demanded by the gentleman from —
As many as second the call, will please rise;" when the speaker counts the number up, and reports to the house how many. If he finds the number equal to onefifth of the members present, he says, “ The yeas and nays are ordered.” The constitution grants to one-fifth the right of calling the yeas and nays. If, however, the members who do not rise in fa. vour of the call, think there were not one-fifth of the members standing for the call, they request the speaker to count those voting in the negative, which he of course does, and if he finds himself in error, he corrects the mistake, and the yeas and nays are not ordered. It generally happens that the speaker's count is correct, as he soon learns, even without counting, by the glance of his eye, whether there is a sufficient number up. If they are carried, the speaker says, “ The yeas and nays are ordered.” · The yeas and nays being ordered, the speaker directs the clerk to call the names of the members, which is done alphabetically. After he has called, and received an answer from, every one of the members, the call cannot be interrupt. ed by any one. By the rules of the house, every member is bound to vote, unless excused, or unless he falls under the provision of the 28th Rule.
Rule 28. No member shall vote on any question in the event of which he is immediately and par
ticularly interested, or in any case where he was not within the bar of the house when the question was put. And when any member shall ask leave to vote, the speaker shall propound to him the question : “ Were you within the bar when your name was called ?"
Rule 29. Upon a division and count of the house on any question, no member without the bar shall be counted.
Rule 30. Every member who shall be in the house when the question is put, shall give his vote, unless the house, for special reasons, shall excuse him. All motions to excuse a member from voting shall be made before the house divides, or before the call of the yeas and nays is commenced; and any member requesting to be excused from voting, may make a brief verbal statement of the reasons for making such request, and the question shall then be taken without fur. ther debate.
The yeas and nays being called, the two clerks compare their tallies, one of them hands the vote to the chair, while the other reads over the names of the yeas first and then the nays, that each member may know how he has his name registered. If there be any mistake, or any member wishes to vote differently from the registered vote, or if any desire to vote whose names are not on the list of yeas and nays read over by the clerk, if they were within the bar at the time their names were called, they rise and ask to have their names called. But to avoid all violation of the rule, the speaker asks each member, before be takes his vote, after the yeas and nays have
been read by the clerk, whether “ he was within the bar of the house at the time his name was called ;" for if he were not, he is not entitled to vote. The votes having been registered and counted, the speaker rises and says : On agreeing to the passage of the bill, the yeas are 120, nays 116; the ayes have it. The bill is passed. The clerk certifies its passage by the house, and carries it to the senate. If the bill had not been or. dered to be read on the day it was engrossed, but on the succeeding day, it would be placed on “the speaker's table,” along with bills from the senate on the third reading, which is one more argument to show the propriety of clearing the speaker's table daily.
By this arrangement a bill will never get off the track-no shuffling can misplace it-it holds its position by the established rules of the house.
CLERK. The clerk of the house of representatives has a salary of three thousand dollars, and has large expenditures to make, independent of his other duties. The contingent fund of the house is un. der his supervision. His most important duties, however, are those connected with the parliamentary duties of the house. He keeps the journal, and therefore ought to be well acquainted with the mode of making entries. Indeed no one is fit for that station who is not deeply imbued with legislative knowledge.
Mr. Franklin was a good parliamentary clerk,
but he was most important to the members as a reading clerk. His voice had little or no variety in it; yet he could read louder and longer and more rapidly without exhaustion, than any person I ever met with in my legislative experience. If Mr. Franklin had possessed no other qualification, that alone would have been sufficient to have retained him, under any variation of politics in the house.
Under the franking privilege the clerk can send and receive packages to the extent of three pounds. The speaker has the same right. · He daily prepares a list containing the order of business, which is every morning laid on the speaker's table. The journalizing clerk reads over to the speaker in his room, prior to the meet. ing of the house, the journal, to see whether he has correctly made up the business of the preced. ing day.
The clerk will find it very convenient to keep his list of orders, if the speaker will observe the rule for clearing off the speaker's table daily. This rule was established for that purpose, and ought not to be disregarded. So much depends upon the rule in question, that too much cannot be said to keep the speaker's eye steadily fixed on it. It is the only star to lead him successfully through the difficulties of a tedious and excited session.
I have thought that the State Legislatures do not pay a proper regard to the rules of congress in the transaction of their business. It has often suggested itself to me, that the rules of the State Legislatures should be as near a copy of the rules of congress as possible : so that when a mem