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OPENING

OF THE

UNITED STATES SENATE.

The United States senators assemble at Washington, on the first Monday in December, in each year, in their chamber, at 12 o'clock, meridian. The Vice President, towards the close of the session, usually withdraws; when a president pro tempore is chosen. This is done to meet any contingency that may happen, either from the death of the President, or the death or absence of the Vice President. At the convening of the senators, if the Vice President is absent, the president pro tempore of course takes the chair, and proceeds to open the session forthwith. The secretary calls over the names of the senators present. The certificates of election of such gentlemen as meet for the first time, or upon re-election, being read, the new senators are requested by the president to approach the chair and take the oath, which he administers in the following form :-“1, A. B., do solemnly swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States."

The new senators having been duly qualified, and a quorum being in attendance, it is customary to adopt the following resolutions :

Resolved, That the secretary acquaint the House of Representatives that a quorum of the Senate is assembled, and that the Senate is ready to proceed to business.

Resolved, That a committee be appointed, to join such committee as may be appointed by the House of Representatives, to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that quorums of the two houses have assembled, and that the two houses are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make.

[The standing rules of the Senate direct that the committees shall be appointed by ballot, but the senators, not having time to elect the committee to wait on the President, it is the practice for some senator to move to suspend the rule relative to balloting, and that the president name the committee, which being agreed to, he asks of what number the committee shall consist. “Two” being named, he says, “ the committee will consist of two." The president of course names the mover of the resolution, and associates some other senator with him.]

Resolved, That each senator be supplied during the present session, with three such newspapers, printed within the United States, as he may choose; provided the same be fur

nished at the usual rate for the annual charge of newspapers; and provided that, if any senator shall choose to take any newspaper other than daily, he shall be supplied with as many such papers as shall not exceed the price of three daily papers.

The second day, the president takes the ehair at the hour to which the Senate stands adjourned; and a quorum being present, he says, “ There is a quorum of senators present; the secretary will read the minutes of yesterday.” The journal is read, to the end that any mistake may be corrected that shall be made in the entries.

The House of Representatives sends the following communication by their clerk :

Who says, “Mr. President, I am directed to inform the Senate, that a quorum of the House of Representatives has assembled : that - , one of the representatives from the State of — has been duly elected Speaker thereof, and that it is now ready to proceed to business.” The clerk also informs the Senate, that the House of Representatives concur in the resolution of the Senate, for the appointment of a joint committee to wait on the President of the United States, and inform him that quorums of both Houses have assembled, and that Congress is ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make: and have

appointed A. B. C. a committee on their part. Sometimes the clerk notifies the Senate, that the House has adopted the joint resolution, and asks the concurrence of the Senate.

The joint committees report to their respective Houses, " That they waited upon the President of the United States, and informed him that quorums of the two Houses had assembled, and that they are ready to receive any communications he may be pleased to make; and that the President replied, that he would make his communication in writing to the two Houses of Congress this day, at 12 o'clock.”

The private secretary of the President, after being announced at the bar of the Senate, informs that body that he has a message in writing from the President of the United States. This message the president submits to the Senate, which is read by the secretary.

The message being read, some senator moves, that thousand copies of the message be printed for the use of the members. The president of the Senate then submits to the Senate a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting his annual report, and the annual report of the other officers of the government; of which, on motion, extra copies are usually ordered to be printed.

D

Resolved, That the Senate will, on tomorrow, proceed to elect a secretary of the Senate.

Agreeably to the order of the day, the Senate proceeded to the election of a secretary ; and, on counting the ballots, it appeared that

-- had a majority of the votes, and was duly elected.”

The secretary of the Senate, at the time of taking the oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, must take an oath or affirmation in the following form : “I, A. B., secretary of the Senate of the United States of America, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of my said office to the best of my knowledge and ability.” The sergeant-at-arms is elected in the same manner, and takes the oath prescribed by law.

Resolved, That the Senate will, on tomorrow,proceed to appoint'the standing committees.

Agreeably to the order of the day, the Senate proceeded by ballot to the appointment of the standing committee, in conformity with the 34th rule, as follows:

“In the appointment of the standing committees, the Senate will proceed by ballot, severally to appoint the chairman of each committee, and then, by one ballot, the other members necessary to complete the same;

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