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(See RULE XIII, clauses 1 and 2.)
CALL OF COMMITTEES.
After the unfinished business has been disposed of the Speaker shall call each standing committee in regular order, and then select committees, and each committee when named, may call up for consideration any bill reported by it on a previous day and on the House Calendar, and if the Speaker shall not complete the call of the committees before the House passes to other business, he shall resume the next call where he left off, giving preference to the last bill under consideration: Provided, That whenever any committee shall have occupied the morning hour on two days, it shall not be in order to call up any other bill until the other committees have been called in their turn.-RULE XXIV, clause 4.
This is now the only "call of committees" under the rule, reports of committees being filed with the clerk except when reported under clause 51 of Rule XI. The Speaker as a matter of convenience calls the committees for "motions to suspend the rules," (see Rule XXVIII, clause 1); but there is no rule requiring that call.-See RULES, SUSPENSION of.
In this hour (see clause 5) a motion is in order to "postpone to a day certain" a pending bill, and if adopted has the effect of making such bill a "special order" on the day and hour named. See decision of Speaker Carlisle, first session Fiftieth Congress, February 8, 1888, on H. R. 2012.
Under clause 9 of Rule XVI it is in order at any time after the reading of the Journal to move to go into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union to consider revenue or general appropriation bills, which motion, if adopted, would prevent this call from being proceeded with.
There can be no call of committees on Friday, for the reason that under said call business on the House Calendar only can be considered.
CALL OF THE HOUSE.
(See RULE XV, clause 2.)
By the Constitution of the United States, a smaller number than a quorum of each house "may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide."-Const., 1, 5, p. 5.
"In the absence of a quorum, fifteen members, including the Speaker, if there is one, shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members."-RULE XV, clause 2. But where less than that number are present, a motion for a call can not be entertained.-Journal, 1, 28, p. 885.
At the conclusion of the call of the roll-which is called but once the doors are closed, the absentees are noted, the names of the absentees are called over, and a list of those for whom no sufficient excuse is made is furnished the Sergeant-' at-Arms by the Clerk.
"A call of the House shall not be in order after the previous question is seconded, unless it shall appear, upon an actual count by the Speaker, that a quorum is not present."-RULE XVII, clause 2.
The practice of counting the House by the Speaker has frequently been resorted to to ascertain the presence of a quorum, and is a more expeditious method than calling the roll.-See instance by Speaker Orr (1, 35, Globe, p. 2164), and ruling as to member's name being entered as present after conclusion of roll-call.-Ibid.
A call of the House may be moved before the Journal is read if no quorum is present.-Journal, 1, 34, p. 1253.
A motion for a call of the House may be repeated or renewed, although the House has just dispensed with further proceedings under a former call.—Record, 1, 50, pp. 1465–1469.
The order of arrest is not usually made by the House unless a quorum can not otherwise be obtained; on and upon the appearance of a quorum a motion is usually made and carried that "all further proceedings in the call be dispensed with;"
and this motion is held to be in order at any period of the proceedings. The order for arrest is usually in this form, viz:
"That the Sergeant-at-Arms take into custody and bring to the bar of the House such of its members as are now absent without the leave of the House;" and, upon its adoption, a warrant, under the hand and seal of the Speaker and attested by the Clerk, with a list of absentees thereto attached, is immediately placed in the hands of the Sergeant-at-Arms. Upon his appearance with members under arrest, he is announced at the bar of the House by the Doorkeeper, whereupon he makes his return. The members brought in by him are then severally interrogated by the Speaker as to what excuses they may have to offer for being absent from the sitting of the House without its leave.
It is not in order for the House to take a recess during a call of the House.-Journal, 1, 26, p. 843; 1, 48, p. 618. No motion, except to adjourn or with reference to the call, is in order or ever entertained during a call of the House, and no motion whatever is in order (except by unanimous consent) during a call of the roll. It is the well-settled practice of the House that after the roll-call has been commenced it must be concluded, with the single exception above noted.
By an adjournment pending a call, all proceedings in the cail are terminated; but where the House has previously passed an order especially directing otherwise, such especial direction should doubtless be executed.-See Journal, 2, 27, p. 672.
See proceedings during a call of the House, February 25, 1885, and also ruling of Speaker Carlisle.-Journal, 2, 4, p. 675.
See also proceedings under calls of the House, Journals passim.
Speaker has control over hall and other rooms.-RULE I, clause 2.
Hall not to be used except for legitimate business of House.RULE XXXIII.
Chief of engineers to have charge of certain public buildings and grounds.-R. S., sec. 1797.
Old hall House of Representatives, care and charge of, etc.; statuary, etc.-R. S., sec. 1814.
No painting, property of individual, to be exhibited in.-R. S., sec. 1815.
Architect shall have care of; shall perform all duties relative to, as heretofore performed by Commissioner of Public Buildings and Grounds.-Laws, 1, 44, p. 147.
Exhibition of works of art in, forbidden; rooms in, not to be used for private studios or works of art, except, etc.-Laws, 2, 43, p. 376.
Repairs, etc., of.-R. S., sec. 1816.
Electrical apparatus.-R. S., sec. 1817.
Protection of.-R. S., sec. 1820.
Police number and pay of; suspension of; uniform, at whose expense; supervision of Botanical Garden by police, etc.-R. S., sections 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826; see also Sess. Laws, 2, 43, p. 345, and 1, 44, p. 41, relative to compensa. tion and duties of Capitol police.
Telegraph from, to certain public offices.-Act of March 3, 1873. Engineers and others engaged in heating and ventilating the House to be subject to order of Architect of, subject to control of Speaker.-Statutes at Large, vol. 20, p. 181.
The following additional abstract of legislation of Congress in respect to the Capitol, its erection, enlargement, care, etc., prepared by the late Clerk at the Speaker's table, is given as a matter of interest and convenient reference:
Constitution, Article I, section 8: The Congress shall have power * "to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may by cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress become the seat of government of the United States."
Act approved July 16, 1790 (1 Stat. L., p. 130):
Section 1: "That a district not exceeding ten miles square be and the same is hereby accepted for the permanent
seat of government."
Section 2: Commissioners authorized to be appointed to locate and define the said district, and empowered to accept donations of land for the use of the Government.
Section 3: "Commissioners shall, prior to the first Monday in December, 1800, provide suitable buildings for the accommodation of Congress."
Section 4: President authorized to accept grants of money for defraying expense of buildings.
Section 5: The seat of government to be removed to said district prior to December, 1800.
Act approved April 24, 1800 (2 Stat. L., p. 55): For the suitable accommodation of Congress at the city of Washington the four Secretaries of Executive Departments are directed to provide forthwith suitable furniture for "the apartments which are to be occupied by the two houses, respectively, and for the offices and committee-rooms of each."
Act approved January 25, 1805 (2 Stat. L., p. 311): Appropriation made to complete south wing and to alter and repair north wing of Capitol.
Act approved April 21, 1806 (2 Stat. L., p. 397): Appropriation made for completing south wing.
Act approved March 3, 1807 (2 Stat. L., p. 432): Appropriation made for finishing south wing of the Capitol, and "for furnishing the same for the accommodation of the House of Representatives."
Act approved May 2, 1828 (4 Stat. L., p. 266): "It shall be his" (Commissioner of Public Buildings) "duty to obey such rules and regulations as may be from time to time prescribed by the presiding officer of either house of Congress, for the care, preservation, orderly keeping, and police of those portions of the Capitol and its appurtenances which are in the exclusive use and occupation of either House of Congress, respectively."
Civil and diplomatic act approved September 30, 1850 (9 Stat. L., p. 538), contains an item of appropriation: "For extension of the Capitol according to such plan as may be approved by the President of the United States."
NOTE. This act appears to be the only legislative step taken toward authorizing the erection of the wings now occupied by the House and Senate.
A great number of appropriations "for extension of the Capitol" are made in the several appropriation acts subse