« PreviousContinue »
body of the resolution, we have amended that as far as amendments have been offered, and indeed till little of the original is left. It is the proper time, therefore, to consider a preamble; and whether the one offered be consistent with the resolution, is for the House to determine. The mover, indeed, has intimated that he shall offer a subsequent proposition for the body of the resolution; but the House is not in possession of it; it remains in his breast, and may be withheld. The rules of the House can only operate on what is before them. The practice of the Senate, too, allows recurrences backwards and forwards for the purpose of amendments, not permitting amendments in a subsequent, to preclude those in a prior part, or e converso.
When the committee is through the whole, a member moves that the committee may rise, and the chairman report the paper to the House, with or without amendments, as the case may be.-2 Hats. 289. 292-Scob. 53-2 Hats. 290 -8 Scob. 50.
When a vote is once passed in a committee, it cannot be altered but by the House, their votes being binding on themselves.-1607, June 4.
The committee may not erase, interline, or blot the bill itself; but must, in a paper by itself, set down the amendments, stating the words that are to be inserted or omitted, Scob. 50; and where, by reference to the page, line, and word of the bill.---Scob. 50.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE.
The chairman of the committee, standing in his place, informs the House, that the committee, to whom was referred such a bill, have, according to order, had the same under consideration, and have directed him to report the same without any amendment, or with sundry amendments, (as the case may be,) which he is ready to do when the House pleases to receive it. And he, or any other, may move that it be now received. But the cry of "now, now," from the House, generally dispenses with the formality of a motion and question. He then reads the amendments, wit the coherence in the bill, and opens the alterations, and the reasons of the committee for such amendments, until he has gone through the whole. He then delivers it at the clerk's table, where the amendments reported are read by the clerk, without the coherence; whereupon the papers lie upon the table, till the House, at its convenience, shall take up the report.-Scob. 52-Hakew.
The report being made, the committee is dissolved, and can act no more without a new power. Scob. 51. But it may be revived by a vote, and the same matter recommitted to them.-4 Grey, 361.
After a bill has been committed and reported, it ought not, in an ordinary course, to be recommitted. But in cases of importance, and for special reasons, it is sometimes re-committed, and usually to the same committee.-Hakew. 151. If a report be committed before agreed to in the House, what has passed in the committee is of no validity; the whole question is again before the committee, and a new resolution must be again moved, as if nothing had passed.-3 Hats. 131, note.
In Senate, January, 1800, the salvage bill was re-committed three times after the commitment.
A particular clause of a bill may be committed without the whole bill.-3 Hats. 131; or so much of a paper to one, and so much to another cómmittee.
BILL, REPORT TAKEN up.
When the report of a paper, originating with a committee, is taken up by the House, they
proceed exactly as in committee. Here, as in committee, when the paragraphs have, on distinct questions, been agreed to seriatim.-5 Grey, 366-6 Grey, 368-8 Grey, 47. 104. 360-1 Torbuck's deb. 125-3 Hats. 348-no question needs be put on the whole report.-5 Grey, 381.
On taking up a bill reported with amend ments, the amendments only are read by the clerk. The Speaker then reads the first, and puts it to the question, and so on till the whole are adopted or rejected, before any other amendment be admitted, except it be an amendment to an amendment.-Elsynge's Mem. 23. When through the amendments of the committee, the Speaker pauses, and gives time for amendments to be proposed in the House to the body of the bill; as he does also if it has been reported without amendments; putting no question but on amendments proposed; and when through. the whole, he puts the question, Whether the bill shall be read the third time?
If on the motion and question, the bill be not committed, or if no proposition for commitment be made, then the proceedings in the Senate of
the United States, and in parliament are totally different. The former shall be first stated.
The 28th rule of the Senate says, "All bills, on a second reading, shall first be considered by the Senate in the same manner as if the Senate were in a committee of the whole, before they shall be taken up and proceeded on by the Senate agreeably to the standing rules, unless otherwise ordered;" that is to say, unless ordered to be referred to a special committee.
The proceedings of the Senate, as in a committee of the whole, or in quasi-committee, is precisely as in a real committee of the whole, taking no questions but on amendments. When through the whole, they consider the quasi-committee as risen, the House resumed, without any motion, question, or resolution to that effect, and the President reports, that "the House, acting as in committee of the whole, have had under their consideration the bill, entitled, &c. and have made sundry amendments, which he will now report to the House." The bill is then before them, as it would have been if reported from a committee, and questions are regularly to be put again on every amendment; which being gone through, the President pauses to give time to the House to propose amendments to the body of the bill, and when through, puts the question, Whether it shall be read a third time?
After progress in amending a bill in quasi-committee, a motion may be made to refer it to a special committee. If the motion prevails, it is equivalent in effect to the several votes that the committee rise, the House resume itself, discharge the committee of the whole, and refer the bill to a special committee. In that case, the amend. ments already made fall. But if the motion fails, the quasi-committee stands in statu quo.
How far does this 28th rule subject the House, when in quasi-committee, to the laws