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The question is to be put first on the affirmative, and then on the negative side.
After the Speaker has put the affirmative part of the question, any member who has not spoken before 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; 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. 87. 2. 87; 5 Grey, 129; 9 Grey, 301.
BILL, THIRD READING.
To prevent bills from being passed by surprise, the House, by a standing order, directs that they shall not be put on their passage before a fixed hour, naming one at which the House is commonly full. - Hakew. 153.
The usage of the Senate is, not to put bills on their passage till
A bill reported and passed to the third reading, cannot on that day be read the third time and passed. Be cause this would be to pass on two readings on the same day. At the third reading, the clerk reads the bill, and delivers it to the 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, in stead 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.
But in the Senate of the United States, both of these formalities aro dispensed with; the breviate presenting but an imperfect view of the bill, and being capable of being made to present a false one; and the full statement being a useless waste of time, immediately after a full reading by the clerk; and especially as every member has a printed copy in his hand.
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 realing, having been formerly committed on the second; but it is declared not usual.-D'Ewes, 137, col. 2. 414, col. 2.
When an essential provision has been omitted, rather than erase the bill, and render it suspicious, they add a clause on a separate paper, engrossed and called a rider, which is read, and put to the question three times. - Elsynge's Memorials, 59; 6 Grey, 335; 1 Blackst. 183. For examples of riders, see 3 Hate. 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 with invincible reluctance, that amendments are admitted at this reading, which occasion erasures or interlineations. Sometimes the 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 influence 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 opi. nion, 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, puts the question for its passage, by saying, “Gentlemen, all you who are of opinion that this bill shall pass, say ay;" and after the answer of ayes, “All those of the contrary opinion, say no." -Hakew. 154.
After the bill has 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 is 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 forth, and which remain; because the latter gain all the indolent, the indifferent, and inattentive. Their general rule, therefore, is, that those who give their vote for the preservation of the orders of the House shall stay in, and those who are for introducing any new matter, oi alteration, or proceeding contrary to the established course, are to go out. But this rule is subject to many exceptions and modifications.—2 Rush. p. 3, fol 92; Scob. 43, 52; Co. 12, 116; D'Ewes, 505, col. 1; Mem. in Hakew. 25, 29; as will appear by the fol. lowing statement of who
Petition that it be received, *
* Noes.-9 Grey, 365.
Lie on the table,
251. Amendments be read a 2d time,
Noes. Clause offered on report of bill be read
2d time, For receiving a clause,
Ayes. 834 With amendments be engrossed, That a bill be now read a 3d time, Noes. 398 Receive a rider,
259 Be printed, Committees. That A. take the chair, To agree to the whole or any part of
report, That the House do now resolve into a
Noes. Speaker. That he now leave the chair,
after order to go into committee, That he issue warrant for a new visit, Member. That none be absent without
leave, Witness. That he be farther examined, Ayes.
Ayes. 3-14 Previous questions,