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Blanks. That they be filled with the
before 2 o'clock,If after 2 o'clock,
Noes. Adjournment till the next sitting day,
Ayes If after 4 o'clock,
Noes. , a resolution,)Over the 30th January,
} For sitting on Sunday need any other } Ayes.
The one party being gone forth, the Speaker names two tellers from the affirmative, and two from the negative side, who first count those sitting in the House, and report the number to the Speaker. Then they place themselves within the door, two on each side, and count those who went forth, as they come in, and report the number to the Speaker.—Mem. in Hakew. 26.
A mistake in the report of the tellers may be rectified after the report made.—2 Hats. 145. Note.
But, in both Houses of Congress, all those intricacies are avoided The ayes first rise, and are counted, standing in their places, by the President or Speaker. Then they sit, and the noes rise and are counted in like manner.
In Senate, if they be equally divided, the Vice-President announces his opinion, which decides.
The Constitution, however, has directed that “the yeas and nays of the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire of mne-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.” And again, tha in all cases of re-considering a bill disapproved by the President, aut returned with his objections, “ the votes of both Houses shall be de termined by the yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill, shall be entered on the journals of each House respectively."
By the 16th and 17th rules of the Senate, when the yeas and nays ehall be called for by one-fifth of the members present, each member called upon shall, unless for special reasons he be excused by the Senate, declare openly, and without debate, his assent or dissent to the question. In taking the yeas and nays, and upon the call of the House, the nanes of the members shall be taken alphabetically.
When the yeas and nays shall be taken upon any question, in pur suance of the above rule, no member shall be permitted, under any circumstances whatever, to vote after the decision is announced from the chair.
When it is proposed to take a vote by yeas and nays, the President or Speaker states that “ The question is whether, e. g., the bill shal, pass? That it is pruposed that the yeas
shall be entered on the journal. Those, therefore, who desire it will rise.” If he finds and declares that one-fifth have risen, he then states, that “ those who are of opinion that the bill shall pass, are to answer in the affirm. ative, those of the contiary opinion, in the negative.” The clerk then calls over the names alphabetically, notes the yea or nay of each, and gives the list to the President or Speaker, who declares the result. Jo Senate, if there be an equal division, the Secretary calls on the Vice President, who notes his affirmative or negative, which becomes the decision of the House.
In the House of Commons, every member must give his vote the one way or the other.—Scob. 24. As it is not permitted to any one to withdraw who is in the House when the question is put, nor is any one to be told in the division who was not in when the question was put.--2 Hats. 140.
This last position is always true when the vote is by yeas and nays; where the negative as well as the affirmative of the question is stated by the President
at the same time, and the vote of both sides begins and proceeds pari passu. It is true, also, when the question is put in the usual way, if the negative has also been put. But if it has not, the member entering, or any other member may speak, and even propose amendments, by which the debate may be opened again, and the question greatly deferred. And, as some who have answered ay, may have been changed by the new arguments, the affirmative must be put over again. If, then, the member entering may, by speaking a few words, occasion a repetition of the question, it would be useless to deny it on his simple call for it.
While the House is telling, no member may speak, or move out of his place; for, if any mistake be suspected, it must be told again. Mem. in Hakew. 26; 2 Hats. 143.
If any difficulty arises in point of order, during the division, the Speaker is to decide peremptorily, subject to the future censure of the House, if irregular. He sometimes permits old experienced members to assist him with their advice, which they do sitting in their seats, covered to avoid the appearance of debate; but this can only be with the Speaker's leave, else the division might last several hours.--2 Hats. 143.
The voice of the majority decides. For the lex majoris partis is the law of all councils, elections, &c., where not otherwise expressly provided.—Hakew. 93.' But if the House be equally divided, “ semper presumatur pro negante:” that is, the former law is not to be changed but by a majority.—Towns. col. 134.
But, in the Senate of the United States, the Vice-President decides, when the House is divided.-Const. U. S., Art. I. Sec. 2.
When, from counting the House, on a division, it uppears that there is not a quorum, the matter con
tinues exactly in the state in which it was before the division, and must be resumed at that point on any future day.—2 Hats. 126.
1606, May 1, on a question whether a member having said Yea, may afterwards sit and change his opinion ? a precedent was remembered by the Speaker, of Mr. Morris, attorney of the wards, in 39 Eliz., who in like case changed his opinion. - Mem. in Hakew. 27.
AFTER the bill has passed, and not before, the title may be amended, and is to be fixed by a question ; and the bill is then sent to the other House
WHEN a question has been once made and carried in the affirma. tive or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority to move for the re-consideration thereof; but no motion for the re. consideration of any vote shall be in order after a bill, resolution, message, report, amendment, or motion, upon which the vote was taken, shall have gone out of the possession of the Senate, announcing their decision; nor shall any motion for re-consideration be in order. anless made on the same day on which the vote was taken, or within the two next days of actual session of the Senate thereafter Rule 20.
1798, Jan. A bill on its second reading, being amended, and os the question, whether it shall be read a third time negatived, was restore, by a decision to re-consider the question. Here the votes of negative and re-consideration, like positive and negative quantities in equation, destroy one another, and are as if they were expunged from the journals. Consequently the bill is open for amendment, just so far as it was the moment preceding the question for the third reading. That is to say, all parts of the bill are open for amendment, except those on which votes have been already taken in its present stage. Se also may it be re-committed.
The rule permitting a re-consideration of a question affixing to it no limitation of time or circumstance, it may be asked whether there is no limitation? If, after the vote, the paper on which it has passed has been parted with, there can be no re-consideration : as if a vote has been for the passage of a bill, and the bill has been sent to the other House. But where the paper remains, as on a bill rejected, when, or under what circumstances, does it cease to be susceptible of re-con sideration ? This remains to be settled, unless a sense that the right of re-consideration is a right to waste the time of the House in repeated agitations of the same question, so that it shall never know when a question is done with, should induce them to reform this anomalous proceeding. *
In Parliament, a question once carried, cannot bo questioned again, at the same session; but must stand as the judgment of the House. — Towns. col. 67; Memor. in Hakew. 33. And a bill once rejected, another of the same substance cannot be brought in again the same session.—Hakew. 158; 6 Grey, 392. But this does not extend to prevent putting the same questions in different stages of a bill; because every stage of a bill submits the whole and every part of it to the opinion of the House, as open for amendment, either by insertion or omission, though the same amendment has been accepted or rejected in a former
* This defect has been remedied by Rule 29, cited above, which has been adopted since the original edition of this work was published