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May 4, 1864, it was ordered that the names of Senators absenduring a call of the yeas and nays be printed in a separate list in the publication of the proceedings.
August 6, 1850, the Sergeant-at-Arms was directed to request the attendance of absent members. In 1877 the form of the rule provided that Senators present might direct the Sergeant-at-Arms to “ request, and when necessary to compel, the attendance of absent Senators. Under this rule the Senate decided, February 24, 1879, that a motion to “ request ” must precede a motion to “compel” attendance.
There are numerous instances where the Senate acted under this rule.
1. URGENT LETTERS REQUESTING ATTENDANCE OF. 1st Cong., 1st sess.; J., p. 5.]
MARCH 4, 1789. [Eight Senators were present and took their seats.)
The number not being sufficient to constitute a quorum, they adjourned from day to day until Ib.]
MARCH 11, 1789. The same members present as on the 4th; agreed that the following circular letter should be written and sent to the absent members, requesting their immediate attendance:
New York, March 11, 1789. SIR: Agreeably to the Constitution of the United States, eight members of the Senate and eighteen members of the House of Representatives have attended here since the 4th of March. It being of the utmost importance that a quorum sufficient to proceed to business be assembled as soon as possible, it is the opinion of the gentlemen of both Houses that information of their situation be immediately communicated to the absent members.
We apprehend that no arguments are necessary to evince to you the indispensable necessity of putting the Government into immediate operation, and therefore earnestly request that you will be so obliging as to attend as soon as possible.
We have the honor to be, sir, your obedient, humble servants, [Names of absent Senators. ]
[Signatures.) (Annals, vol. 1, p. 15.)
Ib., p. 6.]
TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 1789. Present as yesterday.
The number sufficient to make a quorum not appearing, they adjourned from day to day untilIb., p. 6.]
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 1789. Present, the same as on the 12th,
Agreed that the following circular letter should be written to eight of the absent members, urging their immediate attendance:
New York, Jarch 18, 1789. SIR: We addressed a letter to you on the 11th instant, since which no Senator has arrived. The House of Representatives will probably be formed in two or three days. Your presence is indispensably necessary. We therefore again earnestly request your immediate attendance and are confident you will not suffer our, and the public's anxious expectations to be disappointed. We have the honor to be, sir, your obedient, humble servants,
[Signatures.) [Names of absent Senators. ]
2. THE EARLIER RULES REGARDING. 1st Cong., 1st sess.; J., p. 13.)
APRIL 16, 1789. RULE XIX. No person shall absent himself from the service of the Senate without leave of the Senate first obtained. 3rd Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 127.)
NOVEMBER 21, 1794. Ordered, That Messrs. Langdon, Izard, and Burr be a committee to report such rules as may be necessary to compel the attendance of members of the Senate. 5th Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 421.]
JANUARY 9, 1798. A motion was made to amend the nineteenth rule for doing business in the Senate, by subjoining, “and on motion of any member there shall be a call of the Senate, at the expiration of one hour after that to which the House stood adjourned, whether there be a quorum or not; and in case there is not a quorum on such call, the members present may, if they think proper, request the attendance of absentees, who are in the town or neighborhood where the Senate are contened. And on the next day if a quorum shall not be present, the members present shall have authority to send for any absent member, whether he be in the toun where the Senate shall convene or not, by any person by them authorized, requesting his attendance, at the expense of such member, unless he shall make such ercuse for nonattendance as shall by the Senate be judged sufficient.
(The motion was referred to a committee, which reported June 8, 1798, ib., pp. 503, 517.) Ib., p. 517]
JUNE 25, 1798. It was-Resolved, That the following be added to the nineteenth rule:
And in case a less number than a quorum of the Senate shall convene, they are hereby authorized to send the Sergeant-at-Arms, or any other person or persons, by them authorized, for any or all absent members as the majority of such members present shall agree, at the erpense of such absent members, respectively, unless such ercuse for nonattendance shall be made as the Senate, when a quorum is convened, shall judge sufficient; and in that case the expense shall be paid out of a contingent fund. And this rule shall apply as well to the first conrention of the Senate at the regular time of meeting as to each day of the 8fssion after the hour has arrived to which the Senate stood adjourned. 44th Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 117.)
JANUARY 17, 1877. Rule 3. No Senator shall absent himself from the service of the Senate without leave of the Senate first obtained. Whenever it shall be ascertained that a quorum is not present, the majority of the Senators present may direct the Sergeant-at-Arms to request, and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of absent Senators, which order shall be determined without debate; and pending its execution, and until a quorum shall be present, no motion, except a motion to adjourn, nor debate, shall be in order. (See Cong. Rec., 2d sess. 44th Cong., p. 690.)
3. THE VARYING PRACTICE CONCERNING. 5th Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 489.)
MAY 15, 1798. Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to write to all such Senators as are absent without leave, or whose leave of absence has expired, requesting their immediate attendance. 19th Cong., 1 st sess.; J., p. 402.)
MAY 21, 1826.
The following order was adopted and issued :
Ordered, That the Sergeant-at-Arms forthwith summon and command the absent members of the Senate to be and appear before the Senate immediately; and that he take all practicable means to enforce their attendance.
(A similar order was adopted May 29, 1830 (21st Cong., 1st sess. ; J., p. 354). On March 2, 1841, the Sergeant-at-Arms was directed to summon the absent members (26th Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 272).]
The practice of requesting” the attendance of Senators seems to have begun August 6, 1850, when the Sergeant-at-Arms was directed to request the attendance, forthwith, of the absent Senators.” No return was made, as the Senate immediately adjourned. The Journals reveal numerous cases where the formal practice of requesting the attendance of Senators has been resorted to. There are several instances where motions and resolutions directing the Sergeant-at-Arms to request the attendance of absent Senators have been determined in the negative. (See Cong. Globe, 35th Cong., 1st sess. ; Appendix, p. 118, for a decision of the Chair on the question of calling for excuses.)
4. MOTION TO DIRECT ATTENDANCE OF, MAY BE LAID ON THE TABLE. 35th Cong., 1st sess.; J., pp. 258, 259.)
MARCH 15, 1858. The Senate had under consideration the bill (S. 161) “ for the admission of the State of Kansas into the Union." Repeated motions were made that the Senate adjourn and they were repeatedly voted down. On such a motion, made by Mr. Wade, the yeas were 6, the nays 24.
The Vice-President (Mr. Breckinridge) stated to the Senate that the number of Senators voting did not constitute a quorum of the Senate, but that, in the opinion of the Chair, a quorum of the Senate was present in the Chamber, and directed the Secretary to call the names of those Senators who had not voted, and, this being done, a quorum was present.
On the question to agree to the motion of Mr. Wade, it was determined in the negative, yeas 15, nays 24.
On motion by Mr. Hale, that the Sergeant-at-Arms be directed to request the attendance of absent Senators, a motion was made by Mr. Green, that this motion lie on the table. Mr. Stuart raised a question of order, viz, that the motion of Mr. Green was not in order. The Vice-President decided that it was in order. From this decision Mr. Stuart appealed. After debate, on motion by Mr. Pugh, that the appeal lie on the table, it was determined in the affirmative, yeas 26, nays 15.
So it was Ordered, That the appeal lie on the table.
On the question, to agree to the motion of Mr. Green, that the motion of Mr. Hale lie on the table, it was determined in the affirmative, yeas 25, nays 15. (See Cong. Globe, 35th Cong., 1st sess.; App., pp. 97, 100. It will be noted that the last order was made by a quorum of the Senate.)
5. FORMERLY, IN ABSENCE OF QUORUM, COULD NOT COMPEL AT.
TENDANCE OF. 42d Cong., 2d sess. ; J., pp. 580, 581, 582.]
APRIL 20, 1872. The Senate, in the absence of a quorum, can not compel, but can only request, the attendance of absent Senators.
On a motion to proceed to the consideration of H. R. 174, “repealing the duty on tea and coffee,” the years were 22, nays 7, no quorum voting; and the Ser
geant-at-Arms, by a vote of 16 yeas to 8 nays, was directed to request the attendance of absent Senators. After debate, the Presiding Officer (Mr. Ferry, of Michigan, in the chair) announced that the Sergeant-at-Arms had reported that he had executed the order of the Senate, to request the attendance of the absent Senators; but that it still appeared, by the vote just taken, that a quorum of the Senate was not present.
Whereupon Mr. Howe submitted a motion that the Sergeant-at-Arms be directed to compel the attendance of such number of absent Senators as would make a quorum of the Senate; and
Mr. Pomeroy made a point of order, viz, that the Senate having made no provision in its rules for compelling the attendance of absent Senators, which could be made only by a quorum of the body, it was not in the power of a minority of the Senate, by adopting the proposed order, to change the existing rule on the subject, and that the motion of Mr. Howe was, therefore, not in order.
The Presiding Officer (Mr. Ferry, of Michigan, in the chair) sustained the point of order, and ruled the motion of Mr. Howe not in order. (See Cong. Globe, 42d Cong., 2d sess., pp. 2627, 2629.)
6. MOTION DIRECTINGSERGEANT-AT-ARMS TO COMPEL ATTEND.
ANCE OF, NOT DEBATABLE. 43d Cong., 2d sess. ; J., pp. 340, 341.]
FEBRUARY 24, 1875. On motion by Mr. Cameron to postpone the present and all prior orders, and that the Senate resume the consideration of the bill (H. R. 4681) in relation to a national cemetery at York, Pennsylvania,
The yeas were 10, and the nays were 16.
The number of Senators voting not constituting a quorum of the Senate, on motion by Mr. Thurman, at 7 o'clock and 10 minutes p. m., that the Senate adjourn, it was determined in the negative, yeas 4, nays 22.
So the motion was not agreed to.
But it appearing by the vote just taken that a quorum was not present. on motion by Mr. Edmunds that the Sergeant-at-Arms be directed to request the attendance of absent Senators, Mr. Thurman rose to debate the motion; when the Presiding Officer (Mr. Ferry, of Michigan, in the chair) decided that debate on the motion was not in order.
From this decision of the Chair Mr. Thurman appealed to the Senate; and
On the question, Shall the decision of the Chair stand as the judgment of the Senate? the yeas were 24 and the nays were 3.
So the Chair was sustained although a quorum was wanting. (See Cong. Record, 43d Cong., 2d sess., pp. 1692, 1693.)
7. MOTION TO REQUEST MUST PRECEDE MOTION TO COMPEL AT
TENDANCE OF. 45th Cong., 3d sess.; J., p. 365.]
FEBRUARY 24, 1879. On motion by Mr. Harris that the Sergeant-at-Arms be directed to compel attendance of absent Senators,
Mr. Merrimon raised a question of order, viz, that under the third rule of the Senate the motion should be preceded by a motion to request the attendance of absent Senators.
The Presiding Officer submitted the question to the Senate, Should the motion to compel be preceded by a motion to request the attendance of absent Senators? and it was determined in the affirmative, yeas 24, nays 12. (See Cong. Record, 45th Cong., 3d sess., pp. 1844, 1847.)
8. ON COMPELLING ATTENDANCE OF, WHEN QUORUM IS PRESENT. 47th Cong., 2d sess. ; J., p. 279.]
FEBRUARY 2, 1883. The question of order that the order to compel the attendance of absent Senators was not in order, the number of Senators present constituting a quorum,” was laid on the table, and the order to compel the attendance of absent Senators was withdrawn. (See Cong. Record, 47th Cong., 2d sess., P. 1987.) 52d Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 164.]
MARCH 3, 1893. The President pro tempore (Mr. Manderson) decided that it was competent for the Senate under its rules to order the attendance of absent Senators when a quorum is present, it being a right inherent in every legislative body to compel the attendance of absent members who are not present for duty and who have not been excused. (Sce ('ong. Record, 52d Cong., 2d sess., p. 2535.)
9. QUORUM NECESSARY TO RECONSIDER VOTE DIRECTING SER
GEANT-AT-ARMS TO COMPEL ATTENDANCE OF. 5 1st Cong., 2d sess. ; J., p. 88.]
JANUARY 21, 1891. The Presiding Officer (Mr. Blair in the chair) decided a motion was not in order, in the absence of a quorum, to reconsider a vote directing the Sergeantat-Arms to compel the attendance of absent Senators. Decision sustained on appeal; yeas 233, nays 5. (See Cong. Record, 51st Cong., 2d sess., pp. 1624, 1625.)
10. PENDING EXECUTION OF ORDER NO DEBATE IN ORDER. 51 st Cong., 2d sess.; J., p. 88.]
JANUARY 21, 1891. The Presiding Officer declined to entertain a question of order pending the execution of the order to compel attendance of absent Senators, and in the absnce of a quorum, on ground no debate nor motion, except to adjourn, was in order. (See Cong. Record, 51st Cong., 2d sess., p. 1626.)
11. PUBLISHING THE NAMES OF. 38th Cong., 1st sess.; J., p. 402.)
MAY 4, 1864. The following resolution was adopted by a vote of 20 yeas to 13 nays:
Resolved, That the reporter be directed, in making up the proceedings of the Senate for the Congressional Globe, to put in a separate list the names of the absentees in each call for the ayes and noes. (See Cong. Globe, 38th ('ong., 1st sess., pp. 2088–2090.)
NOTE. - Attempts were made in the 420 and 43d Congresses to rescind this resolution, but without avail. Some attempts were also made to deduct from the per diem allowance the number of days any Senator might absent himself without leave, unless detained by illness. (See (ong. Globe, 25th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 302, 305, 306 ; also 11 Stat. 48.)