[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 28. Journal]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                          CHAPTER 28 - JOURNAL

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

  Sec. 1. Generally; Publication
  Sec. 2. Matters Entered in the Journal
  Sec. 3. -- Votes and Quorum Calls
  Sec. 4. Reading and Approval
  Sec. 5. -- Precedence; Interruptions
  Sec. 6. Motion That the Journal Be Read
  Sec. 7. Reading Practices and Customs
  Sec. 8. Motion to Approve
  Sec. 9. Amendments and Corrections
        Research References
          U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 5
          4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2726-2883
          6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 623-637
          Deschler Ch 5 Sec. Sec. 8-14
          Manual Sec. Sec. 68-75, 582, 621, 902

  Sec. 1 . Generally; Publication

      The Journal is a record of the proceedings of each legislative day 
  in the House. The Journal--and not the Congressional Record--is the 
  official record of the proceedings of the House. Manual Sec. 582; 4 
  Hinds Sec. 2727. Certified copies thereof are admissible in judicial 
  proceedings. 28 USC Sec. 1736.
      The Constitution requires the House to keep a Journal and publish 
  it excepting such matters as may require secrecy. U.S. Const. art. I, 
  Sec. 5. The purpose of this constitutional requirement is to ensure 
  that the proceedings of the House be a matter of public record. 
  Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 8.


  Sec. 2 . Matters Entered in the Journal

      The content of the Journal is governed by the Constitution, by 
  statute, and by the rules and practices of the House. Deschler Ch 5 
  Sec. 10. The Constitution sets forth the general requirement that the 
  ``proceedings'' of the House be kept in the Journal. U.S. Const. art. 
  I, Sec. 5; Manual Sec. 68. It further

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  specifies that the Journal reflect votes taken by the yeas and nays, 
  as well as veto messages from the President. U.S. Const. art. I, 
  Sec. 7. Since such matters are always entered in the Journal, no 
  motion or request to that effect is necessary. Sec. 3, infra; Deschler 
  Ch 5 Sec. 10.4. Except as limited by these constitutional 
  requirements, the House has the discretion to determine the content 
  and format of its Journal, and it controls the extent to which House 
  business is particularized therein. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 10.

                                Exclusions

      The Journal records House actions and proceedings. It is not a 
  verbatim transcript. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. Sec. 10.2, 10.3. It does not 
  include:

    The rationale for, or all the circumstances attending, House 
         action. 4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2811, 2812.
    Verbatim accounts of debate and special-order speeches. 
         Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 10.3.
    The deliberations of the Committee of the Whole, except for 
         recorded votes. Manual Sec. 1012.
    Unanimous-consent requests that meet with objection. Deschler 
         Ch 5 Sec. 10.2.
    Motions that are not entertained. 4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2813, 2844.
     Parliamentary inquiries. 4 Hinds Sec. 2842.

                                Inclusions

      Proceedings that are reflected in the Journal include:

    Public bills, resolutions, and documents introduced and 
         referred under the rules, by number, title, and committee of 
         reference. Manual Sec. 816.
    Private bills, petitions, and memorials introduced and 
         referred, with the exception of those measures of obscene or 
         insulting character. Manual Sec. 818.
    The name of the Member introducing the measure, together with 
         the words ``by request,'' if appropriate. Deschler Ch 5 
         Sec. 10.7.
    Special rules providing for the consideration of a measure.
    The disposition of measures called up for consideration in the 
         House or Committee of the Whole.
     Questions of order arising during the proceedings of the 
         House. Manual Sec. 647.
    Reports of committees delivered to the Clerk for printing and 
         reference, by title or subject. Manual Sec. 831.
    Motions entertained by the Speaker--including motions to 
         amend--unless withdrawn on the same day. Manual Sec. Sec. 580, 
         902.
    Motions to discharge when signed by a majority of the total 
         membership. Manual Sec. 892.
    The discharge of the Committee of the Whole from the further 
         consideration of a bill. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 10.9.

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    Presentation of conference reports and the disposition thereof. 
         Manual Sec. 542.
    Messages from the Senate or from the President, including veto 
         messages. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 7; Manual Sec. 815.
    Unanimous-consent requests agreed to by the House, and action 
         taken pursuant thereto.
    The names of Members managing debate in the House under a 
         special rule and the time allocated therefor.
    Expungements from the Congressional Record ordered by the 
         House. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 10.10.
    Disciplinary censure of a Member pursuant to order of the 
         House. 2 Hinds Sec. 1251.
    The time of adjournment. Manual Sec. 647.

  Sec. 3 . -- Votes and Quorum Calls

      The Constitution requires that votes taken by the yeas and nays be 
  entered in the Journal. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 5. The Journal also 
  records the result of other votes and states in general terms the 
  subject of those votes. 4 Hinds Sec. 2804. The Journal also discloses:

    The names of those Members voting on each side of the question, 
         as well as those not voting, when a recorded vote is taken 
         pursuant to rule XX. Manual Sec. 1014.
    The names of those Members recorded on a quorum call taken 
         pursuant to rule XX clause 2. Manual Sec. 1014.
    The names of those Members recorded by tellers when the Speaker 
         directs a vote be taken by this procedure in lieu of the 
         electronic system. Manual Sec. 1019.
    The names of those Members voluntarily appearing to be recorded 
         as present when a call of the House is conducted under rule XX 
         clause 5. Manual Sec. 1021.
    The names of those Members recorded as absent after a quorum 
         call. Manual Sec. 1019.
    The names of those present sufficient to establish a quorum. 
         Manual Sec. 1020.

  Sec. 4 . Reading and Approval

      Pursuant to rule I clause 1, the Speaker is authorized to announce 
  his approval of the Journal. The Speaker's approval of the Journal is 
  deemed agreed to subject to a vote on demand of any Member. Manual 
  Sec. 621.

      Speaker: The Chair has examined the Journal of the last day's 
    proceedings and announces to the House his approval thereof. 
    Pursuant to clause 1 of rule I, the Journal stands approved.

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      Member: Mr. Speaker, I request the question be put on agreeing to 
    the Speaker's approval of the Journal.
      Speaker: The gentleman from  ______ demands a vote on the 
    Speaker's approval of the Journal. The question is on agreeing to 
    the Speaker's approval. Those in favor will say ``Aye,'' those 
    opposed ``No.''
      Member: Mr. Speaker, I ask for the Yeas and Nays . . .  [or] . . . 
     I object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and 
    make a point of order that a quorum is not present.

  Since the approval of the Journal is legislative business and is in 
  order only in legislative sessions, it is not in order when the House 
  has precluded any legislative business during a pro forma session. 96-
  2, Jan. 7, 1980, p 25. By unanimous consent, the House has also 
  precluded the approval of the Journal during morning-hour debates.

      At one time, the reading of the Journal of each legislative day 
  was mandatory and could be dispensed with only by unanimous consent or 
  under suspension of the rules. 4 Hinds Sec. 2747; 6 Cannon Sec. 625. 
  Today, however, the Journal is considered as read after the Speaker's 
  approval thereof. Manual Sec. 621. However, if the Speaker's approval 
  is disagreed to, rule 1 clause 1 authorizes one motion that the 
  Journal be read. Sec. 6, infra. When the reading is ordered, a motion 
  to amend the Journal is in order after the reading is completed. 
  Sec. 9, infra.
      The Speaker's announcement of his approval of the Journal no 
  longer requires the presence of a quorum. Manual Sec. 621. However, if 
  a Member objects to a vote on the question of approval, reading, or 
  amendment of the Journal on the grounds that a quorum is not present, 
  and a quorum is not present, a record vote is automatic. Rule XX 
  clause 6(a). That vote may be postponed to a designated place within 
  the same legislative day under rule XX clause 8(a). The vote may not 
  be reconsidered under rule I clause 1.
      Since the Journal is the official record of the proceedings of the 
  House, its approval is not subject to the requirement that it 
  correspond with the Congressional Record. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 14.2. The 
  Journal is controlling in the event of a discrepancy between the 
  Journal and the Record. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 8.1. There should be no 
  delay in the approval of the Journal merely because its description of 
  an action taken is inconsistent with the description of the same 
  matter in the Record. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 14.2. The reading of the 
  Journal may not be interrupted by a request to correct the Record. 
  Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 12.23.


  Sec. 5 . -- Precedence; Interruptions

      When the House convenes for a new legislative day, the approval of 
  the Journal is the first order of business after the daily prayer, 
  even if it

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  is the second legislative day on the same calendar day. Manual 
  Sec. 869. It follows that the transaction of House business, however 
  highly privileged, is not in order before such approval. Deschler Ch 
  21 Sec. 2.12. Thus, the approval of the Journal takes precedence over 
  reports from the Committee on Rules, as well as the presentation of 
  conference reports. Manual Sec. 1077; 6 Cannon Sec. 630; Deschler Ch 5 
  Sec. 12.2. Similarly, motions incident to the approval of the Journal, 
  such as a motion to amend it, take precedence over motions relating to 
  the consideration of bills. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 18.8. However, certain 
  procedural matters are permitted to intervene even though the approval 
  of the Journal is pending. They include:

    Simple motions to adjourn. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 12.3.
    Administration of the oath to a Member-elect. Deschler Ch 5 
         Sec. 12.5.
    Parliamentary inquiries. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 12.15.
    The reception of messages from the Senate (Deschler Ch 5 
         Sec. 12.12) or the President (Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 12.20) during 
         an interruption of the reading of the Journal.
    Requests that Calendar Wednesday business be dispensed with 
         where such requests are made before, but not during, the 
         reading. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. Sec. 12.10, 12.24.
    Questions of privilege affecting the House collectively. 2 
         Hinds Sec. 1630.
    Arraignments of impeachment. 6 Cannon Sec. 469.

      Where the House adjourns on consecutive days without having 
  approved the Journal of the previous day's proceedings, the Speaker 
  puts each question de novo in chronological order as the first order 
  of business after the daily prayer on the subsequent day. Manual 
  Sec. 621.
      The House may by unanimous consent specifically authorize that 
  certain proceedings be taken up prior to the Journal, or the Speaker 
  may declare a short recess under rule I clause 12. Deschler Ch 5 
  Sec. 12.8. The Speaker has the discretion to entertain unanimous-
  consent requests made before the taking up of the Journal, but he may 
  decline to do so if a reading thereof is pending. Deschler Ch 5 
  Sec. Sec. 12.9, 12.11.


  Sec. 6 . Motion That the Journal Be Read

      If the Speaker's approval of the Journal is disagreed to under 
  rule I clause 1, one motion that the Journal be read is in order:

      Member: Mr. Speaker, I move that the Journal be read.
      Speaker: The question is, shall the Journal be read?

      The motion is privileged but not debatable and may not be 
  reconsidered. Manual Sec. 621; Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 6.38.

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  Sec. 7 . Reading Practices and Customs

      Journal readings are conducted in accordance with the customs of 
  the House. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 11.1. When the Clerk reads the Journal 
  for the previous day, the Clerk omits such matters as the names of 
  Members responding to record votes and the texts of messages received. 
  The reading of the Journal by the Clerk may be terminated by unanimous 
  consent. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 11; 101-2, Mar. 19, 1990, p 4488. It also 
  may be suspended temporarily or waived in the event of disorder on the 
  floor or pending a discussion of the validity of the previous day's 
  adjournment. 2 Hinds Sec. 1630; 4 Hinds Sec. 2759.


  Sec. 8 . Motion to Approve

      A motion to approve the Journal is ordinarily unnecessary under 
  the modern practice of the House, because the Speaker is authorized 
  under rule I clause 1 to examine it and announce his approval thereof. 
  However, the Speaker's approval may be put to a vote on demand of a 
  Member. Manual Sec. 621. If the Speaker's approval is disagreed to, 
  and a reading of the Journal is completed, a motion that the Journal 
  be approved as read may be entertained:

      Member [after the Clerk has concluded the reading of the Journal]: 
    Mr. Speaker, I move that the Journal as read stand approved.
      Speaker: The question is, shall the Journal of the last day's 
    proceedings stand approved?

      If the motion to approve is adopted by the House, further motions 
  incident to the reading or correction of the Journal are out of order. 
  If the motion to approve is rejected by the House, the Journal is 
  subject to amendment unless the previous question is ordered. Sec. 9, 
  infra.
      The motion to approve the Journal as read should be made when the 
  Clerk completes his reading, but the Speaker may entertain such a 
  motion, even though it interrupts the reading, in the absence of a 
  timely objection thereto. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. Sec. 14.3-14.6.
      The motion to approve is debatable until the previous question is 
  ordered on that motion.
      The motion to approve may be disposed of by the adoption of a 
  motion to lay on the table, even though the previous question has been 
  demanded on the motion to approve. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 14.8. In such 
  cases the motion to table the motion to approve is entertained first. 
  Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 14.8.

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  Sec. 9 . Amendments and Corrections

      Errors or omissions in the previous day's Journal may be corrected 
  by motion or by unanimous consent:

      Member [after obtaining recognition]: Mr. Speaker, I move to amend 
    the Journal by inserting [or by striking or by striking and 
    inserting].

  The Member offering the motion is recognized under the hour rule. 
  Manual Sec. 621. The motion to amend the Journal is in order after the 
  Journal has been read. The motion to amend is not in order after the 
  approval of the Journal by the House. The motion to amend takes 
  precedence over the motion to approve but will not be admitted after 
  the previous question on the motion to approve has been demanded. 
  Manual Sec. 621; Deschler Ch 5 Sec. Sec. 13.2, 13.3.

      Matters extraneous to the Journal, such as an expression of an 
  opinion by a Member as to a ruling made by the Chair on the previous 
  legislative day, may not be offered by way of the motion to amend. 4 
  Hinds Sec. 2848.
      The motion to amend is applicable only to the Journal of the 
  previous day. Corrections relating to a Journal of a prior legislative 
  day are made by unanimous consent. Deschler Ch 5 Sec. 13.
      An amendment to the Journal, such as a motion to expunge a portion 
  thereof, should not be used as a substitute for a motion to 
  reconsider. 4 Hinds Sec. 2790. However, the House may decide what are 
  proceedings, even to the extent of omitting things actually done or of 
  recording things not done. Manual Sec. 71; 4 Hinds Sec. 2784. None of 
  the rulings on permissible amendments to correct the Journal had the 
  effect of collaterally changing the tabling of a motion to reconsider. 
  Manual Sec. 71.