[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House]
[Chapter 58. Voting]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                            CHAPTER 58 - VOTING

                              HOUSE PRACTICE

              A. Generally

  Sec.  1. In General; Kinds of Votes
  Sec.  2. The Electronic Voting System
  Sec.  3. Prohibitions Against Voting by Proxy or for Absent Members

              B. Role of the Chair; Duties

  Sec.  4. In General; Putting the Question
  Sec.  5. Voting by the Chair
  Sec.  6. Chair's Responsibility as to the Count

              C. Rights and Duties of Members

  Sec.  7. In General; Duty to Vote
  Sec.  8. Disqualification to Vote

              D. Nonrecord Votes

  Sec.  9. In General; Voice Votes
  Sec. 10. Voting by Division
  Sec. 11. Teller Votes

              E. Votes of Record

  Sec. 12. Yea-and-Nay Votes; Recorded Votes
  Sec. 13. Ordering the Yeas and Nays
  Sec. 14. Demanding the Yeas and Nays
  Sec. 15. Voting by the Yeas and Nays
  Sec. 16. Automatic Yea-and-Nay Votes
  Sec. 17. Roll Call Votes
  Sec. 18. Teller Votes With Clerks
  Sec. 19. Pairing

              F. Voting Periods; Time Limitations

  Sec. 20. In General; 15-minute Votes
  Sec. 21. Five-Minute Votes in the House; ``15-and-5'' Votes
  Sec. 22. Postponed and Clustered Votes in Committee of the Whole

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  Sec. 23. Postponed and Clustered Votes in the House

              G. Vote Changes, Corrections, and Announcements

  Sec. 24. In General; Vote Changes
  Sec. 25. Correcting the Congressional Record and the Journal
  Sec. 26. Recapitulations
  Sec. 27. Personal Explanations

              H. Majority Votes; Super-majority Votes

  Sec. 28. In General; Tie Votes
        Research References
          U.S. Const. art. I Sec. Sec. 5, 7
          5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5925-6105
          8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3065-3162
          Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 1-59
          Manual Sec. Sec. 75-80, 630, 631, 1012-1034


                               A. Generally


  Sec. 1 . In General; Kinds of Votes

                                 Generally

      The rules of the House identify four methods of voting that are of 
  regular use in the full House:

     Voice votes under rule I clause 6 in which Members express 
         their voting preference simply by calling out ``aye'' or ``no'' 
         in unison.
     Division votes under rule XX clause 1(a) in which Members 
         stand to be counted as either for or against a proposition.
     Yea-and-nay votes, which require the support of one-fifth of 
         the Members present under article I, section 5 of the 
         Constitution or which are ordered automatically when a Member 
         objects to a pending vote on the ground that a quorum is not 
         present under rule XX clause 6. Yea-and-nay votes usually are 
         taken by electronic device.
     Recorded votes under rule XX clause 1(b), which require the 
         support of one-fifth of a quorum (44 when a quourm is 218). A 
         recorded vote is considered to be a vote by the yeas and nays 
         when taken in the House.

      When the House is operating in the Committee of the Whole, all of 
  these commonly used methods of voting are available except for the 
  yeas and nays, which is a vote used only in the House. Under rule 
  XVIII clause 6(e), a recorded vote may be ordered in the Committee of 
  the Whole when

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  the demand is supported by at least 25 Members. The automatic vote by 
  the yeas and nays, when a vote is objected to on the grounds that a 
  quorum is not present, is not available in the Committee of the Whole.
      Sometimes these voting methods are used in various combinations, 
  one after the other, depending on the circumstances. In the usual 
  case, the Chair first puts a question to a vote by voice under rule I 
  clause 6. The Chair may initiate, or any Member may ask for, a 
  division vote. A record vote may be demanded before or after a 
  division vote.
      Less frequently used, but still available on a stand-by basis 
  under rule XX, are the following: (1) roll call votes, in which each 
  Member's response is given orally as the Clerk calls the roll in 
  alphabetical order (rule XX clause 3); and (2) votes by tellers with 
  clerks, in which each Member fills out and signs a vote tally card and 
  submits it to a designated clerk teller (rule XX clause 4).
      Rule XX clause 10 requires that the question on final passage of 
  general appropriation bills, budget resolutions, bills increasing 
  Federal income tax rates, or conference reports thereon be taken by 
  the yeas and nays. Article I, section 7 of the Constitution requires 
  that the question of passing a bill over the veto of the President 
  also must be by the yeas and nays. Under rule XXII clause 12, the vote 
  to close a conference committee meeting also is required to be taken 
  by the yeas and nays.
      All votes are in order only when the Chair puts the question. 
  Unauthorized votes, as where a Member asks for a ``straw'' vote or a 
  ``show of hands'' are not in order. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 2.3.
      For a discussion of voting in committees, see Committees.

                             Voting by Ballot

      Voting on an election in the House by ballot, although authorized 
  by rule XX clause 11, is largely obsolete. Manual Sec. 1034. There has 
  been no instance of voting by ballot under this rule since 1868, when 
  the managers of an impeachment proceeding were elected by ballot. 3 
  Hinds Sec. 2417.


  Sec. 2 . The Electronic Voting System

                                In General

      The electronic voting system was installed in the House Chamber in 
  1972 pursuant to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 and 
  adopted as a voting method by amendments to rule XX. Manual Sec. 1012. 
  The new system replaced the lengthy call of the roll and votes by 
  cards with the clerks. Instead, votes are conducted by a computerized 
  device that simultaneously receives and records votes cast by Members 
  during the voting pe

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  riod. A master computer processes voting information for immediate and 
  subsequent retrieval. Members may still vote by card with the clerks 
  in the well.

                   Verification of Vote; Changing Votes

      Some 44 electronic voting stations are available in the Chamber. 
  After using one of them, a Member may verify that his vote has been 
  properly recorded by reinserting his card in an alternate voting 
  station. Illumination of the button corresponding to the last vote 
  preference will indicate that the vote has been recorded by the 
  system. In one instance, where the voting system failed for one 
  minute, the Chair allowed Members additional time to check the 
  electronic display panel to verify whether their votes were properly 
  recorded. 103-1, Sept. 29, 1993, p 23030.
      A Member may change his vote--if more than five minutes remain or 
  on five-minute votes--by depressing one of the other pushbuttons. With 
  less than five minutes remaining during a 15-minute vote, changes must 
  be made in the well, as with votes cast after the voting stations have 
  been closed but before the Chair's announcement of the result. Manual 
  Sec. 1014; vote changes generally, see Sec. 25, infra.

                           Effect of Malfunction

      Rule XX clause 2(b) authorizes the Chair to conduct record votes 
  and quorum calls under the standby procedures prescribed in rule XX 
  when the electronic voting system malfunctions. For example, the Chair 
  may vacate the results of an electronic vote in progress when the 
  system malfunctions and direct that the record vote be conducted by 
  call of the roll under rule XX clause 3. Manual Sec. 1014. He also may 
  announce that Members who have been recorded before the malfunction of 
  the electronic device will be included in the new tally of those 
  voting. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.15. When the system again becomes 
  operative, its use resumes at the Chair's discretion. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 30 Sec. 31.11.
      The question whether the electronic voting system is functioning 
  reliably is in the discretion of the Chair, who may base a judgment on 
  certification by the Clerk. For example, the Speaker continued to use 
  the electronic system, even though the electronic display panel was 
  temporarily inoperative, where the voting stations continued in 
  operation and Members were able to verify their votes. On the other 
  hand, the Chair vacated the results of an electronic vote and directed 
  that the record vote be taken by call of the roll where the electronic 
  display panel malfunctioned, and the Chair could not obtain 
  verification from the Clerk that the vote would be recorded with 100 
  percent accuracy. Manual Sec. 1014. A malfunction of the

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  monitor at the majority or minority table will not prevent use of the 
  electronic system where an alternate monitor may be used. 93-2, Aug. 
  7, 1974, p 27219.


  Sec. 3 . Prohibitions Against Voting by Proxy or for Absent Members

      Whether in the House or the Committee of the Whole, Members must 
  vote in person. Manual Sec. 674; 7 Cannon Sec. 1014. No one other than 
  a Member may cast a vote or record a Member's presence. A Member may 
  not cast a vote on behalf of another Member, and an authorization to 
  that end is forbidden by rule III clause 2.
      The use of an electronic voting card belonging to a Member who is 
  in absentia--sometimes referred to as ``ghost voting''--is considered 
  a serious breach of ethics. A Member's participation in such activity, 
  either by direction or by subsequent acquiescence or ratification, is 
  a matter warranting sanction by the House. The House has reprimanded a 
  Member for failing to prevent unauthorized use of his voting card. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 3.16.


                       B. Role of the Chair; Duties


  Sec. 4 . In General; Putting the Question

      An essential step in bringing a pending proposition to a vote 
  occurs when the Speaker or Chairman states and then puts the question 
  as prescribed by rule I clause 6. Manual Sec. 630. It is a breach of 
  order for the Speaker to refuse to put a question that is in order. 
  Manual Sec. 304.
      A question may be put to a vote only by the Chair. It is not in 
  order for a Member having the floor to usurp the role of the Chair in 
  this regard, as by asking for a demonstration of support, such as a 
  ``straw vote'' before the question is put. Manual Sec. 630; Deschler-
  Brown Ch 30 Sec. 2.3. The proposition as stated by the Chair in 
  putting the question, and not as stated by the sponsoring Member, is 
  the proposition voted upon. 6 Cannon Sec. 247.
      Putting the question on engrossment and third reading before 
  passage of a bill or joint resolution is required by rule XVI clause 
  8. However, where a statute requires the vote to occur on final 
  passage immediately following the conclusion of general debate, the 
  Speaker puts the question on final passage without putting the 
  question on ordering the previous question or on engrossment and third 
  reading. 99-1, Apr. 23, 1985, p 9085.

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  Sec. 5 . Voting by the Chair

                               Right to Vote

      The Speaker has the same right to vote as other Members, and he 
  has exercised this right even in contravention of early House rules 
  attempting to limit his voting authority. Manual Sec. 631; 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5964, 5966. He may vote ``aye'' or ``no'' at any time before 
  the final announcement of the vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 21.2. On 
  an electronic vote, the Speaker may direct the Clerk to record his 
  vote and verifies that instruction by submitting a vote card. Manual 
  Sec. 631. On roll call votes, the Speaker's name is not called except 
  at his request, and then at the end of the roll. Manual Sec. 631. 
  Members, other than the Speaker, who are occupying the Chair vote by 
  submitting a voting card to the Clerk, who then enters the vote.
      In the early history of the House, Speakers exercised the right to 
  vote sparingly. 5 Hinds Sec. 5964 (note). In more recent Congresses, 
  it has become more common for Speakers to vote, especially on 
  important legislation.

                               Duty to Vote

      Under rule I clause 7, the Speaker is not required to vote 
  ``except when his vote would be decisive . . . .'' Manual Sec. 631. 
  The Speaker may vote to make a tie and thus defeat a measure or to 
  break a tie and thus pass or adopt a measure. 8 Cannon Sec. 3100; 
  Deschler Ch 6 Sec. 5.


  Sec. 6 . Chair's Responsibility as to the Count

      One of the responsibilities of the Speaker is to count the number 
  of Members rising in support of, or against, a pending proposition, as 
  where a vote is taken by division. One of the suppositions on which 
  parliamentary law is founded is that the Speaker will not betray his 
  duty to make an honest count of the vote. 5 Hinds Sec. 6002. The 
  integrity of the Chair in counting a vote is not subject to a direct 
  challenge. Manual Sec. 629; 8 Cannon Sec. 3115. Appeals may not be 
  taken from the Chair's count of the number rising to demand a vote. 8 
  Cannon Sec. 3105; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 33.5. An appeal also will 
  not lie from a count of those supporting the demand for the yeas and 
  nays (Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 26.8) or from a decision refusing 
  recapitulation of a vote (8 Cannon Sec. 3128). The remedy of a Member 
  dissatisfied with the Speaker's count of Members rising, as on a 
  division vote, is to demand a record vote. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3115-
  3118.

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                      C. Rights and Duties of Members


  Sec. 7 . In General; Duty to Vote

      The casting of a vote (or the refusal to cast a vote) is the 
  responsibility of the individual Member. Although rule III clause 1 
  states that Members ``shall vote on each question put . . . '', in 
  practice the House does not enforce this provision. Manual Sec. 671. 
  The Speaker has no power to compel a Member to vote. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 5942. House actions to compel a Member to cast a vote have been 
  uniformly unsuccessful. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5943-5948. By the same 
  token, the House does not excuse a Member from voting other than by 
  granting ``leaves of absence'' under rule III clause 1. A unanimous-
  consent request in the Committee of the Whole to excuse a Member from 
  voting is out of order. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 3.3.


  Sec. 8 . Disqualification to Vote

                      Generally; Conviction of Crime

      The precedents suggest that the House has no authority to deprive 
  a Member of his inherent right to vote. Manual Sec. 672; 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5952, 5966, 5967; 8 Cannon Sec. 3072.
      Rule XXIII clause 10, part of the Code of Official Conduct, 
  provides that a Member who is convicted of a crime for which a prison 
  sentence of two or more years could be imposed ``should'' refrain from 
  voting in the House or the Committee of the Whole until reinstatement 
  of the presumption of his innocence or until he is reelected to the 
  House. Manual Sec. 1095. The term ``conviction'' in clause 10 is 
  construed to include a plea of guilty or a certified finding of guilt 
  even though sentencing may occur later. H. Rept. 94-76.

                      Personal or Pecuniary Interest

      Rule III clause 1 provides that a Member is not required to vote 
  where he has a ``direct personal or pecuniary'' interest in the 
  question. Manual Sec. 671. In rare instances the Speaker has ruled 
  that a Member, because of his personal interest in the outcome, should 
  not vote. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5955, 5958. However, ordinarily the Member 
  himself--and not the Chair--determines this question. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5950, 5951; 8 Cannon Sec. 3071; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 3.1. The Speaker will not sustain a point of order challenging 
  the personal or pecuniary interest of Members in a pending question, 
  and will defer to the judgment of each Member as to the directness of 
  his interest. Manual Sec. 672.

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      A Member may disqualify himself from voting on a measure because 
  of a personal or pecuniary interest in the measure being considered 
  and thus announce an intention to vote ``present'' on the issue. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 3.5, 3.7.
      Where the subject of a vote before the House affects an entire 
  class, the personal interest of Members who belong to the class is not 
  such as to disqualify them from voting. 5 Hinds Sec. 5952. In one 
  instance, for example, during consideration of a bill providing 
  financial assistance to States and political subdivisions, the Speaker 
  indicated that the bill was sufficiently general in scope that Members 
  holding municipal bonds or who had other financial interests dependent 
  on the fiscal affairs of a particular city would merely be within a 
  class of similarly situated individuals whose pecuniary interest would 
  not be so direct as to preclude them from voting on the bill. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 3.10.


                            D. Nonrecord Votes


  Sec. 9 . In General; Voice Votes

      Votes not of record are those in which no official public record 
  is required of the names or votes of the participating Members. There 
  are two types of nonrecord votes. The first is a voice vote under rule 
  I clause 6. The second is a vote by division under rule XX clause 
  1(a). Authority for demanding a vote by tellers was eliminated from 
  the rules in the 103d Congress. Sec. 11, infra.
      Voice votes are the simplest and most commonly used of all voting 
  procedures. Such votes are based on the volume and diversity of sound 
  produced by Members as they respond either ``aye'' or ``no'' to the 
  question put by the Chair. Manual Sec. 630; 5 Hinds Sec. 5926. If the 
  Chair is in doubt about the result, or if any Member requests it, a 
  division vote is in order. Manual Sec. 1012. In a division vote, those 
  in favor and then those opposed are asked to stand and be counted. 
  Sec. 10, infra.
      In most situations, the Speaker must put the pending question to a 
  voice vote under rule I clause 6 before entertaining a demand for a 
  recorded vote or the yeas and nays. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 7.1.


  Sec. 10 . Voting by Division

                              Generally; Form

      A demand for a division (standing) vote is in order following the 
  taking of a voice vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 17.1. Under rule XX 
  clause 1,

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  after a voice vote, if the Speaker is in doubt or a division is called 
  for, ``[T]he House shall divide . . . . Those in favor of the question 
  shall first rise from their seats to be counted, and then those 
  opposed.'' Manual Sec. 1012. Only one demand for a vote by division on 
  a pending question is in order. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 11.9.

      Member: Mr. Speaker, I demand a division.
      Chair: A division is demanded. As many as are in favor will rise 
    and stand until counted. . . .
      The ayes will be seated and the noes will stand.

                                Timeliness

      A demand for a division comes too late when the Member making it 
  is not on his feet seeking recognition at the time the Chair announces 
  the result of the voice vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 9.9. However, 
  the announcement of a voice vote does not preclude a subsequent demand 
  for a division providing no intervening business has transpired and 
  the proponent of a division was on his feet seeking recognition at the 
  time of the announcement. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 9.5.

        Precedence of Demand for Recorded Vote or Yea-and-Nay Vote

      A demand for the yeas and nays in the House under article I, 
  section 5 of the Constitution takes precedence over a demand for a 
  division. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 14.1.
      A demand for the yeas and nays may be made before or after a 
  division vote, or even while a division vote is being announced. 5 
  Hinds Sec. 6039. However, the demand may not interrupt a division 
  while the Chair is counting. Manual Sec. 1012; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 10.3. A demand for a division vote is not precluded by the fact 
  that the yeas and nays have been refused. 8 Cannon Sec. 3103.
      When the Chair has put the question and is in doubt as to the 
  result, the Chair may, on his own initiative under rule XX clause 1(a) 
  conduct a vote by division before entertaining a demand for a record 
  vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 9.2. He also may entertain a demand 
  for a record vote without first conducting a division. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 30 Sec. 9.3. However, his count cannot be interrupted by a demand 
  for a record vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 10.4.

                      Interruptions During the Count

      The Chair generally declines to recognize Members while he is 
  counting those standing on a division vote. Parliamentary inquiries 
  are entertained before (not after) the Chair asks those in favor of 
  the proposition to rise. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 10.2. Under rule 
  XXII clause 7, a conference re

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  port may not be presented while the House is dividing. Manual 
  Sec. 1077. Messages are not received during a division. Manual 
  Sec. 562.
      Because a vote by division takes no cognizance of Members present 
  but not voting, the number of votes counted by division does not 
  necessarily establish a lack of a quorum. Manual Sec. 1012. 
  Accordingly, the Chair may interrupt the count of Members standing in 
  favor of a proposition in order to count for a quorum pursuant to a 
  point of order that a quorum is not present. Manual Sec. 1012.


  Sec. 11 . Teller Votes

      Under the earlier practice of the House, a Member could demand a 
  teller vote if supported by sufficient Members. 5 Hinds Sec. 5986. The 
  rule authorizing a demanded teller vote was abolished in 1993. Manual 
  Sec. 1013. Under rule XX clause 4, only the Speaker may direct a vote 
  by tellers. For an explanation of the method of taking teller votes, 
  see Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 16. For a discussion of teller votes and 
  the Speaker's discretion, see Sec. 18, infra.


                            E. Votes of Record


  Sec. 12 . Yea-and-Nay Votes; Recorded Votes

                      Yea-and-Nay Votes Distinguished

      There are two primary methods of taking a vote of record in the 
  House of Representatives. Voting by the yeas and nays under article I, 
  section 5 of the Constitution is the preeminent method of voting and 
  its initiation is to be distinguished from the recorded vote available 
  under separate House rules. Rule XX clause 6 also orders the yeas and 
  nays in the absence of quorum whenever a vote is objected to for lack 
  of a quorum. Manual Sec. 1025. Yea-and-nay votes are not in order in 
  the Committee of the Whole. 4 Hinds Sec. 4722. Recorded votes, on the 
  other hand, are available in both the House (rule XX clause 1(b)) and 
  the Committee of the Whole (rule XVIII clause 6(e)).
      Yea-and-nay votes require the support of only one-fifth of those 
  present. Sec. 14, infra. On the other hand, a recorded vote in the 
  House requires the support of one-fifth of a quorum (44 when a quorum 
  is 218). Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 34.1. A request for a recorded vote 
  in the Committee of the Whole must be supported by 25 Members under 
  rule XVIII clause 6(e). It is the Chair's statement of the demand, and 
  not the Member's request,

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  that controls whether one-fifth of those present or one-fifth of a 
  quorum is required to support the demand. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 2.2.

                         Demanding a Recorded Vote

      Under the rules, a recorded vote is in order in the House or in 
  the Committee of the Whole after the question has been put to a voice 
  vote:

      Chair: The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
    from __________. [voice vote]
      Member: Mr. Speaker [or Mr. Chairman], I demand a recorded vote.
      Chair: The gentleman asks for a recorded vote. As many as are in 
    favor of taking this vote by a recorded vote will stand and remain 
    standing until counted.

      A demand for a recorded vote in the House under rule XX clause 1 
  must be supported by one-fifth of a quorum (usually 44 Members). 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 34.1. The demand must be supported by 25 
  Members in the Committee of the Whole under rule XVIII clause 6(e). 
  The count of Members standing to support a demand for a recorded vote 
  is not subject to challenge by appeal. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 33.5.
      In the House, a request for a recorded vote must yield to the 
  constitutional prerogative of a Member to demand the yeas and nays. 
  Sec. 14, infra. However, a request for a recorded vote may be made 
  following a demand for the yeas and nays, if that demand is withdrawn 
  or does not receive the required support. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. Sec. 33.2, 33.3. Even the Member who has withdrawn a demand for 
  the yeas and nays may request a recorded vote under rule XX clause 
  1(b). Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 33.4. Where one-fifth of the Members 
  present have refused to order the yeas and nays on a motion, and that 
  motion later becomes the unfinished business of the House, a Member 
  may still demand a recorded vote on the motion but may not renew his 
  demand for the yeas and nays. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 55.5.

           Timeliness of Demand for Recorded Vote; Interruptions

      A request for a recorded vote is in order only after the Chair has 
  put the question to a voice vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 7.1. It 
  cannot interrupt a voice vote or a vote by division that is in 
  progress. Manual Sec. 1012; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 7.1. The demand 
  is not timely if the Member making it is not on his feet seeking 
  recognition at the time that the result of the vote is announced by 
  the Chair. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 33.18. However, a Member's demand 
  for a recorded vote may be made after the Chair announces the result 
  of a division vote if no other business has intervened. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 30 Sec. 9.5.

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      A demand for a recorded vote on an amendment comes too late after 
  the amendment has been voted on and disposed of and the Chair has 
  inquired as to the purpose of another Member rising. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  30 Sec. Sec. 24.6, 33.17. However, a mere inquiry relating to a 
  pending motion, raised after the Chair has announced the result of a 
  voice vote, does not constitute such intervening business as to 
  preclude the right of a Member to demand a recorded vote on the 
  pending motion. Manual Sec. 1012. If the demand comes too late, it is 
  certainly within the province of the Chair to recognize for a 
  unanimous-consent request to vacate proceedings and thereby set the 
  stage for putting the question a second time so a recorded vote can be 
  demanded. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 33.18.

                      Repetition or Renewal of Demand

      Only one request for a recorded vote on a pending question is in 
  order. Manual Sec. 1012. Thus, a request for a recorded vote on a 
  pending question having been refused, a second request is not in order 
  following a division vote on that question. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 33.7.
      A similar rule is followed in the Committee of the Whole. Where 
  the Committee has refused a request for a recorded vote, the request 
  may be renewed only by unanimous consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 33.9. This is so, even where the absence of a quorum is disclosed 
  immediately following the Chair's announcement of his refusal or where 
  a quorum call has intervened. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 33.10, 
  33.11. However, the request remains pending where the Chair had 
  interrupted his count of Members standing in support of the demand in 
  order to count for a quorum. 97-2, Aug. 5, 1982, p 19658. For a 
  request to be once denied, the Chair must have finalized his count. In 
  one instance, the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, having 
  announced that an insufficient number of Members had arisen in support 
  of a request for a recorded vote on an amendment (but having hedged 
  that announcement with the word ``apparently'' and having refrained 
  from stating the conclusion that the recorded vote was refused), 
  nevertheless entertained a point of no quorum, tacitly treating the 
  request for a recorded vote as not yet finalized. 107-1, Oct. 11, 
  2001, p ____

                           Withdrawal of Demand

      A demand for a recorded vote may be withdrawn without unanimous 
  consent before the Chair finalizes his count. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. Sec. 33.20, 33.21.

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                           Postponement of Vote

      For a discussion of the Chair's authority to postpone votes in the 
  House and in the Committee of the Whole, see Sec. Sec. 22, 23, infra.


  Sec. 13 . Ordering the Yeas and Nays

                         In General; When Required

      The yeas and nays usually are in order only after they are 
  demanded by a Member and the demand is supported by a sufficient 
  number of Members. Sec. 14, infra. However, in some cases the yeas and 
  nays are required by law or by House rule. Under article I, section 7 
  of the Constitution, a vote by the yeas and nays is required to pass a 
  bill over the President's veto. 4 Hinds Sec. 3520; 7 Cannon Sec. 1110; 
  see also Veto of Bills.
      The yeas and nays are to be ``considered as ordered'' when the 
  question is put on certain measures such as a bill providing general 
  appropriations or income tax rate increases or a concurrent resolution 
  on the budget. Rule XX clause 10. The yeas and nays are automatically 
  ordered under the House rules when a vote has been objected to for 
  lack of a quorum, thereby precipitating a simultaneous quorum call. 
  Sec. 16, infra. A vote by the yeas and nays is required to close a 
  conference committee meeting under rule XXII clause 12. Manual 
  Sec. 1093. Such a vote also may be required by statute. See, e.g., 50 
  USC Sec. 1545 (War Powers Resolution); 50 USC Sec. 1622 (termination 
  of national emergency).

                            Effect of Ordering

      The ordering of the yeas and nays ordinarily brings the pending 
  proposition to a vote but does not necessarily preclude all other 
  business. A motion to adjourn may be admitted after the yeas and nays 
  are ordered and before the vote has begun. 5 Hinds Sec. 5366. 
  Consideration of a conference report or a motion to reconsider the 
  vote by which the yeas and nays have been ordered also has been 
  permitted to intervene. Manual Sec. 80; 5 Hinds Sec. 6029; 8 Cannon 
  Sec. 2790.

                           Effect of Adjournment

      An order for the yeas and nays remains in effect during an 
  adjournment and is taken up whenever the bill again comes before the 
  House. 8 Cannon Sec. 3108. However, should a quorum fail to vote and 
  the House adjourn, the question recurs de novo when the bill again 
  comes before the House. Deschler Ch 20 Sec. Sec. 8.2, 10.17.

[[Page 922]]

  Sec. 14 . Demanding the Yeas and Nays

                                In General

      A demand for the yeas and nays is in order after the question has 
  been put to a voice vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 7.1. However, a 
  vote by the yeas and nays is taken only if a sufficient number of 
  Members rise in support of the demand. Under article I, section 5 of 
  the Constitution, the demand must be supported by one-fifth of the 
  Members present. Manual Sec. Sec. 75, 77.

      Member: Mr. Speaker, I demand the yeas and nays.
      Speaker: The yeas and nays are demanded. As many as are in favor 
    of taking this vote by yeas and nays will rise and remain standing 
    until counted.
      (So many) have risen, not a sufficient number, and the yeas and 
    nays are refused. [Or] (So many) have risen, a sufficient number, 
    and the yeas and nays are ordered.

      It is well established that a quorum is not necessary to the 
  ordering of the yeas and nays. Manual Sec. 76; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6016-
  6028. In ascertaining whether one-fifth of those present support a 
  demand for the yeas and nays, the Speaker counts the entire number 
  present as well as those who rise in favor of the demand. 8 Cannon 
  Sec. Sec. 3111, 3120. A request for a rising of those opposed to the 
  demand is not in order. 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3112-3114. The Chair 
  ordinarily first counts those supporting the demand and then counts 
  the House. Latecomers in support of the demand are included in the 
  count until it is closed by the Chair. Manual Sec. 78. The Speaker's 
  count of the House on this question is not subject to appeal. Manual 
  Sec. 78.

                               When in Order

      The Speaker must put the question before a demand for the yeas and 
  nays is in order. Manual Sec. 76. The demand is in order after the 
  Speaker has put the question to a voice vote, is announcing the result 
  of a division, and even after the announcement of such a vote if the 
  House has not passed on to other business. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6039-
  6041. However, a demand for the yeas and nays comes too late after the 
  Speaker has put the question on a motion and announced the result and 
  the House has proceeded to other business. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 24.6. It is likewise untimely where the Chair has put a question 
  to a voice vote, announced the result, and by unanimous consent laid 
  the motion to reconsider on the table. Deschler-Brown Ch 29 Sec. 8.25.

[[Page 923]]

                           Precedence of Demand

      Being of constitutional origin, a demand for the yeas and nays in 
  the House takes precedence over a demand for a recorded vote. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 33.2. A demand for the yeas and nays 
  likewise takes precedence over a demand for a division vote. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 30 Sec. 14.1.

                 Demands as Dilatory; Repetition of Demand

      The constitutional provision authorizing a demand for the yeas and 
  nays is liberally construed. 8 Cannon Sec. 3110. The demand may be 
  made by any Member and cannot be denied merely on the ground that it 
  is dilatory. 5 Hinds Sec. 5737; 8 Cannon Sec. 3107. However, the yeas 
  and nays having been refused once may not be demanded again on the 
  same question. 5 Hinds Sec. 6029. It is not in order during the 
  various processes of a division vote to repeat a demand for the yeas 
  and nays that has been rejected. 5 Hinds Sec. 6030.

                                Withdrawal

      When the demand for the yeas and nays has been supported by one-
  fifth of the Members present, it is too late for the Member making the 
  demand to withdraw it except by unanimous consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  30 Sec. 24.8.


  Sec. 15 . Voting by the Yeas and Nays

                                In General

      Under the earlier practice, yea-and-nay votes were cast in 
  response to the Clerk's call of the roll of Members in alphabetical 
  order. Manual Sec. 1012. Today, yea-and-nay votes almost invariably 
  are cast by use of the electronic voting system. However, the Speaker 
  has the discretion under rule XX clause 3 to have the Clerk call the 
  roll for the yeas and nays. Manual Sec. 1015. The Speaker may direct 
  the Clerk to call the roll, in lieu of taking the vote by electronic 
  device, when the voting system is temporarily inoperative. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 31.8-31.10.

                              Reconsideration

      A motion to reconsider a vote ordering the yeas and nays or 
  refusing the yeas and nays is in order. Manual Sec. 79; 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5692, 6029; 8 Cannon Sec. 2790. A yea-and-nay vote itself is 
  likewise subject to reconsideration. If the House (by a majority vote) 
  agrees to reconsider, the yeas and nays again may be ordered (by one-
  fifth of those present). 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5689-5691. However, if the 
  House, having reconsidered, again orders the yeas and nays, a second 
  motion to reconsider is not in order. 5 Hinds Sec. 6037.

[[Page 924]]

                        Disclosure of Member's Vote

      A Member's vote, whether ``yea,'' ``nay,'' or ``present,'' appears 
  in the Congressional Record and, as required by article I, section 5 
  of the Constitution, in the House Journal. Manual Sec. 75. However, 
  there is no requirement that a Member's vote be announced publicly 
  during the vote. Manual Sec. 76.


  Sec. 16 . Automatic Yea-and-Nay Votes

      Any nonrecord vote in the House may be objected to for lack of a 
  quorum under rule XX clause 6, thereby precipitating, in the absence 
  of a quourm, a quorum call and a simultaneous automatic ordering of 
  the yeas and nays. 6 Cannon Sec. 697; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 23. 
  Clause 6 provides that ``[w]hen a quorum fails to vote on a question, 
  a quorum is not present, and objection is made for that cause . . . . 
  there shall be a call of the House . . . . and the yeas and nays . . . 
  . shall at the same time be considered as ordered.'' Manual Sec. 1025. 
  An automatic call under this rule is not in order in Committee of the 
  Whole. Manual Sec. 1026.
      The Speaker may direct that an automatic vote in the House be 
  taken by electronic device, or may, in his discretion, direct the 
  Clerk to call the roll. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.9.
      The automatic call and vote that ensues under rule XX clause 6 
  when a quorum fails to vote is applicable whether the House is voting 
  viva voce, by division, by tellers, or by the yeas and nays, but does 
  not apply when the House is voting on some question that does not 
  require a quorum, such as a motion incidental to a call of the House. 
  4 Hinds Sec. Sec. 2994, 3053; 6 Cannon Sec. Sec. 681, 691, 697, 703. 
  Although a quorum is not required to adjourn, a point of no quorum on 
  a negative vote on adjournment, if sustained, precipitates a call of 
  the House under the rule. 6 Cannon Sec. 700; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 11.4.
      For a further discussion of quorums and voting, see Quorums.


  Sec. 17 . Roll Call Votes

                                In General

      Because of the availability of the electronic voting system, roll 
  call votes are rarely taken under the modern practice. Today roll call 
  votes ordinarily are taken only during the process of electing a 
  Speaker--where the Members respond by surname--or in the event of a 
  malfunction of the electronic voting system. Manual Sec. 27; Deschler-
  Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.15. Nevertheless, the Speaker has broad 
  discretionary power to invoke a roll call vote,

[[Page 925]]

  in lieu of taking the vote by electronic device, even where a quorum 
  fails to vote on any question and objection is made for that reason. 
  Manual Sec. 1014; Deschler Ch 20 Sec. 4.2.
      The Clerk calls the roll of Members in alphabetical order by 
  surname. 5 Hinds Sec. 6046. The Speaker's name may be called at the 
  close of the roll. 5 Hinds Sec. 5965. The roll is called twice--the 
  second roll call being limited to those Members who failed to respond 
  to the first call. 4 Hinds Sec. 3052. A Member may cast his vote even 
  after his name has been called provided the result of the vote has not 
  been announced. Manual Sec. 1015.

                               Interruptions

      A motion to adjourn may be offered before the roll call begins. 4 
  Hinds Sec. 3050. Under rule XX clause 6(c), after Members have had the 
  requisite opportunity to respond by the yeas and nays but before a 
  result has been announced, a motion that the House adjourn is in order 
  if seconded by a majority of those present (to be ascertained by 
  actual count by the Speaker). If the House adjourns on such a motion, 
  the yeas and nays are vacated.
      A roll call may be interrupted for the reception of messages and 
  by the arrival of the hour fixed for adjournment sine die. Manual 
  Sec. 1018; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6715-6718. However, a roll call, once 
  under way, may not be interrupted by:

     A motion to adjourn (except as provided in rule XX clause 
         6(c)). 5 Hinds Sec. 6053.
     A parliamentary inquiry, unless related to the vote. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 6054, 6058; 8 Cannon Sec. 3132.
     A question of personal privilege. 5 Hinds Sec. 6058; 6 Cannon 
         Sec. Sec. 554, 564.
     The arrival of the hour fixed for another order of business. 5 
         Hinds Sec. 6056.
     The arrival of the hour fixed for a recess. 5 Hinds 
         Sec. Sec. 6054, 6055; 8 Cannon Sec. 3133.
     A conference report. 5 Hinds Sec. 6443.


  Sec. 18 . Teller Votes With Clerks

      ``Tellers with clerks'' refers to a voting method adopted in 1971 
  to make it possible to record the votes of individual Members in the 
  Committee of the Whole. Rule XX clause 4; Manual Sec. 1019. Under this 
  rarely used voting practice, the Chair has the discretion to order the 
  Clerk to ``tell the names of those voting on each side of the question 
  . . . . '' Each Member is given a tally card on which he enters his 
  voting preference and his signature. The Members then deposit these 
  cards in ballot boxes located in the Chamber, with the ``aye'' boxes 
  located up the aisle at the rear of

[[Page 926]]

  the Chamber at the Chair's left and the ``no'' boxes located up the 
  aisle at the Chair's right.
      Tellers with clerks as a voting method fell into disuse in 1972 
  with the adoption of the more efficient electronic voting system. See 
  Sec. 2, supra. Tellers with clerks remains as a stand-by procedure to 
  be used in the event of malfunction of the electronic system or in the 
  event the Clerk is unable to call the roll. Manual Sec. 1019.


  Sec. 19 . Pairing

                       General Pairs; Specific Pairs

      The practice of announcing general pairs was deleted from the 
  rules in the 106th Congress. For a history of the former rule, see 
  Manual Sec. 1031.

                              ``Live'' Pairs

      Although rarely used, the announcement of live pairs, which 
  involve an agreement between one Member who is present and voting and 
  another on the opposite side of the question, who is absent, is still 
  permitted under rule XX clause 3. Manual Sec. 1015. By agreement, the 
  voting Member withdraws his vote and records himself as ``present'' by 
  submitting an amber ``present'' card. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 4.

      Member: Mr. Speaker, on the vote just recorded I voted ``aye'' (or 
    ``no''). I have a pair with the gentleman from __________ and desire 
    to change my vote and be recorded as ``Present.''
      Chair: The Clerk will call the gentleman's name.

      Such announcements must be made before the vote is finally 
  declared. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 4.11.


                    F. Voting Periods; Time Limitations


  Sec. 20 . In General; 15-minute Votes

                              15-minute Votes

      Under rule XX clause 2(a) and rule XVIII clause 6(g), Members have 
  a minimum of 15 minutes from the time of the ordering of a record vote 
  in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. Members who are in the 
  well at the expiration of that time will be permitted to vote before 
  the announcement of the result by the Chair. The Chair has the 
  discretion to close the vote and to announce the result at any time 
  after 15 minutes have elapsed or to allow additional time for Members 
  to record their votes before announcing the result. Manual Sec. 1014. 
  Thus, no point of order lies against

[[Page 927]]

  the decision of the Chair in his discretion to close a vote taken by 
  electronic device after 15 minutes have elapsed. Manual Sec. 1014.
      At the beginning of a new Congress, the Speaker has inserted in 
  the Congressional Record his announcement that, in order to expedite 
  the conduct of votes by electronic device, the cloakrooms were 
  directed not to forward to the Chair individual requests to hold a 
  vote open. The Speaker has also announced that each occupant of the 
  Chair would have his full support in striving to close each electronic 
  vote at the earliest opportunity and that Members should not rely on 
  signals relayed from outside the Chamber to assume that votes will be 
  held open until they arrive. At the same time, the Chair will not 
  close a vote while a Member is in the well attempting to vote. At the 
  beginning of the 108th Congress, the Speaker repeatedly reminded 
  Members of this policy and instituted a new practice of reminding 
  Members when two minutes remain on the clock for each vote. Manual 
  Sec. 1014.
      It is not in order, even by unanimous consent, to permit a Member 
  to have his vote recorded after the announcement of the result, even 
  though the Member states that he was in the Chamber before the 
  announcement. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 36.2, 36.4. However, the 
  Member may, by unanimous consent, announce how he would have voted if 
  permitted. See Sec. Sec. 25-27, infra.

                   Voting Alerts; Bell and Light System

      A legislative call system alerts Members to the taking of a vote 
  as well as to the kind of vote and to the duration of the voting 
  period. This system uses bells and lights that are activated through 
  clocks located throughout the House and its adjacent office buildings. 
  Manual Sec. 1016. Members should not rely on signals relayed from 
  outside the Chamber to assume that votes will be held open until they 
  arrive. Manual Sec. 1014. A mechanical malfunction of this call system 
  does not result in the retaking of a vote except by unanimous consent. 
  8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3153, 3154. Such failure does not permit a Member 
  to be recorded following the conclusion of the call. Manual Sec. 1016. 
  In one instance, the Committee of the Whole agreed by unanimous 
  consent to vacate a recorded vote on an amendment, permitting a new 
  recorded vote to be taken, where it was alleged that erroneous clocks 
  outside the Chamber and on the televised proceedings had misled 
  Members as to the amount of time available. 98-1, May 3, 1983, p 
  10773.

[[Page 928]]

      The system, comprising bells and lights, is used as follows:

     Tellers--one ring and one light on left. Because the demand 
         for teller votes was discontinued at the beginning of the 103d 
         Congress, this signal is no longer used.
     Recorded vote, yeas and nays, or automatic record vote taken 
         either by electronic system or by use of tellers with ballot 
         cards--two bells and two lights on left indicate a vote by 
         which Members are recorded by name. Bells are repeated five 
         minutes after the first ring.
     Recorded vote, yeas and nays, or automatic record electronic 
         vote to be followed immediately by possible five-minute vote 
         under rule XX clause 8(c) or 9 or rule XVIII clause 6(f) or 
         6(g)--two bells rung at beginning of first vote, followed by 
         five bells, indicate that Chair will order five-minute votes if 
         record vote is ordered immediately thereafter. Two bells 
         repeated five minutes after first ring. Five bells on each 
         subsequent electronic vote.
     Record vote--two bells, followed by a brief pause, then two 
         bells, indicate such a vote taken by a call of the roll in the 
         House. The bells are repeated when the Clerk reaches the 
         ``R's'' in the first call of the roll.
     Regular quorum call--three bells and three lights on left 
         indicate a quorum call either in the House or in Committee of 
         the Whole by electronic system or by clerks. The bells are 
         repeated five minutes after the first ring. Where quorum call 
         is by call of the roll, three bells followed by a brief pause, 
         then three more bells, with the process repeated when the Clerk 
         reaches the ``R's'' in the first call of the roll, are used.
     Regular quorum call in Committee of the Whole, which may be 
         followed immediately by five-minute electronic recorded vote--
         three bells rung at beginning of quorum call, followed by five 
         bells, indicate that the Chair will order five-minute vote if 
         record vote is ordered on pending question. Three bells 
         repeated five minutes after first ring. Five bells for record 
         vote on pending question if ordered.
     Notice or short quorum call in Committee of the Whole--one 
         long bell followed by three regular bells, and three lights on 
         left, indicate that the Chair has exercised his discretion 
         under rule XVIII clause 6 and will vacate proceedings when a 
         quorum of the Committee appears. Bells are repeated every five 
         minutes unless the call is vacated by the ringing of one long 
         bell and the extinguishing of three lights or the call is 
         converted into a regular quorum call and three regular bells 
         are rung.
     Adjournment--four bells and four lights on left.
     A five-minute vote--five bells and five lights on left.
     Recess of the House--six bells and six lights on left.
     Civil Defense Warning--twelve bells, sounded at two-second 
         intervals, with six lights illuminated.
     The light on the far right--seven--indicates that the House is 
         in session.

      When by unanimous consent waiving the five-minute minimum set by 
  rule XX clause 9, the House authorized the Speaker to put remaining 
  post

[[Page 929]]

  poned questions to two-minute electronic votes, two bells were rung. 
  Manual Sec. 1016.


  Sec. 21 . Five-Minute Votes in the House; ``15-and-5'' Votes

                                 Generally

      Under rule XX clause 9, the Speaker may reduce to five minutes the 
  time for electronic voting on any question arising without intervening 
  business after an electronic vote on another question if notice of 
  possible five-minute voting was issued before the first electronic 
  vote.
      These votes, often referred to as ``15-and-5'' votes, are in order 
  before other business intervenes. For example, rule XX clause 9 does 
  not give the Chair the authority to reduce to five minutes the vote on 
  a motion to recommit occurring immediately after a recorded vote on an 
  amendment reported from the Committee of the Whole, and the Chair will 
  not entertain a unanimous-consent request to reduce that vote to five 
  minutes after Members have already left the Chamber with the 
  expectation that the next vote will be a 15-minute vote. Manual 
  Sec. 1032.

                           By Unanimous Consent

      The House may by unanimous consent authorize the Speaker to reduce 
  the time to respond to a recorded vote. By unanimous consent, the 
  House reduced to five minutes the minimum time for a required record 
  vote on a motion to close a conference meeting, to be taken 
  immediately following another record vote previously postponed. 98-1, 
  Aug. 1, 1983, p 22029. The Chair has declined to recognize for a 
  unanimous-consent request to reduce to five minutes the first vote in 
  a series because the bell and light system would not give adequate 
  notice of an initial five-minute vote. Under extraordinary 
  circumstances, when many consecutive votes are taken, the House may 
  set the response time at two minutes by unanimous consent. Manual 
  Sec. 1016.


  Sec. 22 . Postponed and Clustered Votes in Committee of the Whole

                             Five-Minute Votes

      Although 15 minutes is the usual minimum time for Members to 
  respond on recorded vote in the Committee of the Whole, the Chair has 
  the discretion, under some circumstances, to reduce such time to five 
  minutes. The Chairman has the discretion under rule XVIII clause 6 to 
  reduce to five minutes the period for a recorded vote following a 
  regular 15-minute quorum call. Manual Sec. 982. An announcement of a 
  possible five-minute vote is normally made by the Chair in advance. 
  98-1, May 4, 1983, p 11063.

[[Page 930]]

      The Chair also has the discretion to order five-minute votes where 
  an electronic vote is pending on two or more amendments, the vote has 
  been taken on the first pending amendment, and there is no intervening 
  business between the first and subsequent amendments. In that case, 
  the Chair may in his discretion reduce the time for voting on the 
  remaining amendments to five minutes. Rule XVIII clause 6(f). A vote 
  by division is not such intervening business as would preclude a five-
  minute vote under rule XVIII. Manual Sec. 984.

                       Postponed Votes on Amendments

      Under rule XVIII clause 6(g), the Chairman of the Committee of the 
  Whole may postpone a request for a recorded vote on any amendment. 
  Proceedings on that amendment may be resumed at the Chair's 
  discretion. Clause 6(g) further permits the Chair to reduce to five 
  minutes the time for electronic voting on any postponed question that 
  follows another electronic vote without intervening business, provided 
  the first vote in any series is a 15-minute vote. Manual Sec. 984.
      Before the adoption of rule XVIII clause 6(g), the Chairman of the 
  Committee of the Whole could not entertain a unanimous-consent request 
  to reduce below 15 minutes the minimum time for recorded votes or to 
  postpone and cluster votes on amendments. Manual Sec. 984. Special 
  rules of the House before adoption of clause 6(g) routinely provided 
  the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole authority to postpone and 
  cluster requests for recorded votes. When a special rule provided such 
  authority, the Chair held the following (also applicable to the 
  Chair's authority under the standing rule):

     The use of postponement authority, and the order of resuming 
         proceedings on postponed questions, is entirely within the 
         discretion of the Chair.
     An amendment pending as unfinished business, where proceedings 
         on a request for a recorded vote have been postponed, may be 
         modified by unanimous consent on the initiative of its 
         proponent.
     A request for a recorded vote on an amendment on which 
         proceedings have been postponed may be withdrawn by unanimous 
         consent before proceedings resume on the request as unfinished 
         business, in which case the amendment stands disposed of by the 
         voice vote thereon.
     Authority to postpone a request for a recorded vote does not 
         permit the Chair to postpone a vote on an appeal of a ruling of 
         the Chair, even by unanimous consent.
     The Committee of the Whole by unanimous consent may vacate 
         postponed proceedings, thereby permitting the Chair to put the 
         question de novo.
     The Chair may resume proceedings on unfinished business 
         consisting of a ``stack'' of amendments even while another 
         amendment is pending.

[[Page 931]]

     The offering of a pro forma amendment to discuss the 
         legislative program, or an extended one-minute speech by a 
         Member to express gratitude to the Members on a personal 
         matter, may be considered intervening business such as to 
         preclude a five-minute vote under this authority.

  Manual Sec. 984.


  Sec. 23 . Postponed and Clustered Votes in the House

      The Speaker has discretionary authority under rule XX clause 8 to 
  postpone certain questions and to ``cluster'' them for voting at a 
  designated time or place in the legislative schedule, and, after the 
  vote on the first such question, to reduce to five minutes the vote on 
  all of the additional questions so postponed. Manual Sec. 1030. The 
  rule specifically permits the Speaker to postpone the following 
  questions:

     Approval of the Journal.
     Passing a bill or joint resolution or adopting a concurrent 
         resolution or a resolution (or agreeing to the previous 
         question thereon).
     Agreeing to a motion to suspend the rules.
     Agreeing to a conference report or to a motion to instruct 
         conferees (or agreeing to the previous question thereon).
     Agreeing to a motion to recommit (or the previous question 
         thereon) a bill considered under the Corrections Calendar.
     Agreeing to an amendment to a bill considered under the 
         Corrections Calendar.

      These categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, the 
  Speaker may ``cluster'' a vote on the approval of the Journal with 
  motions to suspend the rules. 107-2, Oct. 16, 2002, p ____. Where the 
  proposition does not fall within one of the categories listed in rule 
  XX clause 8, the Chair does not have discretionary authority to 
  postpone a vote but may do so by unanimous consent. Manual Sec. 1030.
      For all such categories, the postponement authority under rule XX 
  clause 8 must be to a place designated within two legislative days, 
  with the exception of the question of agreeing to the Speaker's 
  approval of the Journal. That question may be postponed only to a time 
  on the same legislative day. Manual Sec. 1030. The Speaker may 
  simultaneously designate separate times for the resumption of 
  proceedings on separate postponed questions. Once the Speaker has 
  postponed votes to a designated place in the legislative schedule, the 
  Speaker may redesignate the time when the votes will be taken within 
  the appropriate period. Manual Sec. 1030.
      The discretionary authority of the Speaker to postpone votes under 
  rule XX clause 8 arises after a vote of record is ordered or when a 
  vote is objected to for lack of a quorum. Manual Sec. 1030. The 
  authority of the Speaker

[[Page 932]]

  to postpone such a vote does not continue once a record vote has 
  commenced or once the Speaker has announced the absence of a quorum. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 56.1.
      In exercising his authority under this rule, the Speaker may 
  announce that the consideration of certain postponed questions may be 
  interrupted by other privileged business. 97-1, Dec. 15, 1981, p 
  31506. The ``clustering'' of record votes on postponed matters does 
  not prevent the Chair from entertaining a unanimous-consent request 
  between postponed votes. However, if constituting intervening 
  business, the first vote after the request would have to be a 15-
  minute vote unless reduced to five minutes by unanimous consent. 
  Manual Sec. 1030.


              G. Vote Changes, Corrections, and Announcements


  Sec. 24 . In General; Vote Changes

      A Member who has voted may change his vote at any time before the 
  final announcement of the result. Manual Sec. 1014; 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5931, 5934, 6093, 6094. During that time a ``present'' vote 
  may be changed as well as an ``aye'' or ``no'' vote. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 6060. However, a Member may not withdraw his vote entirely 
  without leave of the House. 5 Hinds Sec. 5930.
      Changes in votes cast are barred following the announcement of the 
  result of the vote, even by unanimous consent. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 6.1. However, the Speaker may announce a change in the result of 
  a vote taken by electronic device when required to correct an error in 
  identifying a voting card submitted in the well. Manual Sec. 1014.
      When a vote is being taken by electronic device, a Member is 
  permitted to change his vote by reinserting the voting card in a 
  voting station during the first 10 minutes of a 15-minute vote or by 
  the Clerk's announcement in the well after the Chair has asked for 
  changes. During five-minute votes, a Member is permitted to change his 
  vote at the voting stations at any time. Following the expiration of 
  the minimum time for voting by electronic device and the closing of 
  electronic voting stations, but before the Speaker's announcement of 
  the result, any Member may either change his vote or cast an initial 
  vote from the well by use of a ballot card. Manual Sec. 1014; see also 
  Sec. 2, supra.
      A Member who wishes to change his vote on a recorded vote 
  conducted by tellers with clerks may announce his vote change in the 
  well before the announcement of the result. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 40.6. If the correction is made before the announcement of the 
  result by the Chair, unanimous consent is not required. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 30 Sec. 40.1.

[[Page 933]]

      When a Member changes his vote following a record vote and before 
  the announcement of the result by the Chair, the change appears in the 
  Congressional Record. This occurs even where the Member changes his 
  vote twice, thereby reverting to his original voting stance. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 30 Sec. 39.6.


  Sec. 25 . Correcting the Congressional Record and the Journal

                             Electronic Votes

      The Chair presumes the technical accuracy of the electronic system 
  if properly used and relies on the responsibility of each Member to 
  correctly cast and verify his vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.3. 
  The Speaker declines to entertain requests to correct the Journal or 
  the Congressional Record on votes taken by electronic device. Manual 
  Sec. 1014. Recognition for such a request may be denied despite 
  assurances by a Member that he had verified his vote by reinserting 
  his card. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 6.2. However, the incorrect 
  transcription by the official reporters of a change announced by the 
  Clerk may be corrected in the Record by unanimous consent. Deschler-
  Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.16. Also, by unanimous consent the House may 
  permit the correction of the Record and the Journal to delete a vote 
  that was not actually cast. Manual Sec. 1014.
      The Speaker has declined to entertain a unanimous-consent request 
  to correct a vote taken by electronic device although the Member was 
  recorded as voting on a day when he was on leave from the House, no 
  explanation having been offered for the discrepancy. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  30 Sec. 32.4 However, the Speaker may announce a change in the result 
  of a vote taken by electronic device when required to correct an error 
  in identifying a voting card submitted in the well. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  30 Sec. 32.5. For a report of the Committee on Standards of Official 
  Conduct on voting anomalies, see H. Rept. 96-991.
      After the announcement of the result of such a vote, although it 
  is not permissible to change a vote, a Member may seek unanimous 
  consent to explain in the Congressional Record where his vote was 
  incorrectly recorded or, though cast, was not recorded. Sec. 27, 
  infra. In entertaining such requests, the Chair does not pass judgment 
  on the Member's explanation as to how he was improperly recorded or 
  how, though present and having voted, he was not recorded, nor does he 
  challenge the Member's word on how he voted. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 38.1.

[[Page 934]]

                            Nonelectronic Votes

      When the electronic voting system is not in use, and a Member is 
  incorrectly recorded on a roll call, he may correct his vote before 
  the announcement of the result, with the corrected vote being properly 
  recorded and the change duly noted in the Congressional Record. Manual 
  Sec. 1015. When a vote actually given fails to be recorded during a 
  call of the roll, the Member may, before the approval of the Journal, 
  demand as a matter of right that correction be made. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5969, 6061, 6062; 8 Cannon Sec. 3143.
      Members who have been incorrectly recorded on a vote taken by 
  clerks pursuant to rule XX clause 4 have, by unanimous consent, had 
  their votes corrected following the announcement of the result. The 
  Chair will not entertain such requests after further business has been 
  transacted. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 40.3.
      A Member ascertaining that an absent colleague has been 
  inadvertently recorded on a nonelectronic roll call vote may have the 
  vote deleted by unanimous consent, before the announcement of the 
  result. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 37.1.


  Sec. 26 . Recapitulations

      A Member may not demand a recapitulation of a vote taken by 
  electronic device. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.6. The recapitulation 
  of such votes is refused because all Members may determine whether 
  they were correctly recorded by examining the electronic display panel 
  over the Speaker's rostrum and because, even if the display panel is 
  inoperative, individual votes and vote totals may be verified through 
  the voting and monitoring stations. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.7.
      Record votes that do not involve the use of the electronic voting 
  system are subject to recapitulation at the discretion of the Speaker, 
  either before or after the announcement of the result. Manual 
  Sec. 1015; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 6049, 6050; 8 Cannon Sec. Sec. 3125, 
  3128; Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 28.2, 28.4.


  Sec. 27 . Personal Explanations

      A Member, having been absent for a record vote, may announce how 
  he would have voted had he been present. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 41.1.

      Member: Mr. Speaker, on roll call 125, I was unavoidably detained 
    as a result of ________________________. Had I been present I would 
    have voted ``aye.'' I ask unanimous consent that this statement 
    appear in the Congressional Record following the announcement of the 
    vote.


[[Page 935]]



      Alternatively, a Member may submit a signed statement through the 
  cloakroom for printing in the Congressional Record without personally 
  announcing his intent. The explanation will appear in the Record 
  immediately following the missed vote if the explanation is received 
  the day of the vote. If the explanation is submitted through the 
  cloakroom rather than announced on the floor, the explanation will 
  appear in distinctive type.
      Neither the rules nor the practice of the House permit a Member to 
  announce after a record vote how absent colleagues would have voted if 
  present. 6 Cannon Sec. 200.
      If the Member's explanation alleges that he was present but not 
  recorded, the Chair does not pass judgment on the Member's explanation 
  by entertaining the request. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 38.1.


                  H. Majority Votes; Super-majority Votes


  Sec. 28 . In General; Tie Votes

      ``The voice of the majority decides . . . where not otherwise 
  expressly provided,'' wrote Jefferson, expressing a fundamental 
  precept of parliamentary law. Manual Sec. 508. Most business that 
  comes before the House is decided by a majority vote, and, under rule 
  XIV clause 6, all questions relating to the priority of business are 
  decided by a majority. Manual Sec. 884. Under rule XX clause 1(c), a 
  rule in effect since the First Congress, if the vote on a proposition 
  is a tie, the proposition is defeated. Manual Sec. 1013; 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5926, 5964.

                             Two-thirds Votes

      Under the Constitution or by House rule, a two-thirds vote is 
  expressly required in the House on:

     Amendment to the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. V; Manual 
         Sec. 190.
     Passage of a bill over a veto. U.S. Const. art. I Sec. 7; 
         Manual Sec. 104.
     Dispensing with Calendar Wednesday. Rule XV clause 7; Manual 
         Sec. 900.
     Dispensing with the call of the Private Calendar. Rule XV 
         clause 5; Manual Sec. 895.
     Same-day consideration of reports from the Committee on Rules. 
         Rule XIII clause 6; Manual Sec. 857.
     Suspension of the rules. Rule XV clause 1; Manual Sec. 885.
     Expulsion of a Member. U.S. Const. art. I Sec. 5; Manual 
         Sec. 62.
     Removal of political disabilities. U.S. Const. Amendment XIV 
         Sec. 3; Manual Sec. 230.

      A two-thirds vote means two-thirds of those voting, a quorum being 
  present, and not two-thirds of the entire membership. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch

[[Page 936]]

  30 Sec. 5. Such a vote requires an affirmative vote by two-thirds of 
  those Members actually voting; Members who indicate only that they are 
  ``present'' are not counted in determining the two-thirds figure. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 5.2. This method of computing a two-thirds 
  vote has been applied to votes on passage of a constitutional 
  amendment (5 Hinds Sec. 7027; 8 Cannon Sec. 3503), to votes on the 
  passage of a bill over the President's veto (7 Cannon Sec. 1111), and 
  to votes on a motion to suspend the rules (Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 5.2).

                            Three-fifths Votes

      Under rule XXI clause 5(b), an income tax rate increase can be 
  passed or adopted only by a vote of not less than three-fifths of the 
  Members voting.
      Under rule XV clause 6(c), a bill called up from the Corrections 
  Calendar also requires a three-fifths vote for passage.