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


                              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
          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 in 
  regular use in the full House:

     Voice votes under clause 6 of rule I in which Members express 
         their voting preference simply by calling out ``aye'' or ``no'' 
         in unison.
     Division votes under clause 1(a) of rule XX 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 clause 6 of rule XX. Yea-and-nay votes usually 
         are taken by electronic device.
     Recorded votes under clause 1(b) of rule XX, which require the 
         support of one-fifth of a quorum (44 when a quorum 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 clause 
  6(e) of rule XVIII, a recorded vote may be ordered in the Committee of 
  the Whole

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  when 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 clause 
  6 of rule I. A record vote may then be demanded.
      Less frequently used, but still available 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 (clause 
  3 of rule XX); 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 teller (clause 4 of rule XX).
      Clause 10 of rule XX requires that the question on final passage 
  of general appropriation bills, budget resolutions, or bills 
  increasing certain 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 clause 
  12 of rule XXII, the vote to authorize a closed 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 in Elections

      Voting on an election in the House by ballot, although authorized 
  by clause 11 of rule XX, 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 period. A master computer processes voting 
  information for immediate and

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  subsequent retrieval. Members may still vote by card with the clerks 
  in the well, who enter the information into the computer system.

                   Verification of Vote; Changing Votes

      Forty-six electronic voting stations are available in the Chamber. 
  After using one of them, a Member may verify that the vote has been 
  properly recorded by reinserting the voting 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. If the voting system fails, the Chair may allow 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 a vote by depressing one of the other buttons. 
  Changes may be made at any time during a five-minute vote, or during 
  the first 10 minutes of a 15-minute vote. With less than five minutes 
  remaining during a 15-minute vote, changes must be made in the well. 
  Changes may also be made in the well after the voting stations have 
  been closed but before the Chair's announcement of the result. Manual 
  Sec. 1014. For a discussion of vote changes generally, see Sec. 25, 
  infra.

                           Effect of Malfunction

      Clause 2(b) of rule XX authorizes the Chair to conduct record 
  votes and quorum calls under the alternate 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 clause 3 of rule XX. Manual 
  Sec. 1014a. The Chair may also 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. 1014a. A malfunction of the

[[Page 923]]

  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 clause 2 of rule III.
      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 a 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 Chair states and then puts the question as 
  prescribed by clause 6 of rule I. 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 clause 8 of rule 
  XVI. 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.

[[Page 924]]

  Sec. 5 . Voting by the Chair

                               Right to Vote

      The Speaker has the same right to vote as other Members, and the 
  Speaker has exercised this right even in contravention of early House 
  rules attempting to limit the Speaker's voting authority. Manual 
  Sec. 631; 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5964, 5966. The Speaker 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 the Speaker's 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 the Speaker's 
  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 clause 7 of rule I, the Speaker is not required to vote 
  ``except when such vote would be decisive . . . .'' Manual Sec. 631. 
  The Speaker may vote to cause 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 the 
  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.

[[Page 925]]

                      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 clause 1 of rule III 
  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 clause 1 of rule III. A 
  unanimous-consent request in the Committee of the Whole to excuse a 
  Member from voting will not be entertained. 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 the inherent right to vote. Manual Sec. 672; 5 Hinds 
  Sec. Sec. 5952, 5966, 5967; 8 Cannon Sec. 3072.
      Clause 10 of rule XXIII, 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 innocence or until such Member 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

      Clause 1 of rule III provides that a Member is not required to 
  vote where such Member 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 such Member's personal interest in the 
  outcome, should not vote. 5 Hinds Sec. Sec. 5955, 5958. However, 
  ordinarily the Member--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 
  the interest. Manual Sec. 672.

[[Page 926]]

      Members may abstain from voting on a measure because of a personal 
  or pecuniary interest in the measure being considered and thus 
  announce an intention to be recorded as ``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 for 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 
  clause 6 of rule I. The second is a vote by division under clause 1(a) 
  of rule XX. Sec. 10, infra. 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 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 clause 6 of rule I 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, although this method of voting is rarely used 
  in modern

[[Page 927]]

  practice. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 17.1. Under clause 1 of rule XX, 
  after a voice vote, if the Speaker is in doubt or a division is 
  demanded, ``[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: M_. 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 
  was not seeking recognition at the time the Chair announced the result 
  of the voice vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 9.9. However, the mere 
  announcement of a voice vote does not preclude a demand for a division 
  provided that no intervening business has transpired and the proponent 
  of a division was 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 has the discretion under clause 1(a) of rule XX to 
  conduct a vote by division before entertaining a demand for a record 
  vote. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 9.2. The Chair may also entertain a 
  demand for a record vote without first conducting a division. 
  Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 9.3. However, the Chair's 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 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.

[[Page 928]]

   Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 10.2. Under clause 7 of rule XXII, a 
  conference report 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 a sufficient number of Members. 5 Hinds 
  Sec. 5986. However, teller votes are almost never used in modern 
  practice, as the rule authorizing a demanded teller vote was abolished 
  in 1993. Manual Sec. 1013. While used infrequently, under clause 4 of 
  rule XX, 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. Clause 6 of rule XX also orders the yeas 
  and nays in the absence of a 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 (clause 1(b) of rule 
  XX) and the Committee of the Whole (clause 6(e) of rule XVIII).
      Yea-and-nay votes require the support of 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 
  clause 6(e) of rule

[[Page 929]]

  XVIII. It is the Chair's statement of the demand, and not the Member's 
  request, 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 gentle___ 
    from _____. [voice vote]
      Member: M_. Speaker [or M_. Chair], I demand a recorded vote.
      Chair: The gentle___ 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 clause 1 of rule 
  XX 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 clause 6(e) of rule XVIII. 
  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 clause 1(b) of 
  rule XX. 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 a 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 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.

[[Page 930]]

      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 seeking recognition. 
  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 
  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 true even where the absence of a quorum is 
  disclosed immediately following the Chair's announcement of the 
  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 the 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 the 
  count. In one instance, the chair 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 19385.

                           Withdrawal of Demand

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

[[Page 931]]

                           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 certain income tax rate increases or a concurrent 
  resolution on the budget. Clause 10 of rule XX. 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 authorize a closed conference committee meeting under clause 12 of 
  rule XXII. 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 932]]

  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. 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: M_. Speaker, I demand the yeas and nays.
      Speaker: The yeas and nays are requested. As many as are in favor 
    of taking this vote by yeas and nays will rise and remain standing 
    until counted.
      A sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. 
    [Or] An insufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are 
    refused.

      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, where the Member was not 
  seeking recognition when the question was put. Deschler-Brown Ch 29 
  Sec. 8.25.

[[Page 933]]

                           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. Today, yea-and-nay votes almost invariably are cast by use of 
  the electronic voting system. However, the Speaker has the discretion 
  under clause 3 of rule XX to have the Clerk call the roll for the yeas 
  and nays. Manual Sec. 1015. The Speaker may also 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 934]]

                        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 clause 6 of rule XX, thereby precipitating, in the 
  absence of a quorum, 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. The Speaker also has the discretion to 
  direct the Clerk to call the roll. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 31.9.
      Procedures under clause 6 of rule XX when a quorum fails to vote 
  are applicable regardless of the method of voting, but do not apply 
  when the House is voting on a 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, in lieu of taking the 
  vote by electronic device, even where a quorum fails

[[Page 935]]

  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 at the direction of the Speaker. 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 a vote even after such Member's 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 clause 6(c) of rule XX, 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 pursuant to 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 clause 6(c) of rule 
         XX). 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.
     The presentation of 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. Clause 4 of rule XX; Manual Sec. 1019. Under 
  this rarely used voting practice, the Chair has the discretion to 
  order the Clerk to ``record the names of those Members voting on each 
  side of the question . . . . '' Each Member is given a tally card on 
  which to enter a voting preference and a signature. The Members then 
  deposit these cards in ballot boxes located in the Chamber, with the 
  ``aye'' boxes located up the

[[Page 936]]

  aisle at the rear of 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 backup 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 clause 3 of rule XX. Manual Sec. 1015. By agreement, 
  the voting Member withdraws the previous vote and instead votes 
  ``present'' by submitting an amber ``present'' card. Deschler-Brown Ch 
  30 Sec. 4.

      Member: M_. Speaker, on the vote just recorded I voted ``aye'' (or 
    ``no''). I have a pair with the gentle___ from _____ and desire to 
    change my vote and be recorded as ``Present.''
      Chair: The Clerk will call the gentle___'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 clause 2(a) of rule XX and clause 6(g) of rule XVIII, 
  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. 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 the decision of the 
  Chair to close a vote taken by elec

[[Page 937]]

  tronic device after 15 minutes have elapsed, such decision being 
  within the Chair's sole discretion. Manual Sec. 1014.
      At the beginning of a new Congress, the Speaker has inserted in 
  the Congressional Record an 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 the Speaker's 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. Manual Sec. 1014. Where the Chair has prematurely attempted to 
  close a vote while voting cards submitted in the well were still being 
  tabulated, the Chair has allowed such tabulation to continue before 
  announcing the final outcome of the vote. 110-1, Aug. 2, 2007, p 
  22545.
      It is not in order, even by unanimous consent, to permit a Member 
  to have a vote recorded after the announcement of the result, even 
  though the Member claims to have been in the Chamber before the 
  announcement. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. Sec. 36.2, 36.4. However, 
  Members may, by unanimous consent, announce how they 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. 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 938]]

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

     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 clause 8(c) or 9 of rule XX or clause 6(f) or 6(g) of 
         rule XVIII--two bells rung at beginning of first vote, followed 
         by five bells, indicate that the 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.
     Recorded vote in the Committee of the Whole to be followed 
         immediately by possible vote of less than five minutes under 
         clauses 6(f) or 6(g) of rule XVIII--two bells rung at beginning 
         of first vote, followed by two bells indicate that Chair will 
         order less-then-five-minute votes if recorded vote is ordered 
         immediately thereafter. Two bells repeated five minutes after 
         first ring. Two 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 chosen, using the authority 
         under clause 6 of rule XVIII, to 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.


[[Page 939]]




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

                                 Generally

      Under clause 9 of rule XX, 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, clause 9 of rule XX 
  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 authorize a closed 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. 1032.


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

                             Two-Minute Votes

      Although 15 minutes is the usual minimum time for Members to 
  respond on a recorded vote in the Committee of the Whole, the Chair 
  has the discretion, under some circumstances, to reduce such time to 
  not less than two minutes. Prior to the 112th Congress, such period 
  was five minutes, with two-minute voting authorized on an ad hoc basis 
  by unanimous consent. Manual Sec. 984. The Chair has the discretion 
  under clause 6 of rule XVIII to reduce to two minutes the period for a 
  recorded vote following a regular 15-minute quorum call. Manual 
  Sec. 982. An announcement of a pos

[[Page 940]]

  sible two-minute vote is normally made by the Chair in advance. 98-1, 
  May 4, 1983, p 11063.

                       Postponed Votes on Amendments

      Under clause 6(g) of rule XVIII, the chair 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 two 
  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 clause 6(g) of rule XVIII, the chair 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 
  orders of business before adoption of clause 6(g) routinely provided 
  the chair of the Committee of the Whole authority to postpone and 
  cluster requests for recorded votes. When a special order of business 
  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.
     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 two-minute vote under this authority.

  Manual Sec. 984.

[[Page 941]]

  Sec. 23 . Postponed and Clustered Votes in the House

      The Speaker has discretionary authority under clause 8 of rule XX 
  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 ordering the previous question 
         thereon).
     Agreeing to a motion to suspend the rules.
     Agreeing to an amendment reported from the Committee of the 
         Whole.
     Agreeing to a motion to reconsider or agreeing to a motion to 
         lay on the table a motion to reconsider.
     Agreeing to a conference report or to a motion to instruct 
         conferees (or ordering the previous question thereon).

      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 20749. Where the 
  proposition does not fall within one of the categories listed in 
  clause 8 of rule XX, 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 clause 8 
  of rule XX 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 
  clause 8 of rule XX 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 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 the 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''

[[Page 942]]

  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 such 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 a 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 such 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 or two-minute votes, a Member is 
  permitted to change a 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 a 
  vote or cast an initial vote in the well by use of a ballot card. 
  Manual Sec. 1014; see also Sec. 2, supra.
      A Member who wishes to change a vote on a recorded vote conducted 
  by tellers with clerks may announce such 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.
      When a Member changes a 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 a vote 
  twice, thereby reverting to the original voting stance. Deschler-Brown 
  Ch 30 Sec. 39.6.

[[Page 943]]

  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 Members to 
  correctly cast and verify their votes. 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 the Member that the vote had been verified by 
  reinserting the voting 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 such Member 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 (now Ethics) 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 such Member's 
  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 the vote was improperly 
  recorded or how, though present and having voted, such Member was not 
  recorded, nor does the Chair challenge the Member's word on how such 
  Member voted. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 Sec. 38.1.

                            Nonelectronic Votes

      When the electronic voting system is not in use, and a Member is 
  incorrectly recorded on a roll call, such Member may correct the 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

[[Page 944]]

  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 clause 4 of rule XX 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

      Members who are absent for a record vote may announce how they 
  would have voted had they been present. Deschler-Brown Ch 30 
  Sec. 41.1.

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

      Alternatively, a Member may submit a signed statement for printing 
  in the Congressional Record without personally announcing an 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 in writing rather than announced on the 
  floor, the explanation will appear in distinctive type. If the 
  explanation is submitted any time after the

[[Page 945]]

  day of the vote, it appears in the ``Extensions of Remarks'' portion 
  of the Record.
      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 such Member was present 
  but not recorded, the Chair does not, by entertaining the request, 
  pass judgment on the Member's explanation. 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 
  clause 6 of rule XIV, all questions relating to the priority of 
  business are decided by a majority. Manual Sec. 884. Under clause 1(c) 
  of rule XX, 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 the call of the Private Calendar. Clause 5 of 
         rule XV; Manual Sec. 895.
     Same-day consideration of reports from the Committee on Rules. 
         Clause 6 of rule XIII; Manual Sec. 857.
     Suspension of the rules. Clause 1 of rule XV; Manual Sec. 885.
     Expulsion of a Member. U.S. Const. art. I Sec. 5; Manual 
         Sec. 62.
     Removal of political disabilities. U.S. Const. amend. 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 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; 5 Hinds Sec. 7027; 8 Cannon Sec. 3503; 
  7 Cannon Sec. 1111.

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                            Three-fifths Votes

      Under clause 5(b) of rule XXI, certain income tax rate increases 
  can be passed or adopted only by a vote of not less than three-fifths 
  of the Members voting.