[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 109th Congress]
[House Document 108-241]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
sec. xxxviii--equivalent questions
The House has abandoned the question ``Shall the bill be rejected?''
(IV, 3391), and the question is now taken in accordance with clause 8 of
rule XVI. A vote is not taken on the second reading, the first test
coming in the modern practice of the House on the engrossment and third
sion of the one concludes necessarily the other. 4 Grey, 157. Thus the
negative of striking out amounts to the affirmative of agreeing; and
therefore to put a question on agreeing after that on striking out,
would be to put the same question in effect twice over. Not so in
questions of amendments between the two Houses. A motion to recede being
negatived, does not amount to a positive vote to insist, because there
is another alternative, to wit, to adhere.
Sec. 484. Former practice as to rejection and second
reading of bills.
If, on a question for rejection, a bill be retained, it
passes, of course, to its next reading. Hakew., 141; Scob., 42. And a
question for a second reading, determined negatively, is a rejection
without further question. 4 Grey, 149. And see Elsynge's Memor., 42, in
what case questions are to be taken for rejection.
The principles set forth in this paragraph are recognized by the
practice of the House; but Jefferson's use of the motion to strike out
as an illustration is no longer justified, since the practice of the
House under clause 5(c) of rule XVI does not permit the negative of the
motion to strike out to be equivalent to the affirmative of agreeing.
Sec. 485. Equivalent questions in
Where questions are perfectly equivalent, so that the negative of the one
amounts to the affirmative of the other, and leaves no other
alternative, the deci
6174), but the demanding or ordering of the previous question does not
prevent a motion to refer (V, 5575). The motion to refer takes
precedence of the motions to agree or disagree and, under clause 2 of
rule XIX is in order pending a demand for or after the ordering of the
previous question, before the stage of disagreement has been reached (V,
5575, 6172-6174), but not after the stage of disagreement when the most
preferential motion tending to bring the two Houses together is already
pending (Speaker Albert, Sept. 16, 1976, p. 30887).
In the House and the Senate the order of precedence of motions is as
given in the parliamentary law, and the motions take precedence in that
order without regard to the order in which they are moved (V, 6270,
6324). But a motion to amend an amendment of the other House has
precedence of the motion to agree or disagree either before the stage of
disagreement has been reached or after the House has receded from its
disagreement (V, 6164, 6169-6171; VIII, 3203) even after the previous
question has been ordered on both motions before the question is divided
(Feb. 12, 1923, p. 3512). See also the discussion in Sec. 525, infra.
But it has been held that when the previous question has been demanded
or ordered on a motion to concur, a motion to amend is not in order (V,
5488). The motion to refer also takes precedence of the motions to agree
or disagree (V, 6172-
Sec. 486. Equivalent questions on amendments between
A bill originating in one House is passed by the other with an
amendment. A motion in the originating House to agree to the amendment
is negatived. Does there result from this a vote of disagreement, or
must the question on disagreement be expressly voted? The question
respecting amendments from another House are--1st, to agree; 2d,
disagree; 3d, recede; 4th, insist; 5th, adhere.
Sec. 487. The motions to agree and disagree as related
to motions to amend.
1st. To agree; 2d. To disagree.--Either of these
concludes the other necessarily, for the positive of either is exactly
the equivalent to the negative of the other, and no other alternative
remains. On either motion amendments to the amendment may be proposed;
e.g., if it be moved to disagree, those who are for the amendment have a
right to propose amendments, and to make it as perfect as they can,
before the question of disagreeing is put.
5th. To adhere.--You may then either recede or insist.
Consequently the negative of these is not equivalent to a positive
vote the other way. It does not raise so necessary an implication as may
authorize the Secretary by inference to enter another vote; for two
alternatives still remain, either of which may be adopted by the House.
to recede and concur in a Senate amendment some further action must be
taken to dispose of the amendment (Speaker Bankhead, July 9, 1937, p.
7007; Speaker McCormack, Sept. 19, 1962, p. 19945) and the question may
recur on a pending motion to insist or such a motion is then entertained
from the floor.
Under the earlier practice in the House it was held that voting down
the motion to recede and concur was tantamount to insistence but not the
equivalent of adherence (Speaker Clark, July 2, 1918, p. 8648). But the
more recent practice is that when the House disagrees to a motion
Sec. 488. No equivalent questions on
motions to recede, insist, and adhere.
3d. To recede.--You may then either insist or
adhere. 4th. To insist.--You may then either
recede or adhere.