[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 111th Congress]
[House Document 110-162]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
In the House it was held that where there had been no unreasonable
delay in transmitting an enrolled bill to the President, a resolution
relating thereto did not present a question of privilege (III, 2601),
but a resolution seeking such a determination may be privileged (Oct. 8,
1991, p. 25761).
Sec. 572. Parliamentary law as to presenting a bill for
the King's assent.
The House which has received a bill and passed it may
present it for the King's assent, and ought to do it, though they have
not by message notified to the other their passage of it. Yet the
notifying by message is a form which ought to be observed between the
two Houses from motives of respect and good understanding. 2 Hats., 242.
Were the bill to be withheld from being presented to the King, it would
be an infringement of the rules of Parliament. Ib.
1982, p. 32875; H. Con. Res. 375, Oct. 11, 1984, p. 32149), and such a
concurrent resolution is privileged for consideration in the House
during the last six days of the session (see 1 U.S.C. 106 for authority
to waive ordinary printing requirements at the end of a session), but
before the last six days, a joint resolution waiving the law to permit
hand enrollments is required and may be considered in the House by
unanimous consent (Dec. 10, 1985, p. 35741) or by special order of
business (H. Res. 580, Oct. 8, 1998, p. 24735). The two Houses have by
joint resolution authorized not only a ``hand enrollment'' of a time-
sensitive bill but also a parchment enrollment of the same measure, to
be prepared at a later time for deposit in the National Archives with
the original (P.L. 100-199, Dec. 21, 1987; P.L. 100-454, Sept. 29,
1988). Where an enrolled bill enacts another numbered bill by reference,
that same law may require the Archivist to include as an appendix to
that law the text of the referenced bill (see, e.g., P.L. 106-554). Only
in a very exceptional case have the two Houses waived the requirement
that bills shall be enrolled (IV, 3442). The enrolling clerk should make
no change, however unimportant, in the text of a bill to which the House
has agreed (III, 2598); but the two Houses may by concurrent resolution
authorize the correction of an error when enrollment is made (IV, 3446-
3450), and this seems a better practice than earlier methods by
authority of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (IV, 3444, 3445).
Sec. 573. Parliamentary law as to enrollment of
When a bill has passed both Houses of Congress, the House last acting
on it notifies its passage to the other, and delivers the bill to the
Joint Committee on Enrollment, who sees that it is truly enrolled in
parchment. When the bill is enrolled it is not to be written in
paragraphs, but solidly, and all of a piece, that the blanks between the
paragraphs may not give room for forgery. 9 Grey, 143. * * *
Sec. 574. Practice of the two Houses of Congress
as to enrollment of bills.
Formerly the enrollment in the House and the Senate was
in writing (IV, 3436, 3437); but in 1893 the two Houses, by concurrent
resolution, provided that bills should be enrolled on parchment by
printing instead of by writing, and also that the engrossment of bills
before sending them to the other House for action should be in printing
(IV, 3433), and in 1895 this concurrent resolution was approved by
statute (IV, 3435; 1 U.S.C. 106). In the last six days of a session of
Congress the two Houses, by concurrent resolution, may permit the
enrolling and engrossing to be done by hand (IV, 3435, 3438; H. Con.
Res. 436, Dec. 20,
The practice of the two Houses of Congress for the signing of enrolled
bills was formerly governed by joint rules, and has continued since
those rules were abrogated in 1876 (IV, 3430). The bills are signed
first by the Speaker, then by the President of the Senate (IV, 3429).
Where errors are found in enrolled bills that have been signed, the two
Houses by concurrent action may authorize the cancellation of the
signatures and a reenrollment (IV, 3453-3459), and in the same way the
signatures may be cancelled on a bill prematurely enrolled (IV, 3454).
Sec. 575. Signing of enrolled bills for
presentation to the President.
* * * It is then put into the hands of the Clerk of
the House to have it signed by the Speaker. The Clerk then brings it by
way of message to the Senate to be signed by their President. The
Secretary of the Senate returns it to the Committee of Enrollment, who
present it to the President of the United States. * * *
The Senate, by rule, has empowered a presiding officer by written
designation to sign enrolled bills (II, 1403).
Sec. 576. Authority of pro tempore presiding
officers to sign enrolled bills.
A Speaker pro tempore elected by the House (II,
1401), or whose designation has received the approval of the House (II,
1404; VI, 277; clause 8 of rule I), signs enrolled bills (see clause 4
of rule I); but a Member merely called to the chair during the day (II,
1399, 1400; VI, 276), or designated in writing by the Speaker, does not
exercise this function (II, 1401).
Sec. 577. Presentation of enrolled bills to the
In early days a joint committee took enrolled bills to the President
(IV, 3432); but in the later practice the chair of the committee in each
House that had responsibility for the enrollment of bills also had the
responsibility of presenting the bills from that House, and submitted
from his committee daily a report of the bills presented for entry in
the Journal (IV, 3431). In the 107th Congress the responsibility in the
House for enrolled bills was transferred from the Committee on House
Administration to the Clerk (sec. 2(b), H. Res. 5, Jan. 3, 2001, p. 25).
Enrolled bills pending at the close of a session have, at the next
session of the same Congress, been ordered to be treated as if no
adjournment had taken place (IV, 3487-3488). Enrolled bills signed by
the presiding officers at one session have been sent to the President
and approved at the next session of the same Congress (IV, 3486).
Enrollments presented at the close of the 97th Congress were signed by
the President after the convening of the 98th Congress.