[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 112th Congress]
[House Document 111-157]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
sec. xvi--order respecting papers
Mr. Prynne, having at a Committee of the Whole amended a mistake in a
bill without order or knowledge of the committee, was reprimanded. 1
A bill being missing, the House resolved that a protestation should be
made and subscribed by the members ``before Almighty God, and this
honorable House, that neither myself, nor any other to my knowledge,
have taken away, or do at this present conceal a bill entitled,'' &c. 5
After a bill is engrossed, it is put into the Speaker's hands, and he
is not to let any one have it to look into. Town, col. 209.
In the House an alleged improper alteration of a bill was presented as
a question of privilege and examined by a select committee. It being
ascertained that the alteration was made to correct a clerical error,
the committee reported that it was ``highly censurable in any Member or
officer of the House to make any change, even the most unimportant, in
any bill or resolution which has received the sanction of this body''
(III, 2598). Alleged abuse of power in the processing and enrollment of
bills has formed the basis of questions of privilege (Feb. 16, 2006, p.
1948; May 22, 2008, p. _). Although engrossing papers must be at the
desk, additional copies of a pending measure are not required (June 26,
2009, p. _). The Clerk signs engrossments; the Speaker signs enrollments
(1 U.S.C. 106).
Sec. 352. Safekeeping of papers and integrity of
The Clerk is to let no journals, records, accounts, or papers be
taken from the table or out of his custody. 2 Hats., 193, 194.