[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 113th Congress]
[113rd Congress]
[House Document 112-161]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[Pages 219-220]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


[[Page 219]]
 

                    sec. xxix--bill, reports taken up


Sec. 422. Consideration and action on reports. When the report of a paper originating with a committee is taken up by the House, they proceed exactly as in committee. Here, as in committee, when the paragraphs have, on distinct questions, been agreed to seriatim, 5 Grey, 366; 6 Grey, 368; 8 Grey, 47, 104, 360; 1 Torbuck's Deb., 125; 3 Hats., 348, no question needs be put on the whole report. 5 Grey, 381.
In the House, bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, and simple resolutions come before the House for action although the written reports accompanying them, which are always printed, do not (IV, 4674), and even the reading of the reports is in order only in the time of debate (V, 5292). The Chair will not recognize a Member during debate on a bill in the House or in the Committee of the Whole for unanimous consent to amend the accompanying committee report in a specified manner, because the House should not change the substance of a committee report upon which it is not called to vote (Apr. 2, 1985, p. 7209; Nov. 7, 1989, p. 27762). In rare instances, however, committees submit merely written reports without propositions for action. Such reports being before the House may be debated before any specific motion has been made (V, 4987, 4988), and are in such case read to the House (IV, 4663) and after being considered the question is taken on agreeing. In such cases the report appears in full on the Journal (II, 1364; IV, 4675; V, 7177). When reports are acted on in this way it has not been the practice of the House to consider them by paragraphs, but the question has been put on the whole report (II, 1364). [[Page 220]] and gives time for amendments to be proposed in the House to the body of the bill; as he does also if it has been reported without amendments; putting no questions but on amendments proposed; and when through the whole, he puts the question whether the bill shall be read a third time?
Sec. 423. Action by the House on amendments recommended by committees. On taking up a bill reported with amendments the amendments only are read by the Clerk. The Speaker then reads the first, and puts it to the question, and so on till the whole are adopted or rejected, before any other amendment be admitted, except it be an amendment to an amendment. Elsynge's Mem., 53. When through the amendments of the committee, the Speaker pauses,
The procedure outlined by this provision of the parliamentary law applies to bills when reported from the Committee of the Whole; but in practice it is usual to vote on the amendments in gross. But any Member may demand a separate vote (see Sec. 337, supra). The principle that the committee amendments should be voted on before amendments proposed by individual Members is recognized (IV, 4872-4876; V, 5773; VIII, 2862, 2863), except when it is proposed to amend a committee amendment. The Clerk reads the amendments and the Speaker does not again read them. Frequently the House orders the previous question on the committee amendments and the bill to final passage, thus preventing further amendment. When a bill is of such nature that it does not go to Committee of the Whole, it comes before the House from the House Calendar, on which it has been placed on being reported from the standing or select committee or pursuant to a special order of business. On being taken from the House Calendar the bill is read through and then the amendments proposed by the committee are read. In modern practice the House may adopt a special order ``self-executing'' the adoption of the reported committee amendments in the House, and may permit further amendment to the amended text (e.g., H. Res. 245, 106th Cong., July 15, 1999, p. 16216).