[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 113th Congress]
[House Document 112-161]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
sec. xxix--bill, reports taken up
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).
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. 422. Consideration and action on reports.
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.
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).
Sec. 423. Action by the House on amendments recommended by
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,