[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 110th Congress]
[House Document 109-157]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]
sec. xxix--bill, reports taken up
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, as 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).
In the House committees usually report bills, joint resolutions,
concurrent resolutions, or simple resolutions. These come before the
House for action while 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
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.
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).
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
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, 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?