[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 112th Congress]
[112nd Congress]
[House Document 111-157]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[Pages 173-174]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


                    sec. xvi--order respecting papers

[[Page 174]]

Sec. 352. Safekeeping of papers and integrity of bills. 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.
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 Chand., 77. 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 Grey, 202. 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).