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STANDING ORDERS NOT EMBRACED IN THE RULES,
AND RESOLUTIONS AND SUCH PARTS OF LAWS AS AFFECT THE BUSINESS OF THE SENATE.
THE LAST SESSION OF A CONGRESS EXPIRES AT 12 O'CLOCK
MERIDIAN ON THE 4TH DAY OF MARCH.
On the 3d of March, 1851, the Senate being in session at 12 o'clock midnight, Mr. Jefferson Davis, of Missis
, sippi, Mr. Lewis Cass, of Michigan, Mr. James M. Mason, of Virginia, as well as other Senators, expressed the belief that the term of the Congress had expired and that, inasmuch as, in their opinion, their terms had ended, they had no further right to participate in the proceedings. Some of the Senators thus holding refused to vote when roll calls were ordered. A long and interesting discussion followed on the question as to the exact time when the session of a Congress terminates. The debate was brought to an end by the consideration by unanimous consent of the following resolution offered by Mr. David L. Yulee, of Florida, which was adopted:
Resolved, That, in the opinion of the Senate, the present Congress does not expire by constitutional limitation until meridian of the 4th of March.
[Cong. Globe, zist Cong., 2d sess., pp. 818, 819, 820; Sen. Jour., same Cong. and sess., p. 261.
LIMITATION AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE AND AGE OF PAGES
OF THE SENATE.
Resolved, That it shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to classify the pages of the Senate so that at the close of the present and each succeeding Congress one-half the number shall be removed; and in no case shall a page be appointed younger than 12 years, or remain in office after the age of 16 years, or for a longer time than two Congresses, or four years.
(Sen. Jour., ist sess. 33d Cong. p. 514; 3d sess. 41st Cong., p. 26.
PAYMENT OF WITNESSES.
Resolved, that the rule for paying witnesses summoned to appear before the Senate or any of its committees shall be as follows: For each day a witness shall attend, three dollars, and three dollars for each day spent in traveling to or from the place of examination by the usual route. A witness shall also be entitled to be reimbursed his necessary expenses for traveling to and from the place of examination, in no case to exceed the sum of seven cents a mile for the distance by him actually traveled for the purpose of appearing as a witness.
[Sen. Jour., ist sess. 56th Cong., p. 66.
Resolved, that the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate is authorized and empowered from time to time to appoint such special deputies as he may think necessary to serve process or perform other duties devolved upon the Sergeant-at-Arms by law or the rules or orders of the Senate, or which may hereafter be devolved upon him, and in such case they shall be officers of the Senate; and any act done or return made by the deputies so appointed shall have like effect and be of the same validity as if performed or made by the Sergeant-at-Arms in person.
(Senate Resolution, December 17, 1889. THE ADMINISTERING OF OATHS TO AND THE EXAMINATION
OF WITNESSES BEFORE COMMITTEES OF EITHER HOUSE OF
Sec. 101. The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or a chairman of a Committee of the Whole, or of any committee of either House of Congress, is empowered to administer oaths to witnesses in any case under their examination.
SEC. 102. Every person who, having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any questions pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars nor less than one hundred dollars, and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.
Sec. 103. No witness is privileged to refuse to testify to any fact, or to produce any paper, respecting which he shall be examined by either House of Congress, or by any committee of either House, upon the ground that his testimony to such fact or his production of such paper may tend to disgrace him or otherwise render him infamous.
Sec. 104. Whenever a witness, summoned as mentioned in section one hundred and two, fails to testify, and the facts are reported to either House, the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House, as the case may be, shall certify the fact, under the seal of the Senate or House, to the district attorney for the District of Columbia, whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for their action.
Sec. 859. No testimony given by a witness before either House or before any committee of either House of Congress shall be used as evidence in any criminal proceeding against him in any court, except in a prosecution for perjury committed in giving such testimony. But an official paper or record produced by him is not within the said privilege.
FURTHER PROVISION FOR THE ADMINISTERING OF OATHS IN
The Presiding Officer, for the time being, of the Senate of the United States, shall have power to administer all oaths and affirmations that are or may be required by the Constitution, or by law, to be taken by any Senator, officer of the Senate, witness, or other person, in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the Senate.
Sec. 2. That the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief Clerk thereof, shall, respectively, have power to administer any oath or affirmation required by law, or by the rules or orders of the Senate, to be taken by any officer of the Senate, and to any witness produced before it.
(19 Stats., p. 34. Any member of either House of Congress may administer oaths to witnesses in any matter depending in either House of Congress of which he is a member, or any committee thereof.
(23 Stats., p. 60.
THREE SENATORS TO BE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF
THE SENATE UPON THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE SMITH
By the act to establish the Smithsonian Institution, it is made the duty of the President of the Senate to appoint three Senators to serve upon the Board of Regents of the Institution.