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election an inhabitant of the State from one of whose districts he is chosen.
55. The Term of a Representative is two years." And this time, two years, is also the term of the whole House and of Congress. The Senate, as we shall see, has a continuous life, but it is considered that a new Congress begins with each new House. The First Congress went into operation March 4, 1789. On the fourth of March in every second year—that is, in every odd year—a new Congress begins its term. Therefore, the Congress of 1891-93 is known as the Fifty-second Congress. Of course, as a matter of fact, many Representatives who have served before are reëlected to each new Congress.
56. Who May Vote for Representatives.—The Constitution provides that those persons in each State who are qualified under the laws of the State to vote for members of the larger of the two houses of the State Legislature—that is, in California, the Assembly—may vote for members of the House of Representatives of the United States. It seems, therefore, that the States, each in its own way, prescribes the qualifications of those who may vote for Representatives to Congress. This arrangement leads to considerable diversity, and may result in persons who are not recognized as citizens of the United States voting for members of Congress.
57. Organization of the House.—The House has its own rules for regulating the number and the duties of its officers and for arranging its own way of doing business.
58. The Speaker.—The chief officer is the Speaker. He is a member of the House and is elected by his fellow1U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 2, Par. 2. 2 U. 8. Const., Art. I., Sect. 2, Par. 1. 3 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 2, Par. 1. 4 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 5.
members. He is usually chosen by a party vote, and his election is the most exciting business of each new Congress. He is certainly one of the most powerful officers in the whole government, his power arising from the fact that he appoints the standing committees, who practically control the legislation of the House. The name of “Speaker" is taken from the practice in England, where the presiding officer of the House of Commons was so called, because, formerly, he was their spokesman, or speaker, in communications with the king. The name, as we have seen, is used for the presiding officer of the larger of the two houses in the State Legislatures, and it is also used in all the English colonies.
59. The Standing Committees are appointed by the Speaker immediately after his election. The House is so large, and has so much business to transact at each session, that its work is practically done by the more important of these committees. The House as a whole is not even able to debate and discuss the reports of its committees to the extent that is done in the Senate. The report of a committee is adopted almost as a matter of course, for naturally the majority of the committee reflect the party majority in the House. Every member of the House is a member of some committee or other. Most of the committees, however, have but little business to attend to, some, in fact, having no duties assigned to them by the rules.
The two most important committees are those on appropriations and on ways and means. The committee on appropriations has charge of the bills that allow the money necessary for meeting the yearly expenses of the government. This committee, under the rules of the House, has power to bring its reports at any time before the House for their consideration. It can thus stop the consideration of any other question whenever it chooses, and thus practically control the House in its use of its time. Recent rules have taken some of the business out of the hands of this committee, by giving to committees on special departments—such as the war department or the navy department—the consideration of bills appropriating money to such departments. The committee on ways and means, which has charge of questions of taxation, is likewise an important and powerful committee. The chairmen of these two committees hold positions of great influence.
60. Vacancies in the House.-If a vacancy occurs in the representation of any State through death, resignation, removal, or other cause, the Governor of the State calls an election by the people. The person then elected serves only for the remainder of the term for which his predecessor was elected.
61. Senate.—The Senate consists of two members from each of the States of the Union. Senators are chosen by the Legislature of the State they represent, and they hold office for six years. They must be not less than thirty years
age, citizens of the United States for nine years, and inhabitants of the State which they are chosen to represent.
62. Division of the Senate. The Constitution directed that the first Senate should, upon assembling, divide its members, by lot, into three classes as nearly equal as possible. The members of one of these classes was then to retire at the end of two years; the members of the second class at the end of four years; and the members of the third class at the end of the full term, six years.' Thereafter, every Senator would hold office for six years, except that upon the admission of a new State, its first two Senators draw lots for a "long" and a "short” term. In this way one third of the Senate vacate their seats every two years.
1U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 2, Par. 4. 2 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 1. 3 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 3.
The object of this arrangement is to give continuous life to the Senate and something like permanency to this branch of Congress. The members of the House of Representatives, on the other hand, by vacating their seats all together every two years, are intended to reflect the changing ideas of the people.
63. Voting in the Senate.—While the Senators represent the States, that is, the federal idea, still every Senator may cast his vote on any question in the Senate as he chooses. It may thus happen, as it frequently does, that the two Senators from one State may vote on different sides of the same question. And the two Senators from one State, being elected at different times, may, and often do, belong to different political parties.
64. Organization of the Senate.—As in the case of the House, the Senate regulates its own methods of procedure,' and appoints all its own officers, except its presiding officer.
65. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice-President of the United States, whose only duty is, except in the case of the death of the President, to preside over the deliberations of the Senate. He is not a member of the Senate, he cannot participate in its dis
1U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 2. 2 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 1. 3 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 5, Par. 2. 4 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 5. 5 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 4.
cussions, and he can vote only in cases where there is a tie.' The Senate chooses from its own number a President pro tempore, who presides in the absence of the Vice-President, or when the Vice-President has become President of the United States.?
66. Standing Committees of the Senate.-The work of the Senate is in large measure done through its standing committees. These committees are elected by the Senate for all the great classes of topics which come up for legislative action. Thus there are committees on appropriations, finance, foreign affairs, etc. Their method of working is similar to that of the standing committees of the House. The Senate committees do not monopolize all the power of their house as do the House committees the power of theirs. The reason for this is, that the Senate, being a much smaller body, can discuss and debate questions much more easily than the House. The continuous life of the Senate, too, helps in this, because the Senate does not have to consume a great amount of time at the beginning of each new Congress in effecting its organization. There is never, of course, any time lost in the election of its presiding officer.
Because of the fact that the Vice-President, the chairman of the Senate, is not a member of the Senate, the Senate elects its own committees by ballot. 67. Vacancies.—Vacancies from any
State are filled by the Legislature of that State, if the Legislature is in session; if not, then by the Governor of the State until the next meeting of the Legislature."
68. Quorum.-In order that either house of Congress may do any business, there must be present a majority
1U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 4. 2 U. S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par. 5. 3 U, S. Const., Art. I., Sect. 3, Par, 2,