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in the galleries or lobby, the Speaker (or Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House) shall have power to order the same to be cleared.

R. 17. No person except members of the Senate, their Secretary, Heads of Departments, Treasurer, Comptrollers, Register, Auditors, President's Secretary, Chaplains to Congress, Judges of the United States, Foreign Ministers and their Secretaries, officers who, by name, have received, or shall hereafter receive, the thanks of Congress for their gallantry and good conduct displayed in the service of their country, the Governor for the time being of any State or Territory in the Union, such gentlemen as have been Heads of Departments or members of either branch of the national Legislature; [the members of the legislatures, for the time being, of the States and Territories,] and, at the discretion of the Speaker, persons who belong to such legislatures of foreign governments as are in amity with the United States, shall be admitted within the Hall of the House of Representatives;* [and no per

*The first rule for the admission within the Hall of other than members was adopted on the 7th January, 1802, and was confined to "Senators, officers of the General and State Governments, Foreign Ministers, and such persons as members might introduce." On the 11th January, 1802, an attempt was made to amend so as to exclude persons "introduced by members," which failed. On the 8th November, 1804, a proposition was made to confine the privilege to Senators, which also failed. On the 17th December, 1805, officers of State Governments were excluded. On 1st February, 1808, a proposition was made to admit ex-members of Congress and the Judges of the Supreme Court; after a good deal of debate, it was rejected. On the 11th February, 1809, the rule was enlarged so as to admit judicial officers of the United States, as also ex-members of Congress. On 25th February, 1814, those who had been Heads of Departments were admitted. On the 10th February, 1815, officers who had received the thanks of Congress were included. On the 12th January, 1816, the Navy Commissioners. On the 21st February, 1816, Governors of States and Territories. March 13, 1822, the President's secretary. On the 26th January, 1833, the rule was further enlarged by admitting "such persons as the Speaker or a member might introduce;" and on the 10th December, 1833, the House, by a vote almost unanimous, rescinded that amendment.


Jan. 14 1850.

Jan. 14, 1850.


January 7, 1802; modi

fied to pre

sent form,

Dec'r 23,


March 1, 1838.

March 1, 1791.

R. 19. No person shall be allowed the privilege of the Hall, under the character of stenographer, without a written permission from the Speaker, specifying the part of the Hall assigned to him; and no reporter or stenographer shall be admitted under the rules of the House, unless such reporter or stenographer shall state, in writing, for what paper or papers he is employed to report.

March 1,

R. 20. The Doorkeeper shall execute strictly the 17th 1838. and 18th rules, relative to the privilege of the Hall.

R. 21. The Clerk of the House shall take an oath for

April 13, 1789; and

act June 1, the true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office,


March 17, 1818.

son, not known to the Doorkeeper to be entitled to the privilege of the floor, shall enter the Hall, unless the Doorkeeper shall be informed by a member that the individual is entitled to admission under this rule, and in what capacity.]

R. 18. Stenographers, wishing to take down the debates, may be admitted by the Speaker, who shall assign such places to them, on the floor or elsewhere, to effect their object, as shall not interfere with the convenience of the House.

to the best of his knowledge and abilities. [He shall be deemed to continue in office until another be appointed.*]


R. 22. After six days from the commencement of a second or subsequent session of any Congress, all bills, resolutions, and reports, which originated in the House,

* There is no law, resolution, rule, or order, directing the appointment of the Clerk of the House. On the 1st of April, 1789, being the first day that a quorum of the House assembled under the new Constitution, the House immediately elected a Clerk by ballot, without a previous order having been passed for that purpose; although, in the case of the Speaker, who was chosen on the same day, an order was previously adopted. A Clerk has been regularly chosen at the commencement of every Congress since.

†The word "resolutions," as here used, has been construed to apply to joint resolutions only.

and at the close of the next preceding session remained undetermined, shall be resumed and acted on in the same manner as if an adjournment had not taken place.


R. 23. As soon as the Journal is read, the Speaker shall call for petitions from the members of each State and delegates from each Territory, beginning with Maine* [and the Territory of Wisconsin,† alternately ;] and if, on any day, the whole of the States and Territories shall not be called, the Speaker shall begin on the next day where he left off the previous day; [provided that, after the first thirty days of the session, petitions shall not be received, except on the first day of the meeting of the House in each week.]

*This was adopted before the State of Maine came into the Union; and the call commenced with New Hampshire. On the 13th March, 1822, it was altered so as to commence with Maine.

This rule was adopted before N. Mex. was constituted a Territory; and, although no order has been taken by the House, the Speaker substitutes N. Mex. for Wisconsin.

+ With the exception of the clause commencing with the words "nor on any day assigned," &c., this rule is in substance the same as it was originally established on the 7th April, 1789.


Dec. 23, 1811.


R. 24. Petitions, memorials, and other papers ad- Sept. 14, dressed to the House, shall be presented by the Speaker, or by a member in his place; a brief statement of the contents thereof shall be made verbally by the introducer; they shall not be debated on the day of their being presented; nor on any day assigned by the House for the receipt of petitions after the first thirty days of the session, unless where the House shall direct otherwise, but shall lie on the table, to be taken up in the order in which they were presented.‡ [Members having peti- March 23 tions and memorials to present may hand them to the Clerk, endorsing the same with their names, and the refer


Sept. 15, 1837 Dec. 23, 1811.

March 13,



ence or disposition to be made thereof; and such petitions and memorials shall be entered on the Journal, subject to the control and direction of the Speaker; and if any petition or memorial be so handed in, which, in the judgment of the Speaker, is excluded by the rules, the same shall be returned to the member from whom it was received.]

R. 25. The petitions having been presented and disposed of, reports from committees shall be called for and Sept. 15, disposed of; [in doing which, the Speaker shall call upon each standing committee, in the order they are named in the 76th and 105th rules; and when all the standing committees have been called on, then it shall be the duty of the Speaker to call for reports from select committees ; if the Speaker shall not get through the call upon the committees before the House passes to other business, he shall resume the next call where he left off.] Resolutions shall then be called for in the same order, and disposed of by the same rules, which apply to petitions: provided that no member shall offer more than one resolution, or one series of resolutions, all relating to the same subject, until all the States and Territories shall have been called.

Dec. 23,


Jan. 14, 1829.

Febr'y. 6, 1838.

January 5, 1832.

R. 26. All the States and Territories shall be called for resolutions on each alternate Monday during each session of Congress; and, if necessary to secure this object on said days, all resolutions which shall give rise to debate shall lie over for discussion, under the rules of the House already established; and the whole of said days shall be appropriated to resolutions, until all the States and Territories are called through.

R. 27. After one hour shall have been devoted to reports from committees and resolutions, it shall be in order, pending the consideration or discussion thereof, to entertain a motion that the House do now proceed to dispose of the business on the Speaker's table, and to the orders.

of the day; [which being decided in the affirmative, the Speaker shall dispose of the business on his table in the following order, viz:]

third reading.

5th. Bills of the House and from the Senate, on the Speaker's table, on their engrossment, or on being ordered to a third reading, to be taken up and considered in the order of time in which they passed to a second reading.

1st. Messages and other Executive communications. 2d. Messages from the Senate and amendments proposed Sept. 14,

Sept. 14, 1837.


by the Senate to bills of the House.


3d. Bills and resolutions from the Senate on their first Sept. 14, and second reading, that they be referred to committees and put under way; but if, on being read a second time, no motion be made to commit, they are to be ordered to their third reading, unless objection be made; in which case, if not otherwise ordered by a majority of the House, they are to be laid on the table in the general file of bills on the Speaker's table, to be taken up in their turn.

4th. Engrossed bills and bills from the Senate on their Sept 14,



Sept. 14, 1837.


R. 29. Friday and Saturday in every week shall be set apart for the consideration of private bills and private business, in preference to any other, unless otherwise determined by a majority of the House.*

* Under the rule of 26th April, 1828, relative to a postponement or change


The messages, communications, and bills on his table, Sept. 14, having been disposed of, the Speaker shall then proceed to call the orders of the day.

R. 28. The business specified in the 26th and 27th rules shall be done at no other part of the day, except by permission of the House.

Dec. 23, 1811.

Jan'y 22, 1810, and Jan'y 26,


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