Imágenes de páginas

$160. This clause is intended to prevent members of Congress from creating civil offices, or increasing the salary attached to such offices already existing, for the sake of benefiting or advancing themselves. No senator or representative can, during the term for which he has been elected, be appointed to an office which has been created, or to one the emoluments of which have been increased, during such term, although he may be appointed after the expiration of the term.

§ 161. The prohibition in the former part of the clause does not extend to military offices, because they frequently require to be filled immediately, without delay; but no officer under the United States, either civil or military, can be a senator or representative during his continuance in office. A person may hold an office under the United States when elected a member of Congress; but he must resign it before he can take his seat in Congress.



SECTION 7. [Clause 1.] “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

§ 162. Bills for raising revenue are generally considered to be those only by which taxes are levied, and not such

as may incidentally have the effect of creating a revenue. In England, the House of Commons possesses the sole power of originating bills for raising revenue, or “money bills,” as they are called there; and the Commons will not suffer the House of Lords to make the least alteration or amendment in, or exert any power over, such bills, but that of simply agreeing to or rejecting them. § 163. A similar right to originate all bills for laising revenue is granted by the Constitution to the House of Representatives, because that body is more popular in its character, more immediately dependent upon the people, and more directly represents their opinions and wishes, and possesses at the same time more knowledge of the local wants and resources of each part of the country. § 164. The Senate is not a permanent and hereditary body, like the House of Lords; but is an elective body, representing the States; and as the States, as such, are interested in the apportionment of direct taxes, there 'seemed no good reason for excluding the Senate from some control over money bills. They are, therefore, allowed to propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills, but they cannot originate such bills.

[Clause 2.] Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall be.

[ocr errors]

come a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a


§ 165. The Constitution does not prescribe the mode of enacting laws; that is determined by the rules and practice of the Senate and House of Representatives. Bills may originate either in the Senate or the House of Representatives, except they be bills for raising revenue, which, as we have just seen, must originate in the House. The general mode of passing bills in both bodies is quite similar, though not in all respects the same. It will be sufficient, for an understanding of the subject, to refer more particularly, as an illustration of the manner of enacting laws, to the course pursued in the House of Representatives. § 166. By the rules of the House, a bill, which is the original form or draft of a law proposed to be enacted, may be introduced into the House in the report of a committee, or upon a motion by a member of the House for leave to introduce it. In the latter case, at least one day's notice of the motion must be given, or a memorandum thereof filed with the clerk and entered on the journal. But the rule in regard to the introduction of bills on leave is rarely practised; nearly all the bills not regularly reported by a committee are introduced with or without consent, as the case may be. $167. By another rule, every bill shall receive three several readings previous to its passage, and no bill can be read twice on the same day without the special order of the -IIouse. The first reading is for information, and if opposition is made, which is not usual, however, at the first reading, the question is put, “Shall this bill be rejected 7” If no opposition is made, or if the question to reject be negatived, the bill goes to its second reading without any motion for that purpose; and in such cases the actual practice is for the second reading to take place forthwith, immediately after the first reading, it being understood that it is by the special order of the House. The whole bill is not, in point of fact, read, but only its title, for members are informed of the contents of the bill by printed copies of it, which are furnished to them, except in the case of bills introduced on leave, which are never printed . until reported back from the committee to which they may have been referred, which is after the second reading, as every bill is read twice before it is referred. § 168. Upon the second reading of a bill, it may, according as the House shall determine, be committed, that is, referred, either to a select committee, or a standing committee, or a committee of the whole house; or it may be ordered to be engrossed, that is, copied on paper in a fair round hand, and a day be appointed when it shall be read a third time. According to the uniform practice of the House for many years, whenever a bill is ordered to be engrossed it is immediately read the third time. It is usually engrossed in advance; but whether engrossed or not. it is considered as engrossed, a question as to the fact of engrossment being seldom if ever raised.

§ 169. If the bill be committed, after it has been con sidered by the committee, it is reported back to the House, either with or without amendments, which are adopted or rejected by the House, as it sees fit. After amendments are disposed of, the bill must be ordered to be engrossed, and is then ready for the third reading, at which the vote is taken on its final passage. $170. After its passage, the bill is signed by the Speaker, and sent to the Senate for concurrence. If the Senate refuse to concur, the bill fails to become a law. Or the Senate may pass the bill with amendments, and it is then returned to the House, where the amendments may be concurred in, and the bill as amended be passed. But if the House refuse to concur in the amendments of the Senate, the bill will then fail. § 171. In case, however, of amendments in one body, which are disagreed to in the other, a committee from both is appointed at the request of either, termed a committee of conference, in which the reasons for and against the amendments are freely discussed, and such conference frequently results in a compromise or adjustment of views, which is reported to the Senate and House respectively. by its committee of conference. § 172. After a bill has passed both bodies, it is enrolled on parchment by the clerk of the House of Representatives, or by the secretary of the Senate, according as the bill may have originated in the one body or the other, and the enrolment is then compared by a joint committee of the Senate and House, with the engrossed bill as passed, for the purpose of correcting errors, if there be any, in the enrolment. $173. After that committee has thus examined the enrolment, and has so reported, the enrolled bill is signed,

« AnteriorContinuar »