People In The Government

Approval of the Journal
1. The Speaker shall take the Chair on every legislative day precisely at the hour to which the House last adjourned and immediately call the House to order. Having examined and approved the Journal of the last day’s proceedings, the Speaker shall announce to the House his approval thereof. The Speaker’s approval of the Journal shall be deemed agreed to unless a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner demands a vote thereon. If such a vote is decided in the affirmative, it shall not be subject to a motion to reconsider. If such a vote is decided in the negative, then one motion that the Journal be read shall be privileged, shall be decided without debate, and shall not be subject to a motion to reconsider.


Preservation of order
2. The Speaker shall preserve order and decorum and, in case of disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries or in the lobby, may cause the same to be cleared.


Control of Capitol facilities
3. Except as otherwise provided by rule or law, the Speaker shall have general control of the Hall of the House, the corridors and passages in the part of the Capitol assigned to the use of the House, and the disposal of unappropriated rooms in that part of the Capitol.


Signature of documents
4. The Speaker shall sign all acts and joint resolutions passed by the two Houses and all writs, warrants, and subpoenas of, or issued by order of, the House. The Speaker may sign enrolled bills and joint resolutions whether or not the House is in session.


Questions of order
5. The Speaker shall decide all questions of order, subject to appeal by a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner. On such an appeal a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not speak more than once without permission of the House.


Form of a question
6. The Speaker shall rise to put a question but may state it sitting. The Speaker shall put a question in this form: “Those in favor (of the question), say ‘Aye.’ ”; and after the affirmative voice is expressed, “Those opposed, say ‘No.’ ”. After a vote by voice under this clause, the Speaker may use such voting procedures as may be invoked under rule XX.


Discretion to vote
7. The Speaker is not required to vote in ordinary legislative proceedings, except when his vote would be decisive or when the House is engaged in voting by ballot.


Speaker pro tempore
8. (a) The Speaker may appoint a Member to perform the duties of the Chair. Except as specified in paragraph (b), such an appointment may not extend beyond three legislative days.

(b)(1) In the case of his illness, the Speaker may appoint a Member to perform the duties of the Chair for a period not exceeding 10 days, subject to the approval of the House. If the Speaker is absent and has omitted to make such an appointment, then the House shall elect a Speaker pro tempore to act during the absence of the Speaker.

(2) With the approval of the House, the Speaker may appoint a Member to act as Speaker pro tempore only to sign enrolled bills and joint resolutions for a specified period of time.


Term limit
9. A person may not serve as Speaker for more than four consecutive Congresses (disregarding for this purpose any service for less than a full session in any Congress).


Designation of travel
10. The Speaker may designate a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House to travel on the business of the House within or without the United States, whether the House is meeting, has recessed, or has adjourned. Expenses for such travel may be paid from applicable accounts of the House described in clause 1(i)(1) of rule X on vouchers approved and signed solely by the Speaker.


Committee appointment
11. The Speaker shall appoint all select, joint, and conference committees ordered by the House. At any time after an original appointment, the Speaker may remove Members, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner from, or appoint additional Members, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner to, a select or conference committee. In appointing Members, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner to conference committees, the Speaker shall appoint no less than a majority who generally supported the House position as determined by the Speaker, shall name those who are primarily responsible