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CLERK OF THE HOUSE.
Oath of office.
Shall be elected A Clerk shall be elected at the commencement of each at commencement of Congress. Congress.-Rule 10. The act of June 1, 1789, provides
that at the first session of Congress after every general election of representatives, the oath or affirmation therein
prescribed “shall be administered by any one member Speaker shall of the House of Representatives to the Speaker; and adıninister oath to.
by him to all the members present, and to the Clerk, previous to entering on any other business.” And in the case of a vacancy which occurred in the office of Clerk during the 31st Congress (see Journal, 1, 31, p. 789) it was decided that the House could take no action upon, nor transact, any other business until a Clerk was elected,
The following is the oath of office prescribed for the Clerk by the 10th Rule and the act of June 1, 1789, viz:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and that I will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of Clerk of the House of Representatives, to the best of my knowledge and abilities, and keep the secrets of the House."
He is also required by the act of July 2, 1862, to take an additional oath.-(See OATH.)
In the election of a Clerk there shall be a previous nomination-Rule 11; and the vote shall be taken vira voce.--Rule 10. A majority of the votes given shall be necessary to an election; and where there shall not be such a majority on the first ballot, the ballot shall be repeated until a majority be obtained. And in all ballotings blanks shall be rejected, and not taken into the count in enumeration of votes, or reported by the tellers.
-Rule 12. Tellers appoint. Before proceeding to the election of a Clerk, the Speaker ed by the Speaker.
appoints four tellers to keep and make report of the vote.
—(See ELECTIONS BY THE HOUSE.) Enters upon his [As soon as the Speaker has declared a person elected duties as soon as he takes oath. Clerk, the oath of office is administered to him, and he
enters upon the duties of the same. By the act of February 23, 1815, (Stat. at Large, Vol. III, p. 212,) it is made
the duty of the Clerk, within thirty days after he enters Gives bond.
upon the duties of his office, to give bond to the United
Additional oath of.
Mode of election,
Continues in of fice until his suc.
States, with one or more sureties, to be approved by the Comptroller of the Treasury, in the penal sum of twenty thousand dollars, with condition for the faithful application and disbursement of the contingent fund of the House.
The Clerk shall continue in office until his successor is appointed.-Rule 10.
cessor is appointBy the act of the 2d session 39th Congress, (Session Duty of, in pre
paration of roll of Laus, p. 28,) it is provided :
members elect. “ That before the first meeting of the next Congress, and of every subsequent Congress, the Clerk of the next preceding House of Representatives shall make a roll of the representatives elect, and place thereon the names of all persons claiming seats as representatives elect from States which were represented in the next preceding Congress, and of such persons only, and whose credentials show that they were regularly elected in accordance with the laws of their States respectively, or the laws of the United States." And
5. That in case of a vacancy in the office of Clerk of the House of Representatives, or of absence or inability of said Clerk to discharge the duties imposed on him by law or custom relative to the preparation of the roll of representatives or the organization of the House, the said duties shall devolve on the Sergeant-at-arms of the next preceding House of Representatives; and in case of vacancies in both of the before-mentioned offices, or of the absence or inability of both the Clerk and Sergeant-atarms to act, then the said duties shall be performed by the Doorkeeper of the next preceding House of Representatives."
“Pending the election of a Speaker, the Clerk shall Preserves order, preserve order and decorum, and shall decide all question of Speaker. tions of order that may arise, subject to appeal to the House." —Rule 146. [This rule, together with Rule 147, which provides that the existing rules shall govern future Congresses unless otherwise ordered, was adopted at the 1st session of the 36th Congress, and was intended to facilitate the organization of the House. Previously, under the authority contained in the Manual, p. 68, and the usage of the House, the Clerk had presided over its de
liberations while there was no Speaker, but simply put questions, and (where specially authorized) preserved order, not, however, undertaking to decide questions of
order.]—(See MEETING OF CONGRESS.) Contracts, &c., to be approved by
All contracts, bargains, or agreements, relative to the him.
furnishing any matter or thing, or for the performance of any labor for the House of Representatives, must be made with the Clerk, or approved by him, before any
allowance shall be made therefor by the Committee of Purchases to be Accounts.-Rule 21. And in making purchases for the of bome production.
House he is required to confine his purchases exclusively to articles of the growth and manufacture of the United States, provided the same can be procured on as good terms and of as suitable quality as foreign articles.
Stat. at Large, Vol. V, p. 681. He shall furnish The Clerk is required by law (Stat. at Large, Vol. V, astatement of contingent expenses. pp. 25, 527,) to lay before the House, at the commence
ment of each session, a full and detailed statement of the
expenditure of the contingent fund of the House; also Also, statement (Stat. at Large, Vol. V, p. 525) a statement of the clerks ed in service of and other persons employed in the service of the House House.
during the preceding year. He is also required by a resolution of the House (Journal, 1, 27, p. 495) to report,
at the commencement of each session, the quantity and Also: statement cost of all the stationery used by the House and the of stationery.
Clerk's office. He, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Senate, shall also, as soon as may be after the close
of each session of Congress, prepare and publish a stateAlso, statement ment of all appropriations made during the session; and of appropriations, new offices, &c. also a statement of the new offices created and the sala
ries of each, and also a statement of the offices the salaries of which are increased, and the amount of such in
crease.-Stat. at Large, Vol. V., p. 117. Shall certify ex. He shall, on application, certify extracts from the tracts from jour.
Journal of the House of Representatives, and for such copies shall receive the same fees as are allowed by law to the Secretary of State for similar services.--Stat, at
Large, Vol. IX, p. 80. Franking privi- Authority to frank mail matter is conferred upon the lege.
Clerk, to cover all correspondence to and from him, and all printed matter issued by authority of Congress, and
all speeches, proceedings, and debates in Congress, and all printed matter sent to him; his franking privilege to commence with the term for which he is elected and to expire on the 1st Monday of December following each term of office.-Stat, at Large, Vol. XII, pp. 708, 709.
He may, with permission of the President of the Sen. May ure books ate and Speaker of the House, have the use of the books Library. in the Congressional Library, upon the same conditions as members of Congress.—Stat. at Large, Vol. IV, p. 429. He shall advertise for proposals for furnishing sta- Shall advertise
for proposals for tionery for the use of the House of Representatives.- stationery. Stat. at Large, Vol. V, pp. 526, 527.—(See STATIONERY.)
By the act of March 3, 1863, he is required to transmit Shall transmit to the Court of Claims all petitions and bills praying or and bills to Court providing for the satisfaction of all private claims against the government, founded upon any law of Congress, or upon any regulation of an executive department, or upon any contract, express or implied, with the government, unless otherwise ordered by resolution of the House.Stat. at Large, Vol. XII, p. 765.
By the act of March 2, 1867, (Sess. Laws, pp. 100, 101,) To select news. it is provided that it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the lately in reboilion
for publication of House of Representatives to select in Virginia, South laws, &c. Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, one or more newspapers, not exceeding the number now allowed by law, in which such treaties and laws of the United States as may be ordered for publication in newspapers according to law shall be published, and in some one or more of which so selected all such advertisements as may be ordered for publication in said districts, by any United States court or judge thereof, or by any officer of such courts, or by any executive officer of the United States, shall be published, the compensation for which, and other terms of publication, shall be fixed by said Clerk at a rate not exceeding two dollars per page for the publication of treaties and laws, and not exceeding one dollar per square of eight lines of space for the publication of advertisements, the accounts for which shall be adjusted by the proper accounting officers and paid in the manner now authorized by law in the like cases; and said Clerk shall,
as soon as practicable after the passage of this act, notif each head of the several executive departments, and eacl judge of the United States courts therein, of the paper selected by him in accordance with the foregoing provi sions; and thereupon and thereafter it shall be the duty of the several executive officers charged therewith to furnish to such selected papers only an authentic copy of the publications to be made as aforesaid; and no money hereby or otherwise appropriated shall be paid for any publications or advertisements hereafter to be made in said districts, nor shall any such publication or advertisement be ordered by any department or public officer otherwise than as herein provided : Prorided, That the rates fixed in this section to be paid for the publication of the treaties and laws of the United States in the States therein designated shall also be paid for the same pub
lications in all the States not designated in this section; To designate
and that all printing of any kind ordered by the exeeexecutive utive departments shall be executed by the government printing shall be executed in certain printer, when practicable; and if not, at such office as
may be designated by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, at rates not exceeding the current rates for
such printing. To gelect news.
By the act of March 29, 1867, (Sess. Laws, p. 266.) it is States and Territ provided that so much of section seven of an act entitled tories for publica; An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses treaties.
of the government for the year ending June thirty, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, and for other purposes," approved March second, eighteen hundred and sixtyseven, as relates to the publication of the treaties and laws of the United States, be, and the same is hereby, extended to the States not therein designated, and to the Territories; and that it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, upon receiving notice of the designation of newspapers under the act aforesaid and this section, promptly to furnish to such newspapers authentic copies of the treaties and laws of the United States to be published as aforesaid: Prorided, That it shall be lawful to print the laws and treaties of the United States as afore said in three newspapers in Louisiana: And prorided further, That the rates fixed by previous laws shall not be hereby increased.