United States Constitution – Article I sec 5
Section 5 describes who sets the rules and procedures for each House.
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
- Each House the final judge of the election of their members; whether they were legitimately elected and meet the qualifications.
- A chamber of Congress cannot do business without a simple majority of the members present, except:
- for the business of adjournment or
- to compel its members to show up to do business.
- Each house can determine the methods and penalties that can be used to compel attendance.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House can write their own rules:
- for doing its business (Parliamentary Procedures),
- for punishing disorderly Members, and
- expelling a Member – if 2/3 of the Members agree.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Each House must keep a record of what it does, and publish it periodically. Portions they believe require secrecy need not be published (publicly).
1/5 of the Members can require that the vote of each Member, on a particular question, be entered into the record.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Neither House can adjourn for more than 3 days without the consent of the other House. Nor can either House convene at a separate location. House Concurrent Resolution 1 (H. Con. Res. 1) attempts to establish this consent with the Senate, under certain conditions, to convene someplace outside of D.C. – if, in their (Speaker and Senate Leader) opinion, the public interest shall warrant it. Not due to attack or natural disaster, but “public interest”, whatever that may be. The resolution died without action in the Senate.
House Concurrent Resolutions (H. Con. Res.) and Senate Concurrent Resolutions (S. Con. Res.) require the approval of both chambers but do not require the signature of the President and do not have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions generally are used to make or amend rules that apply to both chambers.
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