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US Code. Title 3, Section 18 - what does this mean?

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shiina Donating Member (294 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-05 10:31 PM
Original message
US Code. Title 3, Section 18 - what does this mean?
I'm just watching the 2001 debacle for the 3rd time in a row (rtsp://cspanrm.fplive.net/cspan/odrive/rwh010701.rm ), trying to absorb everything that happened...

McKinney stood and moved for the House to withdraw from the joint session. Gore quoted Sections 15-18 of Title 3 of United States Code, saying even if something involved only the House, a Senate signature would still be needed. So I read sections 15-18, and here's what section 18 says "While the two Houses shall be in meeting as provided in this chapter, the President of the Senate shall have power to preserve order; and no debate shall be allowed and no question shall be put by the presiding officer except to either House on a motion to withdraw<\b>."

What does that mean? "...except to either House on a motion to withdraw?"


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k8conant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-05 10:34 PM
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1. Sounds as if a motion to adjourn is always in order...????
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-05 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Sounds like on a motion to withdraw to their separate houses
Where they have their 2 hours of debate
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ConstitutionGuy Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-05 10:39 PM
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2. It means
that while the two houses are meeting together in joint session to receive and count the votes, the presiding officer (in this case the president of the Senate, i.e. Cheney), has the power to preserve order and the chair will put no motion on the floor except a motion for the two houses to withdraw to their separate chambers to consider an objection filed under Section 15.

In other words, there are only two allowable activities during the joint session. The first obvioiusly is the counting and announcing of votes from each state. The other is the receiving of written objections and a motion for the two houses to retire to consider the objection.

If any member of either house tries to force any other business or discussion during the joint session, the presiding officer is empowered to rule them out of order and to enforce the ruling - this probably could even extend to having the sergeant-at-arms remove a member who refuses to abide by the rules of debate.
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-05-05 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. If Ya Read Section 18
Edited on Wed Jan-05-05 10:42 PM by rwenos
together with sections 14-17, it looks like a "motion to withdraw" would be made in either House, if it had an issue to be decided -- i.e., if an issue arises which requires either House to vote on it separately, a "motion to withdraw" would need to be made to the Committee of the Whole -- i.e., both Houses assembled, the President of the Senate presiding.

This is VERY archaic language.

In other words, I'm agreeing with Constitution Guy, but he said it better. :-)
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