[Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and the Rules of the House of Representatives, 111th Congress]
[111st Congress]
[House Document 110-162]
[Jeffersons Manual of ParliamentaryPractice]
[Pages 147-148]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


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                             sec. vi--quorum

[[Page 148]]

chair may be taken and the House adjourned. And whenever, during 
business, it is observed that a quorum is not present, any member may 
call for the House to be counted, and being found deficient, business is 
suspended. 2 Hats., 125, 126.

Sec. 310. Necessity of a quorum during business, including debate. In general the chair is not to be taken till a quorum for business is present; unless, after due waiting, such a quorum be despaired of, when the
In the House the Speaker takes the Chair at the hour to which the House stood adjourned and there is no requirement that the House proceed immediately to establish a quorum, although the Speaker has the authority under clause 7 of rule XX to recognize for a call of the House at any time. The question of a quorum is not considered unless properly raised (IV, 2733; VI, 624), and it is not in order for the Speaker to recognize for a point of no quorum unless the Speaker has put the pending question or proposition to a vote. Although it was formerly the rule that a quorum was necessary for debate as well as business (IV, 2935-2949), in the 94th Congress the House restricted the Chair's ability to recognize the absence of a quorum (clause 7 of rule XX). Clause 5(c) of rule XX permits the House to operate with a ``provisional quorum'' where the House is without a quorum due to catastrophic circumstances. Title III of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2006, amended Federal election law to require States to hold special elections for the House within 49 days after a vacancy is announced by the Speaker in the extraordinary circumstance that vacancies in representation from the States exceed 100 (P.L. 109-55; 2 U.S.C. 8).