Clause 1. 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 ad...
Clause 1. Power to Judge Elections
Clause 1. 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.
Clause 2. Rules of Proceedings
Clause 2. 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.
Clause 3. Duty to Keep a Journal
Clause 3. 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.
Clause 4. Adjournments
Clause 4. 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.
Power to Judge Elections
Each House, in judging of elections under this clause, acts as a judicial tribunal, with like power to compel attendance of witnesses. In the exercise of its discretion, it may issue a warrant for the arrest of a witness to procure his testimony, without previous subpoena, if there is good reason to believe that otherwise such witness would not be forthcoming.
"A Quorum To Do Business"
For many years the view prevailed in the House of Representatives that it was necessary for a majority of the members to vote on any proposition submitted to the House in order to satisfy the constitutional requirement for a quorum. It was a common practice for the opposition to break a quorum by refusing to vote. This was changed in 1890, by a ruling made by Speaker Reed and later embodied in Rule XV of the House, that members present in the chamber but not voting would be counted in determining the presence of a quorum.
Rules of Proceedings
In the exercise of their constitutional power to determine their rules of proceedings, the Houses of Congress may not "ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the House ... The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal."
Powers of the Houses Over Members
Congress has authority to make it an offense against the United States for a Member, during his continuance in office, to receive compensation for services before a government department in relation to proceedings in which the United States is interested. Such a statute does not interfere with the legitimate authority of the Senate or House over its own Members.
In Powell v. McCormack,
Duty To Keep a Journal
The object of the clause requiring the keeping of a Journal is "to insure publicity to the proceedings of the legislature, and a correspondent responsibility of the members to their respective constituents."