All reports of committees should be signed by a majority of the members.
Reports of committees are of two kinds. 1. They may contain simply a statement of facts, reasoning or opinion, and without recommending definite action. Such reports usually conclude with a resolution to discharge the committee from the further consideration of the subject. 2. They may contain an argument on the proposition submitted, and recommend definite action. Such reports will conclude with resolutions, condensing the main facts or reasoning, and declaring distinct conclusions. In both cases, the resolutions are the proper objects for the action of the meeting, although with reports of the first class, it is not uncommon to adopt them formally,as embracing the views of the whole body.
When a report which has been recommitted, is reported back to the meeting with amendments, the usual course is to read the amendments, and take the question on them separately. If an entire new draft is substituted, it is customary to accept the new draft as a substitute for the original paper, and read it accordingly.
The Secretary may deliver the communications and resolutions referred to a committee, to any member of the committee, but it is usual to deliver them to him who is first named.
When a subject is referred to a committee, with particular instructions, the committee, of course, are required to obey the instructions, and make their report accordingly. In other cases, the committee have full power over the subject committed to their consideration, and can make such report as they think proper.
From the Journal of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, March 4, 1843.
The House resumed the consideration of the motion to print one thousand copies of the report of the majority, in connection with the report of the minority of the committee, on the subject of preferring articles of impeachment against the Governor of this Commonwealth.
And the question recurring "Will the House agree to the motion?" A motion was made by Mr. Sherwood, to postpone the further consideration of the motion, together with the subject, indefinitely. And on the question "Will the House agree to the motion?" Mr. James put the question to the chair, "Whether that part of the report which relates to 'Morrow B. Lowry,' is in order?"
The Speaker decided that the minority of the committee, appointed to examine the subject of the impeachment of David R. Porter, Governor of this Commonwealth, in their report to this House, in alluding to a report made last session by the gentleman from Crawford, calls that gentleman by name, which part of the said report the Speaker decided is not in order, and is un. parliamentary; and that it is a matter of no difference, whether the gentleman from Crawford was acting in the capacity of a legislator, either during the past or present session.
From this decision Mr. Morris and Mr. Hinchman appealed to the House, and on the question, " Is the decision of the Spoak-er correct?" the yeas and nays were required by Mr. Kennedy, of Beaver, and Mr. Sherwood, and were - yeas 52, nays 30. So the question was determined in the affirmative.