"Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, . . .
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same . . ."
Article I, Section 5
As soon as both Houses of Congress
achieved the required quorum, the senators and representatives elected their officers,
drew up rules for conducting their business, counted the electoral votes for president
and vice president, planned the inaugural ceremonies, and tended to other procedural
business. Almost every action set the tone for the new government and established
precedents for future Congresses. Members were quite aware that, as Connecticut Governor
Samuel Huntington wrote to Senators William S. Johnson and Oliver Ellsworth, "Public
attention is very much fixed on the proceedings of the new Congress."
(March 30, 1789, Connecticut Historical Society) Thus, they sought to settle these matters
quickly and move on to their pressing legislative agenda.