The Constitution Article I section 5 Clauses 1-4

Article I section 5 Clauses 1 through 4

[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.

[2] Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

[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.

[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.

Another simple yet effective bit of text. Both houses are in charge of determining if elections are fair, they are in charge of making there own rules, and they need a Quorum to do business.

A quorum means that a majority of members must be present. If at any time a member realizes that they do not have a quorum then they can alert the speaker and bells ring all over the capital and people rush to form one. (really bells actually ring) Each house may authorize its sergeants at arms to arrest absent members and compel their attendance to establish a quorum to do business.

Each house keeps a journal which you can read online at

To keep both houses on a similar schedule they are not allowed to go to another place or close for more than three days. To keep things moving forward when only one house is working members of the other house will often send a single senator or rep and have them gavel the session open and shut. Often these members will attempt to open and shut the session as fast as possible as a sort of game.