PAIRING, a practice whereby two members of Congress of opposing parties who plan to be absent agree that, during a specified period, they will refrain from voting in person but will permit their names to be recorded on opposite sides of each question, thereby not affecting the vote. It was first used in the House of Representatives as early as 1824 and was first openly avowed in 1840, but pairing was not officially recognized in the House rules until 1880. Pairing is also permitted in the Senate, and is customary, though not universal, in state legislatures.
Mason, Paul. Manual of Procedure for Legislative and Other Government Bodies. New York: 1953.
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