What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Tax Breaks for the Rich : HR 4775. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Impose Strict Caps on Federal Spending and Delay Consideration of Debt Limit Increase. (2002 house Roll Call 204)
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HR 4775. 2002 Supplemental Appropriations/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Impose Strict Caps on Federal Spending and Delay Consideration of Debt Limit Increase.
house Roll Call 204     May 23, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The Republican leadership offered a spending bill to address additional funding needs following the September 11th terrorist attacks, and its core provisionsadditional spending for the military, homeland security, and New York City-received broad support. But the Republican leadership also attached controversial amendments to the bill in the hope that they would ride through on the bill's popularity. Two in particular angered Progressives: a cap on spending for 2003 that Progressives found unrealistically low; and language that prevented a vote on increasing the country's debt ceiling, something everyone knew had to be done but that Progressives wanted to bring to a vote to call attention to what they felt were the consequences of the Bush tax cuts. To fight the bill, Progressives joined Obey (D-WI) in raising countless dilatory motions and amendments. This approach was so successful that Republicans had been forced to pull the bill from the floor and start from scratch. In the House, most bills come with a "rule" that establishes the ground rules for debate and must be passed before the bill itself can be considered. The first rule Republicans had proposed for debate gave Democrats a great deal of freedom to bring amendments and other motions to a vote. After suffering at the hands of dilatory tactics by Progressives and Democrats in general, this second rule was much more restrictive: it prohibited any amendments and limited total debate to just one hour. Progressives knew their one piece of leverage would disappear under this second rule, so they voted against it. However, Republicans closed ranks and the rule passed, 213-201.

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