What: All Issues : Labor Rights : H.R. 1588. Fiscal 2004 Defense Authorization/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill to Provide Funding for the Research and Development of "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons and Exempt the Defense Department from the Endangered Species Act. (2003 house Roll Call 207)
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H.R. 1588. Fiscal 2004 Defense Authorization/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill to Provide Funding for the Research and Development of "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons and Exempt the Defense Department from the Endangered Species Act.
house Roll Call 207     May 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Democrats raised numerous objections to the $400.5 billion defense authorization bill-including provisions to restrict the rights of civilian Pentagon employees and exempt the Department of Defense from the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act-and drafted amendments to address their concerns. Under the rule adopted by the House (prior to floor consideration, a rule must be adopted governing debate on the bill), several of the Democratic amendments would be considered. Midway through House debate on the defense authorization, however, the House Rules Committee (which is in effect an arm of the majority party leadership) drafted a new rule to further restrict Democratic amendments. By specifying exactly which amendments could be considered on the House floor, the rule protected the majority party from casting tough votes on issues raised by the minority party. The subject of this vote was a motion to move the previous question (thereby ending debate and the possibility of amendment) on the new rule to further restrict Democratic amendments to the defense authorization bill. Progressives voted in opposition to the more restrictive rule because it would allow them even fewer opportunities to propose changes to the defense authorization during floor debate. Democrats unanimously opposed the motion allow consideration of the revised rule but, on a straight party line vote, the motion was passed 222-199.

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