Fiscal 2007 continuing resolution to fund the federal government (H. J. Res. 20)/Motion to table (kill) the motion to reconsider
house Roll Call 69 Jan 31, 2007
This was another motion by Republicans protesting the way the Democratic majority had handled the crafting and floor consideration of legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2007. (See also Roll Call 68.)
As a way to continue tying up the House and prevent the majority Democrats from swiftly moving through a bill that was all but assured of passage, the Republicans moved to reconsider the previous protest vote, which was a question of whether the House would take up the spending bill. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) moved to reconsider, which essentially asks the House to vote again. Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) then moved to table (kill) the motion to reconsider. This vote was on Obey's motion to table.
Republicans bitterly protested because the Democratic majority passed rules for debate on the continuing resolution that prevented amendment (see Roll Call 67). Republicans said that was egregious because the continuing resolution (CR) amounted to an omnibus appropriations bill, in which they had very little say. An omnibus is a number of spending bills rolled together in one piece of legislation for expediency. Typically, CRs are one-page documents that just carry forward last year's funding levels into the next fiscal year with mere inflationary adjustments. This legislation carried 137 pages of budgetary changes to veterans' benefits, health care and education, codifying many Democratic priorities with which Republicans didn't agree.
The appropriations bill was necessary at all only because the Republicans did not finish the mandatory spending bills at the end of their tenure in the leadership of both chambers of Congress in January 2007 and instead passed a continuing resolution funding the government until Feb. 15. Rather than pass individual bills for the nine leftover fiscal 2007 spending measures, the new Democratic leadership chose to roll them all into one bill. Without another continuing resolution to fund the departments and agencies, a large portion of the federal government would have to shut down.
The continuing resolution would provide $463.5 billion for the programs covered by the nine outstanding fiscal 2007 appropriations bills.
Democrats defended their approach by pointing out that continuing resolutions typically are passed without the opportunity for amendment. Republicans countered that was only true when they were true continuing resolutions, unlike this legislation that included many changes over fiscal 2006 funding levels.
Obey, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, said Republicans abdicated their responsibilities by leaving the fiscal 2007 spending bills to the next Congress. "You forfeited any right to squawk about how we cleaned up your mess," he said.
On an almost completely party-line vote, the House affirmed its previous decision to proceed with the spending bill. Only one Democrat voted against it, and two Republicans joined with the remaining Democrats present to vote for the motion. Thus, by a vote of 226 to 180, the House dispensed with a procedural tactic by Republicans to further delay consideration of a spending bill to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal 2007.
MAKING GOVERNMENT WORK FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST THE RICH OR POWERFUL — Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs
MAKING GOVERNMENT WORK FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST THE RICH OR POWERFUL — Insuring Government Has Adequate Financing to Function
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