What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : General Education Funding : Providing for consideration of a bill to authorize $1.5 billion in scholarships and continuing education for math and science teachers (H. Res. 327)/On adoption of the rules package (2007 house Roll Call 248)
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Providing for consideration of a bill to authorize $1.5 billion in scholarships and continuing education for math and science teachers (H. Res. 327)/On adoption of the rules package
house Roll Call 248     Apr 24, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote determined the rules for debate for an education bill to fund $1.5 billion in scholarships and continuing education for math and science teachers through fiscal 2012. Among other provisions, the legislation would provide $664 million in scholarships for those seeking undergraduate degrees in math and science who commit to teaching those subjects in "high-need" schools.

The measure was proposed in response to a 2005 National Academies of Sciences report warning that without increased funding for math and science education, the United States would be likely to lose technology jobs to other nations.

This resolution outlined the rules for debate for the legislation, including how much floor time would be granted to each side and which amendments would be considered in order. The resolution is thus commonly known as the rules package.

Republicans opposed the rules package because the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee proposed what's known as a "structured rule," meaning that only the amendments pre-approved by the panel would get an up-or-down vote on the floor.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) pointed out that the rules package made in order all of the amendments that were submitted to the Rules Committee - of which there were only two, both offered by Democratic lawmakers.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) nonetheless said he was "disappointed" that the Rules Committee didn't allow for a totally open rule, meaning that any and all amendments could have been offered on the House floor. "And I frankly view this as another opportunity of the promises made by the new majority that were wasted with this bill," Hastings added.

Regardless of which party happens to be controlling the House, the majority often aims to control the number of amendments that can be offered on the floor (that weren't pre-approved by the Rules Committee) because such amendments take up floor time that detracts from the majority's ability to quickly move through its agenda.

Democrats were unanimous in their support for the rules package, and only one Republican voted against it. Thus, on a party-line vote of 220 to 188, the House approved the rules for consideration for a bill to provide scholarships and continuing education for math and science teachers, and the legislation moved toward a final vote. Despite their objections to the rules package, the vast majority of Republicans ended up voting in favor of the legislation itself, and it went on to pass easily.

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