What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Enfranchising the Disenfranchised/Voting Rights : Rules governing debate (H. Res. 86) for a resolution to provide limited voting rights for delegates to the House/Motion to table (kill) the motion to reconsider the previous vote (2007 house Roll Call 52)
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Rules governing debate (H. Res. 86) for a resolution to provide limited voting rights for delegates to the House/Motion to table (kill) the motion to reconsider the previous vote
house Roll Call 52     Jan 24, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on a Democratic motion to table (kill) a Republican motion to reconsider the previous vote (see Roll Call 51). That vote dealt with a procedural motion to the rules of consideration for a measure to give limited voting rights on the House floor to the delegates from Guam, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands as well as the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico.

A lawmaker may offer a motion to reconsider if he or she voted with the prevailing side on the vote in question. Rep. David Dreier (Calif.) was the only Republican to vote for the previous motion, presumably to reserve his right to move to reconsider. Although he did not explain his actions, procedural motions such as these are often made as a way to tie up the House's time when the minority disapproves of the way the majority is conducting business.

Republicans had been complaining for days that the Democrats were not giving them say in the legislative process. Democrats claimed that the demands of accomplishing all of the business that Republicans had let languish when they were in the majority necessitated the hardball tactics, and at the same time claimed that they were willing to work with the minority Republicans if they were sincere in their desire to seek harmony between the parties.

Upon Dreier's motion to reconsider, Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) immediately motioned to table Dreier's motion.

Procedural votes such as this one are almost always strict party-line affairs, and this vote was no exception. All of the Democrats present voted for the motion to table, and all of the Republicans opposed it. Thus, debate on the rules package for a resolution providing limited floor-voting privileges to delegates from the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories was stalled by a partisan squabble over the legislative process and delaying tactics by Republicans. The Democrats ultimately prevailed, however, moving one step closer to adoption of the rules package.

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