What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : War on Drugs : H.R. 2799. Fiscal 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Vote to Grant the Minority Party More Leeway in Offering Amendments and Debating Provisions in the Bill. (2003 house Roll Call 404)
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H.R. 2799. Fiscal 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations/Vote to Grant the Minority Party More Leeway in Offering Amendments and Debating Provisions in the Bill.
house Roll Call 404     Jul 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Under the rules of debate drafted by the House Rules Committee-in essence an arm of the majority party leadership-the 2004 Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations bill was to be considered by the "Committee of the Whole" (the Committee of the Whole includes at least 100 House members who debate legislation on the House floor according to more restrictive rules of debate in committee). As a general rule, the procedural powers granted to minority party members in the Committee of the Whole-their ability to offer amendments, debate a measure at length, or send the legislation back to committee-are severely restricted relative to their power during debate when they are constituted in their capacity as the full House rather than in their capacity as the Committee on the Whole. This vote was a third attempt-this time offered by Representative Kucinich (D-OH)-to rise from the Committee of the Whole during debate on the 2004 Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations bill. Had the motion passed, the rules of debate on the appropriations bill would have been liberalized. Progressives voted in favor of the motion to rise as a way to liberalize floor debate on the underlying appropriations bill. Specifically, Progressives hoped to strike a provision in the spending bill which, in their view, seriously restricts the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to prosecute firearms dealers who knowingly sell guns to convicted felons or other individuals who, by virtue of their criminal records or mental handicaps, are not legally permitted to own a firearm. Despite support from Progressives, the motion to rise was defeated 75-307 and the restrictive rules of debate on the 2004 Commerce, Justice, and State Appropriations bill remained intact.

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