What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H. Res. 297. Wednesday Suspensions/Vote to Change House Procedures to Allow House Leaders Greater Ease in Scheduling Legislation Without the Possibility of Debate or Amendment. (2003 house Roll Call 323)
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H. Res. 297. Wednesday Suspensions/Vote to Change House Procedures to Allow House Leaders Greater Ease in Scheduling Legislation Without the Possibility of Debate or Amendment.
house Roll Call 323     Jun 26, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The suspensions calendar in the House is usually reserved for non-controversial pieces of legislation. When the Speaker of the House calls up a measure under suspension of the rules, debate is shut off, no amendments to the measure are allowed, and a two-thirds majority vote is required to pass the legislation. In the past, pieces of legislation could be activated from the suspensions calendar only on Mondays and Tuesdays. The subject of this vote was an effort to allow legislation to be considered under suspension of the rules on Wednesdays (in addition to Mondays and Tuesdays) for the remainder of the 108th Congress. Progressives opposed the move because, by definition, debate and amendments are not allowed on legislation considered under suspension on the rules. In their view, debate on important issues has been given short shrift in recent years and extending the suspensions procedure would only exacerbate the lack of public deliberation. Additionally, Progressives were concerned that the Republican leadership would abuse the suspensions procedure by using it for a wide variety of important legislative items that, in the past, would have been subjected to careful public scrutiny and dialogue. On a nearly party-line vote of 226-203, the proposal to extend the suspensions procedure to Wednesdays was adopted.

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