What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H. Res. 330. Disapproval of Conduct/Vote to Reprimand Chairman Thomas (R-CA) for Ordering Capitol Police to Remove Committee Democrats from a Markup Session in the Committee on Ways and Means. (2003 house Roll Call 410)
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H. Res. 330. Disapproval of Conduct/Vote to Reprimand Chairman Thomas (R-CA) for Ordering Capitol Police to Remove Committee Democrats from a Markup Session in the Committee on Ways and Means.
house Roll Call 410     Jul 23, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

During a particularly acrimonious markup session on pension savings legislation (H.R. 1776), Representative Thomas (R-CA), chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, ordered the Capitol Police to remove Ways and Means Democrats from a library adjoining the committee room after verbal sparring broke out between him and Representative Pete Stark (D-CA). Democrats had retreated to the library from the committee room to plot strategy on the bill in response to what they characterized as bully-tactics by Chairman Thomas. After Democrats had left the Capitol Building under duress-and therefore were unable to amend the committee version of the pension bill-the Republican committee members passed the pension savings legislation and reported the measure to the House for a floor vote. Democrats, including Progressives, voiced outrage that Chairman Thomas would call upon the Capitol Police to remove Ways and Means Democrats from the markup session and then vote the legislation out of committee without Democrats present (a markup session refers to committee negotiations over the contents of legislation). In response to the brouhaha, Democrats drafted a resolution to admonish the Chairman for his strong-arm tactics and to protest that the pension legislation was not reported to the House floor in a valid manner. On this vote, Majority Leader DeLay (R-TX) motioned to table (strike down) the Democrats' resolution of disapproval. Progressives voted against the tabling motion because, in their view, the actions of Chairman Thomas illegitimately prevented Democrats from participating in the markup session and the chairman should therefore be reprimanded. On a straight party-line vote, the tabling motion was carried 223-193 and Chairman Thomas's actions were not punished.

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