What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H.R. 2800. Fiscal 2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations/Vote to Grant the Minority Party More Leeway in Offering Amendments and Debating Provisions in the Bill. (2003 house Roll Call 424)
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H.R. 2800. Fiscal 2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations/Vote to Grant the Minority Party More Leeway in Offering Amendments and Debating Provisions in the Bill.
house Roll Call 424     Jul 23, 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 Foreign Operations 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 than is the case normally). 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 second attempt to rise from the Committee of the Whole during debate on the 2004 Foreign Operations appropriations bill; this time the motion was offered by Representative Jackson (D-IL). Progressives voted in favor of the motion to rise as a way to liberalize floor debate on the underlying appropriations bill. Specifically, Progressives wanted the opportunity to debate an amendment drafted by Congresswoman Lowey (D-NY) which, if passed, would have fully funded President Bush's Global AIDS Initiative (under the current rules of debate, Lowey's amendment was not allowed to be considered on the House floor). In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush pledged to contribute $3 billion in each of the next five years to combat the AIDS pandemic. The underlying spending bill, however, included only $2 billion of the president's $3 billion commitment to fight AIDS, a funding deficiency which Progressives hoped to correct though passage of Lowey's amendment. Despite support from Progressives, the motion to rise was defeated 63-342 and the restrictive rules of debate on the 2004 Foreign Operations appropriations bill remained intact.

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