What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote on a Second Rule of Debate Which Would End Debate and Amending Activity and Bring the Underlying Supplemental Bill to a Final Vote (2003 house Roll Call 560)
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote on a Second Rule of Debate Which Would End Debate and Amending Activity and Bring the Underlying Supplemental Bill to a Final Vote
house Roll Call 560     Oct 17, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

After three days of House debate on the administration's $87 billion supplemental spending request for Iraq and Afghanistan, the Republican leadership drafted a second rule governing debate on the supplemental bill (the rules of debate are determined by the House Rules Committee, in effect an arm of the majority party leadership). Democrats, including Progressives, cried foul and pointed out that the second rule would effectively end all debate on the supplemental bill and bring the measure to a final vote. Only half of the 120 amendments that were offered during consideration of the supplemental bill, Progressives argued, had been debated on the House floor. In their view, the Republican leadership was ending debate prematurely in order to shield their rank-and-file from tough votes on widely-supported but yet-to-be-considered amendments which were drafted by Democratic lawmakers. According to Congressman Martin Frost (D-TX), the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, "The Republican Party's leadership has been nothing short of disingenuous about the debate on this supplemental." Frost also suggested that democracy must first be brought to the House of Representatives before it is introduced in Iraq. Conservatives voted in favor of the second rule because, in their view, the three days of debate on the supplemental bill gave lawmakers ample time to offer their amendments. It was time, they argued, for the House to move forward and pass the supplemental spending bill so that the money would be available for use as quickly as possible. On a party-line vote of 221-201, the second rule was adopted and further debate on amendments was not allowed on the supplemental spending bill.

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