What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : A vote on passage of a rulemaking underlying the Continuity in Representation Act (HR 2844) that allows the full chamber to begin consideration of a measure designed to provide for new elections in the event more than 100 representatives are killed in a mass catastrophe. (2004 house Roll Call 127)
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A vote on passage of a rulemaking underlying the Continuity in Representation Act (HR 2844) that allows the full chamber to begin consideration of a measure designed to provide for new elections in the event more than 100 representatives are killed in a mass catastrophe.
house Roll Call 127     Apr 22, 2004
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Conservatives prevailed in a vote on a House resolution (H Res 602) that allowed the full chamber to begin consideration of a measure designed to provide for new elections in the event more than 100 representatives are killed in a mass catastrophe. The vote, 212-197, was mostly along party lines, and was preceded by a sharply worded floor debate on the underlying measure (HR 2844). The resolution outlined the parameters for debate and allowable amendments, but progressives argued that it did not allow for present several amendments designed to make the bill more effective. Opponents of the resolution, led by House Rules ranking member Martin Frost (D-Texas), argued that "the manner in which this bill is being brought to the floor does a disservice to the very serious issue of continuity of government." Specifically, progressives were concerned that the House Judiciary Committee had not been given the opportunity to hold hearings on the legislation, and that the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, they charged, had chosen to push this remedy for massive death of members of Congress to the exclusion of any other idea, such as a Constitutional amendment. Frost said, "The House has chosen to make this a partisan issue. And the stability of our government and its institutions should not now, or ever, become a partisan issue." It especially rankled progressives that the conservative House leaders refused to permit floor debate on such a Constitutional amendment in the course of debate HR 2844. As such, said Frost, "We do not know when that amendment will actually have the opportunity to be voted on upon the floor."

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