What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H. Res. 278. Appropriations/Homeland Security/Procedural Vote on Governing Rule for Bill to Fund the Department of Homeland Security in Fiscal Year 2006. (2005 house Roll Call 175)
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H. Res. 278. Appropriations/Homeland Security/Procedural Vote on Governing Rule for Bill to Fund the Department of Homeland Security in Fiscal Year 2006.
house Roll Call 175     May 17, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House adopted the governing rule for H.R. 2360, a bill to make appropriations (fund) for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2006 (FY06). (A rule sets forth what amendments House members may offer, how much time each side will be permitted to speak, how long the debate can last, etc. A vote on the rule usually reflects existing support and opposition for the underlying legislation and/or loyalty to one's party.) This vote was a follow-up to vote number 174. Each year, Congress must appropriate funds to be spent by the various departments of the federal government in the following fiscal year. Because the Department of Homeland Security was a relatively new department, procedures and politics relating to its congressional oversight and funding were somewhat uncertain. Both Democrats and Republicans expressed some concerns over information that they said the Department of Homeland Security had refused to turn over to Congress, despite repeated requests. Republicans initially disagreed amongst themselves over the bill due to an internal turf battle between committee chairs, but were able to resolve that difference just prior to this vote. Democrats, including Progressives, attacked the Republican infighting as detrimental to the critical function of the Department of Homeland Security: "This bill is being eviscerated because of a juvenile, a juvenile, dispute within the Republican caucus about committee jurisdictions. It is . . . dung hill politics, where people put the welfare of their own committee ahead of the welfare of this institution and the welfare of the country. It is little league politics at its worst." (David Obey (D-WI).) Democrats from the subcommittee that had drawn up the bill also criticized what they viewed as the efforts of some of the Republicans to scuttle the bill, which emerged from the subcommittee with some bipartisan agreement. Democrats also opposed the rule because it would not permit Obey to offer an amendment to provide additional funding for border security. Republicans won this vote on the rule when the House adopted the rule by winning a straight party-line vote of 222 to 185. Thus, the House proceeded to consideration of the bill to provide appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for FY06.

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