What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H. Res. 291. Appropriations/Energy/Procedural Vote on Bill Making Appropriations (Funding) for Energy and Water Development for Fiscal Year 2006. (2005 house Roll Call 203)
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H. Res. 291. Appropriations/Energy/Procedural Vote on Bill Making Appropriations (Funding) for Energy and Water Development for Fiscal Year 2006.
house Roll Call 203     May 24, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House ordered the previous question for the governing rule for H.R. 2419, a bill to make appropriations (fund) for energy and water development for fiscal year 2006 (FY06). (Ordering the previous question means to end debate, prevent further amendments and proceed immediately to a vote. 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.) Democrats, including Progressives, objected to the fact that the Rules Committee (the body of the House that draws up special rules for consideration of bills; it is weighted in favor of the majority party-currently the Republicans-and often works in conjunction with party leadership in formulating rules) had forbidden Democrats from offering an amendment that would have provided $250 million "to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of new energy technologies." (Allyson Schwartz (D-PA).). Republicans on the Rules Committee had denied Schwartz from offering this amendment on the grounds that it violated House rules because it was not "germane," meaning relevant to the bill. (All amendments in the House must be germane, unless a special waiver is granted.) Republicans countered that they had brought the energy appropriations bill to the floor under an "open rule," meaning that any amendment that did not violate the rules of the House would be in order and thus could be considered. Progressives lost on this issue when the House ordered the previous question on the rule by a virtually party-line vote of 219 to 190. Thus, the House proceeded to adopt the rule and move to substantive consideration of the energy appropriations bill, despite Democrats' objections.

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