What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : H. Res. 293. Defense/Procedural Vote on Governing Rule for Bill to Authorize Department of Defense Military Activities. (2005 house Roll Call 212)
 Who: All Members
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H. Res. 293. Defense/Procedural Vote on Governing Rule for Bill to Authorize Department of Defense Military Activities.
house Roll Call 212     May 25, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House ordered the previous question for the governing rule for H.R. 1815, a bill to authorize military activities of the Department of Defense 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, opposed the rule, protesting that Republicans would not permit Democrats to offer many amendments that were important to them. In particular, Ike Skelton (D-MO) had wanted to offer an amendment to strike from the bill language forbidding women from participating in many combat-support military activities. In addition, Doris Matsui (D-CA) had wanted to offer an amendment permitting military reservists to have access to the same health insurance provided to U.S. military active-duty members. Republicans countered that the substance of the bill-funding the military activities of the United States-was absolutely critical, and that some of the Democrats concerns would be addressed in a "manager's amendment" to be offered during consideration of the bill. (A manager's amendment means an amendment that would make a number of changes to the legislation that are not necessarily related to each other. A manager's amendment is typically the result of work from many representatives, is generally offered by the lead sponsor of the bill (who "manages" the debate on the House floor), and almost always has enough support to pass.) Both Democrats and Republicans also offered their opinions on the substance of the bill, highlighting what they viewed as its various merits and weak points, foreshadowing the consideration of numerous amendments. The House defeated the Progressive position when it ordered the previous question on the rule by a straight party-line vote of 225 to 200. Thus, the House proceeded to a vote on passage of the rule and a substantive debate on the bill.

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