What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill Containing $350 Billion in Tax Cuts That Mainly Benefit Wealthy Individuals Which Would Reduce Federal Revenue and Likely Necessitate Cuts in Domestic Spending. (2003 house Roll Call 211)
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H.R. 2. Tax Reductions/Vote to Allow Consideration of a Bill Containing $350 Billion in Tax Cuts That Mainly Benefit Wealthy Individuals Which Would Reduce Federal Revenue and Likely Necessitate Cuts in Domestic Spending.
house Roll Call 211     May 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Prior to House consideration of legislation, agreement must be reached on a rule which sets parameters on the handling of a particular bill on the floor (rules are drafted by the House Rules Committee which functions on behalf of the majority party leadership). If the rule is to be adopted by the House on the same day it was reported from the Rules Committee, however, a two-thirds majority vote on the rule must be obtained (ordinarily, rules can be passed with a simple majority). In a effort to circumvent the two-thirds requirement for same day consideration, Republicans offered a motion to move the previous question (thereby ending debate and the possibility of amendment) on a resolution to waive the requirement and allow the rule to be passed by a simple majority, not a two-thirds majority as required under normal House practices. Progressives objected to the resolution to waive the two-thirds requirement for two main reasons. First, in the view of Progressives, the tax cut bill heavily favored wealthy individuals (by cutting the dividends tax and reducing the highest marginal income tax rate) and included too few tax breaks for low and middle income taxpayers. Second, Progressives viewed the Republican's unorthodox parliamentary maneuvering as a violation of their procedural rights. The motion to move the previous question was adopted on a 221-202 vote.

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