What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Immigration Law Reform : H. Res. 71. Immigration, Homeland Security/Vote to Defeat a Point of Order Regarding Mandates to be Imposed upon the States in H.R. 418, a Bill to Alter Certain Aspects of U.S. Immigration and Asylum Laws. (2005 house Roll Call 23)
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H. Res. 71. Immigration, Homeland Security/Vote to Defeat a Point of Order Regarding Mandates to be Imposed upon the States in H.R. 418, a Bill to Alter Certain Aspects of U.S. Immigration and Asylum Laws.
house Roll Call 23     Feb 09, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House voted to overrule a point of order (an interruption in the proceedings contending that consideration of the pending legislation or other current business is improper and violates the Constitution or other law or House rules; points of order take precedence over pending legislation and must be resolved before the House can continue its other business) made by Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) against H.R. 418, the REAL ID Act, a bill to make broad changes to certain aspects of U.S. immigration and asylum laws. Those changes would include restricting standards for those claiming asylum, expanding the authority of immigration judges in asylum proceedings, standardizing procedures for obtaining driver's licenses amongst the states and limiting their use for federal purposes, forbidding entry into the United States of those people who have supported terrorist organizations, and removing local and state barriers to construction of a border fence at San Diego. Jackson-Lee argued the Progressive position, stating that the driver's license-related provisions would unlawfully impose an "unfunded mandate" on the states, (meaning that Congress would impose some requirement or action to be taken on the individual states that would cost money, but fail to appropriate the funds needed to cover the states' costs, thus imposing a financial burden on the states), because it would require the states to take numerous measures to standardize and implement new procedures for issuing driver's licenses that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years. She pointed out that numerous important state government-related organizations, including the National Governors Association, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the National Conference of State Legislatures, opposed the bill for this reason. Republicans countered that the Progressives were overestimating the cost, and that the financial burden on the states, which was not as severe as Progressives claimed, was within the acceptable limits of the relevant budget law, the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. This vote was technically a procedural one-Jackson-Lee made her point of order during consideration of the rule that would govern consideration of H.R. 418. (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.) However, it was important substantively because the terms of the rule made it clear that neither this nor other points of order would be permitted during consideration of H.R. 418 once the rule was adopted. The House voted by a nearly party-line vote of 228-191 to defeat the point of order and allow consideration of H.R. 418, thus proceeding to consideration of a bill that would require states to spend money to take specific actions without providing the states with funding to cover the costs of those actions.

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