What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Enforcing Congressional Ethics : H. Res. 5 Providing for the consideration of House rules package for the 110th Congress/Motion to recommit with instructions (2007 house Roll Call 4)
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H. Res. 5 Providing for the consideration of House rules package for the 110th Congress/Motion to recommit with instructions
house Roll Call 4     Jan 04, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote determined the ground rules for the House's consideration of what's known as the rules package for the 110th Congress. The motion being considered was whether to send back to committee for revision the guidelines for debate of the rules package for the whole two-year session. Every two years when a new Congress meets for the first time members have to agree on what's known as a "rules package," the rules that guide lawmakers' conduct both on and off the House floor. It governs everything from how debate is conducted to what lawmakers can accept from lobbyists to what privileges are afforded to the minority party. The rules package must be agreed to before any other business is conducted, and it sets the tone for the entire two-year Congress. The rules package proposed by the Democrats for the 110th Congress codified many campaign promises, including reforms to the ethics rules, curtailing the ability of lawmakers to secretly slip provisions into bills that only benefit narrow interests and making it more difficult for Congress to pass bills that increase the deficit. This vote was a motion to recommit with instructions. A largely symbolic vote, a motion to recommit is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a measure before a final up-or-down vote. In this case, the Republicans were seeking an opportunity to determine how the rules package would be considered, such as how much floor time they would have to debate the measure. This kind of procedural vote is usually highly disciplined within each party, with the minority party voting for it and the majority against it. In this instance, both parties collected total conformity among their ranks, and all 232 Democrats voted against it and all 199 Republicans present voted for it. The motion thus failed. The failure of the motion to recommit meant that Republicans were shut out in their last attempt to modify the rules of consideration for the rules package for the 110th Congress. The rules of consideration thus moved to a final vote, paving the way for the rules package for the entire Congress itself to be adopted.

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