What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Funding for Homeland Security : H RES 242. Providing for the consideration of H.R. 1362, Accountability in Contracting Act/On agreeing to the resolution (2007 house Roll Call 154)
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H RES 242. Providing for the consideration of H.R. 1362, Accountability in Contracting Act/On agreeing to the resolution
house Roll Call 154     Mar 15, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote set the rules for debate for legislation aimed at increasing the oversight of government contracts and fixing procurement issues at the Defense Department and other federal agencies. The bill requires federal agencies to minimize their use of no-bid contracts and limits the duration of large noncompetitive contracts to one year.

The resolution, commonly known as a "rules package," outlined the rules for debate for the legislation, including how much floor time would be granted to each side and which amendments would be considered in order.

Republicans opposed the rules package because the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee proposed what's known as a "closed rule," meaning that only the amendments pre-approved by the panel would get an up-or-down vote on the floor. Republicans wanted to offer amendments that the Rules Committee did not allow.

Many Republicans also opposed the underlying legislation because they believe it would unduly burden the entire federal contracting sector, instead of just punishing the actions of a few "bad actors," in the words of Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). Democrats said the bill was necessary to restore adequate oversight to government contracts at the Defense Department, many of which - totaling billions of dollars -- have been handed out without a competitive bidding process.

Procedural votes are almost always strict party-line affairs, and this one was true to form. All 222 Democrats present voted to approve the rules package, and all Republicans present but one voted against it. The total vote was thus 223-190, and the resolution outlining rules for consideration of a bill to require federal agencies to minimize their use of no-bid contracts and improve oversight of the procurement process passed the House, making way for the bill to come up for a vote.

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