What: All Issues : Environment : Rail Transportation : H. Res. 270, providing for the consideration of H.R. 1401 (Rail and Public Transportation Security Act)/On ordering the previous question (2007 house Roll Call 190)
 Who: All Members
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H. Res. 270, providing for the consideration of H.R. 1401 (Rail and Public Transportation Security Act)/On ordering the previous question
house Roll Call 190     Mar 27, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a procedural vote on a resolution outlining the rules for debate on a bill to authorize over $6 billion over four years to improve bus and rail security in the United States.

Known as the "rules package," the resolution determined how much time each side would get to debate the measure, what amendments would be considered in order and what procedural motions would be allowed.

The legislation this resolution outlined rules of debate for was hailed by one of its drafters, Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), as "an important milestone" in protecting the countries transit systems. Many Republicans complained that the bill was potentially wasteful, and in the words of the ranking Republican on the Transportation panel, Rep. John Mica (Fla.), would distribute funds "willy-nilly."

Many Republicans were also unhappy because the Democrat-dominated Rules Committee did not allow all Republican-sponsored amendments to be offered on the House floor.

This vote was a motion ordering the previous question, which is a parliamentary maneuver that effectively ends debate, prohibits amendment and moves the House to a vote for an up-or-down of the resolution under consideration. If the motion for the previous question is defeated, the House in effect turns control of the floor over to the lawmaker who led the opposition to the question at hand, usually a member of the minority party. As such, motions to order the previous question are usually party-line votes, and the majority party almost always prevails.

Such was the case for this vote, and all Republicans present voted against the measure and all but two Democrats present voted for it, and the motion passed 222-199. Thus, the House moved towards a vote on a resolution outlining the rules for debate on a bill to authorize over $6 billion to improve transit security.

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