What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : Providing for the consideration of legislation to authorize $2.5 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology from fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2010/On adoption of the rule (H. Res. 350) (2007 house Roll Call 275)
 Who: All Members
[POW!]
 

To find out how your Members of Congress voted on this bill, use the form on the right.

Providing for the consideration of legislation to authorize $2.5 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology from fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2010/On adoption of the rule (H. Res. 350)
house Roll Call 275     May 02, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on the rules for consideration for legislation to reauthorize the National Institute of Standards and Technology from fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2010 and provide for $2.5 billion in funding for the agency during that time.

Funding for federal agencies occurs in a two-step process under normal circumstances: First the spending levels are "authorized" and later they are actually funded through appropriations bills. Congress, with the constitutional power of the purse, has to approve spending by federal agencies, which in practice determines whether they continue to exist. The matter at hand was the reauthorization of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST resides within the Commerce Department and conducts a wide range of federally funded scientific research designed to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness.

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

Republicans opposed the rules package because the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee proposed what's known as a "structured rule," meaning that only the amendments pre-approved by the panel would get an up-or-down vote on the floor. The rule made in order five amendments approved by the Rules Committee. By contrast, an "open rule" permits any and all relevant amendments to come to a vote on the House floor.

Despite significant Republican support for the underlying bill, Republicans opposed the rules package on the grounds that it was too restrictive. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) pointed out that the last time NIST was reauthorized when Republicans controlled Congress, the majority allowed for an open rule.

"I rise today in strong support of promoting technological innovation, bolstering the strength of our manufacturing industry and contributing to the overall global competitiveness of American business," Sessions said. "However, I simply cannot support the closed rule process brought forward today by the Democrat majority that prevents all but one Republican amendment from being considered by the House."

Although Democrats didn't defend the rule on these terms, and instead just spoke of their support for the underlying bill, in general the majority desires to have the most controlled process as possible for moving bills through the House. Unlimited amendments offer an opportunity for the minority to slow the legislative process and to assert priorities often at odds with the majority party's.

As is customary on such procedural votes, the two party's captured total or near-complete loyalty from within their ranks on the rules package. Only two Republicans voted for it, joining every Democrat present in passing the measure. Thus, on a vote of 226 to 189, the House approved the rules of consideration for legislation to reauthorize the National Institutes of Standards and Technology through 2012, and the bill moved towards an up-or-down vote.

Issue Areas:

Find your Member of
Congress' votes

Select by Name