What: All Issues : War & Peace : H Res 453. A rule providing for consideration of a bill (HR 2446) that would provide aid to Afghanistan/On agreeing to the resolution (2007 house Roll Call 431)
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H Res 453. A rule providing for consideration of a bill (HR 2446) that would provide aid to Afghanistan/On agreeing to the resolution
house Roll Call 431     Jun 06, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This was the vote on passing a resolution outlining the rules for House floor consideration of a bill (HR 2446) that would allocate $6.4 billion in aid to Afghanistan.

These types of resolutions – drafted by the powerful House Rules Committee – are tools the majority party (in this case, the Democrats) uses to control floor consideration of potentially contentious bills. These resolutions typically impose time limits on floor debate and enforce strict limits on exactly which amendments may be offered and which may not.

Similarly, debate over these resolutions typically centers around the minority party’s concerns that the process for floor consideration is too restrictive and doesn’t allow for enough amendments to be offered. Debate over this resolution was no different. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, complained that the rule was “structured,” which restricts amendments to a list of ones approved by the committee, rather than “open,” which would allow anyone to offer any amendment.

“Our friends on the other side of the aisle, again, the majority had another opportunity yesterday in the Rules Committee to open the process and come forth with an open rule,” Diaz-Balart said. He also took a shot at Democrats by reminding them that many of them “promised during the campaign that they were going to bring a significant amount, as many as possible, of bills to the floor under open rules.”

Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who chairs the Rules Committee, said every amendment brought before his committee will be allowed. “We bring to the floor today [a rule] that makes every single amendment that was offered in the Rules Committee and not withdrawn by its author in order. Every Republican amendment, every Democratic amendment,” McGovern said.  McGovern fired back at the Republican party, saying though the rule isn’t open, it’s “in sharp contrast to the way they used to do business when the Republicans were in the majority, where there was a tendency to shut everything down, to close everything up, to not allow members of the minority to be able to have amendments.”

As is typically the case with these types of resolutions governing floor debate, the House passed it on a strict party line vote, 220-195, with Democrats in support and Republicans in opposition. The bill this rule structures debate on is a wide-ranging, bipartisan package of aid to Afghanistan, including anti-drug efforts and programs for women and girls. Thus, the House passed the resolution governing floor debate, and proceeded to the Afghanistan aid bill itself.

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