This was a vote on a resolution allowing the House of Representatives to bring up financial regulatory reform legislation.
Normally, the House Rules Committee passes a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments may be offered to bills. The full House then votes on that resolution. Following passage of the resolution, the chamber begins debate on the underlying bill. House rules, however, prohibit the full House from voting on such a resolution until the day after it passes the Rules Committee. Ordinarily, in order for the House to pass a resolution on the same day it was passed by the committee, it must receive a two-thirds majority vote.
Occasionally, the House circumvents this requirement by passing what is known as a “same-day rule.” A same-day rule is a resolution that waives the two-thirds majority vote requirement, and allows for passage with a simple majority vote. Under this procedure, the House first passes the same-day rule (which waives the two-thirds majority vote requirement). Following the vote on the same day rule, the House then passes the resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments to the underlying bill. After passing that resolution, the House can begin debate on the underlying bill. Democratic leaders used this “same-day rule” procedure for a conference report [see an explanation of conference reports in the paragraph below] on financial regulatory reform legislation, as well as a separate bill to extend unemployment insurance for laid-off workers.
The House and Senate had passed different versions of financial regulatory reform legislation. When the two Houses of Congress pass different versions of the same bill, a final version is typically negotiated in a conference between a limited number of members of both bodies, and a conference report is developed. That report then must be passed by both Houses before it is sent to the president to be signed into law.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) urged support for the same day rule: “I'm voting `yes' because I stand with working families against big banks, for transparency in the financial markets, with small businesses and family farmers and ranchers for tougher Wall Street oversight, and for progress toward preventing future bank bailouts.”
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) criticized the financial reform legislation, arguing it “grants [the federal government] some carte blanche power over the financial markets, not just on Wall Street but on Main Street, too. This bill is going to raise the costs for small business operators and consumers who will use financial institutions.”
The House agreed to the same day rule by a vote of 237-189. 237 Democrats voted “yea.” 175 Republicans and 14 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House was able to bring up a resolution (later that same day) setting a time limit for debate and prohibiting amendments to financial regulatory reform legislation as well as separate legislation extending unemployment insurance for laid-off workers.