What: All Issues : Environment : Global Warming : Outlining the rules of debate for a bill to formulate energy policy (H. Res. 66)/On adoption of the rule (2007 house Roll Call 36)
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Outlining the rules of debate for a bill to formulate energy policy (H. Res. 66)/On adoption of the rule
house Roll Call 36     Jan 18, 2007
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This was the final vote on a resolution outlining the rules for consideration of a bill to limit tax benefits and require royalty payments for offshore drilling rights from the oil and gas industry and use those funds to promote alternative and renewable energies.

The resolution 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. The resolution is commonly known as the rules package.

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. No amendments were approved when the Rules Committee met on January 16.

The Democratic majority was pushing through more than a half dozen pieces of legislation as part of its "100 hours" agenda, aiming to fulfill campaign promises by enacting bills on subjects ranging from a minimum wage hike to student loan interest rate reductions to changes in the way the House handles intelligence oversight. The energy bill was the last measure included in that agenda, and Democrats said that accomplishing all of the bills in the abbreviated time frame required streamlining the legislative process.

Democrats pointed out that Republicans often prohibited them from having any say over legislation that was brought to the House floor when Republicans were in the majority. Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded: "It's not about what we did - it's about what the new majority promised that they were going to do. We are short-circuiting democracy here."

Votes on rules packages are almost always divided on party lines. Such was the case with this vote, and the parties split unanimously. All of the Republicans present voted against the motion and all of the Democrats present voted for it. Thus, by a vote of 230-194, the House passed a rules package outlining consideration of a bill to limit the federal subsidies for oil and gas companies and instead fund alternative and renewable resources.

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