What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Enforcing Congressional Ethics : H. Res. 153. Ethics/Procedural Vote to Table (Kill) Resolution to Establish Bipartisan Task Force to Recommend Changes to House Ethics Rules. (2005 house Roll Call 70)
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H. Res. 153. Ethics/Procedural Vote to Table (Kill) Resolution to Establish Bipartisan Task Force to Recommend Changes to House Ethics Rules.
house Roll Call 70     Mar 15, 2005
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In this vote, the House agreed to proceed to consideration of H.R. 1268, a bill to provide emergency supplemental funds for U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for other purposes. The vote was on ordering the previous question on the rule for H.R. 1268, meaning that by approving the resolution, the House agreed to end debate, prevent further amendments and proceed immediately to a vote on the measure preventing the minority-in this case, the Democrats-from offering amendments they believed to be critical. (A "rule" sets forth what amendments House members may offer with respect to a particular piece of legislation, how much time each side will be permitted to speak, how long the debate can last, etc. A bill's governing rule often reflects the majority party position on the underlying bill.) Progressives opposed the resolution both because of limits the Republican-dominated Rules Committee imposed on the bill's consideration and because they opposed the substance of the bill. Progressives' reasons behind their objections included: first, they felt that there was a lack of accountability with regard to the funding of contractors in Iraq; second, they objected to the fact that the rule would permit "points of order" to eliminate provisions in the bill increasing death-related military benefits (a "point of order" is an interruption in the proceedings contending that consideration of the pending legislation or other current business is improper and violates the Constitution or other law or House rules; points of order take precedence over pending legislation and must be resolved before the House can continue its other business); third, they objected to the rule's prohibition on considering several Democratic amendments, including some dealing with veterans health and mental health care; fourth, they objected to Republican intentions to attach another provision restricting the ability of aliens to prove asylum cases to the bill, as well as several other reasons. Republicans countered that these emergency supplemental funds were necessary to support U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the immigration measure was critical for U.S. efforts to keep potential terrorists out of the United States or to expel them if they are already here. On a nearly straight party-line vote of 220 to 195, the House accepted the rule to proceed with consideration of the emergency supplemental funding bill, including the immigration measure. Thus, Democrats were prevented from offering numerous provisions they deemed important-such as health and mental health care for veterans-during consideration of the bill.

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