What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Separation of Church & State : H.Res. 126. Jobs/Procedural Vote to Proceed to Consideration of H.R. 27, a Bill to Reauthorize Federal Job-Training Programs. (2005 house Roll Call 42)
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H.Res. 126. Jobs/Procedural Vote to Proceed to Consideration of H.R. 27, a Bill to Reauthorize Federal Job-Training Programs.
house Roll Call 42     Mar 02, 2005
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In this vote, the House agreed to proceed to consideration of H.R. 27, a bill to reauthorize federal job-training programs. Democrats, including Progressives, opposed this resolution to approve the "rule" governing consideration of the job-training bill. (The Rules Committee of the House often reports a special rule that determines the structure of debate, amendments that will be allowed and other details when a particular bill is brought to the floor. The Rules Committee is dominated by the majority party, and thus a bill's governing rule often favors that party's position. Additionally, a vote on the rule usually reflects existing support and opposition for the underlying legislation and/or loyalty to one's party.) On behalf of Democrats, James McGovern (D-MA) argued that the Republican leadership was consistently preventing Democrats from offering important amendments to legislation, and this job-training bill was no exception. Progressives also opposed the underlying job-training bill itself because it would "block-grant" numerous job-training programs for veterans, the disabled, youths and others (i.e., eliminate and send funds previously authorized under the programs to the states to be used in a discretionary manner). In addition, Progressives contended that the bill would authorize religious institutions to receive federal job-training funds while permitting them to discriminate in their hiring on the basis of religion, which they claimed could lead to discrimination on other grounds such as race or gender. Republicans countered that consideration of some important Democratic amendments was permitted under the rule. They added that the job-training bill would make the Workforce Investment Act more efficient and more relevant to the skills needed for employment in the 21st century. (The Workforce Investment Act is a law passed in 1998 to create federal programs to provide veterans, migrant workers, youth and others with the skills they need to find jobs.) Republicans further argued that the bill actually eliminated religious discrimination by putting religious organizations on the same level as other groups with respect to being permitted to apply for and receive federal funding. In a straight party-line vote, the House approved the rule for the job-training bill 227 to 191; thus, the House proceeded to consideration of the job-training legislation without allowing the Democrats to offer several amendments on the floor that they deemed essential to a fair and constitutional job-training program.

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