What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Right to Government Information : H. Res. 6 Adopting the rules of the House of Representative for the 110th Congress/On adopting Title 5 of the resolution (2007 house Roll Call 11)
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H. Res. 6 Adopting the rules of the House of Representative for the 110th Congress/On adopting Title 5 of the resolution
house Roll Call 11     Jan 05, 2007
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Every two years when a new Congress meets for the first time members have to agree on what's known as a "rules package," the ground rules that guide lawmakers' conduct both on and off the House floor. It governs everything from how debate is conducted to what lawmakers can accept from lobbyists to what privileges are afforded to the minority party. The rules package must be agreed to before any other business is conducted, and it sets the tone for the entire two-year Congress. The rules package proposed by the Democrats for the 110th Congress codified many campaign promises, including reforms to the ethics rules, curtailing the ability of lawmakers to secretly slip provisions into bills that only benefit narrow interests and making it more difficult for Congress to pass bills that increase the deficit. In the Democrats' view, the rules package serves to reign in the abuses of House civility and corruption they perceived since the chamber underwent Republican control in 1995. This vote was on adoption of Title 5 of the resolution, which included provisions to pave the way for consideration of legislation to implement the Democratic leadership's so-called "100 hours" plan at a time to be designated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). During the 2006 campaign, Democrats promised that if they took power they would spend the first 100 hours of their governance cleaning up what they deemed Republican abuses of civility and ethics as well as pass a series of bills blocked by the previous Congress. Contained under "special orders of business" in the rules package, the agenda included an increase in the minimum wage, a bill allowing the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices, a measure implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission report to enhance intelligence oversight and legislation broadening the stem-cell research that can be conducted with federal funds. Additionally, this section of the rules package renamed the International Relations Committee, reverting back to its Foreign Affairs Committee name, as had been the case in past Congresses that were under Democratic control. The Resources Committee also was changed to the Natural Resources Committee; the Science panel became the Science and Technology Committee; Government Reform was renamed the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The last name change also carried with it a reform to give the committee authority to subpoena witnesses to testify under oath. All 232 Democrats present voted to enact Title 5 of the rules package, and all 200 Republicans present voted against it. Thus, the final title of the rules package for the 110th Congress was passed with a number of reforms and paved the way for the Democrats' "first 100 hours" of priority legislation.

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