What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Preventing Workers' Rights From Being Eroded by International Trade Agreements : H.J. Res. 84. Steel Tariffs/Vote to Hide Outcome of Steel Tariffs Issue in Complex Procedural Maneuvering. (2002 house Roll Call 129)
 Who: All Members

To find out how your Members of Congress voted on this bill, use the form on the right.

H.J. Res. 84. Steel Tariffs/Vote to Hide Outcome of Steel Tariffs Issue in Complex Procedural Maneuvering.
house Roll Call 129     May 08, 2002
Progressive Position:
Progressive Result:
Qualifies as polarizing?
Is this vote crucial?

Prior to House floor consideration, a rule drafted by the House Rules Committee-an arm of the majority party leadershipmust be adopted to set parameters on debate. The subject of this vote was a motion to move the previous question (thereby ending debate and the possibility of amendment) on a "self enforcing" rule. When the House adopts a "selfenforcing" rule, the vote on the rule is essentially a vote on the underlying legislation itself. In this case, the self-enforcing rule dealt with a resolution which expressed disapproval of President Bush's decision to impose a thirty-percent tariff on imported steel. If passed, the self-enforcing rule would automatically strike down that resolution. Proponents of the resolution argued that tariffs should be limited to twenty-percent; the tariff level recommended by the International Trade Commission (ITC). Those lawmakers argued that enacting a thirty-percent tariff would inspire foreign steel-producing nations to increase tariffs on U.S. goods as a form of retribution. Other legislators took an opposite approach. In their view, the influx of steel imports-which came mainly from Asia-violated international free trade agreements because the foreign-produced steel was sold to the U.S. below cost and was therefore illegal. U.S. steel companies, they argued, cannot effectively compete with foreign steel industries that are dumping steel on the world market to recoup losses from inefficient domestic production rather than to make a profit. Lawmakers who generally support free-trade agreements, then, were divided on the steel tariff issue; some opposed the Bush tariffs as an anti-free trade policy while others viewed the dumping of steel by foreign companies as a violation of free-trade agreements and therefore supported Bush's steel tariff. Progressives-who often support tariffs as a way to protect U.S. workers from international trade agreements-voted in opposition to the procedural motion which would allow a vote on the self-enforcing rule because, in their view, a straight up-or-down vote should have been held on the steel tariffs issue. Hiding the policy outcome of steel tariffs in complex procedural maneuvering, they argued, would hinder public awareness and reduce the accountability of lawmakers to steel workers as a result. The motion to proceed to a vote on the self enforcing rule was adopted 355-62, the rule was subsequently passed by a 386-30 vote margin, and, with the adoption of the self enforcing rule, the resolution expressing opposition to President Bush's steel tariff proposal was automatically struck down.

Issue Areas:

Find your Member of
Congress' votes

Select by Name