What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Adequate Government Funding for a Broad Range of Human Needs : (H. Res. 559) Legislation providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the operations of Congress - - on a procedural vote to determine whether the House should move to another vote on the resolution setting the terms for debating the bill (2009 house Roll Call 409)
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(H. Res. 559) Legislation providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the operations of Congress - - on a procedural vote to determine whether the House should move to another vote on the resolution setting the terms for debating the bill
house Roll Call 409     Jun 19, 2009
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
No

This was a vote on a motion to move to an immediate vote on the resolution or “rule” setting the terms for debating H.R. 2918. That bill provided $3.7 billion in fiscal year 2010 funding for all congressional operations. The rule permitted only one amendment to be offered during consideration of H.R. 2918. The Republicans expressed their strong opposition to this limitation.

Rep. Foxx (R-NC), a Member of the House Rules Committee, noted that twenty amendments had been submitted. She also noted that, “in 2006, the last year Republicans were in the majority, we made all seven amendments submitted to the Rules Committee in order. That's the way it should be.” The Republicans were using procedural tools to protest, and delay consideration of, rules they claimed were too limiting, such as this one.

One of the tools they used was first to make a motion for an immediate vote on whatever matter the House was considering, and then to demand a delaying roll call on the motion they made. In this case the matter before the House, for which a motion for an immediate vote had been called, was the rule for H.R. 2918. Although the Republicans moved for an immediate vote, they actually wanted the motion and the rule to fail. The House Rules Committee parliamentary web site suggests that the kind of motion made by the Republicans is equivalent to asking the question: “Is the House ready to vote on the matter before it?” The web site also notes that, “in order to amend a rule . . . the House must vote against the motion.”

The motion to order the previous question passed by a vote of 230-177. All 230 “aye” votes were cast by Democrats. Six other Democrats joined with one hundred and seventy-one Republicans and voted “nay”. As a result, the House then moved to another vote on approving the resolution setting the terms for debating the bill providing fiscal year 2010 funding for Congress.

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