What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs : H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Allow Same-Day Consideration of a Rule Governing Debate on the Prescription Drug Conference Report. (2003 house Roll Call 660)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Allow Same-Day Consideration of a Rule Governing Debate on the Prescription Drug Conference Report.
house Roll Call 660     Nov 21, 2003
Member's Vote
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or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

This vote was the second in a series of five procedural votes which were held prior to a vote on final passage of the prescription drug bill. Before legislation can be considered in the House, agreement must be reached on a rule governing debate on a particular bill (rules are drafted by the House Rules Committee, a de facto arm of the majority party leadership). Additionally, according to procedural rules in the House, passage of a rule on the same day that the rule was reported from the Rules Committee requires a two-thirds majority vote rather than a simple majority vote. (The two-thirds requirement for same-day consideration of a rule is intended to insure that lawmakers have ample time to review a particular piece of legislation prior to House floor debate.) In a effort to circumvent the two-thirds requirement for same day consideration of a rule governing debate on the prescription drug conference report, Republicans proposed a resolution which would waive the two-thirds majority requirement as required under normal House practices and allow the rule to be passed by a simple majority. Progressives characterized the resolution as yet another attempt by Republicans to violate both the rules of the House and the rights of minority Democrats (see also House vote 590 for other examples of what Democrats have characterized as strong-arm, or even unlawful, tactics by the Republican leadership). Progressives protested that holding House floor debate on the 1,100 page prescription drug conference report on the same day that it was reported from conference committee provided them with an insufficient amount of time to read the document and understand its contents (lawmakers are normally provided three days to examine a completed piece of legislation before it is considered on the House floor). Conservatives supported the same-day rule and argued that the end of the congressional session in two weeks justified their efforts to complete action on the prescription drug conference report. On a party line vote of 228-200, the resolution to allow a simple majority vote in favor of the same-day rule governing debate on the prescription drug conference report was adopted.

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