What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : (H.Res. 829) The conference report containing the agreement between the House and Senate providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Department of Homeland Security - - on the resolution setting the terms for debating the conference report (2009 house Roll Call 781)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.Res. 829) The conference report containing the agreement between the House and Senate providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Department of Homeland Security - - on the resolution setting the terms for debating the conference report
house Roll Call 781     Oct 15, 2009
Member's Vote
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Progressive Position
Progressive Result
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The House and Senate had passed different versions of the bill providing fiscal year 2010 funding for the Department of Homeland Security programs. When the two Houses of Congress pass different versions of the same bill, a final version is typically negotiated in a conference between a limited number of members of both bodies, and a conference report is developed. That report then must be passed by both legislative bodies before it is sent to the president to be signed into law. This vote was on the resolution or “rule’ setting the terms for the House debate of the conference report on the 2010 Department of Homeland Security funding bill.

The Republican minority had been complaining during the entire legislative year about the procedures that the Democratic majority were using. Among those complaints were that bills were being brought to the House floor for a vote too quickly, without giving Members an adequate opportunity to review them. The Republicans raised this matter again in relation to the conference report on this bill.

Rep. Hastings (D-FL) was leading the support for the rule. He said that the funding in the conference report “helps secure our borders . . . (ensures) the safety and security of our nation's infrastructure . . . (and) provides the necessary funding to . . . protect our nation's vast transportation network . . . .”

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who was the leader on the measure for the Republicans, first agreed that “the underlying legislation provides the Department (of Homeland Security) with the tools and resources that it needs in order to continue to help to protect the nation from other terrorist attacks.” However, he urged a “nay” vote on the rule that set the terms for formally debating the bill. Diaz-Balart said his position was based on his belief that Members had not had sufficient time to review the legislation for which the rule set the terms of debate.

He asserted that “the American people have written and called their Members of Congress or they've made their opinions known at meetings throughout the nation (and asked) . . . whether (House Members) will pledge to read bills before they vote on them. The reason is, I think, that people were outraged after finding out that the majority (Democratic) leadership forced Congress to vote on a number of sweeping and expensive bills without giving Members time to understand or to really even read the bills.”

Diaz-Balart then noted that a separate bill had been introduced “that would require that all legislation and conference reports be made available to Members of Congress and to the general public for 72 hours before they are brought to the House floor for a vote.” He proposed that the House approve that bill, and then allow Members 72 hours to review the 2010 Department of Homeland Security funding bill and all subsequent legislation.

The resolution setting the terms for debate carried by a vote of 239-174.  All two hundred and thirty-nine “aye” votes were cast by Democrats. Four other Democrats joined all one hundred and seventy Republicans present and voted “nay”. As a result, the House moved to a vote on the rule setting the terms for formally debating the 2010 Department of Homeland Security funding bill, and did not consider requiring a 72 hour time period before considering any bill.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss