This was a vote on a motion to suspend the rules and pass a bill requiring the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study of the Hudson River Valley in New York to evaluate the national significance of the area and to determine the feasibility and suitability of designating the valley as a unit of the National Park System.
The majority party in the House schedules bills for floor debate under this procedure known as "suspension of the rules" if the leadership deems them to be non-controversial. Motions to suspend the rules limit time allowed for debate, and prohibit members from offering amendments. A two-thirds vote is required to approve the motion and pass a bill, rather than the usual majority.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) argued that, given the Hudson River Valley's unique characteristics and history, it ought to be made part of the National Park Service system: "The Hudson River Valley is one of the most significant river corridors in our country.…Passage of this bill and the subsequent study would position the Hudson River Valley to gain the full attention of the National Park Service for all of the significant and substantial historic contributions this region has made to the development, establishment, and the continuation of the United States, as well as for the area's pristine natural beauty."
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) argued the bill could lead to additional federal regulations with respect to various recreational activities in the valley (such as hunting and fishing): "As we in the West painfully know, national park designation comes with an abundance of regulations and direct federal management. It is important that people living in the affected area know ahead of time how much authority over their local affairs will be ceded to the federal government."
The House agreed to the motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill by a vote of 293-115. 243 Democrats and 50 Republicans voted "yea." 114 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted "nay." As a result, the House passed legislation requiring the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study evaluating the the feasibility of designating the Hudson River Valley in New York as a unit of the National Park System.