This was a vote on a motion to suspend the rules and pass legislation expanding the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park by 151 acres in Bexar and Wilson counties in Texas.
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. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX) urged support for the bill: “The need to prepare for this growth is clear. Just last year alone, in 2009, the park had a record-breaking year of visitations with over 1.7 million people visiting the park, a 35 percent increase over 2008 levels. This legislation ensures that future generations will be able to walk along the river and see the city through the eyes of its past inhabitants as they look upon these historic structures and learn about the people that settled the region.”
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) argued the measure was fiscally irresponsible: “The stated purpose of this bill is to expand the park by an additional 151 acres….the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] cost estimate is fairly precise, $4 million….The current level of Federal spending is too high to rubber-stamp the flood of plans to expand our government's property holdings….I urge my colleagues to exercise some fiscal restraint here today, support property rights, and oppose this bill.”
The House agreed to the motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill by a vote of 264-114. 225 Democrats and 39 Republicans voted “yea.” 113 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation expanding the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park by 151 acres in Bexar and Wilson counties.