What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R. 4) On tabling (killing) an effort to appeal a ruling that a Democratic motion violated the rules of the House of Representatives. The Democratic motion would have restored subsidies—which were cut by the underlying bill—for uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance, and eliminated tax benefits for oil and gas companies. (2011 house Roll Call 161)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 4) On tabling (killing) an effort to appeal a ruling that a Democratic motion violated the rules of the House of Representatives. The Democratic motion would have restored subsidies—which were cut by the underlying bill—for uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance, and eliminated tax benefits for oil and gas companies.
house Roll Call 161     Mar 03, 2011
Member's Vote
(progressive
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

This was a vote a motion to table (kill) an effort to appeal a ruling that a Democratic motion to recommit violated the rules of the House of Representatives. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This Democratic motion to recommit would have restored subsidies (which were cut by the underlying bill) for uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance, and eliminated tax benefits for oil and gas companies. (The motion was offered to legislation repealing a provision of a major health care law enacted in 2010 that required small businesses to file a tax form (a 1099 form) for all individuals who had received $600 or more from a business in exchange for property or merchandise. As stated above, the measure also cut subsidies for the uninsured to purchase health insurance.)

The health insurance subsidies cut by the underlying bill—which Democrats sought to restore in their motion to recommit—were included in a major health care reform law enacted in 2010 that expanded health insurance coverage to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans.

There was no debate on the motion to recommit. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) argued that the motion violated House rules because restoring health care subsidies would have effectively increased mandatory spending. (“Mandatory spending” refers to funding for government programs that is automatic, and does not have to be approved by Congress on an annual basis. For example, seniors receive Social Security payments simply because they are eligible for the program as a result of their age—and Congress does not need to pass legislation to mail those checks to the program’s beneficiaries. Thus, Social Security is funded by mandatory spending. In the case of this motion to recommit, subsidies for the uninsured to purchase health insurance were funded by mandatory spending. Under House rules—which were written by Republicans at the beginning of the congressional session in 2011—motions to recommit were not permitted to increase mandatory spending.)

While there was no debate on the motion to recommit, members were permitted to speak to Camp’s “point of order” (procedural objection) that the motion violated the rules of the House. Camp said: “I make a point of order against the motion because it violates…[House rules], as it has the net effect of increasing mandatory spending…”

Levin accused the Republicans of using procedural rules to shut down debate on the Democratic motion: “This motion would cut taxes, would end oil subsidies, and ensure more Americans have health insurance…. The Republicans should not try to gag us.”

The Speaker ruled in Camp’s favor, and found that the Democratic motion to recommit violated House rules. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) then appealed the Speaker’s ruling. Camp then made a motion to table (kill) Levin’s appeal.

The House tabled (killed) Levin’s appeal of the Speaker’s ruling by a vote of 243-181. All 238 Republicans present and 5 Democrats voted “yea.” 181 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House effectively killed a motion to recommit that would have restored subsidies for uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance, and eliminated tax benefits for oil and gas companies.

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