What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : Providing for consideration (H. Res. 382) of legislation to authorize $40 billion for the Homeland Security Department for fiscal 2008 (H.R. 1684)/On adoption of the rule
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Providing for consideration (H. Res. 382) of legislation to authorize $40 billion for the Homeland Security Department for fiscal 2008 (H.R. 1684)/On adoption of the rule
house Roll Call 311     May 09, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was the final vote on the rules for consideration for a bill to authorize $39.8 billion for the Homeland Security Department for fiscal 2008.

The resolution outlined the rules for debate for the legislation, including how much floor time would be granted to each side and which amendments would be considered in order. The resolution is thus commonly known as the rules package.

Republicans opposed the rules package because of their opposition to the so-called "structured rule" proposed by the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee. Under a structured rule, only amendments pre-approved by the Rules Committee can be offered on the House floor.

Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said that Democrats did allow several amendments and that he looked "forward to an active debate and the opportunity to present my manager's amendment."

A manager's amendment is offered by the committee chairman and can be comprised of technical amendments or changes of a more substantial nature (or some combination thereof). Republicans opposed the manager's amendment because they said it would undo the bipartisan effort that created the legislation in committee.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said that he supported the bill when it was in committee, but opposed the rule and the new version of the bill because of the manager's amendment. "Unfortunately, the bill that comes to the floor today has been either stripped or dramatically modified up to 50 percent of the original provisions," King said.

"And some of these are very significant provisions, probably none more significant than just the sense of Congress, which was so strongly recommended by the 9/11 Commission, saying that the Committee on Homeland Security should be the focal point of legislative activity regarding the Department of Homeland Security, rather than having offices and officials of the Department having to testify before 84 or 86 or 88 various committees and subcommittees of the House," King continued. He said that was just one of many significant provisions stripped from the bill by the manager's amendment.

The rules of consideration automatically stipulated for the adoption of the manager's amendment, meaning that a vote for the rules package was also a vote to adopt the manager's amendment. The structured rule prevented Republicans from offering amendments to that and other provisions they wished to see changed.

On an almost total party-line vote, the House adopted the rules package. Republicans were unanimous in their opposition, and all but one Democrat voted for it. Thus, by a vote of 222 to 197, the House approved the rules for consideration for legislation authorizing $39.8 billion in funding the Homeland Security Department for fiscal 2008, making way for the bill to come to the House floor for debate, amendment and a final vote.

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