What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, Oil & Gas Industry : Energy policy (H.R. 6)/Motion to recommit (send the bill to committees of jurisdiction)
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Energy policy (H.R. 6)/Motion to recommit (send the bill to committees of jurisdiction)
house Roll Call 38     Jan 18, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on a procedural motion to a bill aimed at repealing the tax subsidies enjoyed by the oil and gas industry and redirect federal resources toward developing renewable and alternative energy sources.

Republicans bitterly protested what they said was the Democratic majority's refusal to allow the bill to go through the committee process or allow any amendments on the House floor, essentially squeezing Republicans out of the legislative process. (See Roll Call 36.)

Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) moved to recommit the bill to the committees of jurisdiction and have the legislation go through the hearings. McCrery said that the issues in the bill are "complex" and thus merit the detailed attention that only the committees could provide to improve the bill. "And because of that complexity and because of the complexity of the issues, not only the tax issues in this legislation but the energy issues as well, this bill deserves regular order," McCrery said.

"The way that this bill has been rushed through, without regular process, without opportunity for amendment, or even a substitute, makes a mockery of the legislative process and certainly, I think, shortchanges the important subjects covered in this legislation," McCrery said, adding that the motion to recommit was not a rejection of the bill, merely a desire to "hear expert witnesses, delve into the particulars of the legislation, offer amendments, try to make it better, and then, finally, bring it to the floor for a vote."

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) responded that the "meat and potatoes" of the legislation came through the Natural Resources Committee. "Much of the legislation in this bill, H.R. 6, has been debated, has had hearings held therein, and has even been voted upon by the House of Representatives in the previous Congress," Rahall added.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said that the Ways and Means Committee also had a forum to discuss this bill. "We went over it fairly carefully with experts from two sources at least," McDermott said. "And, clearly, we are making very modest changes. That was clear from the testimony we had, that these were modest changes to the law."

When the House makes bigger changes to the law, more robust hearings will be held, McDermott said.

Only one Republican broke ranks and joined all 231 Democrats present in voting against the motion to recommit. The final vote was 194 to 232. Thus, the House rejected a Republican attempt to send a bill back to committee repealing certain oil and gas tax subsidies and replacing them with federal funds for renewable resources. The legislation instead moved ahead to a final vote.

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