What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Corporate Tax Breaks, Oil & Gas Industry : Energy policy (H.R. 6)/Appealing the ruling of the chair that the bill did not meet the criteria to require a three-fifths majority for passage
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Energy policy (H.R. 6)/Appealing the ruling of the chair that the bill did not meet the criteria to require a three-fifths majority for passage
house Roll Call 39     Jan 18, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a procedural vote on a bill to repeal certain oil and gas tax subsidies and replace them with funds for renewable energy sources. Republicans asserted that because the bill amounted to a tax increase, under House rules it required a three-fifths majority to pass.

The chairman of the deliberations on the House floor (an appointee of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.) ruled against the Republicans, stating that the bill did not meet the criteria to require a three-fifths majority for passage under House rules. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) appealed the ruling of the chair and demanded a recorded vote. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) then motioned to table (kill) the Blunt appeal of the ruling of the chairman. This vote was on McDermott's motion.

Blunt said that the Joint Committee on Taxation had indicated that the section of the bill repealing tax subsidies for oil drilling would result in a $7.6 billion increase in tax receipts between 2007 and 2017, evidence to him that the legislation amounted to a tax increase.

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) countered that the bill was not a tax increase on the oil and gas industry. "What we are doing is repealing subsidies, repealing royalties, and asking the oil and gas industry to pay their fair share," Rahall said. "There is no tax increase whatsoever in this bill."

Procedural votes of this nature almost always command near or total party unity, and such was the case with this vote. The parties split unanimously, with all of the Republicans present voting against the motion to table and all of the Democrats present voting for it. Thus, by a vote of 230-195, the House rejected an attempt by Republicans to require a bill to limit the federal subsidies for oil and gas companies and instead fund alternative and renewable resources to obtain a three-fifths majority to achieve passage. The measure moved one step closer to an up-or-down vote, requiring only a simple majority to pass.

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