What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Curbing Presidential Power : A vote on passage of a Democratic amendment that would have altered the Republican "Continuity in Representation Act" (HR 2844) -- a measure designed to ensure the continuity of the House membership in the event of a catastrophe that kills most of the House members -- by extending the time frame for conducting special elections from 45 to 75 days.
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A vote on passage of a Democratic amendment that would have altered the Republican "Continuity in Representation Act" (HR 2844) -- a measure designed to ensure the continuity of the House membership in the event of a catastrophe that kills most of the House members -- by extending the time frame for conducting special elections from 45 to 75 days.
house Roll Call 128     Apr 22, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Conservatives successfully countered House progressives' attempts to advance an amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), that would have altered H R 2844, a measure designed to ensure the continuity of the House membership in the event of a catastrophe that kills most of the House members. Beaten back by a 179-229 vote, the Larson amendment sought to extend the time frame for conducting special elections from 45 to 75 days. Sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the underlying legislation would require states to call special elections to fill wide-scale vacancies within 45 days after the House speaker announces the existence of "extraordinary circumstances" - defined as the death or incapacitation of 100 or more of the chamber's 435 members. Replacement candidates would be nominated to the ballot by those political parties recognized in the various states within 10 days of the speaker's announcement. Larson emphasized that the disagreement over the bill and his amendment extending the timeframe was "not partisan," because the issue does not advantage or disadvantage either party, he said. "This is a disagreement on the wisdom of the proposed policy. I am against the bill because it fails to correct the most egregious problems caused by forcing all States to conduct elections within 45 days of the speaker's announcement of mass member fatalities." Progressives backed Larson's amendment, saying the need for representative democracy to be promptly installed in the aftermath of a catastrophe needs to be balanced with making democratic rights are not trampled on by not allowing enough time. By winning the vote against the Larson amendment, Conservatives ensured that special elections under the bill would commence within 45 days of a catastrophe in which more than 100 House members are killed or incapacitated.

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