What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Curbing Presidential Power : A vote on a Democratic amendment to the "Continuity in Representation Act (HR 2844) -- a bill permitting expedited elections to assure the House's continued functioning in case large numbers of its members are killed in a terrorist attack or other catastrophe - striking the bill's 10-day deadline for political parties to select nominees.
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A vote on a Democratic amendment to the "Continuity in Representation Act (HR 2844) -- a bill permitting expedited elections to assure the House's continued functioning in case large numbers of its members are killed in a terrorist attack or other catastrophe - striking the bill's 10-day deadline for political parties to select nominees.
house Roll Call 129     Apr 22, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Progressives failed to adopt an amendment to underlying legislation (HR 2844) permitting expedited elections to assure the House's continued functioning in case large numbers of its members are killed in a terrorist attack or other catastrophe. The amendment, beaten 188-217, sponsored by House Administration Committee ranking member John Larson (D-Conn.) would have struck the bill's 10-day deadline for political parties to select nominees and substitute language that would require a potential candidate to meet the requirements to get on the ballot as set by state law. 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 is one of three Democrats who have introduced constitutional amendments allowing vacancies to be filled by appointment until special elections can be held. Progressives argued that, regardless of how one feels about a constitutional amendment to address congressional continuity, HR 2844 should be defeated because, as Larson put it, "it will not work in practice and does not address the need to [reconstitute] the Congress immediately following a disaster. It does not support the immediate restoration of representative democracy." The defeat of Larson's amendment allowed Conservatives to uphold the underlying bill's 10-day deadline for political parties to nominate replacement candidates to the House in the event a significant number of members were suddenly killed or incapacitated.

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