What: All Issues : War & Peace : H.R. 1362, Accountability in Contracting Act/On motion to recommit with instructions
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H.R. 1362, Accountability in Contracting Act/On motion to recommit with instructions
house Roll Call 155     Mar 15, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

This vote was a procedural motion to amend a bill requiring federal agencies to minimize their use of no-bid contracts. Republicans sought to prohibit the federal government from contracting with colleges that allow private employers to recruit on campus while at the same time as denying similar access to U.S. military recruiters.

The overall bill would limit no-bid contracts of $1 million or more to one year, unless the head of a federal agency determines that an extension was necessary.

Democrats say the legislation is necessary after what they deem to be abuses of no-bid federal contracts by firms supplying goods and services in Iraq and on the Gulf Coast after the 2005 hurricanes.

A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. It's usually a symbolic vote, as the minority rarely wins. The Democrats almost always failed to pass motions to recommit under more than a decade of Republican rule in the House.

The Republicans' motion to recommit was aimed at remedying what they maintained are unfair exclusions of military recruiters at colleges and universities. Many of such institutions rely on grants from the federal government to fund their programs, so the amendment Republicans sought to add would use that leverage to ensure that colleges and universities that accept such monies give equal access to military recruiters as they do private employers.

Many schools have barred the presence of military recruiters at recruiting events, and some have cited opposition to the war in Iraq as the rationale. Critics countered that Republicans were trying to mask the military's inability to recruit sufficient numbers of young people to fight in an increasingly unpopular war.

The Republicans' argument ultimately won out, however, as they drew enough Democrats to pass the motion to recommit with instructions and thus amend the bill. One hundred and fifteen Democrats joined all 194 Republicans present to pass the measure.

By a vote of 309-114, the motion to recommit with instructions was agreed to and thus the bill to revise federal contracting policy was amended to prohibit colleges that contract with the federal government from denying military recruiters access to their campuses when that same access is provided to private companies.

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