What: All Issues : War & Peace : (H.R. 2847) On a motion made as a method to gain control of the House floor and argue against the administration decision to advise interrogated enemy combatants of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney
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(H.R. 2847) On a motion made as a method to gain control of the House floor and argue against the administration decision to advise interrogated enemy combatants of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney
house Roll Call 404     Jun 18, 2009
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

This vote was formally on a motion to send the pending bill, which provided fiscal year 2010 funding for the Department of Justice, back to committee with instructions to add some neutral language. The motion was actually made as a procedural technique by the Republican minority to gain control of the House floor for debate purposes. The Republicans wanted to gain control of the floor to allow them to argue against the decision of the Obama Administration to advise interrogated enemy combatants of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. The administration had announced that it was going to advise enemy combatants of these rights during interrogation in order to maintain the ability to prosecute the combatants in the future.

During the debate on this formal motion, Rep. Rogers (R-MI) argued that the proposed administration policy was “dangerous”, would conflict with the interrogation efforts of the CIA, and would jeopardize “the safety of the men and women in our United States military and of the people right here at home.” He said: “Don't give them the rights of a United States citizen. Give them the rights of an enemy combatant and all that comes with it.”

Rep. Obey (D-WI), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, first noted that the proposed instructions “don't do nothing. All (they do) is give one of our friends on that side of the aisle a chance to talk about an issue . . . there is no way it can be interpreted by the implementing agency to have anything whatsoever to do with the issue that (Rep. Rogers) talked about, because the (motion) has no effect on it . . . I am going to accept this (motion) because, as I said, it don't do nothing to nobody or for nobody.” A number of other Members, all but one of whom were Democrats, opposed the motion because it was made in an effort to express dissatisfaction with the decision to advise enemy combatants of their rights. These Members supported that decision.

The motion was approved on a vote of 312-103. One hundred and seventy-two Republicans and one hundred and forty Democrats voted “aye”. One hundred and two Democrats, including a majority of the most progressive Members and one Republican voted “nay”. As a result, the bill was formally recommitted to the Appropriations Committee, but no language relating to the granting of rights to enemy combatants was added before the bill was brought back to the House for final passage.

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