This was a vote on a resolution providing for an adjournment of the two houses of Congress for the traditional pre-midterm election recess (which typically begins in October and lasts into November).
The minority party typically opposes adjournment resolutions as a symbolic protest against the manner in which the majority party (in this case, Democrats) are running the House – or as a protest against the majority’s legislative agenda. Under House rules, adjournment resolutions are not debatable. Thus, no members spoke in opposition to the resolution.
However, Republican members had sharply criticized the Democratic majority earlier that morning for adjourning for the midterm elections without voting on an extension of income tax cuts enacted under the first Bush administration. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) argued: “Democrats in Congress won't tell the American people how much they're going to raise their taxes. They're going to wait till after the election when we come back into session. And Democrats in Congress won't tell the American people how they're going to spend their money.”
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) argued that an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts would mainly benefit the wealthy: “A recent analysis shows…Since 2004, those earning $10,000 have received $335 in total tax benefits. And next year they can look forward to an additional $5 if we extend the Bush tax cuts. Now, for someone earning more than $7 million, we will note that they have enjoyed more than $2 million in tax benefits since 2004. And next year they can look forward to $339,000 in tax cuts if we extend the tax cut system that President Bush offered as-is.”
The House agreed to the adjournment resolution by a vote of 210-209. 210 Democrats voted “yea.” 170 Republicans and 39 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to a resolution allowing the House to adjourn for the pre-midterm election recess.