by Countable | 7.24.17
The legislative work week got started in the House on Monday in much the same way as it usually does, with a slate of uncontroversial bills getting votes under suspension of the rules that are expected to pass because they have broad bipartisan support. Occasionally, such bills prove more contentious than expected and fail to get the votes they need, which was the case today as House Democrats blocked the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018.
Their gripe wasn’t about the substance of the bill, which passed the House Intelligence Committee on a unanimous voice vote, but rather the process under which it was considered. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asked Democratic members "to vote no on the bill when it comes up under suspension so that we can take it up under a rule," calling it “unacceptable” that Republicans added the bill to the suspension calendar. And the intelligence authorization wasn’t the only suspension bill to fail, as a six-month funding extension for the Veterans Choice program was also blocked.
Bills that are considered under suspension of the rules can only be debated on the floor for 40 minutes, and no amendments are allowed. Because the debate is accelerated for bills under suspension of the rules they have a higher support threshold to clear for passage — two-thirds of members have to vote in favor rather than the usual simple majority.
When the House debates relatively controversial bills, it does so "pursuant to a rule." Rules are passed by the Rules Committee (go figure) to structure the floor debate around the bill, and can take three forms:
Closed rules allow no amendments.
Structured rules allow only specific amendments.
Open rules allow any amendment to be brought up as long as it complies with the House’s "germaneness rule," which basically means amendments have to be related to the underlying bill.
While it isn't immediately clear when the bills will be brought up again, but it’s a near certainty that they will be eventually as they each had bipartisan support and enough votes from Republicans alone to pass on a simple majority vote.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) expressed an eagerness to move the process forward as he chided Democrats to "stop playing politics with our national security, drop these partisan demands, and help us get this bill to the president’s desk as soon as possible."
Tell your reps whether to support or oppose the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018 after reading more below:
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Nancy Pelosi via Flickr / Public Domain)
Written by Countable
Any and all bills presented under "Suppression of the rules" should automatically be a no vote. These tactics the majority are using to force the passing of bills without due review is disputable. For the last 8 years the Republicans refused to work with the Democrats. Now they have the majority and they still refuse to work with the Democrats. The worst part is they then blame the Democrats for not working with the Republicans, but the Republicans won't allow Democrats to work with them. Also the naming of these bills that actually do the opposite of what the name implies, so when the are voted down they make claims of hurting citizens by not passing the bill that would actually hurt people. There is s whole new level of scum in the swamp. If/when the Democrats act like this I feel the same way.
Very glad about these two votes - veterans choice and intelligence authorization- both were stopped. Please get back to regular order. Start doing legislation with the time and care and attention it needs using normal processes. Stop trying to cram stuff through.
allow the debate, allow the amendments and pass the bill. suspening the rules without good reason is too Mcconnell
The intelligence budget bill should not be on the suspension of rules voting schedule. There is too much going on right now in our intelligence community to have this bill crammed through without debate.
GOP needs to stop playing games and just debate and discuss bills without stifling dissent.
Any thing Nancy votes on the American people should vote the opposite !!!
As your constituent, this bill needs more than 40 minutes of discussion. Repubs need to quit blocking Dems
Allow debates. Damnit!!!
Another end run by Trump minions . Vote no until order and protocol is re-established
Trying to cram bills through with no debate or room for amendments is NOT democracy. Stop using vets as pawns and play by the rules guys.
I have a mediocre understanding of the concerns about rules, but I don't really know enough about either the intelligence or veterans bills to give a real good opinion. There is also something that wasn't completely clear either and that has to do with these bills being connected. Anyhow, since it seems some of these issues may not be real clear, it might be wise to slow down and make sure what they do is right
Once again the dems decide to block bills simply because they can. In this case a bill for our veterans which they all agree is a good thing. When will you grow up and act like adults. Often can be said for both parties.
Just as predicted the Republicans refused to allocate additional funding to enable veterans access to private physicians and instead pulled money from the existing VA budget to pay for the outside physicians. S, it's just part of their ongoing plot to privatize the VA. Not Good!
To hell with with the republicans and the partisan politics. This method keep the amendments that are trying to be added to this bill, as they saw its passing to be a sure thing. This will cause a debate if they try and sneak unrelated amendments in to it.
These cockroaches are making me sick! I'm a disabled veteran who knows how the backlog of appointments is. I'm currently scheduled to see a veteran's choice doctor because mine can't see me until November! Tell me, what the hell am I supposed to do without my mental health medications? Do you all think that's a safe situation? I mean, Veterans without their medications they need? Raise some hell about this. The last group that needs to give anything up is the Veterans because, without them, our nation would crumble under foreign reign.
Stop cramming bills through. Stop. Me pay attention yo each bill. You have 4 years to get stuff gone. Stop attaching bills that have no relationship to each other. STOP
Why is Nancy still there?
THE REPUBLICANS NEED TO GET BACK TO THE REGULAR RULES & PROCEDURES. Do you not realize that if you have to use obscure regulations to get something passed that bill is NOT a REAL BILL. Why is it you can't work with the Dems. Why can't you FOLLOW THE REGULAR RULES OF YOUR BODY?? What are you afraid of??? The Dems' gripe wasn’t about the the bill, which passed the House Intelligence Committee on a unanimous voice vote, it was about the process under which it was considered. The Dems will vote no on the bill when it comes up because the Republicans added the bill to the Suspension Calendar, as they also did a six-month funding extension for the Veterans Choice program. STOP THIS NONSENSE AND START WORKING AS OUR REPRESENTATIVES.
It seems these bills are more controversial than originally thought. It looks like more debate is needed and possibly an amendment or two to get strong bipartisan support. The bills therefore should not be placed on the suspension calendar.
Those two bills were terrible. Glad they were not passed as written.