|Recent House Votes|
|Establishing the Rules of the House – Vote Passed (228-196, 5 Not Voting)
After electing the Speaker, the next order of business in organizing the House is traditionally establishing the rules for that Congress. This is typically a prosaic piece of business, but there were several controversial items in the rules package this year. The resolution reauthorizes the Houses Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to continue litigation defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the court system. It also authorizes the Oversight Committee to continue its civil action against Attorney General Eric Holder over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal. The last controversial provision concerns the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel created by the 2010 health care overhaul to look for ways to lower health care costs. As envisioned in the health care bill, Congress would automatically vote on the panels recommendations; under the rules of the House in the new Congress, it will not be possible to consider those recommendations. The House passed a bill last March to repeal IPAB outright (Roll Call Number 126). It is worth noting that President Obama has not made any nominations to the panel, so it currently has no members and therefore no ability to make recommendations. Democrats attempted to revise the package twice, first with inclusion of a study regarding the voting rights of delegates from the U.S. territories and Puerto Rico, and later with legislative language to create national early voting. Both efforts were voted down.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Suspension – Vote Passed (354-67, 8 Not Voting)
Speaker Boehner caused no small amount of indignation when he adjourned the House at the end of the last Congress without taking up a relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The delay caused the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to approach its borrowing limit, necessitating this suspension bill to raise the programs borrowing authority by $9.7 billion. The Senate passed the bill by voice vote later in the day. Boehner has pledged that the remainder of the roughly $60 billion in aid would be considered in the House January 15.
January 9, 2013
Perlmutter Watch 1-8-13: Recent Votes