03 August 2007

House in Chaos Over Illegal Immigration Vote

From the Politico: In a massive flare-up of partisan tensions, Republicans walked out on a House vote late Thursday night to protest what they believed to be Democratic maneuvers to reverse an unfavorable outcome for them.

The flap represents a complete breakdown in parliamentary procedure and an unprecedented low for the sometimes bitterly divided chamber.

The rancor erupted shortly before 11 p.m. as Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.) gaveled close the vote on a standard procedural measure with the outcome still in doubt.

Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural spending bill for employment or rental assistance. Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed, members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.

One GOP aide saw McNulty gavel the vote to a close after receiving a signal from his leaders – but before reading the official tally. And votes continued to shift even after he closed the roll call - a strange development in itself.

Whatever the final tally, acrimony quickly exploded between lawmakers on either side of the aisle as Democratic leaders tried to plot a solution, while parliamentarians on either side argued over protocol.

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) eventually offered a motion to reconsider, according to floor staff on either side, ostensibly giving members a chance to recast their votes. But the maneuver sparked a chorus of angry protests from the Republicans, yelling “shame” on Democrats, while they returned fire with angry volleys of their own.

When Democrats finally moved to consider the spending bill as the last vote of the night, furious
Republicans left the chamber en masse to protest the maneuver. The House eventually recessed at 11:18 p.m. But Republicans quickly discovered that there was no longer any record of the controversial vote and immediately charged Democrats with erasing the bad result.
“Obviously, the Democrats don’t want to stand up against illegal immigration – so much so that they’re willing to cheat in order to win a vote,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said in an e-mail.

“They’re desperate – and it shows.”

The official House website did not show a record of the vote as of 1 a.m. Friday.

1 comments:

Judy Aron said...

yes and Roy was quite true to his name (Blunt) when he rose to speak thismorning. Good for him!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dgkV6gerTY