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The middle class tax cuts (for everyone, including millionaires and billionaires) for income up to $250,000.00 passed in the House this afternoon. All but three republicans voted “no” because they think millionaires and billionaires deserve even more money. In voting “no”, they voted against tax relief for the vast majority of working Americans and their families.


H R 4853      YEA-AND-NAY      2-Dec-2010      3:55 PM

QUESTION:  On Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment with an Amendment

BILL TITLE: Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III

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Graves (MO)


[emphasis added]

Well, bless Ike Skelton (D).

I can see the ads from organized labor in the 8th Congressional District in two years attacking Jo Ann Emerson (r) for voting with Speaker Boehner 95% of the time. Yeah, right.

Here’s an explanation of the sausage making:

Today in Congress

….What the hell is going on here?

The Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III was originated in the House and passed back in March. (And remember, if there are going to be revenue provisions in this thing, it has to have originated in the House, so that’s important.) It then went to the Senate, and sat around until September.  When it came to the floor, the Senate amended it, passed the amended version, and sent it back to the House.

Now, the House plans to take up the Senate amendment, which it does under a rule governing debate, just as it would with any bill. And if you want to, you can write the rule for the bill to disallow any amendments to it, and that’s just what they’ve done with this one. But writing a rule to disallow a motion to recommit is just not done. It could be done, but it would be a very, very serious infraction against the rights of the minority. So it’s not done.

But guess what? Because this is a bill that’s already passed and left the House, and the only changes in it are Senate-made amendments, it can’t be recommitted, which means there can’t be a motion to recommit. Why not? Well, when a motion to recommit passes, it technically sends a bill back to the committee that reported it out. But this bill has already left the custody of the House when it passed the first time. That material can’t be recommitted, and neither can the Senate material, which was never in the hands of the House committee in the first place. So by definition, it can’t be recommitted. The only thing that can happen is that the House can agree to the Senate amendment, disagree to it, or agree to it with additional amendments. That’s it. No recommittal. And only the amendments the Rules Committee allows.

And what amendment will the Rules Committee allow? An amendment to strip out the current contents of H.R. 4853, and replace it with the new, Middle Class Tax Relief Act….

Well, let’s see what the Senate does. Claire?