House GOP leadership fails to pass second bill in two days under suspension rules

Chris Moody Contributor
Font Size:

For the second time in as many days, the House has rejected a measure brought to the floor, a sign that the new Republican leadership is still learning the ropes when it comes to counting — and keeping — vote counts on the floor.

The House Wednesday rejected a proposal that would have returned nearly $180 million that was overpaid to the United Nations back to the United States, just one day after it also rejected a partial extension of the Patriot Act.

Illinois freshman Rep. Bobby Schilling, a Republican who voted against the Patriot Act extension but for the U.N. bill, said that next time leadership needs to be more careful ensuring they have the votes before bringing bills to the floor.

“They’ll make sure we’ve got all the info before it comes up for a vote,” Schilling said.

On the Patriot Act vote, he said there was not enough time given for debate.

“We only had 45 minutes of debate and I wasn’t comfortable with a party line vote,” Schilling said. “We want to make sure anything we’re voting on we know darn well what’s in it.”

When pressed before the U.N. vote about why Republican leadership would bring bills to the floor using the suspension method if they did not have the votes, House Speaker John Boehner said, “we’re not going to be perfect every day.”

The votes were taken using a procedural method traditionally used to pass uncontroversial bills that requires two-thirds of the House’s approval, and allows the bills to bypass hurdles that can slow the process.

Unlike Tuesday’s Patriot Act vote in which more than two dozen Republicans voted against their leadership, just two members of the GOP caucus voted against the UN measure on Wednesday. Wide Democratic support was needed for the bill to pass, but only 23 Democrats voted with the GOP.

Jonathan Strong contributed to this report.

Email Chris Moody and follow him on Twitter