Massa's First Votes

Eric Massa's first major vote of the 111th Congress occurred this afternoon, when he voted to support his party's rules package. The major change in this session's rules was a significant limitation in the use of the motion to recommit.

The motion to recommit requires that an amendment be added to a bill and the bill be reported back to the House. The sticking point is how quickly the bill will come back. In House jargon, "promptly" means that the bill will go back to committee and perhaps never be seen again. The alternative, "forthwith", means that the bill must come back to the floor in a few minutes for a vote on the amendment.

In the 110th Congress, Republicans would offer desirable amendments in their motions to recommit, but they would require that the motion contain the language "promptly", which killed a number of bills. The new rule, which Massa supported, requires that motions to recommit use the "forthwith" language.