On Motion to Close Portions of the Conference: H R 1119 National Defense Authorization Act

House Vote #331 [primary source: house.gov]
Jul 25, 1997 (105th Congress)
Related Bill:
H.R. 1119 (105th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998
Introduced by Rep. Floyd Spence [R-SC2, 1971-2001] on March 19, 1997
Totals     Republican     Democrat     Independent     Democrat Farmer Labor     Democrat/Republican
  Yea 409
212 195 1 1 0
  Nay 1
0 1 0 0 0
Not Voting 24
15 8 0 0 1
Required: Simple Majority

Vote Details


Where is the Speaker’s vote?

According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, except when such vote would be decisive.” In practice, this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes and only does so when it is politically useful. When the Speaker declines to vote, he or she is simply omitted from the roll call by the House Clerk.

What’s the difference between “aye” and “yea”?

There is no meaningful difference between “aye” and “yea” (and “nay” and “no”), but the terms are used in different sorts of votes based on Congress’s long tradition of parliamentary procedure.

The House and Senate follow the U.S. Constitution strictly when it says that bills should be decided on by the “yeas and nays” (Article I, Section 7). So they literally say “yea” and “nay” when voting on bills. In the Senate, they always use these words.

The House sometimes operates under a special set of rules called the “Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union” (or “Committee of the Whole” for short), which is a sort of pseudo-committee that is made up of every congressman. During this mode of operation, the House uses the terms “aye” and “no” instead, but the meaning is the same. (See the Rules of the House, Rule XX, and House Practice in the section Voting.)