On the Amendment S.Amdt. 664 to S. 1054 (Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003)

Senate Vote #171 [primary source: senate.gov]
May 15, 2003 (108th Congress)
Amendment Agreed to

This was a vote to approve or reject an amendment.

The Vice President cast a tie-breaking vote.
S. 1054 (108th): Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
Introduced by Sen. Charles “Chuck” Grassley [R-IA] on May 13, 2003
Totals     Republican     Democrat     Independent     Vice President
  Yea 51
48 2 0 1
  Nay 50
3 46 1 0
Required: Simple Majority

Vote Details


The Vice President cast a tie-breaking vote.

The Vice President casts a vote in the Senate when there is a tie. Article I, section 3 of the United States Constitution reads: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.” Ties in the Senate are rare.

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.)