On Ordering the Previous Question: H RES 609 Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2997) making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the FY ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes

Number:
House Vote #491 [primary source: house.gov]
Date:
Jul 08, 2009 (111th Congress)
Result:
Passed

This was a procedural vote.

Related Resolution:
H.Res. 609 (111th): Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2997) making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purp
Introduced by Rep. James “Jim” McGovern [D-MA2] on July 7, 2009
Totals     Democrat     Republican
  Yea 239
 
 
55%
237 2
  Nay 183
 
 
42%
7 176
Not Voting 10
 
 
2%
9 1
Required: Simple Majority

Vote Details

Notes

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.)