On Motion to Refer the Resolution to Oversight and Government Reform: H RES 711 Recommending that the House of Representatives find Eric H. Holder Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Number:
House Vote #440 [primary source: house.gov]
Date:
Jun 28, 2012 (112th Congress)
Result:
Failed
Related Resolution:
H.Res. 711 (112th): Recommending that the House of Representatives find Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Governme
Introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA49] on June 28, 2012
Totals     Republican     Democrat
  Yea 172
 
 
40%
0 172
  Nay 251
 
 
58%
237 14
Not Voting 9
 
 
2%
4 5
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.)