On Ordering the Previous Question: H RES 547 Providing for consideration of H.R. 3408, to set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promote shale technology research and development; consideration of H.R. 3813, to secure the annuities of Federal employees; and consideration of H.R. 7, to authorize funds for transportation safety programs

House Vote #50 [primary source: house.gov]
Feb 15, 2012 (112th Congress)

This was a procedural vote.

Related Resolution:
H.Res. 547 (112th): Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3408) to set clear rules for the development of United States oil shale resources, to promote shale technology research and development, and for other purposes; providing for consideration
Introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster [R-FL10] on February 14, 2012
Totals     Republican     Democrat
  Yea 229
227 2
  Nay 181
0 181
Not Voting 23
14 9
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.)