On Ordering the Previous Question: H RES 738 Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4078), Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act of 2012, and providing for the bill (H.R. 6082), Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan, and for other purposes

House Vote #502 [primary source: house.gov]
Jul 24, 2012 (112th Congress)

This was a procedural vote.

Related Resolution:
H.Res. 738 (112th): Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4078) to provide that no agency may take any significant regulatory action until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than 6.0 percent, and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R
Introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx [R-NC5] on July 23, 2012
Totals     Republican     Democrat
  Yea 238
235 3
  Nay 177
0 177
Not Voting 16
5 11
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.)