On Motion to Permit Closed Conference Meetings: H R 4310 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Number:
House Vote #625 [primary source: house.gov]
Date:
Dec 13, 2012 (112th Congress)
Result:
Passed
Related Bill:
H.R. 4310 (112th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
Introduced by Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon [R-CA25] on March 29, 2012
Totals     Republican     Democrat
  Yea 351
 
 
81%
185 166
  Nay 53
 
 
12%
37 16
Not Voting 27
 
 
6%
18 9
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.)