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Motion to Invoke Cloture on Amdt. No. 4787

Jun 22, 2016 at 10:31 a.m. ET.

This was a vote on an amendment that would allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to issue administrative subpoenas, called National Security Letters (NSL), that would compel companies to turn over “electronic communications transactional records." NSLs don’t require court approval and often come with a gag order. For more see coverage by U.S. News & World Report.

The vote was on cloture, meaning to end date so that an up-or-down vote can be held. A yea vote is to end date and move forward with approving the amendment. A nay vote is to prolong debate or filibuster. Sen. McConnell, the majority leader, voted against in order to reserve the right to bring the matter to a vote again later on.

This vote was related to amendment S.Amdt. 4787 (114th) (John McCain) to H.R. 2578 (114th). The title of the amendment is S.Amdt. 4787 (McCain) to H.R. 2578: To amend section 2709 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that the Government may obtain a specified set of electronic communication transactional records under that section, and to make permanent the authority.

Totals

All Votes R D I
Yea 58%
 
 
 
58
46
 
11
 
1
 
Nay 38%
 
 
 
38
7
 
30
 
1
 
Not Voting 4%
 
 
 
4
1
 
3
 
0
 

Cloture Motion Rejected. 3/5 Required. Source: senate.gov.

The Yea votes represented 55% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

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Republican - Yea Democrat - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
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Notes: *Senate Minority Leader/Senate Majority Leader’s Vote “Aye” or “Yea”?
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Study Guide

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You can find answers to most of the questions below here on the vote page. For a guide to understanding the bill this vote was about, see here.

What was the procedure for this vote?

  1. What was this vote on?
  2. Not all votes are meant to pass legislation. In the Senate some votes are not about legislation at all, since the Senate must vote to confirm presidential nominations to certain federal positions.

    This vote is related to a bill. However, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what it is about. Congress makes many decisions in the process of passing legislation, such as on the procedures for debating the bill, whether to change the bill before voting on passage, and even whether to vote on passage at all.

    This was a vote on an amendment to the bill. You can find the text of the amendment by looking for where it appears in the text of the Congressional Record. If you’re wondering why Congress doesn’t make it easier to find the text of each amendment, so are we.

    You can learn more about the various motions used in Congress at EveryCRSReport.com. If you aren’t sure what the Senate was voting on, try seeing if it’s on this list.

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What is your analysis of this vote?

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  3. How did your senators vote?
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  5. How much of the United States population is represented by the yeas?
  6. GovTrack displays the percentage of the United States population represented by the yeas on some Senate votes just under the vote totals. We do this to highlight how the people of the United States are represented in the Senate. Since each state has two senators, but state populations vary significantly, the individuals living in each state have different Senate representation. For example, California’s population of near 40 million is given the same number of senators as Wyoming’s population of about 600,000.

    Do the senators who voted yea represent a majority of the people of the United States? Does it matter?

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