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March 20, 2007

110th Congress: Minority Progress

For the last several major bills that have come to the House floor, the Republicans have enjoyed unprecedented success with a minority tool called a "motion to recommit with instructions." This is quite the turnaround from their attempts earlier in the year on the new majority's first six bills.

The motion comes in two flavors. The traditional format literally sends the bill back to committee. The other is partially referred to as "forthwith" which means it doesn't actually stall the bill. Rather it amends the bill on the fly putting more pressure on Democrats to support the final change to the bill right before the vote on final passage.

It's been working quite well, too:
House Republicans Secure Three Rare Wins
House Republicans were downright giddy Friday afternoon as they walked off the floor because they were able to win three procedural votes in a row over three days.
Since that article was published, the House has agreed to a total of five such motions in succession: on H.R. 569, H.R. 700, H.R. 720, H.R. 985, H.R. 1362.

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