Query

Who voted how on Boehner’s motion for the previous question on his motion to refer the Pelosi resolution on investigating Foley’s misdeeds to the Ethics Committee? If it was along party lines, I think the Republicans have handed us a beautiful issue.

When Nancy Pelosi offered her resolution ordering the House Ethics Committee to set up a subcommittee to report on the misdoings of Rep. Mark Foley (R.-NAMBLA), John Boehner immediately moved that instead the resolution be sent to the Ethics Committee itself, presumably in hopes that the matter could be stalled past the elections.

Boehner then moved the previous question on his own motion to refer, thus cutting off debate. When the motion for the previous question carried on a voice vote, Pelosi demanded a roll call on the motion for the previous question. That was in effect a motion to continue the coverup for a little bit longer.

Query: Has anyone reported the votes on that roll call? If the Democrats were united in voting to investigate pedophilia and the Republicans united in voting to delay that investigation, we have a very nice issue to take to the voters.

Update Now this is just weird. Pelosi has just posted a letter she wrote to the two co-chairs of the Ethics Committee, in which she claims that her resolution passed unanimously and urges the committee to file its preliminary report within 10 days, as the resolution orders.

That’s not what the videotape seems to show. News reports say that Boehner managed to “head off” Pelosi’s resolution.

As far as I can tell, what passed unanimously was Boehner’s motion to refer that resolution to the Ethics Committee. If that is the case, the committee isn’t required to take up the resolution at any particular time.

Can any reader clarify?

Second update Curiouser and curiouser. The rollcall vote on the motion for the previous question was also unanimous, though there were audible “noes” on the voice vote and Pelosi demanded the ayes and nays. WTF?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

12 thoughts on “Query”

  1. Follow-up query; does the House Ethics Committee have jurisdiction over the Foley case since Foley had resigned before the vote? Was this a case of Kabuki on Boehner's part? In which case, Ds should have voted against it.

  2. As has been pointed out by Glenn Greenwald and others, having sex with a 16 year old is legal in DC. *Soliciting* sex with anyone under 18 is a federal crime, thanks to a bill passed by Congress this year.

  3. Grumpy: "*Soliciting* sex with anyone under 18 is a federal crime, thanks to a bill passed by Congress this year."
    Does that mean that if a 18-year-old boy asks his 17-year-old girlfriend to have sex with him, that's a federal crime? Most state laws on statutory rape take into account age differences to avoid criminalizing such ordinary situations.
    The primary reason Foley's actions are wrong is that he was abusing his position of trust and authority. The age difference is also creepy, but would it really be much less so if the young men in question were 18 instead of 16?

  4. Mere actuality hasn't stopped the Radical Republicans from taking any bitterly partisan action they so desire over the last 6 years, and they have been quite effective in so doing. Perhaps actuality differs from Ms. Pelosi's letter, but if she gets the traditional media talking about her demand is that a bad thing?
    Cranky

  5. Cranky:
    Is lying a bad thing? Yes.
    Especially when the truth — that Republicans voted to stall the investigation — is more politically potent.
    But lying's a bad thing generally. The United States should avoid imitating the enemies of freedom abroad (e.g., by engaging in torture), And we Democrats should avoid imitating the enemies of freedom at home (e.g., by lying).

  6. Pelosi made a Priv. Resolution
    Speaker said "The resolution presents a question of the priveledge of the house."
    Boehner made a *motion*
    […]
    Speaker: The question is on ordering the previous question. (not the motion)
    called for ayes and neys
    Previous Question is ordered.

  7. Do votes even matter any more? Just say your motion passed, even though opinions differ as the the actual number of votes (and shape of the Earth).

  8. Firebug… a key phrase was accidentally lost from my comment: "over the Internet." The Child Protection Act, enacted earlier this year, addresses the electronic solicitation of minors. Under federal law, that's under 18, but many jurisdictions recognize 16 as the age of consent.
    Therefore, it is legal to simply ask a 17 year old to have sex, or to slip a note under the door, etc., but illegal to ask by e-mail.

  9. A minor point of usage: one demands the "yeas and nays," but votes "aye" or "no." Members of Congress often get this wrong.

  10. Boehner is such a moron. Matthews skewered him on Hardball last week. There's free video of the interview on the MSNBC/Hardball website.

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