YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


The House

February 08, 1990

Voter Registration

By a vote of 254 to 166, the House agreed to debate a bill expanding voter registration under a restrictive rule that limits amendments from the floor. The bill (HR 2190) addresses the problem of plummeting citizen turnout on Election Day. To qualify more potential voters, it enables eligible Americans to automatically register when they obtain a driver's license, provides for registration desks at many government and private facilities and permits mail registration.

Democratic and GOP sponsors thought they had secured bipartisan support of a debating rule limiting Republicans to a single amendment embodying all changes they would make in the legislation. Such limited rules are used when sponsors fear an onslaught of amendments will kill their measure.

But the unity dissolved when President Bush raised last-minute objections to the bill, prompting GOP leader Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.) to oppose the rule. Angry Democrats then questioned whether House Republicans, the minority party, are sincere in calling for more bipartisanship in the House.

Sponsor Al Swift (D-Wash.) complained that Michel had acted to "unilaterally and single-handedly trash that agreement" on a debating rule.

Opponent Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.) said: "This rule itself is an anti-voters' rights rule" as it relates to House Republicans.

Members voting yes wanted to debate the voter registration bill under a restrictive rule.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Gallegly (R) x Rep. Lagomarsino (R) x

Los Angeles Times Articles