Senate Democrats

Republicans Obstructing on Iraq: 50 Vote Margin Norm for Amendments to DOD Authorization

The Grand Obstruction Party is blocking Democratic efforts – supported by the vast majority of Americans – to change course in Iraq by forcing all amendments to the Defense Authorization bill meet a 60 vote threshold.  But forcing 60 votes for amendments to Defense Authorization is completely unprecedented.  Historically, amendments where roll call votes were held were decided by simple majorities.  By refusing to allow up or down votes on Iraq related amendments Senate Republicans have shown they are more interested in protecting the President than protecting our troops.  Below is the reality behind amendments to DOD Authorizations:

Recent Years’ Votes on Amendments to DOD Authorizations: 

  • In 2006, When Considering FY2007 DOD Authorization:  Of the 15 amendments on which there were roll call votes,  only 2 amendments required a 3/5ths vote. And these two votes were regarding the minimum wage, and this threshold was agreed to by unanimous consent because both faced Budget Act Points of Order
  • In 2005, When Considering FY2006 DOD Authorization:  Of the 25 amendments on which there were roll call votes, all were simple majorities – none required a 3/5ths vote.
  • In 2004, When Considering FY2005 DOD Authorization:  Of the 30 amendments on which there were roll call votes, only 2 amendments — budget waivers — did not receive up or down votes.  93% of Amendments were simple majorities.  
  • In 2003, When Considering FY2004 DOD Authorization: Of the 10 amendments on which there were roll call votes, all were simple majorities – none required a 3/5ths vote.
  • In 2002, When Considering FY2003 DOD Authorization: Of the 5 amendments on which there were roll call votes, only 1 required a 3/5ths vote — budget waiver.  80% required simple majorities.
  • In 2001, When Considering the FY2002 DOD Authorization:  Of the 2 amendments on which there were roll call votes all required simple majorities – none required a 3/5ths vote.
  • In 2000, When Considering the FY2001 DOD Authorization:  Of the 14 amendments on which there were roll call votes, only 1 required a 3/5ths vote — budget waiver.  93% required simple majorities.
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