Thursday, January 15, 2009
Inauguration Day Vote
A resolution from the Senate to take Tuesday off, in order for members and staff to attend and participate in inaugural activities, came before the House today. The resolution passed overwhelmingly by a voice vote, but Rep. Bryan King (R)-Berryville, requested a roll call vote. As a result, the vote was 69 yeas, 22 nays and 4 voted present. This is by no means a precedent, as the same resolution was presented and passed during the Clinton years. The argument by Rep. Dan Greenberg (R)- Little Rock, seemed to focus on the fact that since we didn't do it for the Bush inaugurations, we shouldn't do it for the Obama presidency. As you can probably tell, the vote fell along party lines. Although, Rep. Rick Green (R) -Van Buren, made the point that all it takes to determine whether or not to take off is a resolution from any legislator, and it could have been voted on then. To my knowledge, no such resolution was introduced during the Bush years. I voted with the majority for several reasons. First of all, many members and staffers have made plans to attend the festivities in Washington, and that in itself creates problems in conducting business. Secondly, whether you agree or not, the inauguration of our country's first black president is history. If missing a day of work is the problem, then I say let's work late, or on Saturdays, to make up for lost time.