After a smooth and punctual start to the first day of the new House, Republicans and Democrats clashed over a Republican proposal to prevent delegates from the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, as well as the Resident Commissioner (RC) of Puerto Rico, from voting on the House floor in the "committee of the whole." The committee of the whole is the term of art for when the entire House gathers as one committee to consider legislation.
The Republican proposal to prevent delegates and the RC from voting in these situations is found in the GOP's proposed rules governing the 112th Congress. Those rules, in H.Res.5, will be voted on later Wednesday, and debate on the rule has already started.
At 2:30 this afternoon, Democratic Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, D.C., made a motion to require further study of this proposal by a new committee before it takes effect.
Immediately after, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) made a motion to table Norton's motion. Cantor succeeded by a vote of 225-188, the first roll-call vote of the new House after the Speaker election.