The motion and the expected vote result were purely optical in nature, and were essentially a gesture to voters to show that members are not looking to leave town until a deal is found on the fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases. But Republican leaders have already said the House would stay in session until those issues are resolved.

Immediately following the vote, the floor was left open for members to make speeches, which were expected to last until the late afternoon. The only work of the day was a vote on a suspension bill, which passed easily.

The House will return at 9 a.m. Friday.