House Democrats beat back GOP attempt to prevent lame-duck

House Democrats on Tuesday beat back a GOP attempt to lock them out of a lame-duck session after the midterm elections in November.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, last week introduced a privileged resolution to prevent Congress from holding a post-election session for any reason other than a national emergency.

Republicans said they were prompted in part by comments on Sunday by White House energy adviser Carol Browner that the administration was still holding out hope that Congress could approve a major climate bill, "potentially" during a lame-duck session.

But Price's resolution was ruled out of order by the presiding officer on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria of affecting the conduct of individual members or the House as a whole. The chair also ruled it violated House rules prohibiting privileged resolutions invoked "to prescribe a special order of business for the House."

"In such an environment, everything could be privileged," said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), who read from a piece of paper from the presiding officer's chair.

Price asked for an appeal of the chair's ruling, and Democrats moved to table that appeal. The vote to table Price's appeal passed on a largely party-line vote of 236-163, with six Democrats voting with Republicans, and one Republican voting yes with the majority of Democrats.