Democrats Pull Science Investment Bill, Rare Win for Republicans

House Republicans scored a rare legislative win Thursday. They forced Democrats to yank a science research and development bill off the floor.

On nearly each piece of legislation, the minority party is granted a final opportunity to alter the legislation. This time, Republicans wrote a final change that banned federal dollars from going “to salaries to those officially disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography, including child pornography, on a federal computer or while performing official government duties.”

That motion spooked Democrats. In fact, 121 Democrats sided with the GOP on the final proposal.

House Democratic leaders then pulled the legislation from the floor. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) signaled the bill would return next week. next week.

In a statement, Hoyer (D-MD) Republicans of standing “again with special interests instead of the American people.” Hoyer said that Republicans “proved that they only care about cynical ploys to take back power in November for the special interests.”

Democrats faced a similar situation last week when Republicans again drafted an artful change to the so-called “cash for caulkers” bill. The legislation would provide assistance to people to weatherize their homes and make the structures more energy efficient. Republicans opposed that legislation because they feared that the $6.6 billion bill would drive up the deficit. So, their final proposal gutted the bill and barred sex offenders from working on homes.

In that instance, numerous Democrats joined Republicans to approve the GOP motion 346-68. In the end, Democrats didn’t pull that legislation from the floor. But instead passed a “shell” of the legislation. Proponents of the “cash for caulkers” legislation suggested that the “guts” of the legislation could be re-added to the measure in a House-Senate conference committee.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) described last week’s effort as “a rare, small victory for common sense.”