House Panel Refuses to Allow Vote on Confederate Flag

Rules committee prevents floor debate; chair says proposal was 'poison pill'

Confederate battle flag is a recurring controversy in the House. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House will not vote on the display of Confederate flag imagery on federal lands, following a decision by the House Rules Committee on Monday night.  

After a hearing on the the fiscal 2017 Interior-Environment spending bill, the committee decided to prevent floor debate on three Democratic amendments would have barred the display of Confederate imagery in national parks and federal cemeteries.  

"These are amendments that have stopped us in the past from performing our duties to get these bills to the floor," Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said.  

"I decided not to make them in order because I believe that at this time they are extraneous to us passing the bill," the Texas Republican said. "They are poison pills. They are very difficult issues. And we are trying to move this issue forward."  

The rule for floor debate was approved 7-2 with 131 amendments made in order. Forty-eight submitted amendments, from both Republicans and Democrats, were held back.  

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