Eric Cantor explains what happened:
High drama on the house floor tonight. Dems brought an Agriculture appropriations bill to the floor greatly expanding government programs, yet again. Republicans moved to recommit the bill to committee, in order to add language prohibiting any taxpayer funds under the agriculture programs from going to illegal immigrants.
The Democrat chair closed the roll call when Republicans had won – as the electronic voting tally indicated enough votes to return the bill to committee. Shouting erupted on the floor, as the Democrats attempted to change the outcome of the vote after the gavel had come down – the vote was closed.
Republicans attempted to adjourn, but we were ruled out of order. Confusion set in as members waited at least five minutes for the chair’s decision.
Republicans members then began to leave the floor in protest, after Democrats proved they would go to whatever lengths necessary to further their agenda. A bad call by the chair, the vote was closed. Then the Democrats allowed their members to continue voting to change the outcome. An outrage. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?
All but a few Republicans refused to vote on final passage since it became obvious that a fair vote would not happen.
UPDATE:Republicans are conferencing this morning after the travesty that occurred last night on the floor of the house. The overwhelming sense of the members is, we have to stand up and reject the democrats manipulation of the rules of the house to further their attempts to thwart Republican efforts to stop government benefits from flowing to illegal immigrants. Republican house members are demanding that democrats right their wrongs.
That is SO ethical! Pioneer Pelosi is right. Most ethical Congress ever.
The Politico has more:
Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural spending bill for employment or rental assistance. Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed, members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.
One GOP aide saw McNulty gavel the vote to a close after receiving a signal from his leaders – but before reading the official tally. And votes continued to shift even after he closed the roll call - a strange development in itself.
Whatever the final tally, acrimony quickly exploded between lawmakers on either side of the aisle as Democratic leaders tried to plot a solution, while parliamentarians on either side argued over protocol.
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) eventually offered a motion to reconsider, according to floor staff on either side, ostensibly giving members a chance to recast their votes. But the maneuver sparked a chorus of angry protests from the Republicans, yelling “shame” on Democrats, while they returned fire with angry volleys of their own.
When Democrats finally moved to consider the spending bill as the last vote of the night, furious Republicans left the chamber en masse to protest the maneuver. The House eventually recessed at 11:18 p.m. But Republicans quickly discovered that there was no longer any record of the controversial vote and immediately charged Democrats with erasing the bad result.
Best part of all?
It was caught on camera. All of it:
Here's Eric Cantor reacting on the floor:
You know, are the Dems really this arrogant? It seems they must be. I mean, you've got them publicly admitting that they want failure from Iraq because it would benefit them politically, and now you've got Pioneer Pelosi's most ethical Congress ever using strong-arm tactics to cheat on a vote, all of which is caught by videotape and aired on CSPAN. I mean, are they idiots? Their approval rating is lower than George Bush's (and that's saying something!), yet they keep acting as if the American people are too stupid to catch onto what they are doing! It's the damnedest thing I've ever seen! I mean, how much more blatant can you be? At least attempt to hide your bullshit. But, in their arrogance, they don't think they have to.
And the vote the Dems so furiously wanted to defeat? It would keep illegal immigrants from getting taxpayer funding in the agriculture bill.
Man, they sure do love America, those Dems.
As Kathryn Jean Lopez noted, is this a democracy or a dictatorship?