August 3rd, 2007
04:41 PM ET
12 years ago

House computer glitch adds to political tangle

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House of Representatives slammed into its second dead-stop in a day, after 24 hours of wild political maneuvering was topped by a computer failure in the chamber’s voting system.

“It’s obvious we have a technical problem,” said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland. A chamber full of impatient and skeptical members replied with catcalls and groans.

The problem appeared after Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, moved to adjourn the House as a way to block a Democratic proposal on the nation’s surveillance law. But members quickly realized electronic monitors were not working. Members in the chamber couldn’t tell if their votes had been counted and representatives in their offices could not gauge how much time was left to cast their votes.

“We’re in a very awkward situation here,” said Rep. David Dreier, R-California, who is the top Republican on the Rules Committee. “The House may have just adjourned for all we know.”

After some 15 minutes of headscratching, the House recessed to allow engineers to fix the problem. Democrats promised a revote on adjournment.

The House reconvened after the computer glitch and revoted, after 4 p.m. on Friday, on Wilson's motion to adjourn.  The House took up the revised intelligence bill and will work next on a $250 million appropriation bill to help recovery from the Minneapolis bridge collapse. 

All of this came less than a day after a controversial House vote led Republicans to stomp off the floor. Republicans claimed voting boards showed them winning a motion 215-213 but Rep. Michael McNulty, D-New York, announced the vote had failed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later said McNulty banged his gavel down early, after a few votes had been entered but not yet processed. She and other Democratic leaders insist the final tally was 212-216.

–CNN Radio's Lisa Goddard

Related: House gets back to work

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Adam, Washington, DC

    Uh, Steny Hoyer, is a Democrat, not "R-Maryland"

    August 3, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Morgan

    Steny Hoyer is a Democrat, or did you forget we won back Congress?

    August 3, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Andrew Loerch, Phoenix Arizona

    Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, R-Maryland?

    Last I heard, Democrats had the Majority, which would make Steny a Democrat? Correct?

    This should be corrected ASAP.

    August 3, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Peter, Los Angeles, CA

    Just listen to what this extremist Tancredo is saying, and confirmed by his mouthpiece Bay Buchanan. It proves that extremists are dangerous whne they come from the middle east and the neo con right of the USA.
    It's so childlike. " I'll break your toys to show you I'm stronger and mom likes me best" Can you imagine if a Timothy Mc Viegh type american extremist bombed say, Mexico, and the Mexican gov'mt retaliated saying all americans were extremists and then bombed the Vatican? Tancredo and his generation of polititians represent a danger to our society as much as Al-Qaeda, they feed on one another.

    August 3, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Graham, Denver CO

    Steny Hoyer a Republican.

    That's some nice journamalism CNN.

    August 3, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    After some 15 minutes of headscratching...

    It takes them that long to process the event of technical failure? Oh, they're so bright.

    August 3, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Don't Trust Voting Machines

    If computer voting glitches out in our House of Representatives, when only 400 people are casting votes, how can we trust electronic voting for our nationwide elections where millions of votes are cast?

    August 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. jcw, Kalamazoo, Michigan

    I thought a Steny Hoyer was a skiing maneuver, but if I didn't trust the idea of Internet voting befoe, I sure don't trust it now.

    August 3, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Steven Terrell, Sr. Knoxville, Iowa

    Another democratic trick to gain concessions and amnesty for the illegal aliens among us.....

    August 3, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. xinoph

    I'm pretty sure Hoyer is a Democrat regardless of who has the majority, Andrew. Peter, stay on topic. This was about a computer glitch during voting on the surveillance law, not immigration or Tancredo.
    How convenient for the Democrats that electronics failed when it did. First they stole a vote and now this. Brilliant

    August 3, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. EvilPoet, Woodland Hills CA

    Law of Unreliability: To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer. [Source: Murphy's Law]

    August 3, 2007 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. Chris Myers

    The only way the democrats can push their agenda through is by cheating.

    Hmm, didn't they try the same thing with Al Gore in 2000?

    August 4, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  13. DiscoEv, New York, NY

    Ugh! CNN. Please get your facts straight or don't report at all. We already have slanted journalism and we look to you for only the facts. This is consistent with your most recently omission that Ted Stevens is "Senator from Alaska" rather than a "Republican Sentaor from Alaska"

    August 4, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. R Pyle, Roxboro, NC

    Perhaps,,, just perhaps, the computer glitch arises from some tampering calculated to manipulate the votes. In a country where the Supreme Court decides who is our president rather than the voters,,, anything is possible.

    August 4, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Ginrou, Wasilla AK

    All of the comments about the "R" being in place of a "D" when referring to a Mr. Hoyer's party: Seems like everyone's willing to forget that everyone, themselves included, is human and liable to make mistakes. CNN writers, computer operators, etc. etc. Seems like people are more than willing to nitpick rather than see larger issues, the veritable picking the mote from someone else's eye while having a beam in your own, or the whole straining at a gnat while trying to swallow a camel. However, if you're one of those people who do not make mistakes and have commented about all of the mistakes that others make, forgive me. As it is, imperfect people have no right to nitpick trivialities unless they are willing to accept being viewed under a lens themselves, no matter their race, creed, gender, and oh yes, political affiliation.

    August 5, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |