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