House passed 'doomsday' bill in case of mass legislative vacancies

On March 3, 2005, the US House of Representatives voted 329-68 to pass legislation providing for filling legislative vacancies should 100 seats be open at one time. Under the Continuity in Representation Act of 2005, states would have 49 days to hold special elections to fill the legislative void, adding four days to the limits proposed by similar legislation passed by the House earlier but failed in the Senate. The year prior, the House rejected a constitutional amendment allowing emergency vacancies to be replaced by appointment in order to keep Congress running smoothly during such a crisis, but it did so on grounds that the House must retain its character as a directly-elected body reflecting the popular will. The legislation was never taken up by the Senate.

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