Pelosi Bucks 185 Year Old House Rule, Stifles Debate
Yup, they sure are changing things down there in D.C. Drudge reports:
After losing a string of embarrassing votes on the House floor because of procedural maneuvering, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to change the current House Rules to completely shut down the floor to the minority.
The Democratic Leadership is threatening to change the current House Rules regarding the Republican right to the Motion to Recommit or the test of germaneness on the motion to recommit. This would be the first change to the germaneness rule since 1822.
In protest, the House Republicans are going to call procedural motions every half hour.
House Minority Whip John Boehner’s reaction:
“This is an astonishing attempt by the majority leadership to duck accountability for tax-and-spend policies the American people do not want,” Boehner said. “The majority leadership is gutting House rules that have been in place for 185 years so they can raise taxes and increase government spending without a vote. House Republicans will use every tool available to fight this abuse of power.”
Last November, House Democratic leaders promised the most open, ethical Congress in history:
“[W]e promised the American people that we would have the most honest and most open government and we will.” (Nancy Pelosi press stakeout, December 6, 2006)
“We intend to have a Rules Committee … that gives opposition voices and alternative proposals the ability to be heard and considered on the floor of the House.” (Steny Hoyer in CongressDaily PM, December 5, 2006)
The rules House Democrats are seeking to change have not been changed since 1822.
Republicans have already achieved significant legislative successes on the House floor with 11 consecutive “motion-to-recommit” victories that exposed flaws and substantively improved weaknesses in underlying Democrat bills. But rather than living by the same rules which have guided the House of Representatives for 185 years, Democrats are proposing to change the rules in order to game the system and raise taxes and increase spending without a House vote. What are House Democrats afraid of?
Here’s more about the Motion to Recommit.