Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

An interesting point: GOP changed rules in the House

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They repealed the Gephardt rule, that I knew. The Gephardt rule (from Wikipedia):

In 1979, noting the potential problems of hitting a default, Dick Gephardt imposed the “Gephardt Rule,” a parliamentary rule that deemed the debt ceiling raised when a budget was passed. This resolved the contradiction in voting for appropriations but not voting to fund them. The rule stood until it was repealed by Congress in 1995.[10]

It’s important to note that raising the debt ceiling is needed to pay for legislation that Congress passed. Passing legislation and then refusing to pay for it makes no sense to me—why pass it?—but obviously it does make sense to the GOP. (For more on the Gephardt rule, Joshua Green has an excellent brief article from 2011 (the last fiscal crisis cliffhanger) in the Atlantic.)

But there’s another rule change that I didn’t know about: the GOP changed the House’s regular procedure with a new rule that allows ONLY the Speaker of the House or his designees to move legislation to the floor: that totally locks out the minority party. And yet the GOP seems quite sensitive to the rights of the minority in the Senate (where they are a minority). Can it be that the GOP simply adopts any rule that gives it an advantage, with no interest in logic, consistency, or ethics? Sure looks that way at first glance.

At any rate,  Juan Cole at Informed Comment points out:

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) went viral in a YouTube video he released of his parliamentary inquiries on a change in House rules that forbade individual members to initiate a motion to open the Federal government. Only the Speaker of the House can now do so, in a highly undemocratic step.

Here is the Van Hollen inquiry:

UPDATE: And not just the GOP voted for this change: seven Democrats did as well (and have subsequently lied about their vote).

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2013 at 9:53 am

Posted in Congress, GOP

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