Monday, June 09, 2014

Republicans’ gagging hypocrisy

By Dana Milbank, WashPost, Monday, June 9, 6:06 PM

The Republican-led House will reach a dubious milestone this week: It will enter the record books as the most gagged in American history.

The House Rules Committee on Tuesday plans to approve two more “closed rules” for debate — a procedure to block lawmakers from offering amendments on the House floor — bringing the total in the current Congress to 62. This will break the record of 61 closed rules set during Nancy Pelosi’s 2007-2008 Congress — and John Boehner’s House still has seven months in which to run up the score.

To put this in perspective, in 1975-1976, only three rules were designated as closed. Republicans complained when they took control of Congress in 1995 that the number of “open rules” — the sort of freewheeling debate that characterized the House for most of its history — had fallen to 30 percent of all debates in 1993-1994, from 85 percent in 1975-1976. And now? Open debates are 6 percent of the House total.

The increasingly undemocratic way in which the House is governed is both a symptom and a cause of the fierce partisanship that has seized the country, and the condition has worsened under both parties’ rule. The frequent promise to “let the House work its will” is almost never honored — and not just on high-profile issues such as immigration reform, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage.

(More here.)


Blogger Minnesota Central said...

Just more proof that Speaker Boehner's "Pillars of a New Majority" was just plain bull ... but does it matter when Vance McAllister tells what really goes on in Congress.

Rep. McAllister said a colleague on the House floor told him that he would receive a $1,200 contribution from Heritage Foundation if he voted against the bill. He would not name his colleague since he “did not want to put their business out on the street.”

“I played dumb and asked him, ‘How would you vote?’” McAllister said. “He told me, ‘Vote no and you will get a $1,200 check from the Heritage Foundation. If you vote yes, you will get a $1,000 check from some environmental impact group.’”

That answer was a surprise, McAllister said.

“I said, ‘Are you serious?’ and he told me, ‘Yeah, wait and see,’” McAllister said.

McAllister said he voted against the bill but did not receive a $1,200 contribution from Heritage Foundation.

“I voted no, and I didn’t get a Heritage Foundation check but he did,” McAllister said. “I went back and checked with my friend, ‘I didn’t get a check, man. What were you talking about?’ He told me, ‘Well, I got one. Why didn’t you?’”

9:19 AM  

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