Skip to comments.Boehner’s New House Rules Reflect Tea Party Principles
Posted on 12/23/2010 8:42:01 AM PST by re_tail20
Republican House leaders released a draft of new rules for the 112th Congress, which address many of the reforms advocated by the Tea Party.
The House Rules package shows a greater focus by congressional Republicans on transparency, deliberation, and cutting government spending.
I expect the Tea Party movement will be excited when they see the new rules proposed by Republicans, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Chair of the House Tea Party Caucus, told Human Events. We are forcing ourselves to cut spending, and its about time.
The package includes a Constitutional authority rule, which the Tea Party strongly advocated and was in the GOP Pledge to America. The rule states that every bill must include a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact it.
New Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) appointed a transition office to draft the House Rules package, which was distributed to GOP Members on Wednesday. The rules will be posted online later for the public to read.
The once and future Chairman of the House Rules Committee David Dreier (R-Calif.) authored the package. He will offer the rules to the full House for a vote on January 5, when the new Republican-controlled Congress convenes.
The rules are focused on our goal to try and reduce the size, scope, and reach of government. It creates a climate which encourages spending cuts, rather than spending increases. It has greater transparency, disclosure, and accountability. It makes things easier to understand, Dreier told Human Events.
Many of the new rules are directly from the Republicans Pledge to America, including the following provisions:
* Each bill will be posted online at least three calendar days before a vote to ensure the American people have the opportunity to read it.
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
Wednesday House Republicans will introduce a draft set of House rules for the 112th Congress. The rules package being distributed is expansive in its reach, focused in its purpose, and stands to provide a sea change in the way the House operates with greater openness, deliberation, and efficiency.
The package honors the promises made in the Pledge to America to reform Congress. It sets a new standard for transparency and accountability. And it makes important budget process reforms that will help end the culture of spending in Washington.
Once distributed, the package will be posted online for all Americans to view. On January 4th, House Republicans will hold an organizational conference meeting where amendments to the package can be offered. And it will be voted on in the full House on January 5th, the first day of the 112th Congress, at which times the Democratic minority will have an opportunity to offer an alternative rules package.
The following are highlights, not the totality, of the proposed reforms to the House rules. These reforms largely reflect the work of the GOP transition team led by Chairman Greg Walden and House Rules working group Chair Rob Bishop. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Quote from Speaker-designate Boehner if you like: These reforms represent Republicans' first step in keeping the promises we outlined in the Pledge to America to change the way Washington works and address the peoples priorities: creating jobs and cutting spending.
Honoring the Pledge to America
As promised in the Pledge, members will not be able to introduce a bill or joint resolution without a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact it. This will serve to refocus members of Congress, with every bill they introduce, on the Constitution that they take an oath to support and defend.
Keeping another promise made in the Pledge, under the new House rules, no bill will be voted upon without being available online for at least three calendar days. The rules package reads, it shall not be in order to consider a bill or joint resolution which has not been reported by a committee until the third calendar day on which such measure has been publicly available in electronic form. This will ensure members, the media, and the American people have an opportunity to read the bill before any vote. [Despite what you may have read in Politico's Huddle this morning, there is no exemption for bills reported out of committee. A 3-day waiting period already exists for those bills, Politico just didnt know that.]
A New standard for transparency and openness
For the first time under the House rules, in electronic format will be the standard by which are made bills available. Placing bills and other texts online for the American people to see will increase public scrutiny and accountability and yield a better legislative process.
Transparency and openness in the committees
In the new Congress, Speaker-designate Boehner has vowed to restore bill-writing power to the committees. As committees are where much of the legislating will be done in the 112th Congress, under the new House rules they will be required to meet enhanced transparency standards. Committees must:
· Post online their committee rules
· Provide 3 days notice for all markups
· Circulate the text of legislation to be marked-up no less than 24 hours before the markup
· Post online all votes in the committee 48 hours after a markup (A proposal from Rep. Reichert)
· Make available online the text of any amendments adopted in a markup (A proposal from Rep. Jenkins)
· Post online truth in testimony information, with appropriate redactions to protect the privacy of the witness so that any conflicts of interest with hearing witnesses are made public
· Make available online the member attendance record for each hearing and markup within 24 hours
· Webcast and make available online their hearings and markups
Committees will be required to file activity reports twice annually, up from the current one report per Congress. According to the rules, such report shall include separate sections summarizing the legislative and oversight activities of that committee , a summary of the actions taken and recommendations made with respect to the oversight plans , a summary of any additional oversight activities undertaken by that committee and any recommendations made or actions taken thereon. This will give the public an easy mechanism to judge the performance of each committee.
Ethics in the House
The House rules package preserves the Office of Congressional Ethics with no changes made to its structure. The language included in the rules package is identical to that included in the rules for the 111th Congress. Story here http://bit.ly/eubYxk
The package also carries forth a rule that prohibits former members of Congress who are now registered lobbyists from using the member exercise facilities (the gym).
Reforms to the budget process
The Gephardt Rule will be repealed, which has been used to avoid accountability by providing for an automatic increase in the debt limit upon the adoption of a new budget resolution.
As the Pledge to America promised to Reform the Budget Process to Focus on Long-Term Challenges, the new House rules places a limitation on long-term spending.
· While under current statutory pay-go rules, a bill must be offset within 1, 5, and 10-year budget windows, in the 112th Congress budget projections must be made for 4 additional 10-year budget windows.
· If mandatory spending increases the deficit by $5 billion or more in any of those 10-year windows, the bill would be subject to a point or order.
· This will prevent budgetary sleight of hand that allows bills to show balance in the short term while exploding deficits down the line.
Cut-as-you-go will be included in the House rules.
· While just a couple of weeks ago Republicans adopted a conference rules to place suspension bills under cut-go rules, the new House rules expand cut-go to all bills dealing with mandatory spending.
· The new rule states that if mandatory spending is increased, spending must be cut by an equal or great amount elsewhere.
· Tax increases cannot be used to pay for new mandatory spending.
· This rule will, in practice, replace the Democrats pay-go rule.
Additional reforms to House rules
Delegates and resident commissioners (those not representing states) will not be able to vote in the committee of the whole.
Three Committees will have name changes in the 112th Congress.
· The Committee on Education and Labor will again be referred to as the Committee on Education and the Workforce
· The Committee on Standards and Official Conduct will simply be referred to as the Committee on Ethics
· The Committee on Science and Technology will referred to as the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
The rules package reinstates a six-year term limit on committee chairmen, one of the central congressional reforms of the 1994 Contract with America that was eliminated under Democratic control of the House.
While the first ten bill numbers have traditionally been reserved for the majority party, the new rules provide that bill numbers 11 through 20 are reserved as a courtesy for the minority party.
When in the committee of the whole, the Chair will be given the option to reduce the time for voting from 5 to 2 minutes if he or she finds it appropriate.
Of special scheduling note
The rules package makes in order for the Speaker to have the entire constitution read aloud in the House on January 6th: READING OF THE CONSTITUTION Upon adoption of this resolution, the Speaker may recognize for the reading of the Constitution on the legislative day of January 6, 2011.
As well as for a bill to be considered under suspension of the rules intended to reduce operating costs in the House, again on January 6, 2011 the second day of the Congress. (This refers to the 5% cut)>
When will we get to see the teeth here? Along the lines of chomping down full bore on the czars, czarinas, appointees, commissions, the known and unknown communists, who have been spitting in the eye of the Constitution and the Republic.
I would encourage them to bring in their own staffers as well.
Why does it have to be the Tea Party rules? Shouldn’t it be American values and virtues that have been instilled in us for over 200 years.
Well, encouraging. But I’ll believe it when I see it.
Real spending cuts? The Republicans haven’t done that since the days of Woodrow Wilson. The Democrats expand; the Republicans digest.
Even Ronald Reagan, although responsible for some great tax cuts, was unable to cut government significantly. After about six months, he just gave up.
Hopefully, he remembers the values his parents and eleven brothers and sisters taught him.
The gym? Must have been the lazy congress-critter's version of "the coffee house across the street."
Looking at the votes this week by the progressive Republicans, new rules aren’t going to help. More of the same, form over function. They keep on telling us to look at their lipstick all the while oinking raucously.
Maybe I’m just wore out, but the performance of Republicans after the election, makes it so this seems like so much puppeteering and posturing.
I agree. It seems like another bunch of legalese for simply saying "We are going to stop spending money we don't have."
At least one of our legislative chambers has potential.
But this will only work up to the following Congress. 2 years. The following Congress can quietly re-write this.
Re-examine this in one year and that will tell you if he means what he says.
RINOs spit on the Tea Party/We The People all throughout this month. The Tea Party has a lot of cleaning of the DC sewer yet to do.
Name names and work to get them out starting January 1st.
Since most of the bills offered up today could not pass this test, IMHO this will last about one week before being quietly forgotten. Good Idea? - "Yes!" Likely to be observed? - "No!"
You and me both. I’m tired of being had by the only supposed “alternative” to liberal evil who then do almost exactly what the evil liberals do. And I’m not holding my breath for this upcoming Congress to do a blessed thing about ObamaCare. IF anything happens, it will be thanks to the states. The fedgov is centralising as fast as it can to block that route. I’m tired of the games they all play as a platform for their own ambition.
I’m not looking to politics or politicians anymore for relief. There’s a better place to look anyway.