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Pelosi Undoes Many House GOP Reforms

From (the great) John Fund of the Wall Street Journal:


Pelosi Turns Back the Clock on House Reform

Moderate Democrats will be frozen out.

By JOHN FUND

JANUARY 9, 2009

Every two years the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives introduces a new set of rules to govern the body. Normally, this event passes with barely a yawn from the public. But the changes pushed through on Tuesday by Democrats will have real-world consequences for fiscal conservatives of both parties.

Gone are term limits for committee chairmen, a big comeback for seniority over merit. Cost containment measures on Medicare, one of the fastest growing programs, are simply suspended for this Congress.

Tax increases now will be easier to pass, because opponents will not be allowed to offer a simple motion to strike any increase without making up for the "lost revenue." In addition, tax cuts are made more difficult, because they cannot be offset with spending cuts. The new rules will mean that the only way to push for a tax cut will be to propose a tax increase elsewhere.

Democratic leaders said these changes were needed to make the legislative train run faster. "Congress has to accomplish things," said Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern of the Rules Committee. "This is designed to help us do just that."

To further grease the wheels, Democrats have also emasculated the "motion to recommit" — a procedural safeguard first given to the minority a century ago after a rebellion against tyrannical GOP Speaker Joe Cannon. It has been used by both parties to offer motions to "recommit" or send back bills on the floor to the relevant committees.

Republicans used the tactic 50 times in the last Congress, primarily to block tax increases buried in larger bills. Sometimes they also used the device to tack on a popular amendment to a bill — such as an amendment in 2007 ending Washington, D.C.’s, then-existing gun ban, which was added to a bill on voting rights for D.C. residents. That made the overall bill political poison, forcing an infuriated Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pull the bill off the floor.

Her new rules package severely limits the use of motions to recommit. Dismissing GOP complaints about this change, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank said the minority was only "interested in game playing."

Mrs. Pelosi used to see things differently. Back in 2004, she unveiled a proposed "Bill of Rights" to protect House minority interests. It called on Republicans to allow more meaningful substitutes to bills, give members enough time to read bills before final votes, and stop holding roll-call votes past the normal 15 minutes…

Mrs. Pelosi warned in 2004 that "When we [Democrats] are shut out, they are shutting out the great diversity of America." We want a higher standard." In 2006, just before becoming speaker, Mrs. Pelosi reiterated her plans to promote "bipartisanship" and "to ensure the rights of the minority."

That was then…

Can anyone honestly say they are surprised?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, greets Rep Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., left, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are sworn in during a ceremony in Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, prior to the start of the opening of the 111th Congress.

The Democrats never play by the rules.

They are only interested in power.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Pelosi Undoes Many House GOP Reforms”

  1. Confucius says:

    Let’s ask the reformer John McCain (a.k.a. The Loser Maverick) what he thinks. If he’s not available, perhaps a comment from one of his 6 gangsta homies.

  2. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    I’m surprised it is this overt. Of course the average prole isn’t instrested in this kind of news. They are busy looking up who got voted off the island and how much Palin is spending on her outfits. This just means the remaining GOP congressmen will have to fillabuster every bill introduced by the majority. Oh, and Obama isn’t going to be able to pass his tax cuts he promised, or be able to reach across the isle. I’m sure Pelosi is going to have a fence constructed to hold the GOP at bay and keep them off the floor.

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  3. proreason says:

    Rangel looks really happy and subservient for the opportunity to continue his life of crime at our expense.

    The witch has such a gentle touch with her toadies.

  4. DGA says:

    …… (long pause, followed by a deep sigh….) If we ever thought billy bob clinton’s reign was bad, we will now have a new standard of lows to contend with here. Only glimmer of light would be that a majority of obama voters, you know, the ones that think it was like voting for an American idol, get a clue and vote pelosi et al off the island, to put it in their terms. Chance of that?? Not one.

  5. GuppyNblue says:

    All meant to increase and consolidate the power of the Party. For all practical purposes, there is only one party today. Even the more conservative Democrats are put out by this. The “people’s” house is going to be run solely by the hard left.

    “The new rules will mean that the only way to push for a tax cut will be to propose a tax increase elsewhere.”
    So basically, there will be no real tax cuts from here on.

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    “Damn the economy man…….WARP SPEED MR. SULU.”

  7. 1laidbackRN says:

    Thank You, Mrs. Piglosi!!! As a white, middle-class, American male who has worked hard to earn a degree (and help put his future wife through school) to better himself and their future family. I applaud your never-ending efforts, and undying passion to take away everything that I have worked so hard for for all these years. I just cannot believe that these idiots can honestly tell people how bad they are going to screw them over and keep getting re-elected. But, oh yeah., San Fran really had a choice between her and the snag.

  8. bill says:

    Dictators don’t like obstacles. Maybe when they get back in the minority they will see the light gain, they always seem to do that.

    I wonder how many more years Pelosi Galore can torture her face before it deserts for Gitmo?.


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