Oh my: Boehner to introduce House rules giving minority party more power?

posted at 4:53 pm on January 4, 2011 by Allahpundit

I’d bet cash money that whatever reforms he has in mind are either mostly symbolic or will quickly be abandoned once he and Pelosi start to butt heads, but since stories like this are always good for a five-alarm freakout in the comments about the GOP selling out, let’s do it.

On Wednesday the new speaker of the House of Representatives plans to offer a package of rule changes that, he says, will give minority-party members more of a say and decentralize power. In short, Ohio Republican Mr. Boehner is promising he’ll be a different figure from many speakers throughout history—from Republican Joseph Cannon a century ago to his immediate predecessor, Democrat Nancy Pelosi—who kept a tighter leash…

“New speakers always say they want to have a more open process,” says Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat. “Then the sheer demands of making the trains run on time and getting things passed requires that you change your mind.”…

Mr. Boehner has promised to give more power to committee chairmen, and to put cameras in meetings of the powerful Rules Committee, which sets guidelines for congressional debate…

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 Republican in the new Congress, acknowledges that Mr. Boehner’s proposed changes could make the chamber harder to manage, at least in the early going. “You will have some tough times,” said Mr. McCarthy. “People will play games with it. People will use it for mischief. We’ll just have to work through that.”

What powers, specifically, will Boehner be granting the Democrats? Oddly enough, the Journal doesn’t say. Presumably the leadership doesn’t want that leaking out on the eve of tomorrow’s festivities lest it spoil the mood among the base. But we can probably guess based on this open letter to Pelosi from House Republicans published two years ago protesting her own rules changes that cut them out of the process.

The American people … stand to pay a price if the Majority further shuts down free and open debate on the House floor by refusing to allow all members the opportunity to offer substantive alternatives to important legislation — the same opportunities that Republicans guaranteed to Democrats as motions to recommit during their 12 years in the Minority. The Majority’s record in the last Congress was the worst in history when it came to having a free and open debate on the issues.

This proposed change also would prevent Members from exposing and offering proposals to eliminate tax increases hidden by the Democratic Majority in larger pieces of legislation. This is not the kind of openness and transparency that President-elect Obama promised. This change would deprive tens of millions of Americans the opportunity to have a voice in the most important policy decisions facing our country.

I.e., more amendments and more floor debate, a perennial demand from the minority caucus. So perennial is it, in fact, that Pelosi herself proposed a “Bill of Rights” for the House minority back in 2004, before the Democratic takeover, calling for both of those powers plus greater participation for members in conference committees. Actual quote from then-Minority Leader Nancy, now glazed with irony: “When we are shut out, they are shutting out the great diversity of America.” And a fun reply from Republican David Dreier, who was chairman of the Rules Committee at the time and will be chairman again come tomorrow: “Yes, we have done, as we have had the responsibility of governing, some of the things we criticized when we were in the minority.” Looks like Boehner’s going to try to correct that mistake. For a little while, at least.

Speaking of rules changes, Dan Foster at NRO notes that the GOP’s new budgeting rules require offsetting cuts for any new spending increases — except, er, in case of “emergency” — and gives the Budget Committee chairman the power to exclude the deficit impact from the Bush tax cuts and ObamaCare repeal from any budget estimates. That’s a horrible first step to take if they’re serious about fiscal responsibility, even granting the fact that the “savings” from O-Care are smoke and mirrors. Once you start exempting expensive programs from the ledger on political grounds, I don’t know where you stop. The one saving grace here: The Budget Committee chairman is Paul Ryan, a guy who’s built a national reputation upon his willingness to look at hard realities that other alleged deficit hawks run screaming from. I can’t imagine him hiding any huge costs just to make his numbers look pretty; if he does, then it’s advantage: Reason.


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I have faith in Johnny B.

Now go, do good things.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Let those dems in and get a front row seat to watching Obama’s namesake bill get torpedoed and sent right back where it belongs. I hope Boehner schedules a garbage truck to park right outside that he can take that monstrosity off the house floor, walk it out the door, and dump it in the crusher himself after they vote to repeal it.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

, but since stories like this are always good for a five-alarm freakout in the comments about the GOP selling out, let’s do it.
=============

*Looks Around*,as everyone is making torchs,firing up
the tar pots,and pitch fork making……(sarc).

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Dude has to put on this Kabuki dance. Total theater. Elections have consequences… right?

Sugar Land on January 4, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Oddly enough, I’m not too worried about this. For some reason (and this might just be the ignorance in me speaking out)I have a good deal of faith in Boehner.

Like AllahPundit, I am guessing this is along the lines of window dressing (more debate time, etc) as opposed to TRULY de-centralizing Republican power (especially in the midst of trying to defund Obamacare and Wall Street reform).

Let us all be patient and have some faith in the Speaker. :)

Indy82 on January 4, 2011 at 5:01 PM

WTF?

CynicalOptimist on January 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

schedules a garbage truck to park right outside that he can take that monstrosity off the house floor, walk it out the door, and dump it in the crusher himself after they vote to repeal it.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

ted c:(Kidding),Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to rent out a
huge garbage dumpster,hehe!!:)

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

If he thinks he’ll be able to spread the blame out more by including the democrats when the hard cuts to the budget happen, he is sorely mistaken.

Stop being a Pu$$y Boehner. That Gavel has power. Ask Nancy.

portlandon on January 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Slow news day for sure!

We have run out of things to be outrageously outraged about, so let’s start looking for things to go off on.

Allah, I know why you are covering this, and well, you kinda gotta, but we have a bigger worry.

Our debt is now over $14 TRILLION. We are at an almost a 100% debt to GDP ratio. This is not a good thing.

That’s something to get pissed off.

gary4205 on January 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Of course…”symbolic” is the word of the day here. I doubt Boehner would simply go back on any promises, but it really looks like he’s going to lead the House GOP in a total pwnage over the other side of the aisle.

Gonna be fun!

(I’m a little surprised no one called Boehner a RINO yet…)

JetBoy on January 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Moron….Think those cigs are giving him dementia.

Tim Burton on January 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM

UghaRoo,by all means play into the Treacherous/Debaucherous
Democrats hands!

Ya know,Bipartasanship is DOA,and the Liberals killed it
on January 20th 2009,and if there wasn’t victory to be had
in November 2010,

Team Progressive would still be giving the GOP,the perverbial finger!!!!!

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Well, the House republicans can’t get anything passed the senate, and anything that does pass won’t be signed by the President, and a veto over ride is hopeless….

so….

if we’re gonna get grid lock anyway, why not open up debate and give Pelosi and the progressives as much face time as abc/nbc/cbs/npr will take off of CSPAN?

Skandia Recluse on January 4, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Idiot.

jawkneemusic on January 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to rent out a
huge garbage dumpster,hehe!!:)

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

as long as they kick out the former dem staffers and unemployed congressmen first….or, better yet, toss the bill in there with them. They need to own something, let it be that bill.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Return of the Fairness Rule?

Or do we leave in Pelosi’s shutoff the minority rule?

Kini on January 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Ya know,ahem,I was under the impression that Elephants
were bigger and smarter than stupid Jack*ss’s!(sarc)

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM
========================
as long as they kick out the former dem staffers and unemployed congressmen first….or, better yet, toss the bill in there with them. They need to own something, let it be that bill.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM

ted c:Haha,toss the bill out,yup!

And,contract it out to the New York Sanitation
workers!!:)

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 5:13 PM

WTF is it about winning an election that scares the GOP so much? Dems win, they implement as much as they can. Reps win, they run to the Dems and apologize for winning.

angryed on January 4, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I’m not OK with this, kabuki/symbolism or not. We’ve got a ton of ground to cover and conciliatory motions like this, even if they would have been beneficial in our case the last two years, worry me.

Not in a fighting mood over it, just concerned…as always.

Bee on January 4, 2011 at 5:17 PM

(I’m a little surprised no one called Boehner a RINO yet…)

JetBoy on January 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM

He’s not a RINO. Just a moron.

angryed on January 4, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Eh, setting the precedence for letting the minority party propose a LIMITED number of amendments for the floor is no problem to me; the GOP does NOT always perform at 100% (especially when in power).

michaelo on January 4, 2011 at 5:22 PM

— except, er, in case of “emergency”

crap, paygo will never see the light of day…

cmsinaz on January 4, 2011 at 5:23 PM

WTF is it about winning an election that scares the GOP so much? Dems win, they implement as much as they can. Reps win, they run to the Dems and apologize for winning.

angryed on January 4, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Too many republicans listening to and taking advice from Bill O’Reilly.

fourdeucer on January 4, 2011 at 5:24 PM

He’s not a RINO. Just a moron.

angryed on January 4, 2011 at 5:17 PM

You obviously haven’t been paying any attention to Boehner just in the past 2 years even.

JetBoy on January 4, 2011 at 5:26 PM

This is no surprise, he’s been saying this for months & months. It might even be part of his Pledge.

lizzie beth on January 4, 2011 at 5:27 PM

You obviously haven’t been paying any attention to Boehner just in the past 2 years even.

JetBoy on January 4, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Oh some of us have…. we are afraid to say anything to him because he may cry.

I hate “girly” men.

upinak on January 4, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Let those dems in and get a front row seat to watching Obama’s namesake bill get torpedoed and sent right back where it belongs. I hope Boehner schedules a garbage truck to park right outside that he can take that monstrosity off the house floor, walk it out the door, and dump it in the crusher himself after they vote to repeal it.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

No, set it on fire both for “natural heat” and not to add more to landfills.

And then proudly speak about how the GOP is, indeed, environmentally concerned.

kim roy on January 4, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Actual quote from then-Minority Leader Nancy, now glazed with irony: “When we are shut out, they are shutting out the great diversity of America.”

I wish someone had shoved that in her face during her speakership…

cmsinaz on January 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Speak softly but carry a big stick? Say nice things and give little presents to your enemy before you hand him his rear on a silver platter? Something like that, I hope.

JellyToast on January 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Let me see if I got this right.

We are debating the pro’s and con’s of a new power sharing arrangement with ZERO details on the nature of the arrangement….if there even is any such deal. Interesting.

Can anyone help me make up some negative hypothetical changes so that I can hypothetically bitch about the hypothetical changes?

David in ATL on January 4, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Give em an inch and they will take a mile…..

tommer74 on January 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Would someone who knows about these things please tell me if House votes can override a Presidential veto? If so, does the GOP alone have the numbers? If not, he’s throwing the Dems some tidbits in return for their votes and support down the line.
Also, he’s not a total assh*le like Gingrich or Pelosi: armtwisting isn’t his style. Just as long as he’s not too concerned about being liked he’ll be OK.

Fortunata on January 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

a five-alarm freakout

OK. From Nancy Pelosi to Nancy Boehner.

davidk on January 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

“Not in a fighting mood over it, just concerned…as always.”

Me, too, but that could change quickly. C’mon, John let’s see some moves.

ncjetsfan on January 4, 2011 at 5:35 PM

I’m sure that Boehner will basically just restore Gingrich’s “Fairness Rules” that Pelosi reversed during her time as Speaker.

Rude on January 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM

I wish CSPAN could televise the move of Nana out of the Speaker’s office, and John Boehner’s move into it. Let’s clean out the janitor’s supply room for Nanny’s new office.

slickwillie2001 on January 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Now it’s a lock. He DOES have emotional problems.

JimP on January 4, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Give em an inch and they will take a mile…..

tommer74 on January 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

amen brother….

cmsinaz on January 4, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I’m sooo sick of all these politicians… so Boehnor thinks the Republicans can play the part of the civil English with the Huron Democrats? The GOP is going to get scalped…

CCRWM on January 4, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Cool; as usual, the GOP will be the party that will play nice, by Marquis of Queensbury rules – and the Dems will kill them, then change the rules back to the intolerable ones that Nancy liked so much.

Honestly, I’m beyond tired of ‘keeping the high ground’ on stuff like this. I want the GOP to bury the Dems; figuratively speaking, they need to be eradicated, ground into worthless lumps of barely oxygenated goo sitting in their chairs, powerless to do anything on their own and required to ask permission to use the bathroom.

The Dems have devolved this into a fight for existence – for our country, our rights, our liberty, our money, and more. When someone challenges my very right to life and liberty, the desire or requirement to ‘play fair and nice’ is *gone*, sorry. I’m not going to respond with ‘appropriate’ tactics, I’m going to respond with overwhelming ones, with full intent to remove any further opportunity my opponent has to ever challenge my life and liberty again. Ever.

Cede them nothing, Boehner. Grow a pair, and play this thing to win, ffs.

Midas on January 4, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Not only no, but HELL no!!

WTF squared!!

coppertop on January 4, 2011 at 5:48 PM

On the positive side… he might just be yankin’ the Dems chain…. ya know… “Build ‘em up to tear ‘em down…. one can always hope….

CynicalOptimist on January 4, 2011 at 5:48 PM

I suspect Boehner is smarter than many give him credit for. And duplicating Pelosi’s autocratic rule would have been a godsend to Obozo and the donks.

Ending the tyranny of the 111th Congress was paramount; replacing it with a new overlord, even one of our own liking, was not the way to go.

Let the debate over the future course of our Republic begin…the donks can either join in, or behave like spoiled idiots.

It’ll all be on them.

I’m willing to wait and see…

CPT. Charles on January 4, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I’m oddly comforted by our chief Eeyore! Strange days.

SouthernGent on January 4, 2011 at 5:53 PM

are either mostly symbolic or will quickly be abandoned

Damn well better be! ‘

Consider me freaking out @ SIX alarms (its like turning the volume up to 11)

American Elephant on January 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Nothing would please me more than to see Boehner throw the Dems a bone and then snatch it away the minute they pull any shenanigans

Boehner giveth and Boehner taketh away.

Rovin on January 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM

John, John, John..

You were sent there with a simple plan:

1. Crush our enemies.

2. See them scatter before you.

3. Hear the lamentations of the Donks.

Do this and all will be right and good.

Bruno Strozek on January 4, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Frankly, I think Boehner is being rather clever here. The Dems & Obama’s meme after Nov 2nd has been that the real message delivered by the voters was that everyone work together and be bipartisan. Of course, the Dems & Obama intend nothing of the kind but want to weild that meme as a club to cow the Pubbies. In steps Boehner, doing a one-upsmanship on bipartisan participation in House Committee’s that Dems & Obama can’t criticize. It removes another arrow from Obama’s quiver to paint the Pubbies as uncooperative and not listening to the voters. A chance for a Dem to make “talk as cheap” in a committee, won’t chnage the outcome of that committee since it’s in Pubbie hands to begin with.

Bob in VA on January 4, 2011 at 6:15 PM

A very foolish idea! Give em’ zip!

GFW on January 4, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Midas on January 4, 2011 at 5:47 PM

hear hear! couldn’t have said it better….

cmsinaz on January 4, 2011 at 6:17 PM

…but since stories like this are always good for a five-alarm freakout in the comments about the GOP selling out, let’s do it.

It’s good to know that whenever a crappy rumor is started, presumably with the intent of separating Republicans from tea party support, we can count on seeing that rumor here along with some sort of disclaimer.

“Not that I would spread gossip, but…”

applebutter on January 4, 2011 at 6:21 PM

No big deal. I hear the new rules are:

1. The minority party will no longer have to ask the speakers permission to go the bathroom. However, the coin locks will remain on the stalls in the minority rest rooms.
2. The minority party will now be able to observe “Casual Fridays”.
3. If the majority line is empty, minority members may use the majority metal detector line for $25.
4. Vending machines are now open to both parties. (Non-Alcohol only)
5. If accompanied by a majority member, minority members may visit the majority lounge on weekdays but only before 3 PM; never after 5 PM on any day; and never from 5 PM Friday until Monday morning 6 11 12 PM AM.
6. Minority members can now eat in the congressional cafeteria but must sit in the designated area near the kitchen. However, should the Speaker be present, they must ask the Speaker’s permission to chew before each bite.
7. The “Pelosi-Boxer House Rule” has been repealed and minority members will no longer be required to refer to the Speaker as “Your Holiness”.
8. The term “progressive” may no longer be used to define the minority party as there is nothing “progessive’ about them. “Liberal” and/or “Socialist” shall now be used
9. “Boner” jokes are no longer allowed. However, “Weiner” jokes are now okay.
10. Minority members can neither read no comment on bills presented by the majority party. They will need to find out what’s in the bills after they pass it.

Rod on January 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Here’s hoping that Boehner is simply being cynical and manipulative. But it doesn’t seem wise because no good ever comes of being nice to the left. It will not keep Boehner off Olberdork’s Worst Person in the World list or earn any kind squeals of appreciation from Kittie Kurik. So WTF is the point?

Mr. Big on January 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Rod on January 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM

+1

heh

cmsinaz on January 4, 2011 at 6:32 PM

I’m open to the idea that Boehner is being clever or doesn’t have emotional problems, is capable etc. I’d like you optimists to state your case based on something concrete, if you can please, because Boehner has never struck me as particularly smart/clever, principled and of strong conviction and character, a good communicator or ‘stategerist’. He’s always struck me as plodding and dim and unimaginative and a vascillator. I’m not being my usual smart @$$ self, but sincerely asking.

JimP on January 4, 2011 at 6:35 PM

*Looks Around*,as everyone is making torchs,firing up
the tar pots,and pitch fork making……(sarc).

canopfor on January 4, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Which is what Boehner and the house should be doing not trying to appease the minority party.

F15Mech on January 4, 2011 at 6:41 PM

WTF is it about winning an election that scares the GOP so much? Dems win, they implement as much as they can. Reps win, they run to the Dems and apologize for winning.

Afraid of what the press will say.

American Elephant on January 4, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Now, I’m gonna cry…

Fallon on January 4, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Return of the Fairness Rule?

Or do we leave in Pelosi’s shutoff the minority rule?

Kini on January 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM

This is what I’m thinking. I wrote to Boehner complaining about Pelosi’s 1st order of business being revoking the Fairness Rules. He’s probably taking the glass panes down from the walls of his house, so to speak. Although I’d love it if we just left everything the way SanFranNan had it- and shut the minority out of everything the way she did as Speaker.

NTWR on January 4, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Give the dems one choice for the minority party:

What color of mom jeans Obowma can wear..

dthorny on January 4, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Is he going to let Nancy keep the gavel and ask for permission whenever he wants to use it?

darwin-t on January 4, 2011 at 7:16 PM

I’d bet cash money that whatever reforms he has in mind are either mostly symbolic

I’ll take that bet. Twelve years of republican control of congress and they didn’t address any of the problems we are dealing with now. Thier excuse was always that the democrats were obstructionist although if they had fought a fraction as hard as the demofascists have the last two years they would have gotten things done or it would be obvious the dems own all these problems. boehner and the other professional politician republicans want cover so they are not forced to get anything done. They like things as they are. Time for all the real conservative talking heads to start calling for Speaker of the House Bachmann or even Speaker West. Those two are on our side unlike boehner and mcconnell who consider pelosi and reid thier peers and comrades.

peacenprosperity on January 4, 2011 at 7:27 PM

He’s not a RINO. Just a moron.
angryed on January 4, 2011 at 5:17 PM
You obviously haven’t been paying any attention to Boehner just in the past 2 years even.
JetBoy on January 4, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Says charlie crist’s boy.

peacenprosperity on January 4, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Ah the GOP; always bringing flowers to gunfights.

Grayson on January 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I’m going to invade and conquer the western half of Australia. I will call it New America, all free market loving capitalists and conservatives welcome.

Daemonocracy on January 4, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I’m going to invade and conquer the western half of Australia. I will call it New America, all free market loving capitalists and conservatives welcome.

Daemonocracy

. . . and the nation’s motto should be:

DON’T PERTH ON ME!!!

As far as the matter in hand is concerned, since Harry Weird is going for a power play in the Senate by trying to end the filibuster rule with a simple majority vote instead of the previous three-quarters rule, I’d have the new Speaker do the same in the House on ALL rules that give them Rats any leeway – unless the Nevadan withdraws his power grab.

honsy on January 4, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Long gone is the day I have faith in ANYONE in the Failed GOP.

Reagan wouldn’t even get rid of the Education Department. NO PARTY in DC is going to cut off their goodies they hand out. The GOP is for sale just like the Dems.

It’s over folks. Unless some shock jolts America awake……the Republic is lost.

PappyD61 on January 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Somewhere in America tonight…

10 second sound byte from radio or news mentions National Debt is 400 Trillion $. Wife Amy looks over at little son Cash and says “What time is your game Cash?”.

Amy turns off the “noise” and the fam drives off as Amy tells her husband Jim….”I hate Politics.”

PappyD61 on January 4, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Let those dems in and get a front row seat to watching Obama’s namesake bill get torpedoed and sent right back where it belongs. I hope Boehner schedules a garbage truck to park right outside that he can take that monstrosity off the house floor, walk it out the door, and dump it in the crusher himself after they vote to repeal it.

ted c on January 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

C-Span’s highest ratings ever…

Saltysam on January 4, 2011 at 9:05 PM

I have a bad feeling about these repubs. It looks like a revolution will be necessary to shrink the government. This beast will not shrink itself.

Sherman1864 on January 4, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Somebody needs to send all the republican congressmen a mirror with this message writen on it.

I am a conservative, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for low taxes, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for fiscal restraint, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for personal responsibility, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for a pro-business regulatory environment, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for personal liberty, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for the right to acumulate wealth and to pass it on to my heirs, and thus MSM hates me.
I stand for the free exchaing of ideas, and thus MSM hates me.
If MSM has anything good to say about me, I HAVE BADLY SCREWED UP.

Slowburn on January 4, 2011 at 11:36 PM

I think this is the wrong tone for him to take, whether it’s a symbolic gesture or not. The Republicans had a wave of victory handed to them by frustrated voters. They were not given that victory so they could make nice with the minority party. The only gesture voters were looking for the GOP to give to Congressional Democrats is an extended middle finger.
The Dems locked out the GOP and ran around wild for 2 years. It’s time to for the Dems to pay the fiddler. Investigations, reversal, and retribution. The only thing Boner should be telling the Dems is to grab their ankles.

Sharing power, symbolic or not, is a slap in the face of voters who delivered the GOP back to relevance.

austinnelly on January 5, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Republicans… The party of capitulation. When will they learn that the only effective way to play “the game” is PLAY TO WIN!

mojojojo on January 5, 2011 at 1:58 AM

I want new elections. Today. The DemoRATS shut Republicans out for four years. Then they spent the lameduck session further ratf***ing our country after they’d been repudiated. Their turn to starve in the wilderness. F*** them. No cooperation. No bipartisanship. War to the knife, knife to the hilt. Time to get rid of Boehner as Speaker.

quikstrike98 on January 5, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Allowing the minority party more opportunities to introduce and debate amendments to bills is probably a good idea here. Republicans and conservative voters were probably extremely frustrated with Pelosi’s approach of locking herself in a room with all the Democrats and strong-arming them into voting for something none of them had ever read, so Boehner is trying not to alienate Independent voters by shutting Democrats out of the debate.

With the split Congress (Republican-controlled House, Democrat-controlled Senate), it would be helpful for the Republicans to find out what House Democrats are thinking, because getting anything through the Senate will need at least 4 Democrat votes, and possibly 13 to overcome a filibuster. Some of the amendments offered by Democrats, if not too far left, could be a “bridge” to get Democrat votes in the Senate. If the amendments offered are too far to the left, they will simply be voted down, and those offering them will seem foolish.

Mr. Boehner has promised to give more power to committee chairmen, and to put cameras in meetings of the powerful Rules Committee, which sets guidelines for congressional debate…

In the new House, all the committee chairmen will be Republicans, so this should be GOOD for conservatives! Besides, this allows for a diversity of ideas to be debated even within the Republican caucus, rather than the Pelosi “my way or the highway” approach that led many House Democrats to vote against her.

Allowing cameras into the Rules Committee meetings will allow the public to see (if they’re interested) how things get done in the House, and allows voters to see whether House members of either party act in good faith. This is also a challenge to Obama, who said that the health-care debate would be televised on C-Span.

Although these reforms might slow things down a bit, they reverse the Pelosi “hide and jam it down your throat” approach that voters rejected in 2010. Republicans should not do the same thing that Pelosi did, which would alienate the “swing voters” back to the Democrats.

Steve Z on January 5, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Nope, normally payback is a b!tch…unless you’re the Dems dealing with the Repubs taking power after you muzzled them for 4 years, in which case they come to you looking for kisses ‘n’ hugs.

quikstrike98 on January 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

This is disheartening for those of us who want to see the petty House Dem dictators have their faces rubbed in their own perfidy, but it need not be a big deal.

Rolling back Pelosi’s experiment with cynical tyranny doesn’t give the Dems any real power. The House GOP margin is too big, and the Tea Party looms too large, for any undesirable legislation to pass.

The Dems locked the GOP in the closet because they were divvying up our loot, not for reasons of purity. They actually wanted the GOP to vote on their bills– just not enough to share any of the spoils with them. The pathetic thing about the GOP is not that they’re now extending a hand to the thieves, but that they were anxious to join them for a cut of the pork.

HitNRun on January 5, 2011 at 6:03 PM