Friday, December 24, 2010

New House Rules

John BoehnerImage via Wikipedia
The new speaker of the House, John Boehner (R), plans to change the rules in the House of Representatives in ways that Tea Partiers will like. One such change is a reading of the US Constitution:
For those members of Congress who need a refresher course on the Constitution, Speaker-designate John Boehner has reserved the right to have it read aloud on the floor the day after he’s sworn in on Jan. 6.
There's are numerous rule changes that will help reign in spending. Of course, rules can be waived, so the most that we can say right now is that the House has created a framework to promote fiscally conservative legislation:
The rules package, as outlined by aides, incorporates much of what Republicans laid out in the Pledge to America, including new procedural hurdles for deficit spending.

One of the biggest of those hurdles is a rule that the House will no longer recognize tax increases as a way of offsetting new spending in entitlement programs, like Medicare and Social Security. The president’s health-care bill would have been almost impossible to pass if Democrats had been forced to meet that standard.
One rule that I find particularly interesting is about posting video of hearings online. Back to The Wall Street Journal article:
–All bills and amendments must be posted online. Other disclosure rules including posting lawmakers’ attendance records and video of hearings online.
I hope that Boehner and his colleagues in the Senate move to make the entire C-SPAN archive downloadable.


Anonymous said...

Do you think the Tea Party will approve of the new rule put into place today taking representation away from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Northern Marianas? What happened to the old "no taxation without representation" deal?

dsm said...

Well, the US Constitution is pretty clear on the point of who gets to vote in Congress. The US territories that you mention are not states, so they don't get to vote. If they don't like that, they should start a war for independence--hey, it's worked in the past.

As for DC... When George Washington originally set it's boundaries, it was rather square-ish. The part that was south of the Potomac River was turned over to the state of Virginia in 1846 and is now known as Arlington. That seems like a reasonable president, so I'd love to see DC turned over to Maryland.