The rule providing consideration for the FY 2008 budget conference report (on the floor tomorrow) is expected to modify current House rules to prevent PAYGO offsets from expanding the scope of germaneness to further what Republicans may offer in their Motions to Recommit (MTR). In English, that means that Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat leadership are proposing a massive change to the current House rules regarding the Republican right to the motion-to-recommit bills to Committees for improvement.Later:
This rules change is a historic infringement on the rights of the Minority-it is the first change in this House rule since 1822. The RSC Floor Action Team, under the leadership of Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, have requested a series of procedural votes every 30 minutes in response to this power grab by the Majority.
In response to an earlier post, the Democrat Leadership responded to the protest votes (after about 4 hours) and pulled the rule change from the bill. Read Chairman Hensarling's statement here.Republican Study Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s statement:
Earlier today, House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), today sought to rewrite the rules of the House to prevent PAYGO offsets from expanding the scope of germaneness to further what Republicans may offer in their motions to recommit the bills to Committee. Such a change would allow House Democrats to more easily raise taxes and increase government spending without being held to account. The move would have marked the first change in the germaneness rule since 1822 and is a direct infringement on the rights of the Minority in the House and the Americans that they represent.
I find this fascinating for two reasons. First, it shows the New Left’s contempt for our parliamentary heritage from the 19th century and the traditions of liberty. In the end all their rhetoric about “democracy” is empty. Power is everything to them, and if a 200-year old rule is in the way, these two-bit Robespierres swat it aside without blinking.
“There they go again, promising high ethics and openness and instead delivering a muzzle through a stunning abuse of power in the people’s house. Today, House Democrats sought to silence Americans from hundreds of districts across the nation by attempting to mute their representatives in Congress and we are not going to stand for it.
“On the heels of passing the largest tax increase in American history, House Democrats today sought to make it easier to impose even more tax increases upon families to fuel spending increases.
“Though it appears at this moment that the Democrats will back away from trying to change this nearly 200 year old rule, the Republican Study Committee and our Floor Action Team will be resolute in an ongoing effort to prohibit the Democrats from again trying to make such a massive power grab.”
Second, the reason they wanted to get rid of this rule is so they could expand state power without individual names going on record. Once again, they want power without the disadvantage of being held responsible. One gets a palpable sense from these people that they feel entitled to power without having to answer to the American people, whom they must consider beneath them.
Americans have a hard time concretizing the idea that totalitarianism could come to our country. It doesn’t come in one dramatic fell swoop, but incrementally, law by law, rule change by rule change, as we saw the Democrats attempt to do today. We can thank the Republicans for doing what a minority party should do and stopping the Democrats from taking us another step toward the abyss of dictatorship.