Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Recommitment Ceremonies

Sometimes a really boring topic can be most important to study. This might be the case with the recent modifications of the 'motion to recommit' in House Rules:

The change that has been made, like all fun legal changes, revolves around a single word: In the past, the minority party could recommit the bill "promptly," which returned it to committee. Now they will be unable to do that, instead recommitting the bill "forthwith," which forces an immediate floor vote (after a short debate) on whatever amendment the minority would like to have attached to the bill, preventing the parliamentary maneuver from holding up the final legislation for long.

The 'promptly' was something Newt Gingrich used when the Republicans were last in the minority. Now the Republicans won't be able to kill legislation by using it but must go through a vote first.

I like this, because it shows that the Democrats are serious about getting something done. In the past they have sorta bended over backwards for the Republican minority.

Although I'm now wondering if the Democrats ever used that handy little 'promptly' while in the minority themselves.