Pelosi to rewrite House rules in power grab

Posted on January 5, 2009

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In a draconian measure that will erase any pretense of bipartisanship, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi plans on rewriting House rules to lock out Republican minority influence on legislation. As the Human Events articles notes, the rule changes “would bar Republicans from offering alternative bills, amendments to Democrat bills or even the guarantee of open debate accessible by motions to recommit for any piece of legislation during the entire 111th Congress. These procedural abuses, as outlined in the below letter obtained by HUMAN EVENTS, would also include the repeal of six-year limit for committee chairmen and other House Rules reform measures enacted in 1995 as part of the Contract with America.”

Michelle Malkin sarcastically calls this “a return to the good old days.” What it truly is can be termed a power grab. There is some truth to the term in politics that to the victor go the spoils, but this goes beyond that. The transparency and accountability rules back in the ’90s under Newt Gingrich look poised to be swept away so that Democrats can enact their agenda with no debate, minority moderation, or observation. This might seem like an exciting fast-lane for your agenda if you’re a liberal, but you have to wonder, regardless of your political affiliation, if ramming through legislation with question is good for the country. (Oh wait, we just did that with the bank bailout, didn’t we?)

House Republicans have sent off a protest letter to Pelosi, but they must do far more than that. Democrats already have a strong majority in both Houses. The lock-out of the Republican minority and the preclusion of any potential coalition with so-called Blue Dog Democrats is a subversion of the legislative process and a potential abuse of power that must be fought against.

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Posted in: News, Politics