After Madigan’s election, Republicans move on to Madigan’s rules
Monday, Jan 23, 2017
* From the ILGOP…
The House based its rules on the Senate’s rules back when the Republicans had control of both chambers. The Senate’s rules are still pretty close to the House’s rules, yet nary a peep about that chamber.
But, then they couldn’t tweet stuff like this…
* Even so, I’ve been railing against these rules since Pate Philip first unveiled them. They’re undemocratic and they should be changed.
Committee chairmen and minority spokespersons should be elected by their caucuses, not appointed by the leaders. Committee staff should report to and be hired by chairmen/spokesmen and not the leaders.
I’d hesitate to bring back floor amendments, which long ago could be filed on bills without first having to clear the Rules Committee as long as they were related to the underlying subject matter. Back in the old days, Madigan would simply refuse to move any legislation at all to the floor that could be amended with hostile language to his favored constituencies (like trial lawyers). And the House Republicans tried one year to essentially shut down the chamber’s operations by filing a couple of hundred floor amendments to a bunch of bills on the floor. The old rules required taking action on all those amendments before the underlying bills could be advanced.
Also back in the day, the House Rules Committee only really met to enforce a chamber rule that limited legislation in even-numbered years to appropriations bills and “emergency” (I think that was the term) legislation. The Rules Committee decided what could be considered an emergency under the rules during election years (a very handy power). Now, Rules controls everything all the time. It should be reined in.
* Anyway, that’s a few points for starters. Y’all have any other ideas?