Elections have consequences…
Before they left for recess in December, Senate Democrats decided it was worth the political gamble, to shut down the government, as a way to embarrass President Trump over his very public efforts to fund a wall on our southern border. After Democrats refused to sign off on a Continuing Resolution bill that would fund a wall on our southern border, they began a campaign to shame President Trump for standing firm on his campaign promise to secure our borders from criminals, terrorists, and foreigners who bilk American taxpayers out of billions of dollars every year in taxpayer-funded benefits.
Democrats, who don’t want to risk being outed again for their opposition to our nation’s security, or to be forced to have to deal with future objections from pesky Republican lawmakers over raising our nation’s debt ceiling, are currently working on new House rules that would automatically raise the nation’s debt ceiling without a vote. They’re calling it a way to “restore regular order and bring integrity back” to the House.
According to NPR – Top Democrats announced late Sunday a series of changes to House rules that could eliminate causes of major instability during the previous eight years of Republican rule in Congress.
“We are proposing historic changes that will modernize Congress, restore regular order and bring integrity back to this institution,” said incoming House Rules Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., in a statement explaining the changes.
Democrats will revive the “Gephardt Rule,” introduced in the late 1970s by Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., that automatically raises the debt ceiling — the nation’s borrowing limit — once the House passes a budget.
House Republicans preferred to force votes to approve debt ceiling increases in an effort to bring more accountability and political pressure to reduce the nation’s deficit and debt. However, that decision never resulted in reducing spending and only added to a culture of brinksmanship in recent years that often threatened the U.S. into default on its debts and increased economic uncertainty around the globe.
Additionally, Democrats are changing the rules regarding motions “to vacate the chair,” a procedural tool that could be used to force out a sitting House speaker. It is the procedural weapon that conservatives led by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., were planning to use to try to oust Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 2015 before he made the decision to step down.
Democrats plan to tweak the rules so that a motion to vacate can only be offered on the House floor if a majority of either the House Republican Conference or the House Democratic Caucus agrees to do so. The change limits the ability of any one member to wreak havoc on the floor and ultimately bolsters incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., against potential agitators in either party.
Other notable House rules changes include:
Giving incoming Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) a stronger voice, by creating a committee to address climate change.
New ethics training for all lawmakers. Will Democrat lawmakers like Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) and Senator Corey Booker (NJ) who openly called for Republicans who support President Trump to be confronted in public be excluded?
Reviving a rule that requires 72 hours before major legislation can get a vote in the House. Where was that rule when Democrat lawmakers gave Republicans their Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), that was 2700 pages long?
And finally, their new rules would allow religious headwear (burqas) to be worn in the House chamber.