Earmarkers Gone Wild
By Brian Darling|Human Events
Boehner Starts to Implement Pledge
One jeer and one cheer for two changes lawmakers made last week to the rules of the House: The Speaker declared “Martial Law,” and House Republicans followed through on their promise to make the chamber more transparent and responsive to the will of back-benchers.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) forced through a change to waive a one-day transparency requirement before bills are considered by the House. This gives the Speaker authority to bring up bills with no notice before a vote of the full House. Neither hearing nor debate is required before Pelosi forces a vote on controversial issues. This new rule cuts the American people out of the legislative process.
By contrast, Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) helped to pass some internal rules of the House Republican Conference that will provide more openness and greater opportunity for back-bench members to participate more significantly in the legislative process.
One great idea was the adoption of new “Cut-Go” rules to stop the proliferation of new government programs and spending. This rule prohibits the use of the Suspension Calendar, a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote of the House, that prohibits the creation of new programs, unless a program of equal or greater size is reduced. The new rule also prohibits the use of the Suspension Calendar that increases authorizations, appropriations or direct spending unless offset by cuts to other programs.