Saturday, January 27, 2007

AP: House Democrats Shut out the GOP

Jim Abrams sums it up. Makes me wonder if he's been reading the IP. (I'm never above shameless self-promotion):

Democrats deny they are seeking retribution for 12 years of perceived slights. They also say they are not reneging on the assertion, in their bill of rights, that bills should go through a process of open hearings and full debate where the minority party can offer amendments...

During the past week, Democrats pushed through, with limited GOP input, two major bills: One would take away the pensions of lawmakers who commit crimes and the second would give partial voting rights to delegates from U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Earlier hopes of a new era of civility quickly dissipated with the pensions bill. Republicans claimed that, without their knowledge, Democrats made last-minute changes that were written on a napkin...

Tempers grew even shorter on the delegate bill.

Democrats were sensitive to the fact that not a single Republican amendment had been allowed over the first three weeks of the session. So they ruled a GOP amendment OK to debate — even after the sponsoring lawmaker decided to withdraw it.

Boehner then introduced a resolution criticizing Democrats for trying to force the amendment. That effort failed by a party-line vote...

It appears that Republicans will have to wait a bit longer before they see how sincere Democrats are about giving them a voice.

The House this week plans to take up legislation to fund most federal programs through Sept. 30, the end of the current budget year. This task was foisted on the Democrats because the last Congress, with GOP in control, failed to pass all but a few spending bills.

With the House trying to work out a deal with the Senate on that spending plan and Congress about to begin work on the 2008 budget, there is no time to open up the bill to proposed changes, Hoyer said.

"I want to tell you candidly," he told the No. 2 House Republican, Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt, "that I believe there will not be a full opportunity" to offer amendments.

Check here, and here.

If he writes about Fizzy Fruit, Mr. Abrams and I will have speaks.

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