Democrats trying to make sure that Members convicted of corruption can still collect their pensions.
Call your Congressman.
And also, check out the House floor debate on the legislation:
Mr. SHADEGG. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman may state his parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. SHADEGG. Can the Chair tell me if this bill was reported out of committee?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill before us has not been reported by the committees to which it was referred.
Mr. SHADEGG. So it has not been reported out of committee?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. That is correct...
Mr. SHADEGG. Can the gentleman tell me where and when this bill was amended?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is amended in the motion that is placed at the desk.
Mr. SHADEGG. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker. Has the majority been provided the text of the bill at this time, or can you tell me when it was amended?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. It is the Chair's understanding that the bill is available to Members in the Chamber and copies have been provided.
Mr. SHADEGG. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker. We just asked for a copy of the bill, a Member just did, and was not able to get it. Do we have more than one copy?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The official copy is at the desk and the Chair understands that there are other copies that have been distributed throughout the Chamber.
Mr. SHADEGG. One further parliamentary inquiry.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his further parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Speaker, it has been widely reported today that this bill has a delayed effective clause which would not make it effective until January of 2009. That is different than the introduced bill, which had an immediate effective date.
Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Is that a parliamentary inquiry that he is just suggesting here?
Mr. SHADEGG. Can the Chair clarify whether or not it has been amended in that respect?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The content of the bill is a subject for Members to discuss during the debate. It is not for the Chair to state...
Mr. KIRK. Mr. Speaker, with regard to the amendment in the final form of this bill, my understanding is we are now dealing with a handwritten piece of paper on a napkin?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill, as amended, is at the desk.
Mr. KIRK. Is anything typed and shared with the minority?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The engrossing Clerk has the official paper at the desk.
Mr. KIRK. Which is handwritten.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman may examine the copy at the desk for himself.
Mr. KIRK. I will take that as a ``yes...''
Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, of course this subject matter is very important, the Congressional Pension Accountability Act; and I just went up to the desk and asked for a copy of the bill that we will be debating. And I was told that they did not have a copy. The Speaker has said that there are copies available for Members, and I would like to know where the copies are and how many copies are available for the Members.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. There is an engrossing copy at the desk and further copies will be made available to Members throughout the Chamber.
Mr. WHITFIELD. When will copies be made available for us?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Currently. The Chair observes their being passed out as we speak...
Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, although the rules package contained a provision that said the majority would provide legislative text to the minority 48 hours before a vote, that is not, in fact, a rule; is that correct?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. A motion to suspend the rules, as the gentleman knows, obviates any point of order to that effect.
Mr. SHADEGG. Further parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. SHADEGG. Mr. Speaker, is there a means by which I can appeal the ruling of the Chair in order to allow the Members of the minority the time in the civility clause that is 48 hours to see the language of this bill which was apparently amended within the last 45 minutes?
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Will the gentleman suspend for one moment.
Mr. SHADEGG. I would very much appreciate an answer to my question, Mr. Speaker. I don't think that is asking too much.
But don't worry; House Democrats only 'suspended' their promises to maintain open and honest debate during the first 100 hours, while they were delivering on their 6-point campaign agenda.
So I guess this must represent the way they intend to do business going forward.
Update: The House passed the bill by a vote of 431-0. Apparently it was amended, but according to the AP, it would take effect upon becoming law - implying that the amendment above was rejected. I will pass along greater detail once I have it.
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