Monday, June 18, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance Watch

Roll Call reports that Congressional Democrats are looking at tightening House rules. Seems they're tired of the Republicans tying up the House floor and forcing openness on earmarks, and winning votes on 'motions to recommit:'

While Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) similarly defended the House majority’s response to GOP protests Friday — “We’ve made a commitment to greater openness” — he suggested that Democrats could strike back more forcibly in future confrontations.

“This is not a dictatorship,” he said, but added: “If there becomes a sense that people are blatantly abusing the process, there will be corrections...”

While lawmakers are not placing blame on Hoyer, who oversees the House floor for Democrats, some rank-and-file Members have begun to call for revisions to the chamber’s rules process.

“I don’t think there’s anyone questioning his ability. ... That’s something we can’t control if they’re going to abuse open rules,” the Democrat added. “We may very well have to examine the open rule process. ... There’s a growing anger on our side.”

Meanwhile, other Democrats -- in the same article -- tell Roll Call that the Republican wins are a sign of a healthy and open debate, and something that the Democrats are proud of:

Democrats argue that the motions to recommit are inconsequential victories of little legislative substance and counter that they do not rule their Caucus with the same iron discipline that they so often criticized Republicans for using.

“To vote no just for the sake of voting no, that was the style of the past,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who asserted Democrats offer a “more open leadership style.” He later added: “Why vote against a motion to recommit that you agree with?”...

“Under the previous leadership, this place was locked up tight. ... I don’t think that’s healthy,” McGovern said.
It'll be interesting to see how they square this circle.

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