Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Same Rules, Same Outcome

The Republican Study Committe proposed new rules (text here and here) to reign in Federal spending by Congress. These rules were recently rejected. Porkopolis supports all but #10. I don't understand what #10 is trying to accomplish, but could support it as well if it was explained.

The proposed rules:


1. Protect Points of Order by creating a separate point of order
against any special rule waiving points of order that limit spending.

2. Allow House Debate to Refer to Senate: this simply removes prohibitions against Members referring to actions taken by
the Senate or individual Senators to foster a more open
discussion of important issues.

3. Unveil Hidden Debt Votes by repealing the so-called
"Gephardt Rule" that provides for the automatic passage of a House joint resolution changing the public debt ceiling to conform with the budget.

4. Learn the Cost of Legislation by requiring every bill (including unreported bills and conference reports) to be accompanied by cost estimates.

5. Cap Entitlements by creating a new supermajority (three-fifths) point of order against increases in direct spending. The point of order would not apply to any measure that would decrease the long-term unfunded liability of an entitlement program.

6. Lock Away Savings by establishing both a mandatory and discretionary Family Budget Protection Account, so that floor amendments can realize actual savings by lowering spending allocations.

7. Vote on Expensive Legislation by requiring roll call votes on legislation costing more than $50 million, including those being considered on the suspension calendar.

8. Strengthen Spending Oversight by requiring that any bill reported from a committee that either exceeds the allowable amount of spending under the budget or fails to include a cost estimate in the accompanying committee report be automatically referred to the Budget Committee.

9. Budget for Emergency Spending by requiring that any budget resolution reported from the House Budget Committee include a reserve fund for non-military emergencies.

10. Revise Staff Floor Privileges to allow full-time staff from CMOs with over 30 Members to have floor access to be able to appropriately staff a Member, even in procedural motions.


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January 13, 2005 at 12:21 PM  

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