Floor procedures tightened in pandemic’s wake
In his latest column on Congress, Don Wolfensberger writes:
As urgent times call for urgent measures, the House Rules Committee last Wednesday pulled the six-alarm emergency cord by sending six major bills to the House floor under a single special rule (a simple House resolution) that barred any and all floor amendments. Exempted from this ban were several leadership-blessed amendments that were self-executed to adoption in the rule, thereby avoiding the need for separate floor votes.
The six measures made in order by that closed amendment rule ran the gamut from policing reform, health care amendments and D.C. statehood, to credit scores, community reinvestment regulation disapproval and a ban on home evictions.
The sore thumb sticking out in this legislative six-pack was a health care bill originally reported from the Energy and Commerce Committee last March that was just 10 pages long. In its place was substituted a 154-page Rules Committee print that bundled another 23 bills under that same bill number —eight of which had been previously reported from committee as separate bills and 16 others that had not been reported by any committee…