By: Chris Hanrahan
116th Congress – a New Step for the USA
When the people speak, will Congress listen? Let us not forget, communication was a major factor in one of the biggest Democrat Blunders of 2018, where the flight-scared and unaware witness (some would say false witness, given the facts in the case) was thrust onto the public for what seems to be the simple reason that there needed to be a special investigation of Brett Kavanaugh.
To this day, Justice Kavanaugh still isn’t being treated fairly by some women but is also creating a clear division in our society – those who want to prosecute DOJ/FBI/FISA overreach and those that want to impeach President Trump instead.
Q: How do we get the House as a whole functioning better?
A: A work-in-progress rules package, that goes beyond the first days of the 116thCongress.
With Nancy Pelosi in charge, how will the House become more transparent? Every day could be something new. The show is just beginning.
Also see www.mocondemand.com for Members of Congress On-Demand, where something new is in the works.
Statement: The House of Representatives is losing the public trust at the present time (115thCongress).
A proposed rule: – Give the stenographer the accompanying written statement
- Bills being submitted on the floor without a Committee markup require 2/3rdmajority for passage (same as the supermajority threshold).
HR6691 – Introduced Aug 31, 2018 w/o Committee hearing, and w/o Committee markup
- Prohibit waiving of the 3-day rule or change to a true 72-hour rule.
- Change to referral committees – limit the number of non-primary committees to 3 or 4
Some bills are introduced to 7 committees – this makes it difficult for the Bill to get recognized.
- Change the review from 24 to 48 hours (for markup)
Regular Order – Empowering the Committees to do their work
260 – 270 co-sponsors can be listed on a Bill – yet it won’t be brought to the Committee or the House Floor even after meeting this threshold.
Define the threshold for sponsors required to bring a bill to the floor.
Goals and a Starting Point
Some Broad Goals – The general public is not on the edge of their seats about bills, rules packages, and the like Sometimes, members make a decision that they don’t want a bipartisan vote on a bill We want to ideally go back to the times when the majority of appropriations bills were bipartisan (as a norm).
The House can function more freely, and better – as a good start.
Important that the House is a co-equal branch of Government.
What does the lack of Regular Order (the trend) indicate?
- The answer can be seen in the political stand-off. The House is a place where E Pluribus Unum used to mean more. The Congresspeople should be yielding more time on the floor, to members of the public who want to speak for or against the very polarized views being inculcated constantly by the Alt-Left.
What process exists or can exist to mitigate this pattern?
Priorities of the Problem-Solver’s Caucus
The Problem-Solver’s Caucus has put forward some ideas so far.
The Rebuilding Congress Initiative also having this conversation.
Require members to appear before the committee of jurisdiction
A group of experts appearing to testify…
- About the subject matter
- About the bill specifically
In Congress, we need to agree that we have to have more hearings in Committee.
A 6-year-ago Committee doesn’t properly cover the nuances of a Bill.
We need for both sides to agree that we can make legislation better.
Not Politically Better, necessarily, but Better as Policy
At the beginning of each Congress, we should have a joint meeting and an opportunity to appeal to the Speaker
How do priorities get set and tracked?
Who has the power to propose amendments?
Make sure we’re running this House better, no matter who’s in charge.
Part of the germaneness test – which committees does a bill get referred to?
If mismanaged, this could cause amendments to appear which should not otherwise be added to a bill.
The Jurisdiction Problem
Jurisdictions are broad, overlapping, and inefficient (multiple jurisdictions, multiple committees).
The select committee needs to be having ongoing internal discussions about solving this issue.
Rules can be waived but it is not in the interest of a self-regulating body to continually do so.
We can institutionalize from a cultural point of view about when suspending the rules is a good vs. bad idea.
Why people think there is corruption (and the swamp) in Washington DC.
Authorization for Military Use of Force is possible w/o being signed by the Armed Services Committee.
Appropriations Committee Examples:
There are things that we can agree on, but we make it very difficult to have those moments
Oversight Committee Examples:
It has never been more evident; the other side of politics wants to create ‘win-lose” scenarios for themselves, but together we can create a bigger pie, where the sides can come together on important issues.
At the beginning of a lot of the recently televised hearings, there has been a motion by the other party to adjourn. This has happened across the aisle both ways, and the House has its themes and the Senate has its themes. Then there’s the stuff that the US Congress adds to and removes from the constitution, as written, by Amendments to the US Constitution. We will soon find out about an array of Amendments, no matter who is in office in 2021-2024.
Oversight is an issue on the verge of collapse, and it has never been more apparent than it was when the crowd on the Alt-Left had a huge spike in their perceived Trump is on Trial narrative (AOC when she apparently got Michael Cohen to say some “damning truths” about Trump’s Taxes).
From an “Advise and Consent” standpoint, there will be a need for a finished product which results in the saving of America. In the end, no matter what the propaganda of the left does from here on, there will never be the erasure of the “Make America Great Again” red hat, as a crowning emblem of the support for Trump’s America. And from what I have learned, a lot of people are very scared to wear theirs in public. Is there anything wrong with that? I think that the Republicans should take more advantage of the laws and start wearing cowboy hats and MAGA hats. Since we have allowed Muslim Members of Congress to adorn any form of garb their religion assigns.
The Trump Hat represents something different to those on the left. I would be curious to know how they would describe the Trump Hat, as an emblem.