Critical for House to change its rules

Published Dec 4, 2018 at 4:00pm

Anthony Brindisi, along with the new Democratic House majority, does have the opportunity to find effective policies to deal with the persistent problems that afflict our country — and they need to start with Congressional rules. 

Whoever is elected Speaker is less critical than changing the current rules they operate by.  One rule in particular, the ability of the Speaker to avoid acting on matters opposed by a minority of members – needs to be changed. 

The current Republican-led House will not bring forward motions which do not have support from a majority of Republicans, allowing a minority of far-right members to control the agenda. This prevented issues like immigration reform, which otherwise had broad bipartisan support from progressing to a vote.  Many issues like gun control, health care, tax reform, elimination of gerrymandering, and the protection of Robert Mueller’s investigation have majority bipartisan interest and need action.  C

Changing this rule is under the control of the House majority (see Article 1, section 5 of the US Constitution.)  Democracy in essence is rule of the majority in conjunction with rights of the minority – not the other way around.  It is time for the Democrats to put democracy back into House proceedings.  The Senate, unfortunately, will have to wait until 2020.
 

— Mike Corbett, Rome